October 8th

This year's festival is online. To see how this works, go to our Attending Online Events page.

Individual events cost €5 each; a season ticket costs €50 (or €25 for subscribers to Southword Journal).

Irish Working Class Voices: Martin Doyle, Eoin MacNamee, Rosaleen McDonagh & Lynn Ruane in conversation with Paul McVeigh

Irish Working Class Voices

7pm (€5)

The 32: An Anthology of Irish Working Class Voices in an upcoming anthology of 16 published writers and 16 new voices on their experience of being working class in Ireland. Editor Paul McVeigh presents readings from four contributors.

Martin Doyle edits the books section of The Irish Times in print and online. He joined the paper in 2007, having previously been on the staff of The Times for five years and serving as Editor of The Irish Post in London.

Eoin McNamee has written two novellas, The Last of Deeds, which was shortlisted for the 1989 Irish Times/Aer Lingus Award for Irish Literature, and Love in History. His novels include Resurrection Man, later made into a film, The Blue Tango, which was longlisted for the Booker Prize, and Orchid Blue.

Rosaleen McDonagh is a writer, activist and performer. She is a frequent contributor to Sunday Miscellany, RTE Radio 1 and is a columnist for The Irish Times. She is a member of Aosdána and worked on gender based violence for over ten years with Pavee Point Traveller and Roma Centre.

Lynn Ruane is a social activist and politician who has served as a member of Seanad Éireann since April 2016. Before entering politics, she developed community drug services and community initiatives over 15 years in Tallaght and Dublin’s Canal Communities. Her first book, People Like Me, won non-fiction book of the year at the Irish Book Awards.

Paul McVeigh has written comedy, essays, flash fiction, a novel, plays and short stories, and his work has been performed on radio, stage and television, and published in seven languages. The Good Son is his first novel.

Naomi Ishiguro & Frances Leviston in conversation with Sarah Byrne


9pm (€5)

Naomi Ishiguro was born in London, in 1992. Her first collection of stories, titled Escape Routes, was published by Tinder Press in the spring of 2020. She has recently completed the University of East Anglia's MFA Creative Writing Programme, has a First Class (Hons) BA in English from UCL, and spent two years in her early 20s working as a bookseller and bibliotherapist at Mr B's Emporium of Reading Delights in Bath. Naomi is interested in bittersweet humour, in characters who see the world with broken logic, and in the absurd and the surreal. The stories in Escape Routes are all slightly magical, and all play on themes of traps, flight and freedom. Her first novel, titled Common Ground, will be published by Tinder Press in March 2021.


Frances Leviston studied English at St Hilda's College, Oxford, and Creative Writing at Sheffield Hallam University. Her first book of short stories, The Voice in My Ear, was published by Jonathan Cape in 2020, and includes the story 'Broderie Anglaise', which was shortlisted for the BBC National Short Story Award. She has previously published two collections of poetry with Picador: Public Dream (2007), which was shortlisted for the T. S. Eliot Prize, and Disinformation (2015), shortlisted for the International Dylan Thomas Award. She is a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Manchester, and lives in Northumberland.

Sarah Byrne is a writer and editor based in Paris. She is the founding editor of The Well Review, an international literary and visual arts journal. Sarah's work has been published in The New Statesman and The Irish Times.