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Red Line Book Festival 2015

Dr Joost Augusteijn

Dr. Joost Augusteijn, University of Leiden, The Netherlands, studied history at the University of Amsterdam where he also obtained his PhD (1994) on the history of the Irish Republican Army. He subsequently worked as Lecturer in Modern Irish History at Trinity College, Dublin (1994-5) and Queen's University, Belfast (1995-2000). Since 2000 he has been Assistant Professor in European History at Leiden University, during which he spent a semester as visiting Associate Professor at the College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia (2004), and a year as a fellow-in-residence at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences (2010-2011). Author of (amongst other works) Patrick Pearse, The Making of a Revolutionary, Palgrave Macmillan, 2010.

Tony Bardon

Tony Bardon has been writing songs for over 40 years and was runner up in the National Song Contest as far back as 1971. Following his retirement from his day job as an Accountant he has returned to songwriting in a serious way. He writes on a wide range of topics from political parodies to spirituality. He was a regular contributor of parodies, for a number of years, to Joe Duffy’s “Funny Friday Shows.” He has two CD’s “The Greatest of These is Love” and “Songs from a Road Less Travelled” available for free download on the net. He is currently working on putting the poetry of WB Yeats to music. He is a co-founder of the Tallaght Songwriting Collective and he has travelled and played in Europe with a group of European Songwriters known as “Playing for Integration”.

Tarquin Blake

Tarquin Blake, architectural explorer and photographer, is the author of the bestselling Abandoned Mansions of Ireland (vols 1 and 2), Ancient Ireland – Exploring Irish Historic Monuments (with Fiona Reilly) and Haunted Ireland. In Haunted Ireland Tarquin brings to life an engrossing catalogue of tales of the unexplained and the spooky unknown, accompanied by his stunning images. These stories will amuse or raise the hairs on the back of your neck!

His latest publication, Abandoned Churches of Ireland, will be published in September 2015 by Collins Press.

Dermot Bolger

Dermot Bolger is one of Ireland’s best known writers. This is his thirteenth year to curate and present Reader’s Day. This autumn sees the publication of his Selected Poems, That Which is Suddenly Precious. His 12th novel, Tanglewood, was acclaimed upon publication earlier this year. His stage adaptation of Ulysses toured China in spring 2015. He regularly writes for all of Ireland’s leading newspapers and in 2012 was named Commentator of the Year at the Irish Newspaper awards.

Niamh Boyce

Niamh Boyce won the 2011 Hennessey Award for her poem Kitty. Her novel The Herbalist won Newcomer of the Year at the 2013 Irish Book Awards and was long-listed for an IMPAC. Her stories have been shortlisted in the Hennessy, Francis Mac Manus and Molly Keane Awards, published in literary magazines, and anthologised. Her poetry collection was highly commended in the 2013 Patrick Kavanagh Award. She is working on a new novel and a short story collection.

Aoife Carrigy

Aoife Carrigy is an experienced editor, food writer and freelance journalist specialising in food, wine, travel and the arts. Aoife is a regular contributor to FOOD&WINE Magazine (for whom she worked for five years as Deputy Editor), CARA Magazine, The Irish Independent and The Irish Times. Over the years, Aoife has contributed to many Irish publications, including regular contributions to The Sunday Times, The Evening Herald, Irish Tatler and Totally Dublin amongst others. Experienced at recipe editing and development, Aoife has had a key role in several Irish cookbook projects, including editing four books for the Irish Countrywomen's Association: The ICA Cookbook; The ICA Book of Home & Family; The ICA Book of Tea & Company; and The ICA Book of Christmas, to be published in autumn 2015.

Eileen Casey

Eileen Casey is a poet, fiction writer and regular contributor to journals and magazines. A recipient of a Hennessy Literary Award (Emerging Fiction) and a Patrick and Katherine Kavanagh Fellowship (Poetry), she holds an M.Phil in Creative Writing from The School of English, Trinity College, Dublin. Poetry in public places exhibitions include Reading Fire, Writing Flame, Seagulls, and The Jane Austen Sewing Kit. Her most recent collection, A Fascination with Fabric, (Arlen House 2014) is a selection of essays and memoir published over the last decade in Ireland’s Own. Arts Council Bursaries were awarded in 2010/2011.

Jane Clarke

Jane Clarke , award winning poet, will read from her debut poetry collection The River (Bloodaxe Books, June 2015). The textured language, vivid imagery and musical rhythms of this debut collection convey a distinctive voice and vision. Rooted in rural life, this poet of poignant observation achieves restraint and containment while communicating intense emotions. The rivers that flow through the collection evoke the inevitability of change and our need to find again and again how to go on.

