Meet the #DBF2020 Main Programme Authors!

Roddy Doyle

Roddy Doyle was born in Dublin in 1958. He is the author of eleven acclaimed novels including The CommitmentsThe SnapperThe Van and Smile, two collections of short stories, and Rory & Ita, a memoir about his parents. He won the Booker Prize in 1993 for Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha.

Christine Dwyer Hickey

Christine Dwyer Hickey is a novelist and short story writer. She has published 8 novels, one short story collection and a full-length play. Her latest novel The Narrow Land is the 2020 winner of the Walter Scott Prize and the inaugural winner of The Dalkey Literary Prize 2020. Her novel Tatty is the UNESCO Dublin One City One Book for 2020. She is a member of Aosdána.

Kevin Barry

Kevin Barry is the author of three novels and three short story collections, including most recently Night Boat to Tangier and That Old Country Music. He also writes plays and screenplays. He lives in Co Sligo.

Marian Keyes

Marian Keyes is the international bestselling author of WatermelonLucy Sullivan is Getting MarriedRachel’s HolidayLast Chance SaloonSushi for BeginnersAngelsThe Other Side of the StoryAnybody Out ThereThis Charming ManThe Brightest Star in the SkyThe Mystery of Mercy CloseThe Woman Who Stole My LifeThe Break and Grown Ups. Her journalism, collected under two titles, Making It Up As I Go Along and Under the Duvet: Deluxe Edition, containing the original publications Under the Duvet and Further Under the Duvet, are also available from Penguin. Marian lives in Dublin with her husband.

Doireann Ní Ghríofa

Doireann Ní Ghríofa is a bilingual writer whose books explore birth, death, desire, and domesticity. Doireann’s awards include a Lannan Literary Fellowship, a Seamus Heaney Fellowship, the Ostana Prize and the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature. She is a member of Aosdána. A Ghost in the Throat (Tramp Press) is her prose debut.

Alice Lyons

Alice Lyons is a versatile artist and film-maker. She is a recipient of the Patrick Kavanagh Award for Poetry and the Ireland Chair of Poetry Bursary. Originally from the US, she has lived in the west of Ireland for twenty years. She was a Radcliffe Fellow in Poetry and New Media at Harvard University 2016/17. Her poetry film The Polish Language was nominated for an Irish Television and Film Award (ifta). Throughout her career, she has created work that brings literature into new contexts, media and communities. She currently lectures in creative writing at IT Sligo and is poet-in-residence with the Yeats Society, Sligo. Her debut novel Oona is published by Lilliput Press.

Patrick Freyne

Patrick Freyne spent most of his twenties trying to be a rock star before turning to the much more stable and secure world of journalism. He is a features writer at the Irish Times. OK, Let’s Do Your Stupid Idea is his first book.

Elaine Feeney

Elaine Feeney has published three collections of poetry, Where’s Katie?The Radio was GospelRise, and a drama piece, WRoNGHEADED, commissioned by Liz Roche Company. She teaches at The National University of Ireland, Galway and St Jarlath’s College. Her work has been widely published and anthologised in Poetry Review, The Stinging Fly, The Irish Times, Copper Nickel, Stonecutter Journal and others. As You Were is her fiction debut.

Mike Chinoy

Mike Chinoy, former foreign correspondent for CNN, has won Emmy, Peabody and Dupont awards for his journalism. While he worked primarily in China and elsewhere in Asia, he also reported on the Troubles in Northern Ireland in the 1970s and 80s. Here he met Kevin Boyle. Chinoy is currently a Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the University of Southern California’s US-China Institute and is based in Hong Kong. His widely acclaimed books include China Live: People, Power, and Television Revolution (1996), Meltdown: The Inside Story of the North Korean Nuclear Crisis (2007), and The Last POW (2014).

Oein DeBhairduin

Oein DeBhairduin is a creative soul with a passion for poetry, folk herbalism and preserving the beauty of Traveller tales, sayings, retellings and historic exchanges. He is the manager of an education centre and a long-time board member of several Mincéirí community groups, including having had the honour of being vice-chair of the Irish Traveller Movement and a council member of Mincéir Whidden. He seeks to pair community activism with cultural celebration, recalling old tales with fresh modern connections and, most of all, he wishes to rekindle the hearth fires of a shared kinship.

