Archive for the ‘Cuirt’ Category


NUI Galway has appointed Professor Patrick Lonergan as its first ever Professor of Drama and Theatre Studies. Professor Lonergan’s appointment strengthens NUI Galway’s reputation as a national hub for the study of theatre. His focus will be on developing new courses, building new research resources, and partnering with theatre companies.

Speaking upon his appointment Professor Lonergan stated that “It is a great honour to have been named NUI Galway’s first Professor of Drama and Theatre Studies. I look forward to working with colleagues in the University and the wider community, as we develop new courses, forge new partnerships with theatre-makers, and make sure that NUI Galway is recognised as a world leading centre for the study of Irish theatre.”

NUI Galway offers a very successful BA in Drama, Theatre and Performance, as well as a Performing Arts degree, and a new part-time MA in Drama and Theatre Studies is currently enrolling for September 2013.

As part of its educational offering, the University this year again partnered with the Galway Arts Festival. One element of the partnership was to offer six NUI Galway students the opportunity to be part of the SELECTED programme. This unique internship with an all-areas backstage pass to the festival gave the students an intensive two-week immersion in festival organisation. The selected students attended shows, liaised with performers and directors, and also had the privileged access to visiting international Festival Directors.

NUI Galway also maintains a partnership with Druid Theatre – which saw the University act as one of the co-producers of the multi-award winning DruidMurphy show last year. That partnership is growing all the time, with members of Druid running workshops for students, in acting, directing, set design and theatre marketing, among other things.

NUI Galway will also be transforming our knowledge of Irish theatre through projects like the digitisation of the archive of the Abbey Theatre. When added to the University’s already extensive theatre archives, this resource will provide access to hundreds of scripts and videos of Irish plays – much of it never seen before.

Speaking about these developments, Professor Lonergan commented: “We have achieved an enormous amount in the area of Drama and Theatre Studies at NUI Galway already. Our aim now is to build on those achievements, so that students and researchers from Ireland and abroad will recognise that NUI Galway is the best place in the world to study Irish drama.”

Patrick Lonergan was born in Dublin in 1974, and graduated from University College Dublin with an MA in 1998. He completed a PhD at NUI Galway in 2004, and has been a member of staff in the Discipline of English since that time.

He has written widely about Irish theatre for publications such as The Irish Times and Irish Theatre Magazine. His first book, Theatre and Globalization: Irish Drama in the Celtic Tiger won the 2008 Theatre Book Prize, a prestigious international award whose previous winners include the Guardian critic Michael Billington, the theatre director Peter Brook, and Columbia University Professor James Shapiro. More recently he has published The Theatre and Films of Martin McDonagh with Bloomsbury in London.

He is also very active in the Irish theatre community. He runs the annual JM Synge Summer School in County Wicklow, is a former Theatre Assessor for the Irish Arts Council, and is a Board Member of Irish Theatre Magazine and Baboró International Arts Festival for Children.

He has won several research awards, and is currently completing a project on Theatre Performance and Globalization, which is being funded by the Irish Research Council. He serves on the boards of several major international journals (including Contemporary Theatre Review and Irish University Review), is a Vice President of the International Association for the Study of Irish Literatures, and is active in many other international organizations.



Posted: July 29, 2013 in Cuirt, Dublin Writers Festival.


Article by Uinseann Mac Thómais here

Two former MA in Writing students from the National University of Ireland, Galway, Ndrek Gjini and Máire Holmes spent hours and hours talking about literature and the vibrant literary scene in Galway, and they came out with the idea of creating a literary magazine akin to many big cities. They shared this idea with the director of their MA course programme, Prof. Adrian Frazier, he loved the idea and since then things have started to move.

Paris has one. London has one. Dublin has its own, so why not Galway? These were the thoughts that filtered through their heads as they contemplated setting up While on a work period as Arts Office Assistant in the Galway City Council, Ndrek Gjini, got more encouragement on this project by The Galway City’s Arts Officer James Harrold.