Grainne Clear

Gráinne Clear works as Publishing Manager for Little Island Books, an independent children’s publisher based in Dublin. After completing an MPhil in Children’s Literature, she wrote and presented two children’s literature series on RTE Radio and became president of IBBY Ireland. She also works as a freelance storyteller for children and adults.

Marita Conlon-McKenna

Marita is one of Ireland’s best loved authors of both children’s and women’s fiction. This year Marita celebrates 25 years since the publication of Under the Hawthorn Tree, a very special book which has changed her life and is still read and enjoyed by readers around the world. Over the years the book has become a classic and is used by schools both in Ireland and overseas and is part of the best-selling The Children of the Famine series. Her other children’s books include The Blue Horse, winner of the Bisto Book of the Year Award, Safe Harbour, In Deep Dark Wood and Love Lucie.

Grainne Clear

Gráinne Clear works as Publishing Manager for Little Island Books, an independent children’s publisher based in Dublin. After completing an MPhil in Children’s Literature, she wrote and presented two children’s literature series on RTE Radio and became president of IBBY Ireland. She also works as a freelance storyteller for children and adults.

Mary Costello

Mary Costello is originally from Galway but lives in Dublin. Her first collection of stories, The China Factory, was published in 2012 by Stinging Fly Press and nominated for the Guardian First Book Award and the Irish Books Award. Her debut fnovel, Academy Street, was named Book of the Year and Eason Novel of the Year by the 2014 Bord Gais Energy Irish Book Awards and was shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award.

Martina Devlin

Martina Devlin is an Omagh-born author and journalist. Her novels include The House Where It Happened, a ghost story inspired by Ireland’s only mass witchcraft trial; Ship of Dreams, about the Titanic disaster; and her latest book is About Sisterland, set in a near future ruled by women where it all goes horribly wrong.

Prizes include a Hennessy Literary Award and the Royal Society of Literature's VS Pritchett Prize, and she was twice shortlisted for the Irish Book Awards. A current affairs commentator for the Irish Independent, she has been named columnist of the year by the National Newspapers of Ireland.  

Dr Ruth Dudley Edwards

Dr Ruth Dudley Edwards, academic, broadcaster and writer, her Patrick Pearse: The Triumph of Failure (winner of the National University of Ireland Prize for Historical Research), first published in 1977, was reissued in 2006 by Irish Academic Press. 'There are few worthwhile biographies for [twentieth century Irish history], one glowing exception being R. Dudley Edwards's Patrick Pearse: The Triumph of Failure, which illuminates far more than its subject.' Professor Roy Foster

Gerry Duffy

Gerry Duffy has a sporting CV which has seen him complete some of the hardest endurance challenges on the planet including running 32 marathons in 32 days as well as a DECA-Iron Distance Triathlon, an event dubbed the "toughest 10 day endurance challenges in the world". Gerry has written two books, 32 Marathons and Tick Tock Ten, both of which are incredibly motivating for anyone seeking to attain goals in fitness and in life. Gerry travels Ireland, Europe and around the world delivering talks and presentations on topics covering theories on ‘goal setting’ and the importance of having a ‘can do’ attitude

Joe Duffy

Joe Duffy, broadcaster, is the presenter of Ireland’s most popular daily radio show, Liveline, on RTE Radio 1. He also presents Joe Duffy’s Spirit Level on RTE television and writes a weekly column for the Irish Mail on Sunday. His interest in researching and writing about the forgotten children killed in 1916 was sparked by an art project he undertook in Easter 2013 for the Jack and Jill Children’s Foundation.

In 2014 Joe organised the first national ecumenical service of reclamation and remembrance for the children killed in the Easter Rising.

Brian Gallagher

Brian Gallagher is a full-time writer whose plays and short stories have been produced in Ireland, Britain and Canada. He has worked extensively in radio and television, writing many dramas and documentaries. He collaborated with composer Shaun Purcell on the musical, Larkin, for which he wrote the book and lyrics, and on Winds of Change for RTE’s Lyric FM.

His first book of historical fiction for young readers was Across the Divide, set in the 1913 Dublin Lockout, followed by Taking Sides, set against the background of the Civil War, and Secrets and Shadows, an exciting spy novel that begins with the North Strand bombings during World War II. Brian lives with his family in Dublin.