Patrick O’Sullivan Greene

Patrick O’Sullivan Greene, from Killarney, Co. Kerry, has been an activist investor for almost twenty years, is an award-winning equity analyst, and is a qualified Chartered Accountant. More interested in business than pure finance, he expresses his entrepreneurial spirit through roles as a co-founder, director, mentor, and sometimes investor, in start-up companies. Patrick has worked in Dublin, London, New York and France.

Louise O’Neill

Louise O’Neill is the feminist powerhouse and outspoken voice for change whose novels Only Ever Yours and Asking for It helped to start important conversations about body image and consent. Asking for It won Book of the Year at the Irish Book Awards 2015 and stayed in the Irish Top Ten fiction chart for over a year. Only Ever Yours won Newcomer of the Year at the Irish Book Awards and the Bookseller YA Prize. Film/TV rights have been optioned on both books. Louise lives and works in West Cork, Ireland. She contributes regularly to Irish TV and radio, and has a weekly column in the Irish Examiner. The play of Asking for It has been on the stage in Dublin and Birmingham.

Linda McKenna

Linda McKenna is originally from Dublin but has lived in Downpatrick for over twenty years. She is the winner of the 2018 Seamus Heaney Award for New Writing and the 2018 Red Line Book Festival Poetry Competition. Her work been published in various literary journals and anthologies, including 1798: Our Shared Heritage; A New Ulster; The Bangor Literary Journal; The Blue Nib; Crannóg; The Honest Ulsterman; How can life go on: Poems and Prose for Holocaust Memorial Day, 2017, (Lagan Online); Poetry Ireland Review; and Skylight 47. In The Museum of Misremembered Things is her debut poetry collection.

Aoife Reilly

Aoife Reilly grew up in Laois and now lives in Kinvara, County Galway. She has travelled throughout Africa, where she studied percussion and dance. In 2018 she was chosen to participate in an international artist-in-residency programme at Officina Stamperia del Notaio, Sicily, focusing on writing and music. Having organised several collaborative creative projects combining poetry, visual art and instillation at different locations in Ireland, she regularly facilitates The Artist’s Way, a creativity-focused personal development course. Aoife has been shortlisted in many competitions including the Doolin Writer’s Competition, Over the Edge New Writer of the Year and Galway Hospital Poems for Patience. Her poetry has been widely published in print and online journals in Ireland and overseas, and in 2017 her pamphlet Lilac and Gooseberries was published by Lapwing Press. Revolutions of Humming Things is her debut collection.

Dimitra Xidous

Dimitra Xidous is a poet and writer living and working permanently in Ireland since 2011. In 2019, she was awarded a Markievicz Bursary for (S)worn State(s), a poetry collaboration with Kimberly Campanello and Annemarie Ní Churreáin. Her poems and essays have appeared in gorse, The Stinging Fly, Room Magazine and The Dalhousie Review(M)other, M(other), her collaboration with Irish-based artist and printmaker Ria Czerniak-LeBov is forthcoming from gorse editions. Keeping Bees, her debut poetry collection, was published by Doire Press in 2014. Her second poetry collection, Μηδέν | Oὐδέν,  will formally be published by Doire Press in 2021.

Rosemary Jenkinson

Rosemary Jenkinson was born in Belfast and is an award-winning playwright and short story writer. In 2017 she was Artist-in-Residence at the Lyric Theatre in Belfast. Her short story collections include Contemporary Problems Nos. 53 & 54 (Lagan Press, 2004), Aphrodite’s Kiss (Whittrick Press, 2016) and Catholic Boy (Doire Press, 2018), which was shortlisted for the EU Prize for Literature. She was singled out by The Irish Times for ‘an elegant wit, terrific characterisation and an absolute sense of her own particular Belfast’. In 2018 she received a Major Individual Artist Award from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland to write a memoir. Her most recent short-story collection, Lifestyle Choice 10mg, was published by Doire Press in March, 2020.

