City Lit Blog

City Lit Literary Festival 2015

Story added 14th May 2015

Updated 31 July 2015

On Saturday 12 September 2015, City Lit will host a celebration of published writers, poets and academics from City Lit and beyond.

On the same weekend, we will also be hosting the Seventh International George Moore Conference - and some of the talks from the conference are also included in the Literary Festival programme (the opening talks are on the evening of Friday 11 September).

Festival programme

Friday 11 September

17:00: Festival Opening, Wine Reception followed by posthumous induction of George Moore into Irish Literary Society. Presentation by Bernard O'Donoghue.

17:30 - 18:30: London Irish in the 1890s with Professor Adrian Frazier and Dr Stoddard Martin

Two leading Irish studies scholars bring literary London of the 1890s to life with fresh material on the intriguing connections between W.B. Yeats, Maud Gonne, Arthur Symons and George Moore. Followed by Q&A/group discussion.

This event will be hosted  in collaboration with the Seventh International George Moore Conference and The Irish Literary Society.   

 

Short biographies of each guest author are included below.

 

Saturday 12 September - Guest authors

10:30 - 12:00 Emer Martin, Órfhlaith Foyle and Alan McMonagle

 

Three of the most original and exciting voices in contemporary fiction, Emer, Órfhlaith and Alan will read from published and yet to be published work. Followed by Q&A /group discussion.    

 

11:00 - 12:30 Mary Flanagan, Clodagh Phelan and Lisa Robbins.

 

Popular City Lit  tutors read from recently published fiction and showcase works-in-progress. Followed by Q&A/group discussion.

 

12:15 - 13:45 Aideen Henry, Martina Evans, Martin Dyar

 

Three distinct and powerful voices in contemporary Irish verse join forces for what promises to be an absorbing poetic journey.  Followed by Q&A/group discussion. 

 

14:30 - 15:30 Toby Litt, Tasha Kavanagh

 

Toby Litt and Tasha Kavanagh will read from recently published work. Toby's third collection of short fiction, Life Like (Seagull), has been shortlisted for the Edge Hill Short Story Prize 2015. Tasha's debut novel, Things We Have In Common (Canongate)has been short listed for the Not-The-Booker Prize. Followed by Q&A/group discussion.

 

16:00 - 17:30 Paul McMahon, Barbara Marsh and Gerry Hanberry

 

Prize-winning poets/musicians at the top of their game will mix song and spoken word in an event which will provide a perfect transition from daytime  to evening . Followed by Q&A/group discussion.

 

18:00 - 19:00 An Arlen House Event: Noir by Noir West - celebrating forty years of Arlen House with dark and twisted tales from the west of Ireland.

 

Arlen House is one of Ireland's leading literary presses, specialising in books of literary and cultural importance. Published in 2014, Noir by Noir West mixes short fiction from both established and up and coming writers from the west of Ireland. Featuring: Alan McMonagle, Aideen Henry, Conor Montague, Aoife Casby, Órfhlaith Foyle, Gerry Hanberry.

 

Includes wine reception and open discussion on independent publishing and opportunities for new writers.  

 

19:30: Noel Coward at the Café de Paris with Colin Baldy, Gulliver Ralston and the City Lit Opera School. John Lyon Theatre.

 

Favourite songs and sketches by Noel Coward and contemporaries. Programme includes Mad Dogs and Englishmen, A Room With a View, London Pride, Nina and many more. 

 

Lectures and Talks on Irish literary figures

Friday 11 September:

17:30 - 18:30: London Irish in the 1890s with Professor Adrian Frazier and Dr Stoddard Martin

Two leading Irish studies scholars bring literary London of the 1890s to life with fresh material on the intriguing connections between W.B. Yeats, Maud Gonne, Arthur Symons and George Moore. Followed by Q&A/group discussion.

This event will be hosted  in collaboration with the Seventh International George Moore Conference and The Irish Literary Society.   

Professor Adrian Frazier: The Meaning of their Kisses – W.B. Yeats and Maud Gonne 

Stoddard Martin: London Affinities: George Moore & Arthur Symons

Saturday 12 September

10:30

Toby Brothers: Ulysses and What should not be said...

What is obscene?

The banning of James Joyce's Ulysses from 1922 through the 1930s opened up conversations on the nature of art, the role of censorship and the reading public's ability to respond to highly provocative literary content. Appropriate for both readers and not-yet-readers of Joyce.

