09 Aug 2022

Great lineup of events at this year’s Kildare Readers Festival

Events start this week

Great lineup of events at this year’s Kildare Readers Festival

Picture: Old Ireland In Colour 2

MAIN IMAGE: PLACE YOUR BETS! 1952, The Curragh, Co Kildare: A bookie signals the odds while standing on a box at a race meeting at the Curragh. Source: NUI Galway Library Archives. The image features in the Old Ireland In Colour 2 book, whose authors will give an online talk on their discovery and updating of historic Irish photographic gems on October 16 as part of the festival

The popular annual Kildare Readers Festival is now in full swing, with speakers and events on offer to delight the most enthusiastic of readers.

The line-up features a fantastic mix of well-known faces and local talent, with a range of thought-provoking and interesting events for readers of all ages.

Run by Kildare County Library and Arts Service, with the support of Kildare County Council, this year’s programme mixes virtual and ‘real-life’ events, with the Riverbank Arts Centre in Newbridge once again the hub of the action. (EU Covid certificate and valid ID required for all events in the Riverbank).

The full schedule of events, which will run until October 17, is available at, where tickets can also be pre-booked — but in the meantime, here’s just a taster of what’s on offer.

Shelving: Darran Anderson, Claire-Louise Bennett and Suzanne Walsh

October 5, 7pm at the Riverbank Arts Centre.

This event will feature presentations/performances by three writers and artists who will talk about works they’ve previously shelved, abandoned, or reconfigured.

What does this tell us about how artists and writers work? What does it tell us about the systems in which they work, the expectations placed upon them, the kinds of work considered viable, valuable, worthwhile?

Kildare Debuts: Louise Nealon and Fíona Scarlett in conversation with Eoghan Smith

2021 saw the publication of the debut novels of two Kildare-based authors, Snowflake by Louise Nealon and Boys Don’t Cry by Fíona Scarlett, to much critical acclaim. They will be interviewed by writer, critic and academic Eoghan Smith.

Friday, October 8 at 8pm. Zoom event.

Workshop: The Heritage of Brigid: A Sense of Place

Workshop 1 of the Creative Writing and Visual Art Workshop series.

This two-hour collaborative, interactive and participatory workshop invites adults in the community to engage in an exploration of Brigid through the theme of place using written and visual forms with writer Shauna Gilligan and artist Margo McNulty.

Gilligan and McNulty will use prompts based on their research findings including, for example, photographs of artefacts and images of Brigid. Participants may, of course, also use prompts personal to them should they wish.

Individual, pair and group work will be part of this workshop.

Saturday, October 9 at 2pm. Online Zoom workshop.

Workshop: Beneath and Between History: A Descriptive Exploration of the Hidden Sacred Feminine

Workshop 2 of the Creative Writing and Visual Art Workshop series.

This two hour collaborative workshop invites adults in the community to engage with artist Margo McNulty and writer Shauna Gilligan in guided and prompted oral and visual story telling. Particular focus will be on the relationship of the heritage of Brigid and the sacred feminine.

Group exploration of what the sacred feminine means may include focus on artefacts such as mantles, crosses, ribbons, clothing etc and/or examples of visual and written descriptions which were created by Gilligan and McNulty as part of their collaboration Mantles, funded by Creative Ireland (Kildare and Roscommon County Councils).

Individual, pair and group work will be part of this workshop.

Saturday, October 9, at 7pm. Online Zoom workshop.

Quiet Nature: Lynn Buckle interviewed by Ryan Dennis

A discussion on fictional nature writing from the unique perspective of Lynn Buckle, deaf author of the evocative novella What Willow Says. Journey through her rural landscapes steeped in myth, history, family bonding, and climate change. She speaks of the susurrations of trees and explains how language and place hold meaning and purpose for storytellers.

Join her for a conversation on silence, deafness, nature, and the Anthropocene in contemporary literature with Ryan Dennis, Kildare Writer in Residence, lecturer, farmer, and author of the novel The Beasts They Turned Away.

Sunday, October 10 at 8pm. Online Vimeo premiere.

Michael Mullan Charity Fund Writing Competition Awards Presentation

Kildare Library is delighted to host this very special event to announce the winners of the fourth Michael Mullan Charity Fund Short Story, Flash Fiction, Poetry and Kildare Micro-fiction Competitions 2021.

The competition is held in memory of the late Eadestown man, who sadly passed away from cancer last November.

The winning entries in each competition, selected by judging panel Niamh Boyce, Caroline E Farrell, John MacKenna and Lynn Buckle, will be read on the night and will be published on the Michael Mullan Charity Fund website and on the Kildare Library and Arts Service website.

All proceeds from the competition are going to support kidney cancer research and treatment at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.

Thursday, October 14 at 7pm. Online Zoom event.

10 Books You Should Read

10 Books You Should Read continues to be a favourite event at Kildare Readers Festival. Its format is a simple one: our guests choose five titles each and conversation ensues, as recommendations — and the advocacy of same — volley back and forth.

On this occasion we thought to have the conversation be amongst the keepers of our cultural collections: Simon O’Connor, director of the Museum of Literature Ireland and Jason McElligott, Director of Marsh’s Library, Ireland’s oldest public library.

Saturday, October 16 at 10.30am at the Riverbank.

Old Ireland in Colour 2 with John Breslin and Sarah-Anne Buckley

In Old Ireland in Colour 2, the much-anticipated sequel to their beloved bestseller, John Breslin and Sarah-Anne Buckley have delved even deeper into Ireland’s historical archives to uncover captivating photographic gems to bring to life using their unique blend of cutting-edge technology, historical research and expert colourisation.

Saturday, October 16 at 5pm.

Online Zoom event.

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