Skip to main content

Kildare Readers’ Festival 2023

Kildare Readers’ Festival, in partnership with the Irish Writers’ Centre, returns to Riverbank Arts Centre with events from Thursday 5th to Sunday 8th October 2023. Kildare County Library and Arts Services bring together a festival to celebrate the best in local, national and international writing.

The festival is funded by Kildare County Council and the Arts Council of Ireland. All Kildare Readers’ Festival events are free, but booking is essential.

Visit for more information.

Thursday 5th October
Chat LGBT: A Question of Queer Irish Literature, 8pm
Katherine O’Donnell (Slant) and Declan Toohey (Perpetual Comedown) discuss and read from their debut novels which were published this year and add to the growing canon of queer Irish literature.

Friday 6th October
Creeping It Real: The Rebirth of Female Horror, 8pm
Join us for an evening with Sophie White and Rick O’Shea as they discuss Sophie’s writing. Sophie’s novel Where I End has recently won the Shirley Jackson Award which recognises “outstanding achievement in the literature of psychological suspense, horror, and the dark fantastic.”

Saturday 7th October
Ten Books with Eithne Hand and Gerry Stembridge, 10am
Join us for the ever popular Ten Books You Should Read! Our two guests, Eithne Hand and Gerry Stembridge will select five books each that they would recommend and delve into the stories to illustrate why we should give them a try.

The Deadwood Encore with Kathleen Murray and Ed O’Loughlin, 12pm
Join acclaimed short story author, Kathleen Murray as she discusses her first novel, published by Harper Collins in 2022 and described as ‘the Coen Brothers of Carlow’ with author, journalist & correspondent Ed O’Loughlin. The Deadwood Encore tells the story of Frank Whelan, a seventh son of a seventh son, and his journey of self-discovery. It is a novel about family, secrets, old magic, and the lengths people go to find their place in the world.

Tangled Webs – Book Launch with Maria McDonald, 5:30pm
Join us for the launch of Maria McDonald’s new novel Tangled Webs.

Poor: Grit, courage, and the life-changing value of self-belief, 8pm
Join Katriona O’Sullivan and a guest for a discussion on Katriona’s book Poor. Poor is a memoir describing the impact of childhood poverty.  Katriona’s story recounts her journey from poverty, teenage pregnancy, homelessness to graduating with a PhD from Trinity College Dublin and becoming an award-winning lecturer whose work challenges barriers to education. Poor is her stirring argument for the importance of giving hope, practical support and meaningful opportunities to children.

Sunday 7th October
Sunday Morning Session: Judith Mok & Michael O’Loughlin in conversation with Dermot Bolger, 10:30am
Writer and soprano, Judith Mok was born in Holland and studied at the Royal Conservatory of the Hague. She has toured the world as a classical soprano, moving to Dublin in 2002, where she is a leading voice coach working with noted singers from the classical and pop worlds. Her books include the novels De Beul (2000) and Gael (2006), and her extraordinary memoir, The State of Dark, (2022). She is married to the writer Michael O’Loughlin.

Tickets for events must be booked in advance.
ISL/Irish Sign Language interpretation will be available for all events.