Carlo Gebler

Dublin in 1954, Carlo Gébler is the son of the writers Edna O¹Brien and Ernest Gébler. After their separation when he was ten his father made him sit down and write a letter declaring which parent he wished to live with. Carlo was raised by his mother and endured difficult visits to Dublin see his father, who became an reclusive and contrary figure until he succumbed to Alzheimer’s and Carlo became his guardian. As Alzheimer's engulfed him, Ernest Gébler had determined to write his 'Autobiog' and revenge himself on all those who he thought had done him down. However, because of his developing dementia he could only make notes running to several hundred thousand words: writing a text was impossible. After Ernest Gébler's death in 1998 these notes passed to Carlo. When he eventually read them he discovered that about 98% of them contained information he had never known. He has just published a new life of his father, entitled, The Projectionist, based on material mined from these notes. Carlo Gebler’s many novels include The Dead Eight; inspired by a famous 1940 murder and subsequent miscarriage of justice in Tipperary.

Dr John Gibney

John Gibney is a graduate of TCD and has been a research fellow at the University of Notre Dame, the Huntington Library in California and NUI Galway. He is the author of Ireland and the Popish Plot (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009),The shadow of a year: the 1641 rebellion in Irish history and memory (University of Wisconsin Press, 2013), 16 Lives: Seán Heuston (O’Brien Press, 2013), and The Easter Rising in 50 objects (Mercier, forthcoming).

Hugo Hamilton

Hugo Hamilton was born and grew up in Dublin. His many novels include Surrogate City, The Last Shot, The Love Test and Every Single Minute. He is perhaps best known for his two internationally acclaimed childhood memoir, The Speckled People and The Sailor in the Wardrobe, which detail his difficult relationship with his Irish speaking father who banned all English words from the house and with his gentle German mother who started a new life in Ireland after the horrors of war in Europe. The French translation of The Speckled People, won the Prix Femina Etranger in 2003 and the Italian translation won the Premio Giuseppe Berto in 2004. Hugo Hamilton lives in Dublin.  

Dr Roisin Higgins

Dr Roisín Higgins’s work focuses on social and cultural history with particular interest in the politics of historical memory. Her research on commemoration examines both the impact of landmark anniversaries and the capacity of acts of remembrance to transform the meaning of historical events. Her book,Transforming 1916: meaning, memory and the fiftieth anniversary of the Easter Rising, won the 2012 ACIS James S. Donnelly Sr Prize for the best book in History and Social Science. Publications also include The Life and After-Life of P.H. Pearse/ Pádraic Mac Piarais: Saol agus Oidhreacht (eds.) with Regina Uí Chollatáin, (Dublin: Irish Academic Press, 2009)  

Jennifer Johnston

Jennifer Johnston is one of the foremost Irish writers of her, or any generation. She has won the Whitbread Prize, the Evening Standard Best First Novel Award, the Yorkshire Post Award, and Best Book of the Year on two occasions. She has also been shortlisted for the Booker Prize with Shadows on our Skin. Her other novels include Truth or Fiction, Foolish Mortals, The Gingerbread Woman, Two Moons and Shadowstory. Rich in dialogue, Johnston’s novels deal with political and cultural tensions in Ireland, and often focus on family relationships and the difficult transition from childhood to adulthood. Jennifer will read from her work and chat with Dermot about her own chidhood and her writings since her first book, The Captains and the Kings, appeared in 1972.

Colm Keegan

Colm Keegan is a writer and poet from Clondalkin, Dublin. Since 2005, he has been shortlisted four times for the Hennessy New Irish Writing Award, for both poetry and fiction. He was shortlisted for the International Seán Ó Faoláin Short Story Competition in 2008 and won the All Ireland Poetry Slam in 2010.

He is Writer in Residence for Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council 2014-2015. He co-runs the monthly arts event Nighthawks at the Cobalt’ and is co-founder and facilitator of the Inklinks Project, a creative writing initiative centred around a young writers’ club in Clondalkin. He also teaches creative writing to adults and to teens in secondary schools across Ireland.

In 2011, he was nominated for the Dublin Fringe's 'Little Gem' Award for the play he co-wrote with Stephen James Smith and Kalle Ryan - Three Men Talking About Things They Kinda Know About - which has toured Ireland and sold out in Bristol, London and Paris.

Colm contributes to RTÉ Radio One’s Arena and is currently working on his first novel. His debut collection, Don’t Go There, was released in 2012 and is available from He is one of the organisers of Lingo, Ireland’s first Spoken Word festival, taking place this October.

