Monday, 2 June 2014


Between preparing for the Italy trip (more of which on the Italo-Irish Literature Exchange blog), and a final, final edit for Penguin, I have been distractedly busy. I hardly took any photos in Listowel - I was too busy teaching, eating and attending events. But, for what it's worth, here are my pictures. Most taken on my phone, so not great quality...

It was a great few days of short story blather at my workshop with a lovely group of 13 people (mostly men, unusually). I went to two launches - firstly Mary O'Donnell's novel Where They Lie was launched by John Mac Kenna in the library. The book is fab - I have started it and it's beautifully well written and intriguing.
Me and Jim Crace
I interviewed English writer Jim Crace, author of Man Booker shortlisted novel, Harvest, in St John's. He was fluent, interesting, honest and friendly. The book is brilliant - flawless in language and tension.

Authors John Mac Kenna and Mary O'Donnell
John Mac Kenna's novel Clare, was launched by Mary O'Donnell (synchronicity!) in the Boys' School on Friday afternoon. John read beautifully and spoke movingly about the life of John Clare, the 19th C poet.
John B. Keane and me
Otherwise, we bumped into friends, real and virtual - Paul Durcan was the first person I met when we arrived at the hotel (lovely Paul!). I had delicious rhubarb and orange crumble in John R's café. Juno refused to chat with Anne Enright (of all people...). I went to hear Douglas Kennedy discuss narrative in life and fiction. And Juno very much enjoyed Sarah Webb's morning of children's games.

And, because I was teaching, I didn't stay up for the all night sessions of music and drink, so I may have missed out a bit on the night-time conviviality. But, no matter, I had a fabulous time; the sun shone and the town was packed with enthusiastic readers and writers, making for a sweet atmosphere. All thanks to Eilish Wren, Máire Logue and the Listowel committee.

Juno in front of a little house - Listowel is chock full of interesting, native architecture
The view from the back of The Listowel Arms, the hotel where we stayed
Mary O'Donnell signing at her launch
O'Connor's in Foynes


RichR said...

Looks like fun. I always want to go for the Listowel Writer's Week, but the kids are in school, so that prevents me. One of these years...

Emily said...

Oh looks just wonderful... the sun is always a bonus :) Enjoy Italy! (Take plenty of pics!!!)

shaunag said...

Looks fantastic - dying to hear more about Jim Crace, did you focus on Harvest (isn't it brill) or talk about his work in general? Enjoy Italy - looking forward to hearing all about it.

Nuala Ní Chonchúir said...

Harvest, food in his work (incl. The Devil's Larder), politics in his life and work, Quarantine, synchronicity etc. etc. He was a joy to interview. We could've talked for hours, Shauna.