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Kildare Readers Festival 2019

We are looking forward to celebrating the 10th anniversary of Kildare Readers’ Festival with Kildare Library & Arts Services this October with a line-up of literary luminaries – and all events and workshops are FREE to attend! Booking online or through our Box Office on (045) 448 327

For details of other KRF events around the county see 

Wednesday, 16th October
8pm The Wind that Shakes the Barley
KRF has teamed up with the County Kildare Decade of Commemorations Committee to screen Ken Loach’s The Wind that Shakes the Barley. Author and historian, Liz Gillis will be in attendance to discuss her book on the Hales Brothers from Cork, whose story mirrors that of the central characters of the film, Damien and Teddy O’Donovan.

Friday, 18th October
8pm Douglas Kennedy in conversation with Rick O’Shea  
This year’s programme includes acclaimed writer Douglas Kennedy, author of The Great Wide Open, The Heat of Betrayal, and The Moment, in conversation with broadcaster and noted champion of literature, Rick O’Shea. 

Saturday, 19th October
10am Ten Books You Should Read, with Stephanie Preissner & Ferdia MacAnna.
Our two guests will select five books each that they would recommend and delve into the stories to illustrate why we should give them a try.

12pm Joseph O’Connor, Kit de Waal and Henrietta McKervey
The Kildare Readers’ Festival is delighted to welcome back celebrated novelist, screenwriter, and playwright Joseph O’Connor (Star of the Sea, Ghost Light, Shadowplay), who will be joined by Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year 2017 winner Kit De Waal (My Name is Leon, The Trick to Time) for a discussion moderated by acclaimed author Henrietta McKervey (What Becomes Of Us, The Heart of Everything).

2pm WORKSHOP: Persona Poetry Workshop with Christodoulos Makris
Participants will be guided by Christodoulos Makris to make use of public texts to compose poetry in the personae of a range of current figures. This is a fun and interactive workshop, with the techniques employed adaptable to writing other kinds of poetry.

2pm WORKSHOP: The First Page: Writing that compelling opening to your next short story
Pauline Clooney, founder of the Kildare Writing Centre, will lead a workshop about ‘openings’ and how to make sure that the reader turns the first page and continues with your story.

4pmHot Off The Press’ event & Dennis O’Driscoll Literary Awards presentation
Join the participants from ‘The First Page’ and ‘Persona Poetry’ workshops led by Pauline Clooney and Christodoulus Makris for a sharing of work created that very afternoon – so ‘hot off the press’ that it might burn your fingers! KRF will also present the prestigious Dennis O’Driscoll Literary Bursary awards 2019 to an emerging and professional writer from County Kildare.

7pm Ian Maleney and Jamie Goldrick live audio-visual literary documentary
Author Ian Maleney and film-maker Jamie Goldrick join forces to create a live audio-visual documentary for the stage, based on the text from Maleney’s book Minor Monuments. This collaborative event will weave live readings with ambient landscape sounds, voice recordings, projected imagery and film.

8:30pm Something Wicked This Way Comes with Niamh Boyce, Stacey Halls and Martina Devlin
For the season of Samhain, Niamh Boyce, Martina Devlin and Stacey Halls will talk witches and their place within history and throughout the canon of fiction.

Sunday Morning Sessions with Dermot Bolger and John Boyne
Dermot Bolger (An Ark of Light, The Family on Paradise Pier) will return to our ever popular “Sunday Morning Sessions” for a relaxed and intimate conversation with acclaimed novelist and short story writer, John Boyne (The Heart’s Invisible Furies, The Absolutist, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas).

12:30 Emilie Pine and Arnold Fanning in conversation with Emily Hourican
The Kildare Readers’ Festival welcomes a duo of celebrated Irish authors, Emilie Pine (Notes to Self) and Arnold Thomas Fanning (Mind on Fire: A Memoir of Madness and Recovery), for a candid panel discussion on the most intimate of literature endeavours: memoirs. This event will be moderated by author and magazine editor, Emily Hourican

For full details of these and many other exciting events browse the full brochure at