Jun 05 2008

Volunteering For The Dublin Writers Festival

Published by at 1:00 pm under Blog

Yesterday evening, I met with the other volunteers for the Dublin Writers Festival. The event runs from 11th to 15th June and this year is privileged enough to have writers of such calibre as Tom Stoppard, Ian Rankin, Colin Bateman, J.P. Donleavy, David McWilliams among others.

Part of my duties will involve collecting writers from the airport, making sure they are happily settled, collecting tickets at the events and being a general dogsbody, which I am really looking forward to. Inspired by the unstoppable and ever-volunteering Darragh Doyle, I felt the urge to be more involved in the many events which grace our capital and this is one festival I was looking forward to, so I threw my hat in the ring.

Last night, I finally got to meet organiser Lean Ní Chleirigh, along with festival Jack Gilligan and Maura Carty(I think that’s right – but I may be corrected) of the Dublin City Arts Council. We were all made feel extremely welcome and were treated to a couple of post-meeting drinks in Grainger’s on the bottom (or is it top?) of Talbot Street.

Among the attendees was a crazed American woman who, surpisingly, I look forward to meeting again. She has been so many places and seen so many things that she can’t help but be interesting. Liana Ciaglo is the Director of Performing Arts at Bay Path College in Massachusetts and she immediately had my attention when she spoke of seeing Les Liaisons Dangereuses recently in New York. Apparently an ex-student of hers is performing in the play. Choderlos de Laclos’ Les Liaisons Dangereuses is probably my favourite novel and both Cruel Intentions and Dangerous Liaisons rank high on my top twenty list of favourite films. Christopher Hampton’s Dangerous Liaisons is still one of the greatest plays I have seen performed in Dublin. So, I suspect I will have some riveting conversations with this born again Buddhist. Roll on the metaphysical debates.

Dublin Writers Festival 2008

This year’s festival, as with previous years, seems to be flying in under the radar, so I would encourage anyone who reads this to check out the Festival Website and come along to any event that grabs your attention. Personally, I am eagre to hear Tom Stoppard, author of the incredible Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead, a funny and existentialist examination of Hamlet’s bit players on the outskirts of the Shakespearean tragedy.

Sunday afternoon sees a discussion of Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, with Victoria Glendinning, John Mullan and Bruce Arnold in attendance. As I’m sure is the case with many people, Gulliver’s Travels is one of the first books I remember reading and the fantastic journey Gulliver embarked upon – the characters he met and the places he saw – was wonderful to read.

Ivana Bacik, David MacWilliams, Roy Foster and Alan Gilsenan with debate values in modern Irish society on Thursday night. This promises to be a lively and informative evening and you will definitely see me there.

The Festival will also be graced by the presence of John Boyne (The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas), Tobias Wolff (This Boys Life), poets Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin and Harry Clifton, Booker-shortlisted author Sebastian Barry, ‘chick lit’ bestseller Marian Keyes, great-granddaughter of Sigmund Freud and author of Hideous Kinky, Esther Freud, and many others, culminating with a discussion between two prolific crime and thriller writers Ian Rankin and Colin Bateman. Rankin, who has written a number of novels such as the Inspector Rebus novels has had much of his work transferred to the small screen. So, too has Bateman with Divorcing Jack getting a big screen outing in 1998.

Pick up a Festival brochure, log on to the website or just drop me a mail if you want to find out more about this excellent event.

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5 responses so far

5 Responses to “Volunteering For The Dublin Writers Festival”

  1. Darraghon 05 Jun 2008 at 1:27 pm

    good man yourself 🙂

  2. Davidon 05 Jun 2008 at 2:30 pm

    Looking forward to seeing you there Darren 🙂

  3. B'dum B'dumon 05 Jun 2008 at 2:48 pm

    I’m gonna aim to actually volunteer for things next year when I’m somewhere that has things to volunteer for(asides from GAA fundraisers).

  4. Grannymaron 05 Jun 2008 at 9:21 pm

    A brilliant idea. I’m proud to call you Toyboy.

  5. Johannaon 12 Jun 2008 at 2:27 pm

    I’m envious that you have the opportunity to volunteer for such things and meet interesting people, especially writers. I always imagine that if I lived back in Ireland, I’d be much more involved in things in the community, besides school sports days and parties for the under-7s.
    Enjoy!
    Jo

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