*Please be aware that this video contains some occasional strong language.


One of Ireland’s literary greats, John Banville, sat down with one of England’s most innovative writers, Will Self, to discuss the influence and enduring impact of Joyce’s short story collection Dubliners in celebration of the centenary of its publication in London. Will Self is the author of many novels and books of non-fiction, including Great Apes, The Book of Dave, How the Dead Live, which was shortlisted for the Whitbread Novel of the Year 2002, The Butt, winner of the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction 2008, and Umbrella, which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize 2012. He lives in South London.

Published exactly one hundred years ago on 15 June 2014, Joyce’s collection was marked with this very special event in conjunction with the James Joyce Centre being held in the intimate surrounds of the James Joyce Centre’s Kenmare Room. Led in conversation by Carlo Gébler, Banville and Self reflect on their own experiences of these timeless stories – when they first recall reading them; how they rate the collection amongst Joyce’s other works; how their readings of the stories evolved over time; what particular stories have remained with them as readers; and what elements of the work they feel influenced their own writing.

Writing shed and Dylan Thomas as a young man ©

Nora Summers


In partnership with the festival, British Council Ireland was delighted to bring the replica of Dylan Thomas’ famous writing shed across the Irish Sea to the Mountains to Sea dlr Book Festival from 12th-14th September 2014. The shed - complete with curled pictures on the walls, boiled sweets on the desk and the poet’s jacket still hanging on the back of his chair – was on tour as part of Dylan Thomas 100, the year-long festival commemorating the centenary of the great Welsh writer’s birth.

There were a number of special events that took place in and around the shed for festival-goers to enjoy:
DYLAN THOMAS CREATIVE WRITING WORKSHOP FOR TEENAGERS - Children's Poet Laureate of Wales, Aneirin Karadog and Irish poet Nessa O'Mahoney presented a creative writing session focused on Welsh poet Dylan Thomas.
MENNA ELFYN IN CONVERSATION WITH NESSA O'MAHONY - Award-winning Welsh poet, Menna Elfyn, talked to Irish poet Nessa O'Mahony.
•MILK WOOD AND OTHER MAGICAL PLACES - A CHILDREN'S LAUREATE DOUBLE BILL! - We were delighted to bring together both the Welsh and Irish Children's Laureates, Eoin Colfer and Aneirin Karadog, for a lively event in the brand new dlr LexIcon.  The event was curated by Tom Donegan from The Story Museum, Oxford. 
•POETRY SOAPBOX - This was one of the highlight's of the weekend.  A surprise line-up of readers read aloud their favourite Dylan Thomas pieces from the shed!
•MY BIRTHDAY BEGAN WITH WATER - THE LEGACY OF DYLAN THOMAS With Menna Elfyn, Nessa O'Mahoney and Nerys Williams. Chaired by Siobhán Parkinson - A panel of Welsh and Irish writers discussed the man, his poetry and his legacy.



In partnership with Yeats 2015, we were pleased to present the Poet Laureate and National Poets of the UK and Ireland coming together to pay tribute to WB Yeats.  The event took place on Yeats' birthday in his spiritual home of Sligo on Yeats Day, 13 June 2015.

The laureates/ national poets had never performed together in Ireland so this was a once-in-a-lifetime poetry experience and celebration to honour WB Yeats. President Michel D Higgins, Patron of Yeats 2015, was the special guest at the event.

The evening also featured young musicians and poets and a special guest appearance by Mary MacPartlan and Aidan Brennan.

The poets were:

Chair Irish Poetry, Paula Meehan
Poet Laureate England - Carol Ann Duffy
National Poet of Wales- Gillian Clarke
National Poet of Scotland, Scots Makar - Liz Lochhead
London Laureate - Aisling Fahey
Northern Irish Poet - Sinead Morrissey

See also