Current issue May/June2017

In the current issue – NEW


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Kevin Kiely reflects on the challenges faced in writing about a controversial figure.

Book notes

Tony Canavan with the latest news from the book world.


Terence Killeen on why James Joyce should be seen as a contemporary writer.

Frank Shovlin on working with the John McGahern papers.

Mary Branley gives us the inside story of Across an Open Field.

Short-story competition

Festival focus

A round-up of what’s happening and where in the Irish literary festival scene.

Giulia Rosetti has the low-down on Ireland’s literary festivals.

Book focus

Andrew Carpenter on how he discovered the Poems of Olivia Elder.

Bookshop focus

Una MacConville peeks inside Charlie Byrne’s Bookshop, Galway.

Behind the screen

Tony Canavan on the real book behind film versions of Gulliver’s Travels.


Cathal PóirtéirAn Choill by Liam Mac Cóil.

Rory BrennanJonathan Swift: the reluctant rebel by John Stubbs.

Tony CanavanThe Rule of the Land: walking Ireland’s border by Garrett Carr.


David O’DonoghueEcholand by Joe Joyce.

Hugh OramThe Little Book of Sandymount by Kurt Kullmann.

Joanne O’SullivanI’m an Old Commie! by Dan Lungu.

John Gibney—To Hell or Monto: the story of Dublin’s most notorious districts by Maurice Curtis.

Catherine Ann CullenSummer Rain by Noel Duffy.

Sinéad FitzgibbonTeethmarks on my Tongue by Eileen Battersby.

Con O’RourkePioneers, Showmen and the RFC: early aviation in Ireland 1909–1914 by Guy Warner.

Síne QuinnOnce We Sang Like Other Men by John MacKenna.


Sue Leonard picks out the best of new books from début writers.

Crime Spree

Paula O’Hare finds out what’s cooking on the Irish crime scene.

‘My Favourite …’

Mia Gallagher explains what attracts her to F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby.

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Contributors in this issue


Mary Branley was a writer on Across an Open Field (

Rory Brennan is a former director of Poetry Ireland and a lecturer in Communications in Dublin City University.

Andrew Carpenter is Emeritus Professor of English at UCD, a member of the Royal Irish Academy and general editor of Art and Architecture of Ireland.

Louisa Carroll is a graduate of UCD and was assistant director to Michael Gambon in Krapp’s Last Tape.

Catherine Ann Cullen is A&L Goodbody Writer in Residence at St Joseph’s School, East Wall, Dublin, and works on the Trinity Access Programmes.

Sinéad Fitzgibbon is a UK-based Irish author, critic and short-story writer.

Mia Gallagher is the author of Beautiful Pictures of the Lost Homeland (New Island).

John Gibney is Education Officer at Glasnevin Cemetery Museum.

Kevin Kiely’s Francis Stuart: artist and outcast is being published by Areopagitica Publishing.

Terence Killeen is Research Scholar at the James Joyce Centre, Dublin, and the author of Ulysses Unbound: a reader’s companion to ‘Ulysses’ (Wordwell).

Sue Leonard writes the Beginner’s Pluck book column for The Irish Examiner.

Una MacConville is publishing manager of Books Ireland.

David O’Donoghue is the author of, among other things, Hitler’s Irish Voices (Somerville Press).

Paula O’Hare is a public sector lawyer who likes detective novels.

Hugh Oram is a Dublin-based author, journalist and broadcaster specialising in historical and documentary topics.

Con O’Rourke is author of three books and formerly held a private pilot’s licence at Kilkenny Flying Club.

Joanne O’Sullivan completed her MA in Modern and Contemporary Literature at the University of York and now lives in Dublin, trying to write.

Cathal Póirtéir has published several books and CDs on Irish folklore, social history and literature in Irish.

Marjorie Quarton is an independent writer whose books include Breakfast the Night Before and Corporal Jack: a dog’s life in the First World War.

Síne Quinn is a writing coordinator for the Bookmarks Programme at TCD and a campaign coordinator for College Awareness Week.

Giulia Rossetti is a Ph.D researcher at the Dublin Institute of Technology.

Frank Shovlin is the author of Touchstones: John McGahern’s classical style (Liverpool University Press).

Books Ireland magazine, May/June2017

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June Book Competition

Grange Abbey

by David Delaney

An epic tale of love, power and revenge

for a chance to win:

Grange Abbey by David Delaney
ISBN: 978-1-9710742-40-2
Publisher: Liberties Press



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