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Kildare Readers Festival: Dennis O’Driscoll Awards

Saturday 8th October, 2022 - 17:00

Free, booking advised
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Regarded as one of the best European poets of his time, Dennis O’Driscoll was a poet, essayist, critic, editor and mentor who made Naas, Co Kildare his home until his death. The Dennis O’Driscoll Literary Bursary Award, an initiative of Kildare County Council, is open to both established and emerging writers and critics in all genres. The award for professional writers is to augment their professional practice, particularly research towards the production of new writings. The award for emerging writers supports their professional development/training opportunities.

We introduce this year’s awardees Niamh Boyce (Professional Writer) and Róisín Ní Neachtain (Emerging Writer) who will discuss what this award will mean to their practice and read their work. They will be joined by last year’s established awardee and well known Kildare writer, Pauline Clooney.

This year’s awards were adjudicated by Writer in Residence 2021/22 with Maynooth University/Kildare Library and Arts Services, Oisín Fagan.

Róisín Ní Neachtain is a writer and artist based in Kildare. Her art is held in international private collections and her work has featured both online and in print, most recently in The Honest Ulsterman and in Footprints, a Broken Sleep Books ecopoetry anthology. She won second place at the Red Line Book Festival Poetry Competition in 2021 and was recently awarded the Dennis O’Driscoll Literary Bursary Award by Kildare County Council to work on her first collection of poetry.



Niamh Boyce won New Irish Writer of the Year in 2012. Her debut The Herbalist was a critically acclaimed bestseller, won Sunday Independent Debut of the Year at the Irish Book Awards and was nominated for an IMPAC. Her writing has been broadcast, adapted for stage and anthologised, most recently in The Long Gaze Back, The Hennessy Anthology and Hallelujah for 50 Foot Women. Her novel, Her Kind is based on the Kilkenny Witchcraft Trial. Nominated for the EU Prize for literature, the judges called Her Kind ‘as searing a critique of our own times as is Arthur Miller’s The Crucible.’

Photo by Miguel Ruiz

Pauline Clooney is an award-winning Irish author and creative writing teacher at Kildare Writing Centre and the Irish Writers Centre. She is the 2021 recipient of the Dennis O Driscoll literary bursary awarded by Kildare County Council and was one of five writers chosen by Listowel Writers Week to attend their 2022 writer’s residency in Cill Rialaig, Kerry, Ireland. Her debut novel, Charlotte and Arthur was published in October 2021. She is currently working on a short story collection and researching for a novel focusing on the relationship between William Butler Yeats and George Hyde Lees.


Kildare Readers Festival is brought to you every year in October by Kildare County Library and Arts Service. For more information about KRF see



Saturday 8th October, 2022
Free, booking advised
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Riverbank Arts Centre Auditorium
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Riverbank Arts Centre
Main Street
Newbridge, Ireland
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045 448327
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