Conor Kostick

Conor Kostick is a writer and a medieval historian living in Dublin. His current research project - for the University of Nottingham - is on medieval climate extremes and their impact on society. He has discovered, for example, unusual patterns relating cold weather and outbreaks of epidemics. His most recent history book is Strongbow, the story of the Norman invasion of Ireland.

As a novelist, Conor mainly writes science-fiction and has won several awards, including the Special Merit Award of the Reading Association of Ireland, 'in recognition of his significant contribution to writing for children in Ireland.' His most popular book, Epic, has been translated into twelve other languages.

Morgan Llewellyn

Morgan Llywelyn (born 1937) is an American-born Irish author best known for her historical fantasy, historical fiction, and historical non-fiction. Her fiction has received several awards and has sold more than 40 million copies, and she herself is recipient of the 1999 Exceptional Celtic Woman of the Year Award from Celtic Women International

Ferdia MacAnna

Ferdia Mac Anna is a director of Film and TV dramas, novelist, screenwriter and rock and roller. He was born in Dublin in 1955 and grew up in Howth, North County Dublin. He has written three novels , ‘The Last of the High Kings’ (made into a Hollywood movie starring Gabriel Byrne, Stephen Rea and Christina Ricci in 1996), ‘The Ship Inspector’ (screenplay in development) and ‘Cartoon City’. His memoir, ‘The Rocky Years’ (Hodder Headline) was published in 2006 and his play ‘Big Mom’ was produced at the Project Arts Centre. ‘The Last of the High Kings’ was republished in 2011 by New Island Books as part of their ‘Modern Irish Classics’ series.

He has taught Creative Writing, Screenwriting, Scriptwriting and TV broadcasting for over twenty years at DCU, Trinty College, NUI Maynooth and IADT (the national film school). He has mentored several novelists , directors and screenwriters and also worked as a ghostwriter. He has also taught studio multi-camera directing and TV presenting and he has directed and produced Short Film Dramas, Sitcoms, Documentaries, and Soaps (including Fair City and Ros na Rún).

He has just directed his first feature film, All About Eva, an old school Film Noir revenge thriller set in the horse-racing community of Kildare.

Gill McCaw

Gill McCaw, writer, has been commissioned by Floating World Productions to write the stage adaptation of Hanna Greally's disturbing 1970's autobiography, Bird's Nest Soup. Gill also co-wrote and produced the sell-out show Green Street which ran for two weeks in Dublin's former Special Criminal Court, a play based on three real life cases that took place in the historic Green Street Courthouse and featuring that of Robert Emmet. These two projects draw similarities in their staging of plays based on Irish lives of social and historical significance.

Barry Murray

Barry Murray is a performance nutritionist who specialises in endurance sports and works closely with professional cyclists, triathletes and distance runners. Barry has been a columnist for the Irish Independent newspaper, has been featured on several national radio broadcasts and has presented seminars to various sports teams and corporate businesses. Barry is also a competitive endurance athlete himself and races in ultramarathon events

Colman Noctor

Colman Noctor is a Child and Adolescent Pyschotherapist in St Patrick's Mental Health Services and part time associate professor in Trinity College Dublin. His special interest area is technology and its impact on how we relate to each other. Colman is the author of the recently published parenting book, Cop On - what it is and why your child needs it. Colman is also a regular media contributor.

Michael O'Higgins

Michael O’Higgins previously worked as a journalist for Hot Press and Magill Magazine. His two stories published in New Irish Writing, The Great Escape (2007) and The Migration (2009) were both Hennessy award-winners. His first novel, Snapshots, will be published by New Island Books in October 2015. By day, he works as a trial lawyer in the Criminal Courts of Justice. He lives in Bray, County Wicklow with Patricia and his three children.

MIchael O'Loughlin

Born in Dublin in 1958, Michael O'Loughlin has been one of the most arresting voices in Irish poetry since his debut, Stalingrad, the Street Dictionary, in 1980. He lived for many years in Barcelona and Amsterdam where many of his screenplays were filmed and is the author of an acclaimed collection of stories, The Inside Story. His Selected Poems, Another Nation, was published in Ireland and the UK in 1996 and his latest book, In This Life, in which brings a new sensibility to bear on the disturbing realities of the Ireland he returned from abroad, in poems in his own voice and poems, ostensibly translated from the Latvian, written in the voice of a fictional immigrant to Ireland who acts as an outside observer of Irish life and culture.

Nicola Pierce

Nicola Pierce is the author of two books for children, Spirit of the Titanic and City of Fate, both featuring well known historical events. Her newer title City of Fate is set in Stalingrad during World War II and is described by Guardian Children’s Books as “gripping, exciting and unimaginably shattering”.

