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Cúirt International Festival of Literature

By Britt S Van Klaveren, on 15 April 2014

Last weekend, four students from the MA Publishing class visited the Cúirt International Festival of Literature in Galway, Ireland. Not only because of the many great authors that would be present, but also because one of the MA Publishing students, Philip Connor, had won the New Writers Prize in the fiction category! To read his brilliant story follow this link. Again, congratulations Philip!!

In addition to celebrating Philip’s success, we also visited two events. On Friday night we went to an event featuring Hollie McNish and Patrick DeWitt. I was unfamiliar with both authors, and after this event I fell a little bit in love with both of them. Smart, lovely, and incredibly funny they both caused the audience to cry with laughter. Especially a poem by Hollie McNish, ‘Mathematics’, stuck with me for the next couple of days, an honest and heartfelt poem on immigration. See the video below to hear the poem being read by Hollie McNish and experience it for yourself.

The next evening we went to see Eleanor Catton and Rachel Kushner. They both did a reading of their latest novels and were interviewed for an hour afterwards. Again – loved them. Having already seen Eleanor Catton at an Apple Store event shortly after she had won the Man Booker Prize 2013, we were familiar with her almost intimidating intelligence and charm, something that hadn’t changed in this interview. Picture this and add the witty Rachel Kushner – a formula for a brilliant event. Rachel Kushner’s reading intrigued me so much that I hurried to buy her book, ‘The Flamethrowers’, after the event, and was lucky enough to get her to sign my copy.

After these events we went to an after party where all the authors, book sellers, event organisers, and us as baby publishers/fan base wandered around. My first visit to Galway and the Cúirt Festival was a brilliant experience and I will definitely go back again.

Written by Britt van Klaveren

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