John O’Donnell

John O’Donnell lives and works in Dublin. His work has been published and broad­cast widely in Ireland and abroad. Fiction publications include Counterparts (The Stinging Fly Press), Hennessy Book of Irish Fiction, Sunday Tribune, Sunday Independent, The Stinging Fly, Books Ireland, The Irish Times, and RTÉ’s The Book on One. Awards include the Hennessy Award for Emerging Fiction and Cúirt Festival of Literature New Writing Prize for Fiction. He has also published four poetry collections, the latest of which is Sunlight: New and Selected Poems (Dedalus Press, 2018). His prizes for poetry include the Irish National Poetry Prize, the Ireland Funds Prize and the Hennessy Award for Poetry. Almost the Same Blue is his debut short-story collection.

Jennifer Rock

Jennifer Rock is the CEO and founder of The Skin Nerd (, including Skingredients, the Nerd Network online skin community and the Cleanse Off Mitt, and a multi-award winning dermal facialist and skin tutor. She is also the author of number one non-fiction bestseller The Skin Nerd: Your Straight-Talking Guide to Feeding, Protecting and Respecting Your Skin.

Lucy Sweeney Byrne

Lucy Sweeney Byrne is a writer of short stories and essays. She has had her work published in various literary magazines such as The Stinging Fly, Banshee, The Dublin Review, Grist and Litro, and has further work forthcoming in Gorse. Her story collection, Paris Syndrome, was published by Banshee Press in 2019. She has since been nominated for the Kate O’Brien Award, the John McGahern Award, the Dalkey Emerging Writer Award, The Butler Prize and the Edge Hill Prize. She has also recently been shortlisted for the Brick Lane Bookshop Short Story Prize, and published in their annual anthology. She has been awarded literary bursaries from the Arts Council of Ireland on three occasions. Lucy lives in Northumberland with her husband.

Yan Ge

Yan Ge was born in Sichuan, China in 1984. She is a fiction writer in both Chinese and English. She is the author of thirteen books in Chinese, including six novels. She was named by People’s Literature magazine as one of twenty future literature masters in China. Her work has been translated into English, French and German, among other languages. A translation of her novel The Chilli Bean Paste Clan was published in 2018. Since starting to write in English in 2016, her writing has been published in the New York Times, the Irish Times, TLS, Brick and Being Various: New Irish Short Stories. She lives in Norwich with her husband and son.

Lucy Caldwell

Lucy Caldwell is the author of three novels, two short story collections, Multitudes and Intimacies, and several stage plays and radio dramas. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, her awards include the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature, the Dylan Thomas Prize, the George Devine Award for Most Promising Playwright, a Fiction Uncovered Award and a Major Individual Artist Award from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. In 2019, she edited Being Various, the latest volume in the ongoing Faber series of New Irish Short Stories. Lucy is a Patron of the Belfast Book Festival and was a judge of the Belfast Book Festival Mairtín Crawford Award for Short Story 2020.

John Boorman

John Boorman, CBE, is an English filmmaker who is best known for his feature films such as Point BlankHell in the PacificDeliveranceZardozExorcist II: The HereticExcaliburHope and GloryThe General and The Tailor of Panama. He has directed 22 films and received five Academy Award nominations, twice for Best Director (for Deliverance, and Hope and Glory). In 2004, Boorman received the BAFTA Fellowship for lifetime achievement from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts. Boorman is also the author of six books including Conclusions (Faber & Faber, 2020), Adventure of a Suburban Boy (Faber & Faber, 2003), and Crime of Passion (Liberties Press, 2016). He has lived in County Wicklow for nearly fifty years.

Dr Malie Coyne

Dr Malie Coyne is a Clinical Psychologist, Author, N.U.I.G. Lecturer and an active member of the Mental Health Advisory Panel for the A Lust for Life charity. She is very passionate about promoting wellbeing and increasing awareness of mental health issues, which she achieves through her advocacy work, public speaking and print, radio and TV contributions. For example, she is a regular guest on the RTÉ Today show, where she gives advice on child development, parenting and mental wellbeing.

