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DBF Interviews: Dave Kenny

by Admin on November 1, 2015

Dave Kenny 2013We asked Dave Kenny, editor of The Press Gang, about why he wanted to share the stories from “newspapers’ gilded age”.

 

Q: When did the idea for The Press Gang (New Island) first come about? Tell us a little bit about why you wanted to share the various stories.

Well, it’s the 20th anniversary of the paper’s closure and I wanted to mark it. I was one of the people who occupied the building for five days in May 1995.
My original intention was to do a documentary, but after mulling it over I realised that you couldn’t tell the story of the golden age of newspapers in 55 minutes.

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DBF Interviews: Nessa O’Mahony

by Admin on November 1, 2015

nessa o'mahonyAhead of her appearance at The Inspiration of Life, Love and Loss event, poet Nessa O’Mahony tells us what inspires her to write.

 

Q: Writers and poets are fuelled by their lives, loves and losses. How difficult is it to address the issues that are closest to us and turn them into something for public scrutiny? How important is it to get a balance between the personal and the universal?

The need to respond to love and loss is a common characteristic of writers, to be sure. We write for all sorts of reasons, some personal, some aesthetic, some political, but as human beings we all experience moments in our lives of great joy and great despair and, as writers, we learn that the act of translating those experiences into words with shape, pattern and imagery can provide distance and objectivity that helps us get through the worst of it.

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DBF Interviews: Paula McGrath

by Admin on November 1, 2015

Paula McgrathWe talked to Paula McGrath about her journey towards becoming a published author. Paula will take part in our Mastering the Deal: Life after the Creative Writing MA event.

 

Q: Earlier this year you published your debut novel, Generation, with John Murray Originals: can you give us a brief overview of your journey to becoming a published author?

I wrote for years in fits and starts while doing other things with my life. It took me a long time to get serious, and when I did I took classes and studied books on the craft. And I read: I read the kinds of books I wanted to write, paying attention to how they did what they did; I read my contemporaries; and I read as an act of support for ‘the literary project’ I hoped to participate in. The many lessons learned along the way are instantiated in Generation, and, thanks to my agent, Ger Nichol, it fell onto the right desk at the right time.

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DBF Interviews: Darren Kelly

by Admin on November 1, 2015

1916 Walking Tour – The Battles of the Easter Rising with Darren Kelly and Derek Molyneux. Here, Darren tells us what people can expect.

 

Q: When the Clock Struck in 1916 – Close-Quarter Combat in the Easter Rising, the book co-authored by yourself and Derek Molyneux, is the background upon which you base the walking tour you’ll be giving at #DBF2015, but did you always have it in mind to bring to life for people the events of the Rising?

There had been an idea to do walking tours which began when a lot of interest was shown in our Facebook page ‘Dublin 1916 then & now’. But this was put on hold when we decided to write ‘When the Clock Stuck in 1916’. We now have had a great opportunity to work and are still working with Marcus Howard of Easter Rising Stories producing video documentary’s for the different areas where fighting occurred during the rising. Also I think there are already some great tours out there, Lorcan Collins and the 1916 Rebellion walking tour to name but one. We have started work on the second book and are doing various other pieces about the rising outside of Dublin. But saying that it is not out of the question for walking tours in the future.

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DBF Interviews: Sarah Davis-Goff (Tramp Press)

by Admin on October 30, 2015

DBF-Events-100x150-8Ahead of the launch of the second title in their Recovered Voices series, we talked to Sarah Davis-Goff from Tramp Press about how the series came about.

 

Q: The Uninvited by Dorothy Macardle is the second title in Tramp Press’ Recovered Voices series. Can you give us a brief description of how the series came about and what it aims to achieve?

The Recovered Voices series is a bit like a Search & Rescue mission for literature. We spend all year looking for and reading wonderful works that people haven’t heard of to bring fresh to readers. It’s really fun, actually: lots of people email us to suggest titles that they’d love to see back in print, and it’s like a treasure hunt.

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DBF Interviews: Kate Dempsey

by Admin on October 29, 2015

Kate DempseyHennessy shortlistFebruary 2006Pic: Mark CondrenKate Dempsey tells us all about her debut poetry collection, The Space Between (Doire Press), and being one of the Poetry Divas. Kate will appear as part of our RTÉ Radio 1 Arena Live Show.

