The Booker-nominated novelist Donal Ryan, author of the international bestseller The Spinning Heart, and the Patrick Kavanagh Award winning poet Martin Dyar, whose collection Maiden Names was a book of the year in both the Guardian and the Irish Times, will read from both their own work and excerpts from each other’s work in a special call and response format. The two writers will also offer reflections on their writing process and the centrality of rural Ireland to their work. The event will be followed by a book signing, a perfect opportunity to get signed books for Christmas presents.
Donncha O’Connell, professor of Law at NUI, Galway, will introduce the two writers. The reading is curated by the literary publisher Arlen House, currently celebrating its 40th birthday. Please contact the Gateway Hotel, Swinford, on 0949252156 to book tickets at €10 each. And see the Gateway Hotel Facebook page. Those attending are advised to come early.
Donal Ryan’s debut novel, The Spinning Heart, was a number one bestseller in Ireland and a Boston Globe bestseller in the US. He won Best Newcomer and overall Book of the Year at the 2012 Irish Book Awards, the 2013 Guardian First Book Award in the UK, and the 2015 EU Prize for Literature. The Spinning Heart was long-listed for the 2013 Man Booker Prize and the Desmond Elliott Prize, and was a finalist for the 2014 IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. It was recently added to the Leaving Cert prescribed syllabus. Donal’s second novel, The Thing About December, was also a number one bestseller. It was shortlisted for Novel of the Year at the 2013 Irish Book Awards and the 2014 Kerry Group Novel of the Year, and was nominated for the 2015 IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. His most recent book is the short story collection, A Slanting of the Sun, currently receiving rave reviews. His third novel, A Drifting Smoke, will be published in March 2016. Originally from Co. Tipperary, Donal Ryan lives in Limerick with his wife Anne Marie and their two young children. He holds the 2015 Arts Council Writer-in-Residence Fellowship at the University of Limerick, where he teaches Creative Writing.
Martin Dyar’s debut collection of poems Maiden Names (Arlen House, 2013, 2015) was a book of the year selection in both the Guardian and The Irish Times, and was shortlisted for both the Pigott Poetry Prize and the Shine/Strong Award. He has also written a play, Tom Loves a Lord, about the Irish poet Thomas Moore. Martin won the Patrick Kavanagh Award in 2009, and the Strokestown International Award in 2001 and has been the recipient of two Arts Council Bursary Awards for literature. A graduate of NUI Galway, and Trinity College Dublin, most recently he was a writer in residence at the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa. Maiden Names was described by the poet Bernard O’Donoghue: ‘Martin Dyar’s narratives about the strangeness of the everyday have a vividness and colour which are a thrilling new development in Irish poetry. Their eloquence and life clear the boards of anything tired or familiar, making room for the language of poetry to move into new areas to cope with the central moments of people’s lives. This is a book of real importance and originality.’