 

12:00

Paulina Palmer – The Fiction of Emma Donoghue

Paulina will focus on Emma Donoghue’s versatility as a writer, referring to the variety of different literary forms and genres that she employs. They include historical studies, novels (both historical and set in the present-day), short stories, and plays for stage and radio. She will then discuss some of the themes that make Emma Donoghue’s fiction distinctive.

 

Plus, visit exhibitors from a range of publishers and magazines

How to book

When: Friday 11 (evening) and Saturday 12 September 2015

Where: City Lit, Keeley Street, London WC2B 4BA

Time: 10:00-18:00

Price £18 for the entire day

Literary Festival ticket (includes festival opening on Friday 11 September)

£5 per individual lecture/reading.

Book your ticket now via Eventbrite [External website].

Our guest authors

Culture Ireland

  • Toby Litt

    Toby Litt grew up in Ampthill, Bedfordshire. He has worked as a teacher, bookseller and subtitler. A graduate of Malcolm Bradbury’s creative writing course at the University of East Anglia, he is the author of three books of short stories, Adventures in Capitalism, Exhibitionism, and Life Like,  and nine novels; most recently King Death. He is a Granta Best of Young British Novelist, and won the Manchester Fiction Prize 2009 with his story ‘John and John’. Life Like has been shortlisted for the Edge Hill Short Story Prize 2015 and long listed for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award.

  • Tasha Kavanagh

    Tasha Kavanagh worked in film editing for 10 years, on features including Twelve MonkeysSeven Years in Tibetand The Talented Mr Ripley. A former student of City Lit’s Writing for Children programme, Tasha has had ten books for children published under her maiden name Tasha Pym and holds an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Her debut novel, Things We Have In Common was published by Canongate in May 2015.

  • Paul McMahon

    Belfast-born poet Paul McMahon has been widely published in journals such as The Threepenny Review, The Salt Anthology of New Writing, The Montreal International Poetry Prize Global Anthology, The Moth, The Irish Independent, Southword, and The Poetry Saltzburg Review. He has won The Ballymaloe International Poetry Prize (2012), The Nottingham Poetry Open Competition (2012), The Golden Pen Poetry Prize (2011), and has had numerous short-listings including The Montreal International Poetry Prize (2013) and The Bridport Poetry Prize (2011). His poem, Tom’s Pouch of Cure-Stones, won the Shelley-Keats prize in 2015.

  • Emer Martin

    Emer Martin is a Dubliner who has lived in Paris, London, the Middle East, and various places in the U.S. Her first novel Breakfast in Babylon won Book of the Year 1996 at the prestigious Listowel Writers’ Week. Houghton Mifflin released Breakfast in Babylon in the U.S. in 1997. More Bread Or I’ll Appear, her second novel, was published internationally in 1999. Emer was awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship in 2000. Her third novel Baby Zero, was published in the UK and Ireland in March 2007, and released in the U.S. in 2014.  She completed her third short film Unaccompanied, and produced Irvine Welsh’s directorial debut NUTS in 2007. In 2014 Emer founded the publishing cooperative Rawmeash. 

  • Alan McMonagle

    Alan McMonagle holds an MA in Writing from National University of Ireland, Galway and has received awards for his work from the Professional Artists’ Retreat in Yaddo (New York), the Fundación Valparaiso (Spain), the Banff Centre for Creativity (Canada) and the Arts Council of Ireland. He has contributed stories to many journals in Ireland and North America including The Adirondack Review, The Valparaiso Fiction Review, Natural Bridge, Grain, Prairie Fire, Southword and The Stinging Fly. 

    Liar Liar, his first collection of stories published by Wordsonthestreet appeared in 2008 and was nominated for the 2009 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award. His second collection Psychotic Episodes, (Arlen House) was launched during Cúirt in 2013. In 2014, his radio play, Oscar Night, was produced and broadcast as part of RTE's Drama on One season.

