Moya Cannon was born and grew up in Co. Donegal. After studying history and politics at University College, Dublin, she received a graduate degree in International Relations from Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. She has been editor of Poetry Ireland Review and, as Heimbold Professor of Irish Studies, she taught creative writing in Villanova University in 2011. For many years she co-directed a summer course in creative writing in the National University of Ireland, Galway. Dublin is now her home. In 1990, Moya’s first book Oar, Salmon Press, Galway, won the Brendan Behan Award for the best first collection of poetry published in Ireland in the previous year. She has since published five further collections. In 2001 she received the O’Shaughnessy Award from the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minnesota. Her 2011 collection, Hands, was shortlisted for the Irish Times Poetry Prize. Her Collected Poems was published by Carcanet Press in February, 2021. Moya is a member of Aosdána.
Austin Duffy grew up in Ireland, studied medicine at Trinity College Dublin and is a practising medical oncologist. His debut novel This Living and Immortal Thing was shortlisted for the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year, was Runner-Up for the McKitterick Prize and was highly commended for the BMA Medical Books Awards. In 2011, Duffy was awarded RTE's Francis MacManus award for his short story Orca. His second novel Ten Days was published by Granta Books in 2021. His latest novel The Night Interns, also published by Granta earlier this year was described by Lisa McInerney as “a sharp shock of a book, visceral, and acutely affecting”. He lives in Howth with his wife Naomi, an artist, and their two young children.
Sally Hayden is a journalist and East Africa correspondent for the Irish Times. Her first book, My Fourth Time, We Drowned - 'Seeking refuge on the world's deadliest migration route, was published by HarperCollins, 4th Estate (UK) and Melville House (US) in March 2022. Sally Rooney has described her book as 'The most important piece of contemporary reporting I have ever read.' It has also been praised by Fintan O'Toole and Miriam O'Callaghan and won this year's Orwell Prize for Political Writing.
Louise Kennedy grew up in Holywood, Co. Down. Her short stories have been published in journals including The Stinging Fly, The Tangerine, The Lonely Crowd and Banshee. Her work has won the Ambit Short Fiction (2015), Wasifiri New Writing (2015), John O’Connor (2016) and Listowel Los-Gatos (2016) prizes and been short-listed and commended in others. She is a PhD candidate at the Seamus Heaney Centre, Queens University Belfast, where she’s researching the writer Norah Hoult (1898-1984). Louise's collection of short stories, The End of the World is a Cup-de-Sac, was recently published by Bloomsbury to brilliant reviews and her debut novel, Trespasses is published by Bloomsbury. She lives in Sligo with her husband and two teenage children.
Brian Leyden was born in Arigna and lives in Sligo. He co-wrote the feature film Black Ice (2013) which received an IFTA best actress nomination for its lead. Awards include the Norman Mailer Writers Colony Scholarship (USA), Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, (BAI) Sound and Vision Award (2014) and an Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon Literary Bursary 2014. His work has appeared in Winter Papers (Vol. II) ed. Kevin Barry and Olivia Smith and he is a regular contributions to RTÉ's Sunday Miscellany. Current publications are Sweet Old World: New & Selected Stories, a memoir The Home Place and the novel Summer of ’63. He was Ireland’s Age & Opportunity Bealtaine Festival National Writer in Residence (2016) and toured Ireland with the show Old Flames. Bernard MacLaverty has described his stories as “Life remembered with precision and love”.
Bernard MacLaverty was born in Belfast in 1942 and lived there until 1975 when he moved to Scotland with his wife, Madeline, and four children. He has been a Medical Laboratory Technician, a mature student, a teacher of English and occasionally a Writer-in-Residence (Universities of Aberdeen, Augsburg, Liverpool John Moore’s and Iowa State). After living for a time in Edinburgh and the Isle of Islay he now lives in Glasgow. He is a member of Aosdána. He has published five novels and six collections of short stories most of which are gathered into Collected Stories (2013). He has also written versions of his fiction for other media - radio plays, television plays, screenplays, libretti.
Manchán Magan is a writer and documentary-maker. He has written books on his travels in Africa, India and South America and two novels. He writes occasionally for The Irish Times on culture & travel, presents the RTÉ podcast The Almanac of Ireland, and is author of the award-winning, best-selling Thirty-Two Words For Field, and Tree Dogs, Banshees Fingers and other Irish Words for Nature. His new book, Listen to the Land Speak is due Oct 2022. He has made dozens of documentaries on issues of world culture for TG4, RTÉ & Travel Channel. He lives in an oak wood, with bees and hens, in a grass-roofed house near Lough Lene, Co Westmeath.