The nine month incubation period in the Arts Office certainly caught the mood in Galway’s literary circles and indeed further afield. “We have had quite a staggering response with in excess of 24000 hits in 8 weeks, over 250 subscribers who sent us poetry, prose, short stories and reflections that echo the writing talent in the city and county” said the Galway Review’s managing editor, Ndrek Gjini, originally from Albania and now a full Irish citizen.

Such is the success of the web edition that Gjini has formed a partnership with retired civil servant Uinseann Mac Thómais, with a view to getting a printed edition on the streets to raise money for the Galway Hospice and to invest in future Galway Review projects.
“Collaborations are the spirit of a digital age and encouraged by the contributions of Galway’s writers who provided content for the first edition gratis, we feel the idea of a printed review might be sustainable. We won’t know until we try! “ said Mac Thómais, who is acting General Administrator to the project.

Starting a printed soft-back book-form magazine in a recession and when technology is challenging printed media is a major undertaking. The first print run will be on the streets of Galway around the 20th March distributed through various outlets in the city. Advance orders of a digital version and the printed version can be obtained through the website and orders, in anticipation of another literary milestone for Galway are trickling in.

Galway’s Education Centre has seen the potential for the review and has offered start-up assistance to the project itself. Galway’s top writers from poetry, prose, and journalism feature in the Review and there are contributors in Irish and English. Guest editor Máire Holmes, herself a poet, acknowledges the contributions on fellow notable Galway writers that include Fred Johnston, Ronnie O’ Gorman, Des Kenny, Adrian Frazier and many others. “I am happy to say that our notable Galway contributors are too numerous to mention, you will need to get a copy to see for yourself” says Holmes.

In keeping with the digital era the The Galway Review will be sold in digital form as well as the limited printed edition. “Galway Hospice, who very kindly are lending their name also to the project will benefit proportionally if the sales are good. We will be selling the 165 page review for a concessionary price of €12 on March 20th, a standard price of €15, and a digital pdf format price of €3 for the first edition” says Mac Thómais.

There is an international element to the production also. The website acts as a magnet for Galway’s diaspora and readers and contributors from far-flung places in the world have been making an impact also. Contributions have come from the United States and Canada in particular. “I suppose it’s one way for people to keep in touch with what is going on at home and the flexibility of the internet allows people to interact and contribute too. If we can maintain the dynamic, it augurs well for Galway and its writers.” added Mac Thómais.

At present the Galway Review is a collective of interested writers and is currently being run on an informal and voluntary basis. An inaugural meeting will be held in an Taibhdhearc Theatre, Galway on March 20th next to examine issues of structure and finance that would allow the Galway Review to continue on a more sustainable footing. The agenda of the meeting will discuss issues of sustainability for the Galway Review and include the topics of an editorial board, finance, and general governance issues. “ A good meeting will give us a solid base from which to work and we are looking for good inputs from our invited audience of writers and other volunteers” explained Mac Thómais.

A Westport based printing company has offered its services too at a very competitive rate to help get the fledgling Galway Review get up on its feet. Owner Darren Killeen has put faith in the Galway initiative. “Printforu is delighted to be able to support this start-up and to provide our service for the printed edition. I would like to wish the originators every good fortune with the venture and I sincerely hope that this will be the first of many editions.” he said.

27 Apr 13 10:00 | – 14: 00 Hotel Meyrick

Crime Writing Workshop with Stuart Neville

tuart Neville will give a two hour workshop on character and plot: their interconnectivity and dependency.

Stuart Neville’s debut novel, The Twelve (published in the USA as The Ghosts of Belfast), won the Mystery/Thriller category of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and was picked as one of the top crime novels of 2009 by both The New York Times and The LA Times.

He has been shortlisted for various awards, including the Barry, Macavity, Dilys awards, as well as the Irish Book Awards Crime Novel of the Year. He has twice been longlisted for the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year.

