Since 2015, Maynooth University Department of English and Kildare County Council Arts and Library Service have collaborated on an annual writers-in-residence programme, supporting writers in their practice and to bring their work to university and community audiences. The resident writers in 2022/23 are Fíona Scarlett and Catherine Talbot. Recently appointed Associate Professor of Creative Writing/ Co-Ordinator, MA in Creative Writing Belinda McKeon will moderate a conversation about writing, community and creativity, while sharing thoughts on the MA course, a new departure for the university.
Belinda McKeon is the author of the novels Solace and Tender, and editor of the anthology A Kind of Compass: Stories on Distance. She has received the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize and the Irish Book of the Year Award. She has been shortlisted for the James Tait Black Prize and the Encore Award. Her fiction and non-fiction have appeared in journals including The Paris Review, Granta, A Public Space, and The Stinging Fly, and she worked for many years as an arts journalist with The Irish Times. She is a playwright, currently working on a project with Fishamble Theatre Company, supported by the Arts Council’s Markievicz Award. Belinda joined Maynooth University as Associate Professor in Creative Writing this year.
Photo by Alen MacWeeney
Fíona Scarlett is from Dublin’s fair city but is now living in Co. Kildare with her husband and two children. Her debut novel Boys Don’t Cry was published by Faber & Faber in April 2021 and was an instant Irish Times Bestseller. It was shortlisted for Newcomer of the year in the Irish Book Awards, and the Kate O’Brien first novel award. It was also selected as NetGalley UK’s Literary Fiction book of the year. She holds an MLitt in creative writing with distinction from the University of Glasgow, and was awarded a Literature Bursary through the National Arts Council Ireland 2021. She is currently working on her second novel.
Catherine Talbot recently achieved an M.Phil in Creative Writing from Trinity College Dublin. Her debut novel, A Good Father was published by Penguin Ireland in February 2021 and was an Irish Times bestseller. Catherine has had several short stories published in Banshee Literary Journal and the anthology Still Worlds Turning. In 2020 Catherine received a Literary Bursary Award and a Professional Development Award from the Arts Council. She also received a Literary Bursary from Creative Ireland/Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Arts Office. Catherine has been shortlisted for the UK Short Fiction Prize 2018, the Fish Prize 2015 and the inaugural Colm Tóibín International Short Story Award. She lives in Dublin with her husband Dara and their two children.
Photo by Michael Durand.
Kildare Readers Festival is brought to you every year in October by Kildare County Library and Arts Service. For more information about KRF see https://kildarecoco.ie/library/KildareReadersFestival/