CORK World Book Fest is going online and will virtually welcome Irish and international writers to Cork for an extravaganza of books and writing next week.
“Every April, we look forward to meeting writers from around the world,” David O’Brien, Cork City Librarian, said. “This year, we’re delighted to bring everyone together in our virtual event space.”
The festival, which turns 17 this year, runs from Tuesday, April 20, to Sunday, April 25, and incorporates, as always, UNECSCO World Book Day on April 23.
This year will see writers from Australia, Latin America, Ireland and Northern Ireland read from their work in events taking place online.
The programme also includes events with partners UCC and, for the first time, Nano Nagle Place and Fiction at the Friary in bringing writers and readers together.
“Every year, there’s increasing demand for workshops for budding writers,” Patricia Looney from Cork City Library, said. “We’re delighted to facilitate these free of charge.
“Literary agents Simon Trewin, Ian Drury and Sara O’Keeffe will join us for our popular Meet the Agents and First Page Pitch, facilitated by Vanessa Fox O’Loughlin.
“We also look forward to giving a warm Cork welcome to two highly acclaimed and award-winning Australian writers Cate Kennedy and Paddy O’Reilly.”
The launch of the latest book from Kinsale-based writer Alannah Hopkin will be of particular interest to fans of Irish literature.
A Very Strange Man: A Memoir of Aidan Higgins is both a love story and a literary record and is described by publisher New Island Books as an “honest and heartbreaking literary memoir of the lives of two Irish writers, from the thunderbolt of love to receding into dementia and remaining the greatest of companions throughout”.
Hopkin will be in conversation with poet and novelist Thomas McCarthy at the launch on April 24.
Among the events taking place on Wednesday, April 21, is the launch of new Cork journal Bealtaine and a discussion on how writers have adapted and survived in a Covid arts scene.
Bealtaine is an independent, Irish literary and arts magazine, with a focus on all things intersectional, inclusive, environmental and empowering. Founded in 2020, the idea for Bealtaine was formulated by Seán Flynn and Molly O’Connor to do something positive by bringing artists together and creating a fresh, accessible platform.
There is also much to interest those with an interest in Spanish-language writing.
“Cork World Book Fest, given its influences from the Iberian peninsula and especially Catalunya, has always had a Hispanic flavour,” Mr O’Brien said. “This year is no exception.
“We are very pleased to welcome Santiago Roncagliolo, Josefina Báez and Karla Suárez, three rising stars from Latin America who are among the most exciting voices in contemporary Spanish-language writing.”
It also caters for all age groups with Teen Day on Wednesday, April 21, which includes authors Louise O’Neill and Shane Hegarty as well as the launch of the popular Graphic Novel Project.
There will also be discussions on children’s books from around the world, and on the role of literature in climate change.
Languages featured during the fest include Spanish, Galician, Catalan, Basque, Latvian, German, Chinese, Indonesian, Irish and Hebrew.