Fionnuala Maxwell is a Traditional Irish singer, composer and tutor from Leitrim and has won several awards for singing, including All-Ireland medals. Fionnuala has built a repertoire of songs for over 30 years now influenced by many great traditional singers, such as Rosie Stewart, Paddy Tunney and Pauline Hanley. She has recorded songs for albums and sung with artists such as Cathy Jordan, Donal Lunney and Eleanor Shanley. Fionnuala teaches traditional singing locally and also at Irish traditional workshops and Summer Schools where she has worked with students from all different walks of life and from many different countries, including Japan, Germany, Spain, Belgium and Switzerland. She sings many different styles of songs and is committed to preserving and promoting the art of Irish traditional singing by singing and teaching lesser-known songs and by composing new traditional ballads to commemorate the times that we live in.
Barry McGovern recently read Ulysses in its entirety at the Peacock Theatre in Dublin over seven days ending on Bloomsday, June 16; and T. S. Eliot's The Waste Land at the Yeats Summer School in Sligo. A former member of the Abbey Theatre Company where he appeared in many plays, he is perhaps best known for his work in the plays of Samuel Beckett. He has played Vladimir, Estragon and Lucky in Waiting for Godot, Clov in Endgame, Willie in Happy Days and Krapp in Krapp's Last Tape at the Edinburgh International Festival. He has also played in most of the radio plays and has performed three one-man Beckett shows derived from the prose works: I'll Go On, First Love and Watt. TV and film include Dear Sarah, The Treaty, Waiting for Godot, Citizen Lane, Joe Versus the Volcano, Braveheart, Far and Away, Wild Mountain Thyme, A Sunken Place, Send in the Clowns and John McGahern's That They May Face the Rising Sun.
Eoin McNamee is a novelist and screenwriter. His nineteen novels include Resurrection Man and the Blue Trilogy. He has written six Young Adult novels including the New York Times bestselling The Navigator, and three thrillers under the John Creed pseudonym. He wrote the screenplay for the film Resurrection Man directed by Marc Evans and I Want You directed by Michael Winterbottom. His television credits include Hinterland (BBC Wales/Netflix) and An Brontanas (TG4). He has written seven radio plays for BBC R4. He has been longlisted for the Booker prize among other nominations and has won the Imison Prize, the Kerry Fiction Prize and the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger. He has taught in Atlantic Technical University, Maynooth University and Trinity College. His latest novel is The Vogue.
Valerie Mulvin is a co-founder of McCullough Mulvin Architects, a Dublin-based practice focusing on the design of sustainable cultural, educational and civic buildings, with an interest in innovative contemporary architecture, place, and history. Valerie graduated from UCD School of Architecture in 1981 and spent a year in Rome on post-graduate scholarship. She collaborated with Niall McCullough on A Lost Tradition, the nature of architecture in Ireland, a seminal book. As part of Group 91, designers of the competition-winning Temple Bar Framework Plan, she designed Temple Bar Gallery & Studios and Black Church Print Studio. Other award-winning buildings in Ireland and internationally include Ussher Library TCD, Trinity Long Room Hub, Dublin Dental School & Hospital, Waterford Fire Station, Blackrock Further Education Institute & Public Library, St. Mary's Medieval Mile Museum Kilkenny, and the Learning Laboratory in Thapar University, India. Her latest book Approximate Formality – Morphology of Irish Towns, published 2021, discusses the origin, originality and potential of towns and town plans in Ireland. She is a member of Aosdána.
Omar Musa is a Bornean-Australian author, visual artist and poet from Queanbeyan, Australia. He has released four poetry books (including Killernova), four hip-hop records, and received a standing ovation at TEDx Sydney at the Sydney Opera House. His debut novel Here Come the Dogs was long-listed for the International Dublin Literary Award and Miles Franklin Award and he was named one of the Sydney Morning Herald’s Young Novelists of the Year in 2015. His one-man play, Since Ali Died, won Best Cabaret Show at the Sydney Theatre Awards in 2018. He has had several solo exhibitions of his woodcut prints.