 

Q: How long have you been writing and was it always poetry towards which you were drawn?

I started writing as a New Year’s resolution for 1999 and haven’t stopped. After struggling on my own for a while with stories, I joined an evening class in Lucan where the writer Stuart Lane, led us, not always gently, into the unchartered territory of character creation, plays and poetry.

So I have had some fiction and non-fiction published and broadcast on RTE Radio. I also had a short play performed by Red Kettle theatre at the Waterford Royal Theatre. A couple of years ago I had a piece of satire included in the “New Planet Cabaret” Anthology that started on RTE Arena but in the last few years, 95% of my writing has been poetry.

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DBF Interviews: Nuala Ní Chonchúir

by Admin on October 28, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-10-28 at 15.25.16Nuala Ní Chonchúir tells us about her journey to becoming a novelist and what the future holds. Nuala will be a panellist at our Writing Long & Short event on Saturday, 14 November.

 

Q: You’ve published numerous poetry and short story collections and, in more recent times, novels. Is it a conscious decision on your part to move towards the longer form or has it just been a natural progression? 

I actually wrote my first novel seven years before it was published (by New Island in 2010) and I have another one that was never published, so I have been writing novels all along. The progression to publishing is not always smooth or predictable. I was happy to write stories and poems alongside longer work and the order of publication has only been the luck of the draw.

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DBF Interviews: Lisa McInerney

by Admin on October 27, 2015

lisa McInerneyWe talked to Lisa McInerney about her debut novel, The Glorious Heresies (John Murray), and her appearance in The Long Gaze Back (New Island Books) anthology. Lisa will be joined by Anne Enright, Sinéad Gleeson, Christine Dwyer Hickey and Madeleine Keane to discuss and read from the anthology.

 

Q: Earlier this year you published your debut novel, The Glorious Heresies (John Murray), which deals with issues such as family, shame, redemption and sex, especially in relation to Ireland’s twentieth century attitudes to those things – do you feel we’re beginning to move on somewhat from the hangover of those times? In particular, does writing about them in fiction help address those issues on a personal level more satisfactorily than your blog, Arse End of Ireland, did? Or was there any difference?

I definitely feel that those oppressive attitudes are changing, and for the better.There’s a real sense of liberal empathy becoming part of our national identity, especially since the marriage referendum. It’s overdue but worth celebrating. But I don’t think writing about the more intolerant attitudes of our recent history was all that provoking on a personal level; it’s simply that it’d be ridiculous to write a contemporary Irish novel with a cast of characters who would all have been naturally shaped by Ireland’s attitudes to sex and to family without referencing those attitudes. On that basis I think the thematic content of Heresies was very close to that of the old blog: if you’re going to look that closely at Ireland’s psyche, it’ll keep you sane if you’re irreverent about it.

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DBF Interviews: Aidan Mathews

by Admin on October 27, 2015

aidanmathewsAhead of his appearance at our Writing Long & Short event Aidan Mathews, poet, playwright and novelist, gives us a brief insight into his views on writing.

 

Q: Charlie Chaplin’s Wishbone and Other Stories (The Lilliput Press) is your first new collection in a long time – how long have you been working on it?

There’s one story in the suite that was written not only in the last century, but in the last millennium. Serving one’s sentences is a life-term.

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DBF Interviews: Harry Clifton

by Admin on October 22, 2015

harry-cliftonHarry Clifton talks to us about his time as Ireland Chair of Poetry. He will appear alongside former and current Ireland Chairs of Poetry, Michael Longley and Paula Meehan, in conversation with Arminta Wallace at our The Poet’s Chair event.

 

 

Q: You’ve had an extensive career as a poet, publishing numerous collections – did your time as Ireland Professor of Poetry help you discover anything new or unexpected?

You are always hoping to connect with the young. I found that the most gratifying from a human angle – their anxiety to be part of a small group around a table reading and discussing poetry, actually, physically present, with the extraneous technology excluded for once. The attraction, if you like, of the single hesitant human voice in a world of button-pressing reproducibility.
I made it clear in my public lectures that they were aimed, over the heads of the cognoscenti and the academics, at the young who would carry on the discourse and the argument into a new era. And gratifyingly, after the death of Seamus Heaney, many young people got back to me to say how much they had connected with that.

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