Rathmines' Literary Heritage: A Sense of Place

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Rathmines can boast a rich literary heritage having played host to many leading literary figures including James Joyce, William Carleton, George Russell and Paul Durcan. "A Sense of Place", a literary evening held at Rathmines Library, honoured the rich literary life of the area. Local writers Evelyn Conlon, Adrian Kenny, Siobhán Parkinson and Fintan Vallely read selected pieces of their work and discussed the locality and how it may have influenced their writing. The evening was chaired by Niall MacMonagle and also featured Fintan Vallely playing a jig called "The Barley Grain" on the flute.

Rathmines literary wall

Literary wall at Rathmines Library celebrating the literary heritage of Rathmines and beyond

This event took place on Wednesday, 23 October 2013 at 6.30pm, at Rathmines Library and was part of the programme celebrating Rathmines Library 1913 - 2013 100 Years at the Heart of the Community.


Niall MacMonagle

Niall MacMonagle taught English at Wesley College for thirty years and is a regular contributor to RTÉ Radio 1. He writes a weekly art column for the Sunday Independent and has edited several anthologies including Real Cool, the Lifelines anthologies, TEXT - a Transition Year English Reader, the Poetry Now textbooks, Slow Time and The Open Door Book of Poetry. He is a constant champion of reading and libraries and is a former Board Member of the National Library of Ireland.

Evelyn Conlon

Evelyn Conlon is an Irish novelist and short story writer. A clear-sighted, observant and unsentimental thinker, her work is suffused with originality and wit. Born in Co. Monaghan, she is now resident in Rathmines, Dublin. She has published four novels and three collections of short stories, as well as editing four anthologies. She is a member of Aosdána, and has been writer-in-residence in colleges in many countries and at University College Dublin. Her last novel, Skin of Dreams, was shortlisted for Irish Novel of the year and her latest Not the Same Sky has just been published by Wakefield Press, Australia.

Adrian Kenny

Adrian Kenny is an Irish novelist and short story writer. His most recent title is Portobello Notebook. He has written two autobiographical novels, Before the Wax Hardened and The Family Business. He is a member of Aosdána. Other publications include The Feast of Michaelmas, Arcady and Other Stories and Istanbul Diary.

Siobhán Parkinson

Siobhán Parkinson grew up in Galway and Donegal but has lived for over forty years in her native Dublin, twenty-five of them just up the road in Kenilworth Park.  She studied at Trinity and has written more than twenty-five books – two for adults and the rest for children and young people. Several of her books have received awards and her work has been translated into twenty languages. She is also a translator (from German) and a publisher (of Little Island Books). She was Ireland’s first Laureate na nÓg 2010–12. Her latest book is Heart Shaped (Hodder Children’s Books 2013), which is a companion novel to her award-shortlisted Bruised (Hodder 2011). Other recent publications include Spellbound (Frances Lincoln 2012), a collection of retellings of Irish myths and legends for younger children and Alexandra and Fionnuala, (Little Island, due in 2014), an illustrated book of tiny stories for very young children (English and Irish editions).

Fintan Vallely

Dr Fintan Vallely is a musician, writer, lecturer and researcher on Traditional music. From Co. Armagh, but long-time resident in Dublin 6, he has taught flute at the Willie Clancy summer school in Co. Clare since 1986, and in that year was the author of the first tutor for Irish flute. He is a writer and commentator on Traditional music, lecturing on the subject at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth, Dublin Institute of Technology (Rathmines), University of Ulster, Trinity College Dublin, Dundalk Institute of Technology and in the USA. Editor and author of some fourteen books, his best-known work is the 880-page encyclopedia Companion to Irish Traditional Music, and his most recent is the new edition of his flute tutor A Complete Guide to Learning the Irish Flute, launched this autumn by Waltons.

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