Dr Brendan Kelly

Brendan Kelly is Professor of Psychiatry at Trinity College Dublin and Consultant Psychiatrist at Tallaght University Hospital. His recent books include Coping with Coronavirus: How To Stay Calm and Protect Your Mental Health and, with Dr Muiris Houston, Psychiatrist in the Chair: The Official Biography of Anthony Clare, both published by Merrion Press (2020)

Niamh Fitzpatrick

Niamh Fitzpatrick has a BA in Psychology, an MA in Clinical Psychology and an MSc in Sport Management, specialising in sport psychology. For 28 years she has worked with clients seeking to achieve optimal mental health as well as with clients aiming for optimal performance in sport, business or life.

Dr William C. Campbell

Dr William C. Campbell is a biologist and Nobel laureate. From Ramelton, County Donegal, Ireland, he played roles in the discovery and development of several new treatments against parasitic worms. In 2002, he was elected to the US National Academy of Sciences and in 2015, he shared one half of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Professor Satoshi Omura ‘for their discoveries concerning a novel therapy against infections caused by roundworm parasites’. Bill lives in North Andover with his wife, Mary. They have three children and five grandchildren.

Seán Hewitt

Seán Hewitt is a book critic for The Irish Times and a Government of Ireland Fellow at University College Cork. He won an Eric Gregory Award in 2019, the Resurgence Prize (now the Ginkgo Prize) in 2017, and a Northern Writers’ Award in 2016. His debut collection is Tongues of Fire (Jonathan Cape, 2020).

Liz Quirke

Liz Quirke is a poet and scholar who works between Galway and Kerry. Currently, she is a Galway Doctoral Scholar at NUI Galway working on research on queer kinship in contemporary poetry. Her debut collection of poetry The Road, Slowly was published by Salmon Poetry in 2018 and will be followed by How We Arrive In Winter in November 2020. Quirke has won and been shortlisted for awards such as Hennessy New Irish Writing and Listowel Writers’ Week prizes. Currently, she teaches at NUI Galway on the BA in English and the MA in Writing. She is part of the Queer Arts Collective at NUI Galway and Pendemic, a journal and social history project for writing during the Covid-19 crisis.

Mark Ward

Mark Ward is the author of the chapbooks, Circumference (Finishing Line Press, 2018) and Carcass (Seven Kitchens Press, 2020), and a forthcoming full-length collection (Salmon Poetry, 2022). His poems have been featured in The Irish Times, Poetry Ireland Review, Banshee, Boyne Berries, Skylight47, Assaracus, Cordite, Softblow and many more. In 2019, he was Highly Commended in the Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award. In 2020, he was shortlisted for the Cúirt New Writing Prize and selected for Poetry Ireland’s Introductions series. He has read his poetry on RTÉ Radio 1 and Lyric FM. He is the founding editor of Impossible Archetype, an international journal of LGBTQ+ poetry, now in its fourth year.

Andrea Carter

Andrea Carter studied law at Trinity College Dublin and practised as both a solicitor and barrister before turning to write crime novels. She is the author of the Inishowen Mysteries.which will shortly be adapted for television. The Body Falls was published in April. The Sunday Times has said ‘Carter excels in re-creating the cloistered, gossipy confines of a small Irish village…the Inishowen peninsula community where everybody knows everybody else’s business is a fine stand-in for the mannered drawing room society of a Christie mystery’.

Liz Nugent

Liz Nugent is the writer of number 1 bestselling novels Unravelling Oliver (2014), Lying in Wait (2016), Skin Deep (2018) and Our Little Cruelties (2020). Her first three books have won multiple Irish Book Awards. All four have also been optioned for screen adaptations. Liz’s books have been translated into 16 languages.

Jane Casey

Jane Casey is the author of the Maeve Kerrigan series. Twice a winner of Crime Novel of the Year at the Irish Book Awards, she has also won the Mary Higgins Clark Award for The Stranger You Know, and has been shortlisted for the CWA Dagger in the Library Award. She is a top ten Sunday Times bestselling author.

Brian McGilloway

Brian McGilloway is the New York Times bestselling author of ten crime novels. He was born in Derry, Northern Ireland in 1974 and currently works as an English teacher in Strabane, where he also lives with his wife and four children.