Anne O’Dowd recently retired from the National Museum of Ireland, where she was a Curator for more than thirty years. She continues to write on Irish folk life and also works on landscape design projects. Her book Straw, Hay & Rushes in Irish Folk Tradition has been described by Éilís Ní Dhuibhne “A magnificent book in which love, loyalty, hard work and excellent scholarship are interwoven as perfectly as the straw used in artefacts created by Irish country people”. Published by Irish Academic Press the book is a fully illustrated history of everyday rural Irish life, based on the National Museum of Ireland’s collection of straw, hay and rushes. A fascinating insight into Irish crafts and rituals, O’Dowd uncovers a unique history of folklore and tradition in the creation and use of objects made from humble organic materials.
Donal O’Kelly has been a playwright and actor for four decades, touring his solo shows such as Catalpa, Bat The Father Rabbit The Son, Fionnuala and Hairy Jaysus nationally and internationally. His plays have often had a social context, such as Asylum! Asylum! in the Peacock 1994, about the experiences of Ugandan asylum seeker Joseph Omara in Ireland, The Cambria (2005) about US abolitionist leader Frederick Douglass’ journey to Ireland in 1845, and Farawayan (1998), a promenade theatre piece with music about Ireland’s treatment of refugees. Other plays include The Adventures of the Wet Señor which as Francisco won the Prix Europa and New York Radio Prize for Fiction, Vive La, The Memory Stick (San José 2017), Running Beast and The Dogs. He was recently co-editor of the Afri book of testimonies End Direct Provision and Tackle the International Protection Process. In 2021 he won The Dock Writing Time Award. He is a recipient of the Axis Assemble Award 2022. He was a member of Aosdána 2007-2010. He is now focussed on writing fiction and creative non-fiction.
Lisa O’Neill is one of Ireland’s most striking folk musicians with a fascinatingly raw and unique vocal, that creates a style of Irish folk music which is hauntingly beautiful. The Cavan born artist moved to Dublin at the age of eighteen to study music and pursue a career as a musician and made a name for herself in the underground folk scene in Dublin with sold-out performances and unique lyrics. Lisa released her debut studio project Has an Album in 2009. Her discography includes the singles Rock the Machine, The Lass of Aughrim, Pothole in the Sky, Blackbird, and the albums Same Cloth or Not, Pothole in the Sky, and Heard A Long Gone Song. Lisa worked on the album Other Voices: Series 9, Vol. 2 with Jarvis Cocker, Lissie, O Emperor and Planet Parade. She has been nominated twice for the RTÉ Choice Music Prize, first in 2013 with her second studio album Same Cloth or Not and again in 2018 with her album Heard a Long Gone Song - the first to be released on Rough Trade Record's new traditional folk imprint River Lea.
John Tuohy is from a family of piping enthusiasts and has been playing the uilleann pipes for the past 18 years, both as a solo musician and in various groups. From Kilkenny, John was taught predominantly by the great Waterford piper, Tommy Kearney but received many lessons from Joe Doyle, Nollaig MacCárthaigh, Pat Mitchell and Mick O’Brien, amongst others. He has been a regular participant at the Willie Clancy Summer School and the many piping tionóls over the past 25 years. His father organises the annual Tionól Tommy Kearney piping weekend in Kilkenny every November. In 2008, John worked at Na Píobairí Uilleann, an experience that fostered his love of uilleann pipe-making, which is a hobby that he enjoys immensely. He has a particular interest in the work of the classic makers from the 1800s such as Coyne, Kenna and Egan.
Vincent Woods’s plays include At the Black Pig’s Dyke (Druid Theatre Company, 1992); Song of the Yellow Bittern (Druid Theatre Company, 1994); and A Cry from Heaven (Abbey Theatre, 2005); and for radio, The Leitrim Hotel, The Gospels of Aughamore and Broken Moon. Poetry collections are The Colour of Language and Lives and Miracles. He has co-edited The Turning Wave: Poems and Songs of Irish Australia, and Fermata: Writings Inspired by Music (with Eva Bourke); and in 2016 published Leaves of Hungry Grass: Poetry and Ireland’s Great Hunger (Quinnipiac University Press). Awards include the Stewart Parker Award for Drama and The Ted McNulty Award for Poetry. For many years he has been a regular presenter of arts programmes and documentaries on RTÉ Radio 1. Vincent was part of the Leitrim Equation performance, and the music and spoken word performances Open Room (2018) and Portal at Boyle Arts Festival in July 2019. Borderlines (with Henry Glassie) was published in 2018. He is a member of Aosdána.