He has since published two critically acclaimed sequels, Collusion and Stolen Souls.His fourth novel, Ratlines about Nazis harboured by the Irish state following WWII was published by Harvill Secker in January 2013.

[YOU NEEDED TO SUMBITED A CV to be  included

TONIGHT! (26 April 2013)  half eght – til half ten

Venue: Town Hall Theatre

Join Cuirt for a very special evening when Irish fiction heroine Edna O’Brien will speak to broadcaster Vincent Woods about her recent memoir Country Girl.

Born in Ireland in 1930 and driven into exile after the publication of her controversial first novel, The Country Girls, Edna O’Brien has created a body of work which bears comparison with the very best writers of the twentieth century.

In Country Girl we come face to face with literary life of high drama and contemplation. Along the way there are encounters with Hollywood giants, pop stars and literary titans – all of whom lend this life, so gorgeously, sometimes painfully remembered here, a terrible poignancy. In prose which sparkles with the effortless gifts of a master in her ninth decade, Edna O’Brien has recast her life with the imaginative insight of a poet. It is a book of unfathomable depths and honesty.

‘Edna O’Brien has made of her memories something of both precision and depth, a book that, letting us see her as she was, jumps with an all-consuming curiosity from one lucidly narrated event to another, the scenes of disenchantment and bewilderment mingling with an assortment of surprises, traps, and ventures that are often, but not always, disastrous shocks. Only Colette is her equal as a student of the ardors of an independent woman who is also on her own as a writer.’
-Philip Roth

‘What a banquet indeed. A book of magics, truths, stories, and quiet immensity. No one else could have written it, and no one else could have lived it. The book is a poetic testament to what Scott Fitzgerald called our ‘capacity for wonder’.
-Andrew O’Hagan

Since her debut novel The Country Girls Edna O’Brien has written over twenty works of fiction along with biographies of James Joyce and Lord Byron.

She is the recipient of many awards including the Irish Pen Lifetime Achievement Award, the American National Art’s Gold Medal and the Ulysses Medal. Born and raised in the west of Ireland she has lived in London for many years.

Date & Time 28 April 2013 4pm – 6pm

Venue: Cnoic Suain,  Connemara

Join Cuirt 2013 for a special afternoon of music, history and literature in the atmospheric surroundings of Connemara

Contributors to The Atlas of the Great Irish Famine (published by Cork University Press, 2012) will speak and give presentations on their work. They will be joined by singer Áine Ní Dhroighneáin in the wonderful hill village of Cnoic Suain. Attendees on the day will have the opportunity to walk around the village. A bus will leave Galway city from the Cathedral at 3:15pm on the day (transport is included in the ticket price).

William SmythWilliam J. Smyth

William J. Smyth is Professor Emeritus of Geography at University College Cork, where he held the Chair of Geography since 1977. He has lectured at many universities, including Syracuse University, N.Y., California State at San Fernando, Los Angeles and University College Dublin . He was elected a member of The Royal Irish Academy in 1999.

A former editor of Irish Geography and co-editor of Common Ground: Essays on the Historical Geography of Ireland (1988), he has published widely on Ireland’s social and cultural geography. His prize-winning book Mapmaking, Landscape and Memory: A Geography of Colonial and Early Modern Ireland c. 1530-1750 was published in 2006. He is co-editor of The Atlas of the Great Irish Famine (University College Press, Cork) with John Crowley and Mike Murphy.



Cathal PorterCathal Póirtéir

Cathal Póirtéir is a broadcaster and writer. He was a Senior Radio Producer with RTE Radio 1 and RTE Raidió na Gaeltachta for 30 years, working on a wide range of programmes, including a number of series on the Great Irish Famine. He is the editor of several books in Irish and English on folklore, social history and literary topics. He has produced a number of features, documentaries and radio dramas for RTE, now available on CD.

