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Mountains to Sea dlr Book Festival
Mountains to Sea dlr Book Festival

Books for Breakfast Special Video Podcast with writers Laura McKenna and Conor O’Callaghan

Co-hosted by Poets Peter Sirr and Enda Wyley

DateSaturday March 27th
Cost€5 - €10

The Festival Bookseller for this event is Books Upstairs.

The coffee’s made, the toast is on and the books are on the table!

Join Mountains to the Sea dlr Festival for this year’s special opening event – the popular Books for Breakfast podcast co-hosted by poets Peter Sirr and Enda Wyley. This video episode will include an interview with poet and author Conor O’Callaghan whose much-anticipated second novel, We Are Not In The World, about a man in the aftermath of a painful love affair driving a haulage lorry from England to France with his twenty something daughter, has just been published by Doubleday. Debut novelist Laura McKenna will also join the breakfast table for an interview about her new, ambitious and epic novel Words to Shape My Name (New Island). Inspired by true events, this outstanding story of failure hope and resilience traverses continents and two centuries and has at its core the unbreakable bond between the Irish rebel Lord Edward Fitzgerald and his manservant.

Both guests will also rise to Books for Breakfast’s trademark ‘Toaster Challenge,’ where they will discuss books they admire, for the two or three minutes (some like it burnt!) it takes to make a slice of toast!

Conor O'Callaghan is originally from Dundalk, and now divides his time between Dublin and the North of England. His critically acclaimed first novel Nothing on Earth was published by Doubleday Ireland in 2016. He is the author of four books of poetry published by Gallery Press including Seatown (2000); Fiction (2005), which was shortlisted for The Irish Times Poetry Now Award; The Sun King (2013) and Streaming (2017). O'Callaghan is the recipient of a number of awards, including the Patrick Kavanagh Award for his first collection of poetry, the Rooney Prize Special Award, the Times Educational Fellowship, and the Bess Hokin Prize from Poetry in 2007. He was shortlisted for the Forward Prize in 1994.

Laura McKenna is a writer of fiction and poetry and worked for many years as a child psychiatrist. Words to Shape My Name was longlisted for the 2019 Bath Novel Award and formed the creative element of her PhD in creative writing awarded from UCC in 2019 (her critical paper examined the ethics and aesthetics of voice in fiction). She is the recipient of Tyrone Guthrie, Cork County Council, Arts Council and John Montague Mentorship (Munster Literature Centre) bursaries. Twice nominated for a Hennessy Literary Award and a Forward Prize for poetry, Laura’s work has been published in The RTÉ Guide, Southword, Banshee and New Irish Writing.

Enda Wyley was born in Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin. She has published six collections of poetry with Dedalus Press, including The Painter on his Bike (2019), Borrowed Space, New and Selected Poems, (2014), To Wake to This (2009) and  Poems for Breakfast  (2004).  She was the inaugural winner of the Vincent Buckley Poetry Prize, Melbourne University and was the recipient of a Patrick and Katherine Kavanagh Fellowship for her poetry. She is a member of Aosdána, the Irish academy of artists.  

Peter Sirr is a freelance writer and translator whose awards include the O’Shaughnessy Award for Poetry, 1998 and the Michael Hartnett Award, 2011. For many years he was Director of the Irish Writers’ Centre and was also editor of the national poetry magazine, Poetry Ireland Review. He has published eight collections of poetry with The Gallery Press, including The Thing Is (2009), The Rooms (2014) and Sway (2016). The Gravity Wave was published in 2019 and is a Poetry Book Society Recommendation and Winner of the 2020 Farmgate Café National Poetry Award.

L: Enda Wyley & Peter Sirr. M: Conor O'Callaghan. R: Laura McKenna