Cork City

Services and Programmes

Cork World Book Fest 2014


The Cork World Book Fest ran from Tuesday 22 April to Saturday 26 April 2014.

To help us shape the future of the Fest, in 2015 and later years, please take a few moments to complete the survey below:

Alternatively, you can download the survey here, complete it and hand it in to your local library.

Click on the dates below to see what happened on each day of the Fest.

Tuesday 22 April

Wednesday 23 April

Thursday 24 April

Friday 25 April

Saturday 26 April

Click here for Cork World Book Fest brochure


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The Artist’s Bookwas a feature of the 2014 Fest

Artists' books are works of art realized in the form of a book. They are often published in small editions, though sometimes they are produced as one-of-a-kind objects referred to as "uniques".

Artists' books have employed a wide range of forms, including scrolls, fold-outs, concertinas or loose items contained in a box as well as bound printed sheet. Artists have been active in printing and book production for centuries, but the artist's book is primarily a late 20th century form.

This feature included an exhibition of work by Ireland’s leading Artist’s Book-maker Sioban Piercy,m as well as a smaller selection of work by other artists, and by students and graduates of the Crawford College of Art & design.

On Wednesday 23 April Sioban Piercy made a presentation on her work, with a focus on the exhibition of her Artists Books in the City Library.  Read Sioban Piercy’s artist’s statement here

On Friday 25 April a free day-long Workshop in Bookmaking was fully booked.  It was given by staff of Crawford College of Art & Design, and covered the skills of: Basic stitching and folding techniques; Japanese bookbindng; and Folding concertina book and basic stitched book.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

 At 7.00pm on the evening of Tuesday 22, the Fest was Officially Opened by Cllr. Catherine Clancy, Lord Mayor of Cork who congratulated the Fest on reaching its 10th birthday, and outlined what she saw as the highlights of the 5-day event.

Eibhear Walshe, School of English, UCC, then introduced the two writers

Irish-Canadian Anakana Schofield read an amusing passage from her debut novel Malarky, the story of an Irish mother forced to look grief in the eye, and of a wife come face-to-face with the mad agony of longing.

Anakana Schofield                    The Pink Suit
US writer Nicole Kelby gave an interesting talk on the background to her 6th novel, The Pink Suit ,which is based on the true story behind Jacqueline Kennedy's pink suit, which became iconic for all the wrong reasons.

The closing session on the first night was Seisiún INNTI 2014 which saw Alan Titley introduce and MC an evening of poetry and discussion on the legacy of the ground-breaking Irish language journal INNTI with Caitríona Ní Chleircín and Doireann Ní Ghríofa.


Wednesday, 23 April 2014

During the Wednesday afternoon Anakana Schofield, who had read from her debut novel the previous evening, gave a creative writing workshop to an appreciative audience.

Best European Fiction 2014

That evening Cork World Book Fest welcomed two writers featured in Dalkey Archive Press’ annual anthology Best European Fiction

Tõnu Õnnepalu (Estonia) has published seven novels and seven books of poetry, including his novel Border State (2000, Northwestern UP) published in twenty countries. He has translated numerous works from French into Estonian. His plays ‘The Century’ and ‘Dear Brother’ have recently been staged. His short story featured in BEF 2014 is ‘Interpretation’.

Susana Medina (Spain), born in England, brought up in Valencia, writes in Castillian and in English, and has published short stories, poetry, and a book of aphorisms. She has received numerous awards. Her next novel Spinning Days of Night is in progress. Her short story featured in BEF 2014 is ‘Oestrogen’.

The evening was hosted by Kathryn Toolan, on behalf of Dalkey Archive Press.

One of the highlights of the Fest was the'Kickback City' Evening on Wednesday evening

This was an audio - visual presentation of Ian Rankin's The Lie Factory - a crime novella inspired by the words and music of Rory Gallagher, and featured:

  • The background to the creation of Kickback City
  • Audio reading by Aidan Quinn
  • Graphics by Timothy Truman
  • Q & A With 'Kickback City' producer Dónal Gallagher and graphic designer Mark Jessett


Thursday, 24 April 2014

The 2014 TEEN DAY was held on Thursday 24, with the announcement of the winners of the Short Story Competition and the ‘Webisodes’ Competition, the launch of Mobius, the 7th City Libraries graphic novel, followed by Alan Nolan’s master class on graphic novels.