Catherine Ryan Howard

Catherine Ryan Howard is an internationally bestselling crime writer from Cork who has been shortlisted for the Edgar Award for Best Novel, the CWA John Creasey/New Blood Dagger Award and Irish Crime Novel of the Year. Her third novel, Rewind, has been optioned by Clerkenwell Films (Misfits, Lovesick). Her fourth, The Nothing Man, is out now.

Naoise Dolan

Naoise Dolan is an Irish writer born in Dublin. She studied English Literature at Trinity College Dublin and Oxford University, and now lives in London. Exciting Times is her bestselling debut novel, an excerpt from which was published in The Stinging Fly.

Susannah Dickey

Susannah Dickey is from Derry-Londonderry, Northern Ireland. She is the author of two poetry pamphlets, I had some very slight concerns (2017) and genuine human values (2018). Her poetry has been published in Ambit, The White Review, Poetry Ireland Review and Magma, amongst others. In 2018 she was shortlisted for The White Review short story prize, and in 2017 she was the winner of the inaugural Verve Poetry Festival competition. Her debut novel, Tennis Lessons, was published in July 2020.

Hilary Fannin

Hilary Fannin is an award-winning playwright and newspaper columnist. Born in Dublin, where she still lives, she was writer in association at the Abbey Theatre in its centenary year. Her plays, including Mackerel SkyDoldrum BayFamished Castle and an adaptation of Racine’s Phaedra, have been performed in Ireland, London, Europe and North America. She writes a weekly column for the Irish Times and was awarded Irish Columnist of the Year in 2019. Her memoir, Hopscotch, was published to critical acclaim in 2015. The Weight of Love is her first novel.

Monique Roffey

Monique Roffey is an award-winning Trinidadian-born British writer of novels, essays, a memoir and literary journalism. Her latest novel is The Mermaid of Black Conch (April, 2020; Peepal Tree Press). Her novels have been translated into five languages and shortlisted for several major awards and, in 2013, Archipelago won the OCM BOCAS Award for Caribbean Literature. Her essays have appeared in The New York Review of Books, Boundless magazine, The Independent, Wasafiri, and Caribbean Quarterly. She is currently a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at ManMet University and a tutor at the Norwich Writers Centre.

Carlo Geblér

Carlo Geblér is a writer. He teaches at HMP Maghaberry and Hydebank College and the Oscar Wilde Centre for Irish Writing, Trinity College, Dublin. He has been a prison teacher since 1991. His latest books include The Dead Eight (2011), The Innocent of Falkland Road (2017) and Aesop’s Fables: The Cruelty of the Gods (2019). Tales We Tell Ourselves, his selection of tales from The Decameron will be published by New Island in 2020.

Maeve Higgins

Maeve Higgins is a contributing writer for The New York Times, host of the hit podcast Maeve in America: Immigration IRL, and co-host of Neil deGrasse Tyson’s StarTalk. She is a comedian who has performed all over the world, and has appeared on Comedy Central’s Inside Amy Schumer and on WNYC’s 2 Dope Queens.

Tristan Rosenstock

Tristan Rosenstock is a television and radio presenter, musician, and literary editor of Comhar magazine.

Anna Heussaff

Anna Heussaff is one of Ireland’s most popular Irish-language writers. Her work for both adults and young readers includes the novels Scáil an PhriosúinBás TobannCúpla Focal and Vortex.

Aonghus Ó hAlmhain

Aonghus Ó hAlmhain is a software engineer, commentator and self-confessed ‘word nerd’. He is a frequent contributor on literary and arts subjects to the online newspaper Tuairisc.

Jack Harte

Jack Harte was born in Co Sligo, grew up in Co Longford, before moving to Dublin, where he still lives. He was a teacher and wrote 24 top-selling school textbooks; he was also a School Principal. His short story collections include Murphy in the Underworld (1986), Birds and Other Tails (1996), From Under Gogol’s Nose (2004), and Rehabilitating the Serpent (2017). A novella Homage appeared in 1992. His first novel Reflections in a Tar-Barrel (2006) was the first literary work to be commissioned under the Irish Government’s Per Cent for Art Scheme, and was nominated in Des Kenny’s book as one of the 101 Irish Books You Must Read. The Irish Independent declared it to be ‘one of the great books about Ireland’. His second novel Reflections in a Tar-Barrel (2007) was first published in Bulgaria where it was a major success. Overall, his fiction has appeared in 13 languages.

