Dublin is known to be a historic place of literature and culture: its towers have featured in Joycean novels and even the Grand Canal is forever remembered in Patrick Kavanagh’s poetry.
So basically, it’s a pretty top-notch spot to host an International Literature Festival.
This year’s fest is on from today until the 29th, and is full of readings, discussions, debates, workshops, performance and screenings, so if you haven’t made your mind up about what to do for the weekend then you can’t go wrong with checking out some of the deadly events over the next few days.
The theme for ILFDublin 2017 is ‘Hidden Characters’, a sneaky nod to a classic Alice in Wonderland quote.
Just like the book, this festival is a rabbit-hole of intrigue and delight - here’s the events you’re not going to want to miss out on:
Saturday 20th May
‘When Love Comes to Town - Queer Representations in Irish Writing’
Belvedere House, 2pm
Using as a starting point the writing of ‘Tom Lennon’, who in the 1990s published the novels Crazy Love and When Love Comes To Town under a pseudonym for fear of losing his job, the panel (which includes The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas author John Boyne) will explore and celebrate the increasingly bold and diverse representations of queer people and culture in Irish writing.
‘An Evening with an Immigrant Inua Ellams’
The Complex, 8pm
Where do you call home? Internationally touring poet, playwright, performer, graphic artist and designer Inua Ellams asks just that in An Evening With An Immigrant.
Told through poetry, story and anecdote, this funny, moving and often fantastical story includes his escape from fundamentalist Islam, directing an arts festival at Firhouse Community College and having a drink with the Queen of England.
Smock Alley Theatre, 9pm
Improv Fest founder Neil Curran will take improv to a whole new level, as he makes one “lucky” audience member the star of the show.
Completely improvised, this show features Neil and one audience member with no tricks and no gimmicks in what promises to be both hilarious and moving few hours.
Sunday 21st May
Smock Alley Theatre, 4pm
Is it a novel, meditation or travelogue? And should literature defy descriptions? Slovenian writer, critic, editor, screenwriter and photographer Dušan Šarotar’s intriguing new book Panorama opens in Galway.
The narrator (could it be Dušan Šarotar?) has a local guide Gjini, an Albanian emigrant who rails against Ireland: ‘for foreigners, this is a cursed country’.
The Liquor Rooms 8pm
Join host Inua Ellams, guests Stephen James Smith, Theresa Lola and DJ Sid Mercutio at The R.A.P Party, and savour a nostalgic, no-clutter, no-fuss, straightup evening of hip-hop-inspired poems and favourite hip-hop music.
Stories from the City: Circle and Square
Tallaght Library, 6.30pm
Writer and editor Eileen Casey will present an evening of live readings from Circle and Square, an anthology of poetry, fiction and non-fiction, all inspired by experiences at The Square, Tallaght.
Smock Alley Theatre, 6pm
What makes a ‘muse’? Join speakers, including historian Dr Mary McAuliffe and author of Wilde's Women Eleanor Fitzsimons, to explore the multi-faceted lives of the women who inspired Yeats, Wilde and Joyce.
From Maud Gonne to Nora Barnacle, meet the women you think you know but don't - and discover the fascinating characters once lost by history, now found by Herstory.
Smock Alley Theatre, 8pm
This giant of Irish literature is best known for his hugely successful 2009 novel Brooklyn which also went on to become an Oscar-nominated film.
Colm Toibin will discuss his new book, House of Names, which retells the ancient Greek story of Clytemnestra, a tale of lust and revenge.
Don’t miss this one whatever you do.
Saturday May 27th
Media in the Age of Fake News
Smock Alley Theatre, 2pm
#FakeNews: Have facts been replaced by fictions? Has journalism been taken over by wild and wilful flights of imagination? What is newsworthy and what is fake—and more importantly, how do we tell them apart?
Kevin Donnellan (Storyful), Lois Kapila (Dublin Inquirer), Jane Suiter (DCU) and Cathal McMahon (Irish Independent) join Banter’s Jim Carroll to discuss misinformation on social platforms, fact-checking practices, the journalistic compromises made in the name of clickbait and the problems which occur when readers want the believe the fake news that they see.
If you’re craving a culture fix over the next few days this festival is for you.
See how to book tickets and get more info here.