The annual lit festival returns to Merrion Square this weekend.
The International Literature Festival in Dublin is back for 2023, and it's absolutely jam-packed with events and talks. Since 1998, the ILFD has brought the world’s finest writers together to enthral, engage and excite audiences. This annual festival celebrates both International and Irish fiction, and has events for everyone, from families to students.
If you're thinking of stopping by, here's everything you need to know about the International Literature Festival Dublin 2023.
We know a lot of people were excited to learn that Stanley Tucci would be at at the ILFD this year, but unfortunately his talk is, naturally, sold out. However, there is still a wealth of fun activities and insightful discussions to get involved in over the course of the ten days, and we've picked out a few of our top picks below.
Yoga (May 19th - May 28th)
You may not have expected there to be yoga at a literature festival, but there are slots everyday between Friday 19th and Sunday 28th.
These gentle open level yoga classes are suitable for all abilities, and they help the participants connect to nature. The classes explore how the embodied practice of yoga allows us to tap into our inner source of creativity. There are loads of time slots, so get on-site and book in whatever time suits you best.
No Illusions: Disha Bose & Sophie White (Friday May 19th)
No Illusions: Disha Bose & Sophie White- When almost every aspect of our lives is social media fodder, two stellar Irish novelists tackle the vexed question of what lies behind the filters we present to the world. You can catch this discussion at 8pm.
It Takes a Village: Karl Geary & Elaine Feeney (Saturday May 20th)
While Geary is most recently known as the author of incredible novel Juno Loves Legs, which was published this year, in a past life he also played the Irish doorman in the first season of Sex and the City (mind absolutely blown).
Feeney is the author of recently published novel How to Build a Boat, and together Geary and Feeney's stories discuss how to find your footing when home is not the house you grew up in, and family not the people who lived there. This talk takes place at 4pm on Saturday May 20th.
You Don’t Know What War Is: Yeva Skalietska & Roddy Doyle (Sunday May 21st)
On the 24th of February 2022, 12-year-old Yeva Skalietska woke to the terrifying sound of shelling. The Russian invasion of Ukraine had begun, and the destruction of Yeva’s home city of Kharkiv was all around her.
Yeva Skalietska has since made her way from Kharkiv via Budapest to Dublin, where she will be in conversation with one of Ireland’s most beloved writers, Roddy Doyle. Yeva’s book, You Don’t Know What War Is: The Diary of a Young Girl from Ukraine, is a powerful insight into a child’s-eye view of international warfare, and an essential perspective for all of us.
This talk takes place at 1:15 on the 21st.
Bad Gays LIVE with Ben Miller & Maurice Casey (Sunday May 21st)
Writer and researcher Ben Miller, co-host of the acclaimed Bad Gays podcast explores the fascinating history of queer community in Ireland with historian Maurice Casey at this live podcast recording.
This live podcast begins at 8pm.
Reading The Cards: Pop Up Tarot
Reading and literature comes in all shapes and sizes, and if you're really into tarot, then this event is for you. An ancient form of divining wisdom, tarot is a time-honoured tool for gaining insight and clarity by using your own intuition to interpret the deeper meaning behind the symbolism.
There are pop up tarot sessions on the 20th, 21st, 27th, and 28th, all beginning at 12pm.
Of course, these there are dozens more events for you to partake in - you can read the full list on the ILFD website.
The cost of tickets varies between €7.50 and €25 (some events more tailored for families and children start at €3). You can purchase yours on the International Literature Festival Dublin's website.
How long is it on for?
The International Literature Festival 2023 runs from Friday May 19th until Sunday May 28th. Opening Hours run from 10am – 9pm.
Where does it take place?
The main festival site for the ILFD takes place in Merrion Square Park. This is a fitting location for the festival as many of Ireland's biggest writers, including WB Yeats and Oscar Wilde, lived in the Georgian houses constructed by the park.
The nearest Luas stop to the festival is St. Stephen's Green, which is a nine minute walk from Merrion Square. The closest DART station to the festival is Pearse Street, also a nine minute walk from the park. Buses that service this area include the 15B, 39A, 4, 7, 70, 702.
Most of the seating areas are wheelchair accessible, with the exception of the Oscar Wilde house.
To keep you satiated throughout the festival, you can expect to see a range of cuisines from food trucks such as Grá Pizza, Gingerman BBQ, The Waffler, El Fuego, and many more.
Header image via Julien Behal Photography