Harte made his debut as a playwright in 2015 with Language of the Mute (New Theatre) which toured nationally in 2016. This was followed by The Mysterious History of Things (Viking Theatre, July/August 2016) and Lugh and Balor which was performed in Greek translation at the Ancient Theatre of Maroneia and the Theatre of Komotini in Greece (Aug/Sept 2016). His most recent play, Killing Grandad, was enjoying a very successful run at the New Theatre, Dublin, in March, 2020, until it was closed by the Covid Lockdown. Jack Harte founded the Irish Writers Union and the Irish Writers Centre.

Anne Enright

Anne Enright, one of our leading writers, is Professor of Creative Writing at UCD. Her most recent books are No Authority, writings from the Laureate for Irish Fiction (UCD Press) and Actress (Jonathan Cape).

Margaret Kelleher

Margaret Kelleher is Professor and Chair of Anglo-Irish Literature and Drama at University College Dublin. She is Chair of the Irish Film Institute and was UCD academic lead for the Museum of Literature Ireland (MoLI), a collaboration between UCD and the National Library of Ireland, situated at Newman House, St Stephen’s Green.

Leontia Flynn

Leontia Flynn has published four collections of poetry with Jonathan Cape.  She has won the Forward prize for best First Collection, the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature, the Lawrence O’Shaughnessy award for Irish poetry, and the AWB Vincent American Ireland Fund literary award.  Her most recent poetry collection, The Radio (2017), was shortlisted for the T S Eliot Prize and won the Irish Times Poetry Prize.  She lives in Belfast and is Reader at the Seamus Heaney Centre at Queen’s University.

Eric Falci

Eric Falci is Professor of English at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of Continuity and Change in Irish Poetry, 1966-2010 (2012), the Cambridge Introduction to British Poetry, 1945-2010 (2015), and The Value of Poetry (2020), as well as a number of essays on twentieth- and twenty-first-century Irish and British poetry.

Rosaleen McDonagh

Rosaleen McDonagh is a Traveller woman with a disability. Originally from Sligo, she is the fourth eldest in a family of twenty children.  She worked in Pavee Point Traveller & Roma Centre for ten years, managing the Violence Against Women programme, and remains a board member.  She is a regular contributor to the Irish Times and has written ostensibly within the framework of a Traveller feminist perspective. McDonagh’s work includes Mainstream, The Baby Doll Project, Stuck, She’s Not Mine, and Rings.

Michael Pierse

Michael Pierse is Senior Lecturer in Irish Literature at Queen’s University Belfast. His research mainly explores the writing and cultural production of Irish working-class life. Over recent years, this work has expanded into new multi-disciplinary themes and international contexts, including the study of festivals and theatre-as-research practices. He is author of Writing Ireland’s Working-Class: Dublin After O’Casey (2011) and editor of A Cambridge History of Irish Working-Class Writing (2017) and Rethinking the Irish Diaspora: After The Gathering (2018; co-edited with Johanne Devlin Trew).

Christian O’Reilly

Christian O’Reilly is a playwright and screenwriter based in Galway, Ireland. His plays have been produced in Ireland and internationally by companies such as Druid, Northlight, and Rough Magic. He was a recipient of the Stewart Parker Trust New Playwright Bursary for his debut play The Good Father

Emilie Pine

Emilie Pine is Professor of Modern Drama in the School of English, Drama and Film in University College Dublin and Editor of the Irish University Review. She has published widely as an academic and critic, and is the author of the multi-award-winning Notes to Self, which has been translated into fifteen languages.

Paige Reynolds

Paige Reynolds, Professor of English at the College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA, is the editor of The New Irish Studies (Cambridge UP 2020). She is author of Modernism, Drama, and the Audience for Irish Spectacle (2007), editor of Modernist Afterlives in Irish Literature and Culture (2016), and co-editor with Eric Falci of Irish Literature in Transition, 1980-2020 (2020).