  • Aideen Henry

    Aideen Henry lives in Galway and works as a writer and a physician. Her poems have been published in several literary journals and magazines including Crannóg, The SHOp, Ropes, The Cúirt Annual and Southword. She was shortlisted for the 2009 Hennessy X.O. Literary Awards for poetry. Her first collection of poetry, Hands Moving at the Speed of Falling Snow, was published in 2010 with Salmon. Aideen also writes short fiction and her debut collection of short stories, Hugging Thistles, was published with Arlen House in 2013. Aideen launched her second poetry collection, Slow Bruise, as part of the Cúirt International Festival of Literature in April 2015.Aideen Henry lives in Galway and works as a writer and a physician. Her poems have been published in several literary journals and magazines including Crannóg, The SHOp, Ropes, The Cúirt Annual and Southword. She was shortlisted for the 2009 Hennessy X.O. Literary Awards for poetry. Her first collection of poetry, Hands Moving at the Speed of Falling Snow, was published in 2010 with Salmon. Aideen also writes short fiction and her debut collection of short stories, Hugging Thistles, was published with Arlen House in 2013. Aideen launched her second poetry collection, Slow Bruise, as part of the Cúirt International Festival of Literature in April 2015.

  • Martina Evans

    Martina Evans has published four books of poetry and three novels. Her first novel, Midnight Feast, won a Betty Trask Award in 1995 and her third novel, No Drinking No Dancing No Doctors (Bloomsbury 2000), won an Arts Council of England Award in 1999. Her fourth poetry collection, Facing the Public (2009) won bursary awards from both the Irish and English Arts Council, was a TLS book of the year and won the Piero Ciampi Prize for Poetry 2011.

    Petrol, a book-length narrative poem, won a Grant for the Arts Award in 2010 and was published by Anvil Press in 2012. She has taught at London Metropolitan University, University of East London and for the Arvon Foundation. She has directed creative writing workshops at festivals in Ireland and the UK and held several Royal Literary Fund fellowships. At present, she is Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Queen Mary, University of London. Her latest collection, Burnfoot, Las Vegas was  shortlisted for the 2015 Irish Times Poetry Now Award

  • Barbara Marsh

    City Lit tutor and 'honorary Irish woman', Barbara Marsh is a poet, singer, songwriter and musician. She is a solo and collaborative performer and recording artist and was one-half of band The Dear Janes, releasing three albums for record labels including Geffen Records. Now a member of experimental band Vachement Bath, she is also working on a solo album and recently co-wrote and recorded a spoken word piece with Japanese composer Akira Inoue. Her poetry has appeared in various magazines and anthologies in the UK. Her debut collection, To The Boneyard was published by Eyewear Publishing in 2014.

  • Martin Dyar

    Born in Sligo, Martin Dyar grew up in Swinford in County Mayo. A graduate of NUIG and TCD, his poetry has received a number of honours, including the Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award in 2009, and the Strokestown International Poetry Award in 2001. In 2010 he was selected for the Poetry Ireland Introductions Series. He has also been a writer in residence at the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa. His debut collection, Maiden Names, published by Arlen House, was shortlisted for the 2014 Piggott Prize. He has received two Arts Council Literature Bursary Awards, the most recent in 2013.

  • Órfhlaith Foyle

    Órfhlaith Foyle was born in Nigeria to Irish parents. Her novel is Belios (Dublin, The Lilliput Press, 2005), and her debut collection of stories is Somewhere in Minnesota (Galway, Arlen House, 2011).

    An anthology of her poetry and short stories was published as Revenge (Arlen House, 2005). Her first full collection of poetry is Red Riding Hood’s Dilemma (Arlen House, 2009). She has lived in Africa and Australia and now lives in Galway, where she is working on her second novel. 

    Of Somewhere in Minnesota, writer Joseph O’Connor said, ‘Órfhlaith Foyle’s strange stories of violence and yearning beguile the reader even as they disconcert. She is a true original, a writer of great gifts, and I find her work immensely compelling and memorable.’

    Of ‘Belios’, writer Patrick McGrath said, ‘Belios is a dark, rough, funny novel about a dying genius and his crazed biographer. It rages with wild vitality oddly touched with tenderness. Órfhlaith Foyle has fire in her belly.’

  • Mary Flanagan

    City Lit tutor, Mary Flanagan, is a  novelist, short-story writer and literary critic.  Born in Rochester, New Hampshire, educated at Brandeis University. She moved to Britain in 1969, and the expatriate perspective she employs in some of her work has earned her the inevitable comparisons with Henry James and Wharton. Flanagan is, however, a resolutely contemporary writer, as her debut collection of stories, Bad Girls (1984), proved. She has been praised for her skill with the shorter form, in which she displays subtlety, irony, neat plotting, and stylistic economy. Her novels Trust (1987), a study of the relationships of two women and two men, and the modern Bildungsroman Rose Reason (1990) are, by contrast, large in scope and sprawling in structure, ranging over two continents and long timespans. With the whimsical, sometimes surrealistic short fictions collected in The Blue Woman(1994), Flanagan successfully returned to the form in which she made her name. Mary has recently made  a long-postponed return to her novel in progress. 