He holds an MA in Folklore for UCD and now works as an independent researcher and writer on folklore. In 2012 Oireachtas na Gaeilge awarded him their Buaic-ghradam Cumarsáide or Lifetime Achievement Award. He has also won Gold and Silver in the annual PPI Media Awards.



Áine Ní DhroighneáinÁine Ní Dhroighneáin

Áine Ní Dhroighneáin is from An Spidéal, Co. Galway. She began singing sean-nós from an early age, being taught local songs from local singers such as Pat Phádraig Tom, Máire Pheitir Uí Dhroighneáin and Peaitsí Ó Ceannabháin. At the age of nine, she was asked to sing for the President of Ireland, Mary Robinson, during her visit to the area. She has appeared at many traditional music festivals at home and abroad, including Feile Cois Cuain, Mayo, and the Pan-Celtic Festival in Lorient.

Áine was appointed Sean-Nós singer in residence in NUIG from 2004-2005. She has also performed with other artists, including Máirtín O’Connor, Steve Cooney and The Keane Sisters. She took part in a televised singing contest in 2006, where she sang a variety of songs and styles; she finished second and raised €75,000 for charity.

Claire Keegan at Cúirt, 2010

Posted: April 27, 2013 in Cuirt

Event : 27 Apr 2013 20:30- 22:30

Venue: Town Hall Theatre


This pair of short-story heavyweights are interested in lives that are as remote as the places they inhabit. A film of Rash’s novel Serena will be released later this year. Keegan’s collections Walk the Blue Fields and Antarctica have both a beauty and menace to them. Rash – whose last collection Burning Bright won the Frank O’Connor Award – will read from his new selection of Appalachian tales, Nothing Gold Can Stay .  (published in the Irish Times website Thu, Apr 25, 2013)


Join Cuirt for a special evening in the company of two literary giant sof the short story form, Ron Rash and Claire Keegan will treat the audiance  to a reading of their work followed by a joint discussion with chairperson Matthew Ziruk.

Ron Rash

‘Ron Rash is a writer of quiet andstunning beauty… The stories in BurningBright are beautiful. Each story is luminescent, deeply communicative of Appalachia and perfectly framed with sentences both lyrical and grounded.’

— The Huffington Post

Reminiscent of Flannery O’Connor and John Steinbeck, Ron Rash has earned international acclaim as one of the most gifted writers to emerge from North America in the last decade.

Rash is an award-winning poet, short-story writer and novelist. His books include: The Night the New Jesus Fell to Earth and Other Stories from Cliffside, North Carolina, (1994), Eureka Mill, (1998), Casualties, (2000). Raising the Dead (poetry collection), (2002), One Foot in Eden, (2002), Saints at the River (2004) , The World Made Straight (2006) and The Cove (2012).

His most recent story collection, Burning Bright, won the 2010 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award and his previous novel, Serena, was a New York Times Bestseller and is soon to be released as a movie.

Rash, who has been twice shortlisted for the PEN/Faulkner award and has won the O Henry prize twice, currently holds the John Parris Chair in Appalachian Studies at Western Carolina University.

Claire Keegan

‘Every line seems to be a lesson in the perfect deployment of both style and emotion’. -Hilary Mantel

Claire Keegan grew up on the Wicklow/Wexford border, studied Literature and Politics at Loyola University, New Orleans, and subsequently earned an MA at the University of Wales and an M.Phil at Trinity College, Dublin.

Her debut: Antarctica, was a Los Angeles Times Book of the Year. The Observer called these stories: ‘Among the finest recently written in English’.
In 2007, Walk the Blue Fields, was published to huge critical acclaim and went on to win The Edge Hill Prize for the strongest collection published in The British Isles that year. Foster (2010) won The Davy Byrnes Award, judged by Richard Ford who said: “Keegan is a rarity-someone I will always want to read’’. The story was subsequently published by Faber, abridged for The New Yorker, shortlisted for the 2010 Kerry Fiction Prize and published in Best American Stories, 2010. Her stories have been translated into 12 languages.

