Join Dublin Book Festival for an evening of delving into Queer Love: An Anthlogy of Irish Fiction (Munster Literature). The anthology was conceived as an attempt to redress the lack of acknowledgement of LGBTQIA+ community and representation in Irish literary anthologies. At this online event, editor of the collection Paul McVeigh is joined by two of its contributors, Emma Donoghue and Neil Hegarty to discuss their contributions to the anthology, the importance of producing this anthology, and developing LGBTQIA+ presence and representation in the Irish literary community.
Queer Love: An Anthology of Irish Fiction is a new publication from Southword Editions which seeks to go some way to redress the lack of acknowledgement of the LGBTQI+ community in Irish literary anthologies, with a mixture of established writers of international standing, writers who have been making a splash in recent years and new emerging writers. The anthology has a mixture of previously published stories, newly commissioned work and those entered through our call out. Featuring stories by John Boyne, Emma Donoghue, Mary Dorcey, Neil Hegarty, James Hudson, Emer Lyons, Jamie O’Connell, Colm Tóibín, Declan Toohey, and Shannon Yee.
Emma Donoghue, born in Dublin in 1969, is an award- winning novelist, playwright and screenwriter, living in Canada with her family. Her novel The Pull of the Stars became a bestseller in the US (New York Times), Canada, Ireland and Britain on publication in July 2020. Room was shortlisted for the Man Booker and Orange Prizes and has sold over two million copies. She adapted the novel into her first feature film, Room, directed by Lenny Abrahamson, which was nominated for four Academy Awards for Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Director, Best Picture, and Best Actress (won by Brie Larson). Her short-story collections include Astray, Three and a Half Deaths (UK ebook), Touchy Subjects, The Woman Who Gave Birth to Rabbits, and Kissing the Witch.
Declan Toohey is from County Kildare. His writing has appeared in Soft Punk, The Dublin Review of Books, The Blue Nib, Stone of Madness Press, and the anthologies Queer Love and Brevity is the Soul, among other outlets. Earlier this year, he was a co-winner of the IWC Novel Fair, and his debut novel, Perpetual Comedown, is forthcoming with New Island Books.
Shannon Yee is an award-winning writer and producer. Her perspectives as an immigrant, ethnic minority, queer artist-parent with a disability living in NI are deeply embedded in her work. Shannon has received a number of awards and grants, including the ACNI Major Individual Artist Award (2017). Her Reassembled, Slightly Askew sonically immerses audiences in her autobiographical experience of nearly dying and subsequent acquired brain injury (www.reassembled.co.uk) , touring locally, nationally and internationally in arts festivals and medical training settings since 2015. Shannon’s published short stories are ‘The Brightening Up Side’( Belfast Stories; Doire Press, 2019), and ‘Thumbnails’ (Queer Love: An Anthology of Irish Fiction; Southword Editions, 2020). Her first dance film, Pandemic Parenting: Pandemonium, will be aired this autumn on BBC as part of the Culture in Quarantine commissions.
Paul McVeigh‘s debut novel, The Good Son, won The Polari First Novel Prize and The McCrea Literary Award and was shortlisted for many others including the Prix du Roman Cezam in France. His short stories have been read on BBC Radio 3, 4 & 5 and on Sky Arts. They have appeared in print in journals such as The Stinging Fly, and numerous anthologies including Faber’s Being Various: New Irish Short Stories and The Art of the Glimpse. He is associate director of Word Factory, ‘the UK’s national organisation for excellence in the short story’ (The Guardian), and he co-founded the London Short Story Festival. He was co-editor of the Belfast Storiesanthology and was fiction editor at Southword Journal. He edited The 32: An Anthology of Irish Working Class Writers, which includes new work by Kevin Barry, Roddy Doyle and Lisa McInerney.
Image credits: Paul McVeigh photographed by John Minihan
To Garth Greenwell, the huge international success of his debut What Belongs to You, “was the biggest surprise of my life”, and he feels “immensely lucky” as “the success of a book has as much to do with chance as anything else”. Its success has allowed him to have a career as a writer and teacher in a way he wasn’t able to in his previous 20 years of writing. He feels relieved, though, that the writing process itself, “the struggle”, just him alone with his notebook and “the pit of doubt and despair”, hasn’t changed. “I wouldn’t know who I would be without it.”
You can read my interview with him about his new novel, Cleanness, in The Irish Times.