The Irish Literary Times
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The Irish Literary Times
Up-to-Date Coverage of The World of Irish Literature
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A Q&A by Lucy Caldwell with Catherine McBennett of the Niamh Louise Foundation for World Suicide Prevention Day 

A Q&A by Lucy Caldwell with Catherine McBennett of the Niamh Louise Foundation for World Suicide Prevention Day  | The Irish Literary Times | Scoop.it
A Q&A by Lucy Caldwell with Catherine McBennett of the Niamh Louise Foundation for World Suicide Prevention Day tomorrow
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Hostages by Oisín Fagan review: Taking no prisoners

Hostages by Oisín Fagan review: Taking no prisoners | The Irish Literary Times | Scoop.it
A near-future dystopia, an engaging short story debut mostly set in Meath
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Thwarted love, self-loathing and denied desire - The Lesser Bohemians, Eimear McBride

Thwarted love, self-loathing and denied desire - The Lesser Bohemians, Eimear McBride | The Irish Literary Times | Scoop.it
Fiction: The Lesser Bohemians, Eimear McBride, Faber&Faber, hdbk, 320 pages, €19.99

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Our Killer City – read ‘that’ Rita Ann Higgins’ poem 

Our Killer City – read ‘that’ Rita Ann Higgins’ poem  | The Irish Literary Times | Scoop.it
You’ve read snippets of the poem; you’ve heard praise and much criticism of it; now here, in a Bradley Bytes’ exclusive, read
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WILFRED OWEN’S GRAVE – a poem by Michael J. Whelan

WILFRED OWEN’S GRAVE – a poem by Michael J. Whelan | The Irish Literary Times | Scoop.it
    WILFRED OWEN’S GRAVE (Ors, France - June 2013)    I was not born then but I know that blood still gives meaning to the ground of wartime. So I stand at the place of your bones, you’re still alive like your words in some other existence somewhere else, the cover portrait on your…
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Novel Fair 2017-"Dragon's Den for writers"

Novel Fair 2017-"Dragon's Den for writers" | The Irish Literary Times | Scoop.it
Described by The Irish Times as a 'Dragon's Den for writers', the Novel Fair is an Irish Writers Centre initiative which aims to introduce up-and-coming writers
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Poetry: a rising generation of Belfast poets are gathered

Poetry: a rising generation of Belfast poets are gathered | The Irish Literary Times | Scoop.it
Review: ‘The Future Always Makes Me So Thirsty’, ‘Distance’, ‘The Ghost of the Fisher Cat’
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How an Irish poet's epic poem on Kashmir captivated the West, spawning operas, musicals and grandeur

How an Irish poet's epic poem on Kashmir captivated the West, spawning operas, musicals and grandeur | The Irish Literary Times | Scoop.it
Thomas Moore never visited India. But 'Lalla Rookh', his story about a fictional Mughal princess introduced the Kashmir valley to artists in Europe.
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The threat to the landscape that shaped the marvellous imagination of poet Seamus Heaney

The threat to the landscape that shaped the marvellous imagination of poet Seamus Heaney | The Irish Literary Times | Scoop.it
Road development would be a terrible mistake, one that in future years will seem as incomprehensible as it is careless
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Eimear McBride: how I wrote A Girl Is a Half-formed Thing

Eimear McBride: how I wrote A Girl Is a Half-formed Thing | The Irish Literary Times | Scoop.it
The author on how Lars von Trier, James Joyce and Sarah Kane’s uncompromising brutality all inspired her to explore a new immersive style
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Hennessy New Irish Writing:The wind that danced the tilia trees, a short story by Michael McGlade

Hennessy New Irish Writing:The wind that danced the tilia trees, a short story by Michael McGlade | The Irish Literary Times | Scoop.it
In this month’s Hennessy New Irish Writing winning story by Michael McGlade, a young woman tries to escape a nightmare scenario
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Irish Writers Centre-Annual Open Day 2016: Free Workshops, Tours, Info