TEEN DAY continued into the afternoon with John W Sexton facilitating a session on writing, with the Bishopstown teenage creative writing group, followed by the YMCA Ground Floor team hosting a photography workshop.


‘A Stroll though the Abyss: the life and work of Roberto Bolaño’ was another highlight, an innovative mix of live readings and visuals.  Alannah Hopkin, writer and critic, spoke  about Bolaño’s life and work. Following readings from the work in Spanish by Virgina Lopez de O’Connor, with projected translation, Nuala Finnegan, Director of the Centre for Mexican Studies, UCC, spoke about Bolaño's novel 2666, and the still unsolved murders of women in Cuidád Juárez in Mexico.

Roberto Bolaño "the most significant Latin American literary voice of his generation" (New York Times) was born in Chile in 1953, and grew up there and in Mexico City before moving to Spain. Best known for his award-winning novels The Savage Detectives (1999) and 2666 (published in 2008).


Later that evening in Triskel Christchurch , journalist and former RTÉ correspondent Flor MacCarthy introducedTRUTH - AND NON FICTION: The Things I’ve Seen and What in the World?

Lara Marlow and Peadar King read from The Things I've Seen and What in the World? respectively, and then took part in a three-way discussion, with crowd participation.

The Things I've Seen (Liberties Press 2013) is the first book to feature the award-winning work of journalist and foreign correspondent Lara Marlowe. Full of insight and reflection, the book ranges from Lebanon, former Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Israel-Palestine to Iraq, and also includes a lively portrait of Carla Bruni, former French first lady.

What in the World? (Liffey Press, 2013) from the decade long RTÉ TV series of the same name; set in Africa, Asia and the Americas, the book features seldom-heard human stories. Peadar King is director of KMF Productions, commentator on international politics, regular contributor to Irish broadcast and print media, and also the author of The Politics of Drugs: From Production to Consumption.


Friday, 25 April 2014

Billy O’Callaghan, whose own book Learning from the Greats: lessons on writing from the great writers had been launched on the Wednesday, was on hand to launch Donal McLaughlin’s second collection, beheading the virgin mary & other stories. Donal is a freelance writer and translator and is best known in Ireland for his association with Best European Fiction where he has translated many of the stories featured over the years.

This was immediately followed by the launch of Unfinished Book 2014 in the presence of the Lord Mayor. A short discussion was held with tutors on the unfinished book project from previous years. This bumper, 10th anniversary 2014 edition includes a series of interviews held with some of the writers from previous years.

For many people ‘The 10 greatest novels of my literary career’, a presentation by Robert McCrum, was the highlight of the FestRobert McCrum was editor with the famed Faber & Faber publishing house, before becoming Literary Editor and more latterly Associate Editor of The Observer. This talk was based on his Observer series ‘The 100 Best Novels of All Time’.

The witty and entertaining introduction by John McMonagle set the evening up nicely, as the wind began to howl outside.


Many of the audience then moved across to Triskel Christchurch for WRITING A TRILOGY : venerable and venerated writer JANE GARDAM reading from and discussing her highly acclaimed trilogy with Ann Luttrell.

Jane Gardam is one of the most prolific writers of her generation, with 25 books published, and the only writer to have won the Whitbread for best novel twice, and won an OBE for services to English literature. Her latest novel, Last Friends (Little Brown, 2013) is the third in a highly acclaimed trilogy which includes, Old Filth (FILTH = Failed In London Try Hongkong) (2003), and The Man in the Wooden Hat (2009).


While the Jane Gardam event was in progress, a large and appreciative crowd gathered in the Library to hear music from Catalunya, by singer-songwriter Pau Alabajos) and Cork and London’s own Cliff Wedgebury, along with a selection of Ó Bhéal poets.

The evening was, in part, a celebration of 10 years of the Cork World Book Fest.