Márie T Robinson

Máire was born in Dublin City at the tender age of zero. Since then, she’s been trying to convince the world at large that her name isn’t Marie. She is the author of two books — short story collection Your Mixtape Unravels My Heart (Doire Press, 2013) and début novel Skin Paper Stone (New Island Books, 2015).Máire T. Robinson lives in Dublin. She graduated from NUI, Galway in 2008 with a Masters in Writing. Since then, her short stories have been published in the Irish Independent, Horizon Review and Crannóg Magazine. Máire was nominated for a Hennessy Literary Award in Emerging Fiction in 2012, and was the overall winner of the Doire Press Chapbook Competition, 2013. Her chapbook of short stories, Your Mixtape Unravels My Heart, was published by Doire Press. Her first novel, Skin, Paper, Stone was out earlier this year.

Nicole Rourke

Nicole Rourke is a freelance performer and workshop facilitator. She trained in theatre and facilitation in the Middle East and has written and performed for theatre/ spoken word. Nicole is a highly experienced facilitator and has designed workshops for many organisations including Temple Bar Cultural Trust, The Gaiety School of Acting, Chester Beatty Library and Shine. She was a creative writing facilitator at the Irish Writers’ Centre from 2006-09, and was the resident Artist in the Community at St Patrick’s Psychiatric Hospital in Dublin from 2010-2011. Nicole is co-founder and co-director of Big Smoke Writing Factory.

Andrea Scott

Andrea Scott is Artistic Director of Floating World Productions. She is a theatre creator, director and performer. Andrea has a Masters in Theatre Directing and extensive training in movement including Anne Bogart’s SITI Company’s Viewpoints programme in New York.

Ger Siggins

Ger Siggins is a Dublin based journalist with a keen interest in many sports. His books Rugby Spirit, Rugby Warrior and Rugby Rebel are set in a Dublin boarding school and deal with school life, personal challenges, bullying and of course Rugby.

Pete Wedderburn

Pete Wedderburn is Ireland's best known Veterinary Surgeon. He runs a busy vet practice in Bray, and at the same time he has a busy career in the media. He has been the resident vet on TV3's Ireland AM for the past 14 years. He has also been working as a regular contributor to radio, both locally and nationally, for over twenty years. Every week Pete joins Pat Kenny on Newstalk for his listener query slot, as well as having regular vet spots on East Coast FM and Spirit Radio. Pete is a prolific writer on animal topics. He has a weekly column in the Evening Herald and The Daily Telegraph in the UK. He also writes weekly features in the Independent network of regional newspapers. In addition he regularly contributes to Ireland’s Own Magazine and Women’s Way Magazine along with Veterinary Practice and Veterinary Times magazines in the UK, which are published for vets. He has authored three books to date. The first book is titled My Dog Thinks He's Human, and the second is called My Cat Is Ignoring Me. Both books include some of his most helpful tips, and they are illustrated with hilarious cartoons by Per Jose Karlen. His third book Pete Wedderburn’s Healthy Pets was aimed at young people taking up pet keeping. Photo: Michelle at Wet Nose Studio

Grace Wells

London born Grace Wells moved to Ireland in 1991. Her first book, Gyrfalcon (2002), a novel for children, won the Eilis Dillon Best Newcomer Bisto Award, and was an International White Ravens' Choice. Other publications for children include Ice-Dreams (2008) and One World, Our World (2009). Her debut poetry collection, When God Has Been Called Away to Greater Things (Dedalus Press, 2010) won the 2011 Rupert and Eithne Strong Best First Collection Award and was short-listed for the London Fringe Festival New Poetry Award. Her second, Fur, will be published by Dedalus in October 2015.

Enda Wyley

Enda Wyley was born in Dublin and has published five collections of poetry with the Dedalus Press: Eating Baby Jesus (1994), Socrates in the Garden (1998), Poems For Breakfast (2004) To Wake to This (2009), Borrowed Space (2014). She has twice been a winner in the British National Poetry Competition and was the inaugural recipient of The Vincent Buckley Poetry Prize. She has been widely anthologised, including in the Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing, Irish Women's Writing and Tradition, Vols. 4 & 5, The Harvard Anthology of Modern Irish Poetry 2010 and The Wake Forest Book of Irish Women's Poetry 2011. She is also a published children's author and her book for 7-9 year olds I Won't Go to China! was awarded a Reading Association of Ireland Special Merit Award 2011.