Irish Writers Centre-Annual Open Day 2016: Free Workshops, Tours, Info | The Irish Literary Times | Scoop.it
Sat 10 Sept from 11am. Join us for free workshops, tours of the building and lots of information on who we are and what we do. Save the date!
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Poetry: a rising generation of Belfast poets are gathered

Poetry: a rising generation of Belfast poets are gathered | The Irish Literary Times | Scoop.it
Review: ‘The Future Always Makes Me So Thirsty’, ‘Distance’, ‘The Ghost of the Fisher Cat’
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Modern Ireland in 100 Artworks: 2008 – Molly Fox’s Birthday, by Deirdre Madden

Modern Ireland in 100 Artworks: 2008 – Molly Fox’s Birthday, by Deirdre Madden | The Irish Literary Times | Scoop.it
The power of the novelist’s work lies in its control and transformation of powerful feeling into understated art
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Sex and The City director to turn Irish author Lisa McInerney's award-winning novel made into a TV series.

Sex and The City director to turn Irish author Lisa McInerney's award-winning novel made into a TV series. | The Irish Literary Times | Scoop.it
Irish author Lisa McInerney is set to have her award-winning novel made into a TV series.
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On being a copy-cat survivor of suicide, by Dave Lordan

On being a copy-cat survivor of suicide, by Dave Lordan | The Irish Literary Times | Scoop.it
  ON BEING A COPYCAT SURVIVOR OF SUICIDE (World Suicide Prevention Day is this weekend. I am a survivor of a teenage suicide attempt - while on ERASMUS student exchange in Greece in 1994. Below is the text of a radio essay I wrote for RTE Arena reflecting on my experience two decades later. PS…
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Uimhir a Cúig | A Junkyard Full of Flowers: Poems --- Paul McMahon | Numéro Cinq

Uimhir a Cúig | A Junkyard Full of Flowers: Poems --- Paul McMahon | Numéro Cinq | The Irish Literary Times | Scoop.it
...across the boglands, / deep in sleep / below a lullaby / of fresh white snow, // a black cormorant / swoops into view / then glides out / towards the open sea.
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Roland Jaquarello: high drama and low intrigue in Irish theatre

Roland Jaquarello: high drama and low intrigue in Irish theatre | The Irish Literary Times | Scoop.it
English director reflects on a 50-year career, from a gay kiss on a TCD stage that attracted the Garda to the Eblana, then triumphs and troubles at the Abbey and Lyric
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Tom Kettle: In memory, 100 years after death at the Somme

Tom Kettle:  In memory, 100 years after  death at  the Somme | The Irish Literary Times | Scoop.it
‘Tom Kettle was a truly great Irishman of whom we should all be immensely proud’
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Bellaghy - Seamus Heaney's Homeplace, Open Country - BBC Radio 4

Bellaghy - Seamus Heaney's Homeplace, Open Country - BBC Radio 4 | The Irish Literary Times | Scoop.it
Hoylake: Green Belt and Greens
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Yours, Sincerely and Otherwise – An Irishman’s Diary on the collected letters of Flann O’Brien

Yours, Sincerely and Otherwise – An Irishman’s Diary on the collected letters of Flann O’Brien | The Irish Literary Times | Scoop.it
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Neil Hegarty on Inch Levels, his fiction debut: Catching the light

Neil Hegarty on Inch Levels, his fiction debut: Catching the light | The Irish Literary Times | Scoop.it
A novel about a family over two generations and the corrosive power of secrets, set in Derry and Donegal against a backdrop of WWII and the Troubles
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Review: The Lesser Bohemians by Eimear McBride

Review: The Lesser Bohemians by Eimear McBride | The Irish Literary Times | Scoop.it
I can still vividly remember the experience of reading Eimear McBride’s
astounding debut “A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing”. I was so confused
initially and then utterly enthralled by its innovative voice. It plays
with language and sentence structures so radically it takes a while to
catch on to the level of narrative and, in fact, it helps to read the text
aloud to catch the rhythm of what McBride is doing.