A member of Aosdána, Keegan now lives on the Wexford coast.

The best stories here are so textured and moving, so universal but utterly distinctive, that it’s easy to imagine readers savouring them many years from now and to imagine critics, far in the future, deploying lofty new terms to explain what it is that makes Keegan’s fiction work’.

–The New York Times (Walk the Blue Fields review)


Rob Newman, The Trade Secret 

As well as his comedy pairing with David Baddiel, Rob Newman is the author of four novels. His latest, The Trade Secret , is set in Elizabethan London; Saturday , Róisín Dubh (upstairs), 4pm til 6pm

the Guardian has dubbed it “bootleg Chomsky”. 

Event: 26 Apr 2013 18:30 -20:30

Venue: Town Hall Theatre


Realism and Surrealism in the Novel

Chairperson Mike McCormack will lead a discussion with the authors focusing on the form and themes of their most recent novels: The Flame Alphabet by Ben Marcus and Hawthorn and Child by Keith Ridgway.

Ben Marcus

Ben Marcus

Ben Marcus is the author of three previous books; Notable American Women, The Father Costume, and The Age of Wire and String. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, The New York Times, and McSweeney’s.

He has received a Whiting Writers Award, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in fiction, a grant for Innovative Literature from the Creative Capital Foundation and three Pushcart Prizes. He is an associate professor at Columbia University.

The Flame Alphabet

Both morally engaged and wickedly entertaining, The Flame Alphabet begs the question: what is left of civilization when we lose the ability to communicate with those we love? The speech of children has mutated into a virus which is killing their parents. At first it only affects Jews – then everyone.

Living quietly in the suburbs, Sam and Claire’s lives are threatened when their daughter, Esther, is infected with the disease. Each word she speaks – whether cruel or kind, banal or loving – is toxic.

Radio transmissions from strange sources indicate that people across the country are growing increasingly alarmed. As the contagion spreads, Sam and Claire must leave Esther behind in order to survive. The government enforces quarantine zones, and return to their daughter becomes impossible.

Having left his family and escaped from the afflicted cities, Sam finds himself in a government laboratory, where a group of hardened scientists are conducting horrific tests, hoping to create non-lethal speech. What follows is a nightmarish vision of a world which is both completely alien and frighteningly familiar, as Sam presses on alone into a society whose boundaries are fragmenting.

‘The Flame Alphabet drags the contemporary novel kicking, screaming, and foaming at the mouth back towards the track it should be following.’ -Tom McCarthy

Keith Ridgway

Keith Ridgway

Keith Ridgway is a Dubliner. He is the author of the novels: The Long Falling and The Parts and Animals, as well as the collection of stories Standard Time and the novella Horses.

His books have won awards and acclaim in Ireland and internationally and are translated widely. He lived in North London for eleven years and now lives in Ireland.

Hawthorn and Child

Hawthorn and Child

Hawthorn and Child are mid-ranking detectives tasked with finding significance in scattered facts among scattered lives. It’s North London, where everything presses up against everything else, and no-one is really no-one.

They appear and disappear in the fragments of this book along with a ghost car, a crime boss, a pick-pocket, a dead racing driver and a pack of wolves. Policemen and criminals, their families and lovers, the strange and the troubled and the disconnected – all of them are trying come up with a story that might make sense. The mysteries are everywhere, but the biggest of all is our mysterious compulsion to solve them.

‘The novel that has impressed, mesmerised and bamboozled me most this past year is Hawthorn and Child by Keith Ridgway. It begins as a police procedural, then spins outwards, never quite coming back to explain the mystery.

Along the way we learn that a secret cabal of wild animals may underpin life in contemporary London, we hang out at art exhibitions, visit an orgy at a gay sauna, and wallow in gorgeous (if unsettling) writing. A novel or a series of loosely connected short stories? I don’t really care. Whatever it is, it’s great.’
– Ian Rankin, The Guardian