Saturday, 26 April 2014

The unrelenting rain on Saturday meant that Cork Community Art Link had to make late adjustments to their plans for the latest installation, specially commissioned for World Book Fest, Le Petit Prince / The Little Prince which is a visual representation of Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s classic book.  The plane, the central part of the installation, had to remain in the foyer of the City Library, where it attracted great interest from passersby.

Other Children and Family oriented events on the Saturday included: European Tales: Simone Schuemmelfeder from StoryGate, an interactive story session where listeners got involved in the presentation of tales from countries all over Europe; Deirdre Ryan, with students from Greenmount NS, sharing their stories; plus a Saturday Music Club performance.


While all this was going on, the specially organized session on alternative ways to get published was fully booked:

Get Published! A Constant Reader event


And other stories; an alternative way to get published, with Stefan Tobler, And Other Stories, and Patrick Cotter, Munster Literature Centre


Getting Published advice from Vanessa Fox O’Loughlin

13.00 – 14.00

Writing for a teenage audience  with Denise Deegan

14.30 - 16.30

The Inkwell book clinics: book a clinic with one of Inkwells three literary consultants to solve your literary problems

Billy O’Callaghan’s last task for this year’s Fest was to introduce Marc Pastor and Glenn Patterson in a session called Barcelona / Belfast

Marc Pastor is a criminologist and the author of three novels: Montecristo, La Mala Dona (The Bad woman), and most recently Barcelona Shadows (2014), about the notorious serial killer Enriqueta Marti, the “Vampire of Barcelona”. When not writing he works for the Barcelona Police scientific squad.

Glenn Patterson’s most recent novel The Rest Just Follows (2014, Faber & Faber) is a coming-of-age story set in 70s Belfast. It focuses on three characters who meet as teenagers and follows them throughout the following decades, as their lives continue to entwine. Glenn is the author of eight previous novels and a memoir Once Upon a Hill: Love in Troubled Times.


Meanwhile, over in Triskel Christchurch, Mary Kenny and Tony Flannery took part in Reflections on culture, religion and society in Ireland, along with Colette Sheridan

Mary Kenny’sselective memory’ biography, Something of Myself, was published by Liberties Press in 2013. A journalist for over four decades, working in London and Dublin, she has contributed to more than 25 newspapers and journals. Mary has written widely on Catholicism in Ireland, and is author of Crown and Shamrock: Love and Hate between Ireland and the British Monarchy (2009, New Island Books) and of the play ‘Allegiance’.

Tony Flannery is a religious writer. His latest book A Question of Conscience (2013, Londubh Books) chronicles his painful journey since February 2012 when he was ‘silenced’ by the Vatican. A Redemptorist, Tony is the founder of the Irish Association of Catholic Priests. He is also the author of The Death of Religious Life? (1977), and Keeping the Faith (2005,Mercier Press).


 ‘Il Bel Paesa: Enjoy la Bella Italia’ closed the 10th Cork World Book Fest in the City Library.

This combined a taste of Italy with a selection of regional foods and drink, with readings in Italian and English by Giampaolo Simi, introduced by Laura Ginevra.

The final event of the Festival turned into a massive night of celebration for Madeleine D’Arcy’s first short story collection Waiting for the Bullet launched by writer Conal Creedon. A short film of Madeleine’s short story, ‘Dog Pound’, featuring the distinguished Irish actor Frank Kelly, was then screened.


Previous Festivals

The first Cork World Book Fest was held in Cork in 2005, when the city was European Capital of Culture.  Cork World Book Fest brings books and reading to the centre of Cork life for four days each April; the highlight is the street fair on the Saturday, with more than thirty stalls plus street entertainment just outside the Central Library, along the Grand Parade, and in Bishop Lucey Park. It is this ‘fair day’ atmosphere that distinguishes Cork World Book Fest from other literary events around Ireland.

Cork World Book Fest 2012 programme(1,455KB)

Cork World Book Fest 2011 programme(485KB)

Cork World Book Fest 2010 programme(425KB)

Cork World Book Fest 2009 Programme(591KB)