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Dublin Book Festival announces a special summer series: Departures

Writing.ie | Guest Bloggers | From the Front Row

Vanessa Fox O'Loughlin

By Dublin Book Festival

Dublin Book Festival has announced a special summer series of conversation and music filmed in some of the most beautiful scenery in Ireland.

Featuring: Mike McCormack, Billy O’Callaghan, Michael Fewer, Alice Taylor, Jane Clarke, Alice Kinsella, and music by Cormac Mac Diarmada and Ruth Clinton, Anna Mieke, Jack O’Rourke & Aisling Fitzpatrick

This is a three part limited series – discover a new episode online each Tuesday, from July 6th.

Since 2006 the Dublin Book Festival has been a mainstay of the Irish writing and publishing scene and a highlight of the literary year. With its special focus on Irish-published authors, the 2021 Festival continues that tradition of promoting and supporting Irish literary voices, both established and emerging. This year the festival is creating a specially curated once-off digital summer series. Departures will be a vibrant series of conversation and music set amidst some of the most beautiful scenery around Ireland.

The Irish ever-changing landscape is a constant that has long been a source of inspiration and interwoven in artists’ work, whether it be through stories and literature or poems and songwriting. These recent times, trying though they have been, have seen us reconnect with each other and with the land in ways many have forgotten, this series reflects on the deep connection between landscape and place in all art forms.

Filmed in three locations around Ireland the series will celebrate the importance of our surroundings and their endless inspiration with some of our most talented contemporary artists, including Mike McCormack, Billy O’Callaghan, Michael Fewer, Alice Taylor, Jane Clarke, Alice Kinsella and music from Cormac MacDiarmada (of Lankum) and Ruth Clinton (Landless), Anna Mieke, Jack O’Rourke and cellist Aisling Fitzpatrick. Join presenter Manchán Magan as he takes viewers on a journey through Ireland discovering the places and spaces that have stirred the artistic spirit of some of Ireland’s most loved authors, poets & musicians.

The journey begins in Macreddin, Co. Wicklow, moving across to Westport Co. Mayo and finishing in Cobh, Co. Cork.

Experience free online at www.dublinbookfestival.com (booking essential/required)

Stream on Tuesday 6th July
Author: Michael Fewer
Poet: Jane Clarke
Musician: Anna Mieke

Filmed in Brooklodge in the Wicklow Mountains, Manchán Magan will be joined by author Michael Fewer exploring his connection with the landscape and the inspiration behind his work throughout his career. Manchán’s second guest is poet Jane Clarke, discussing the impact of the natural beauty of her surroundings on her poetry, and reads her poems “Ballinabarney” and “Mullacor”. Interwoven with scenes of the stirring landscape, musician Anna Mieke delivers a spellbinding performance of two songs from her debut album Idle Mind, independently released in 2019 and inspired by her connection to her surroundings.

Stream on Tuesday 13th July
Author: Mike McCormack
Poet: Alice Kinsella
Musicians: Cormaic McDiarmuid (of Lankum) & Ruth Clinton (Landless)
Filmed in Westport, Co Mayo

Manchán Magan travels to Westport, Co. Mayo to speak with novelist Mike McCormack and poet Alice Kinsella. On the shores of Clew Bay, Mike and Alice discuss the power and resonant beauty of the Irish landscape in their art as actor Paul O’Brien reads some of their works inspired by the scenery. There will be musical interludes throughout from Town Hall Theatre in Westport from Cormac MacDiarmada from RTE Folk Award and Choice Music Prizing winning band Lankum and Ruth Clinton from Landless as they combine forces to perform their own songs from the landscape.

Stream on Tuesday 20th July
Author: Billy O’Callaghan
Poet: Alice Taylor
Musician: Jack O’Rourke and Aisling Fitzpatrick (cellist)
Filmed in Cóbh, Co Cork

From Cóbh harbour in Co. Cork host Manchán Magan will be joined by acclaimed writer Billy O’Callaghan and author and poet Alice Taylor to discuss the impact of the scenic harbour landscape on their writing and discuss their inspiration from their surroundings and the effects of the changing landscape in Cork. Filmed at Cobh’s Sirius Arts Centre, with imagery from the dramatic Sipke Island. Cork musicians Jack O’Rourke and Aisling Fitzpatrick treat us to a performance of two new songs from Jack’s upcoming album. This episode reflects the beauty and contrasts of Cork and includes actor Irene Kelleher reading from Billy’s novel Life Sentences (Jonathan Cape, 2020) and a selection of Alice Taylor’s poems.

The Dublin Book Festival is supported by Arts Council of Ireland, Irish Copyright Licensing Agency, Dublin City Council, Dublin UNESCO City of Literature.

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