  • Lisa Robbins

    Lisa Robbins is an author, editor, tutor and university lecturer. Her fiction has been published in The New Writer (Kent) and Aquila (E. Sussex), among other publications. She convenes fiction courses for City Lit and  the Mary Ward Centre in London’s Queen’s Square and is fiction editor for The Literary Consultancy in London. 

  • Clodagh Phelan

    Novelist and City Lit tutor Clodagh Phelan will read from her recently published novel, The Eighteenth of November, and talk about using history as inspiration for fiction. 

  • Gerry Hanberry

    oet, troubadour, biographer, Gerry Hanberry has published four collections of poetry to date and also a biography of the Wilde family, More Lives Than One - The Remarkable Wilde Family Through the Generations (Collins Press, 2011). His most recent poetry collection is What Our Shoes Say About Us published by Salmon Poetry in July 2014. He won the Brendan Kennelly/Sunday Tribune Poetry Prize and the Originals Short Story Prize at Listowel Writers' Festival and has been shortlisted for numerous prizes including a Hennessy Award

    Visit Gerry's website to read some of his work [External website].

  • Adrian Frazier

    Adrian Frazier is a graduate of Pomona College (BA 1971), Trinity College Dublin (Diploma in Anglo Irish Literature, 1973), and Washington University in St. Louis (MA 1976; Ph.D 1979). He has been on the faculty at Nanjing Teachers University (1979-81), Union College in New York (1981-2000), and the National University of Ireland at Galway (2000-2015), where he was Director of the MA in Drama and Theatre Studies and the MA in Writing He has published on Irish poetry, drama, and fiction of the 20th century. His publications include a comprehensive biography of George Moore George Moore: 1852-1933 Yale University Press) a detailed and very entertaining study of John Ford’s close collaboration with the Abbey’s crew of actors and directors in Hollywood, Hollywood Irish: John Ford, Abbey Actors and the Irish Revival in Hollywood (Lilliput), several book publications edited or co-edited by Adrian on various aspects relating to Irish poets and dramatists, as well as countless papers, articles and reviews on a wide range of topics to do with the work of Irish poets, playwrights and film-makers. His approach to his subjects is invariably original and thought-provoking. Adrian will read from his latest book, Adulterous Muse.

  • Stoddard Martin

    Stoddard Martin is a writer, lecturer and publisher. His books include Wagner to the Waste Land,California WritersArt, Messianism and CrimeOrthodox Heresy and The Great Expatriate Writers, published by Macmillan. He edited anthologies of Byron, Nietzsche and D. H. Lawrence in the Duckworth 'Sayings of' series, which he helped to devise, as well as a ‘biography by many hands’ of Duckworth’s managing editor/publisher Colin Haycraft. He has taught at Harvard, Oxford, Łódź and Warsaw universities and is an associate fellow of the Institute of English Studies, University of London. He writes short fiction under the name Chip Martin.

  • Toby Brothers

    Toby Brothers (MA Education, Literature, Counseling Psychology) conceived of, developed and leads the Literary Salon in London and Paris. Her experience includes teaching literary seminars in areas that range from creative writing to women’s literature and film, world religions and wisdom traditions, African American Literature to Shakespeare for adults, secondary and primary school students. She has worked as a master teacher and a mentor teacher and has over 25 years of innovative teaching and seminar experience in France, the USA, Japan and beyond. Her post-graduate studies include advanced degrees in education, literature and psychology and a broad expanse of humanities and world religions course work.

  • Paulina Palmer

    Paulina Palmer (BA, MA Birmingham Universtity; Ph.D Cambridge University) works in the field of contemporary women's fiction and lesbian writing, discussing texts in the context of feminist and queer theory. She currently working on the fiction of Sarah Waters, as well as developing my analysis of Gothic and the uncanny in relation to lesbian narrative.

Our literary heritage

Since our foundation in 1919, City Lit has promoted the writing and study of literature.

Over almost 100 years, we have welcomed renowned authors and academics as both students and teachers - including TS Eliot, Dylan Thomas, Andrea Levy and Children's Laureate Malorie Blackman to name just a few.

On the same weekend as the Literary Festival this year, we will also be hosting the Seventh International George Moore Conference.