Her much-anticipated follow up “The Lesser Bohemians” begins in exactly the
same way. For the first forty pages I was befuddled and had to read
carefully to follow all the possible meaning McBride packs into her
phrasing. Then my reading pace really picked up because I grew accustomed
to McBride’s unique writing and got really stuck into the story of 18
year-old Eily who moves from Ireland to London in 1994 to study acting and
work as a performer. She becomes enamoured with actor Stephen who is twice
her age and they embark on a tumultuous and heated love affair. This is a
first love story devoid of sentimentality. Instead, what McBride conveys is
the complex intensity, raw passion and emotionally transformative
experience of a relationship. 

It’s easy to trip up on McBride’s prose style, but it has a poetic beauty
and if you take the time to unpack all that she’s saying it’s extremely
rewarding. Take for instance this line about how the protagonist finds
herself silenced in a social situation because of nerves: “I wish that I
was someone else, a girl with words behind her face, not this one done up
like a stone in herself.” It’s a really emotionally-charged way of
describing common feelings of introversion. There is a lot in each sentence
because, not only does McBride capture in her writing what her characters
are thinking, but how they think and the experience of thought combined
with action filtered through a particular sensibility.

It’s interesting how only the sections from Eily’s perspective use
McBride’s quick-paced prose style, but partway through the novel we’re
given Stephen’s narrative about his past as he tells it to Eily during an
emotional night. The language of his extended confession about his past is
written in a much more straightforward way. This comes as a relief in some
ways because his back story is so complicated and unsettling I was glad it
was written out clearly. Not since reading “A Little Life” have I read such
a moving account of a boy’s abuse and the damaging way it affects his
entire life. Stephen describes the complicate feelings which accompany his
participation in being sexually abused: “wondering if the real truth was
that I’d enjoyed or invited it because physically I did… and once that
happens it’s like you’re implicated, like you’re an accomplice somehow.”
This gets to the core of how some abuse can engender a wall of silence
around it. It’s also interesting how his experiences play against Eily’s
own troubled childhood which we only find out about in cryptic pieces from
her recollections and exchanges with Stephen.

The original location of Foyles bookshop

Balanced with the darker aspects of the story are lighter anecdotes which
centre around the theatre scene of mid-90s London. She memorably evokes the
landscape and social atmosphere of the time. I particularly liked a
description of the old-style Foyles bookstore on Charing Cross Road (which
has since been closed and moved down the road to a chic modern version of
the bookstore). She notes how there is “No kissing in Foyles… I Anthony
Burgess over my mouth.” These descriptions which convey both the comic
action of their romantic encounter in the bookstore juxtaposed with the
pretention of the literary allusions for this precocious theatre student
made me chuckle.

Most of all “The Lesser Bohemians” so powerfully evokes a heart wrenching
sense of the absolute all-consuming tumult caused by a difficult love
affair. It feels emotionally honest and represents the interplay between
sex and fantasy unlike any other account I’ve read before. She shows how
strongly our past plays into our relationships. When reading about people’s
hectic affairs it can sometimes grow tedious because (from the outside) it
all feels a bit dull. But McBride’s prose are ideally suited to conveying
the real physical excitement and crushing despair that her protagonist
feels. So when reading a line such as “Cannot bear to think of him. OR sit
amid the lost teeth look of my room.” I felt like I was fully with her and
shared in her sense of anger/pain/desolation. This is a spectacularly
accomplished novel that ineluctably draws you into the life and breath of
its characters.
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Lit Review |80| Rooney Prize Announced - HeadStuff

Lit Review |80| Rooney Prize Announced - HeadStuff | The Irish Literary Times | Scoop.it
The Lit Review is your weekly literary update, containing news, events and opportunities. This week Doireann NíGhríofa speaks out after Rooney Prize win,
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