These friendly faces have been working hard behind-the-scenes to deliver an entirely online festival, and are looking forward to bringing Dublin Book Festival 2020 from their hearts into your homes:
Julianne Mooney Siron – Programme Director
Background: Julianne has been programming the Dublin Book Festival since 2010 and has loved every moment of it. Alongside the festival, she has worked at The Ark, is author of The Time Out Guide to Ireland and Reader-in-Residence for Dublin City Public Libraries and DLR Libraries. She considers herself incredibly lucky to work in the world of books – reading has been her favourite pastime ever since she was a little girl and could hold a book in her hands. She is passing on this love of books to her son Jack, whose favourite book is Chris Judge’s The Snow Beast.
What ignited your passion for reading: “I am the youngest of five children, so I assume my mother barely had time to have a sip of coffee, however, she always had time for stories. We would fight over whose room the story would be told in – wanting to be tucked up in our own cosy bed for the next magical tale. We were brought to the library several times a week and would wander through the lines of books choosing the ones we wanted to take home. I can still remember the smell and the sound of the stamp at the back of the book. I confess, I used to dream of being able to stamp books! My mum is the person who ignited my passion for books; it is a passion I have never lost and one I hope I have passed on to my son.”
Joanna Geoghegan – Marketing & Administrative Assistant
Background: Joanna completed her Bachelor’s degree in English Literature and Classical Civilisation in 2018, followed by a Master’s in Children’s Literature in Trinity College Dublin in 2019. Joanna has written for publications such as Inis Magazine, Paper Lanterns and Gramarye, and has had an article published in the Irish Mail on Sunday. She recently completed an internship with Marsh’s Library, and is currently working as a Literary Guide for the Verbal Arts Centre. She is thoroughly enjoying the experience of working for Dublin Book Festival this year.
What ignited your passion for reading: “My mother loved to read, and she passed her love of books on to me. My father used to travel for work, and when we visited him she would bring stacks of books to read with me – during those days spent sitting on sun loungers together, I taught myself to read and from then on there was no stopping me. She used to take me to the local library every Friday afternoon, and we would come home with carrier bags full of books of all sorts, from Dorling Kindersley reference books to the latest instalment of Goosebumps.”
Fiachra Johnston – Marketing & Administrative Assistant
Background: Fiachra graduated from English and Classical Studies in University College Dublin in 2018, and has gone on to work as The University Observer’s Art & Design Editor, winning a student media award for his work on OTwo Magazine. He is currently a writer for several music sites in the UK & Ireland, as well as layout designer for various literary publications in Ireland. He is currently trapped on the Mourne Mountains in Co. Down awaiting rescue, but is incredibly excited to work on this year’s online festival.
What ignited your passion for reading: “I’ve always been incredibly drawn to visual media in literary works. I found that Quentin Blake’s illustrations for the work of Roald Dahl and René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo’s work on the Asterix books in particular defined what and how I read as a very young kid, and while I’ve grown up and moved onto more traditional written works (historical fiction and horror being genres I can’t seem to get enough of), I don’t think I ever really lost that love for art and illustration in literature, or indeed any kind of unconventional media that compliments its partner text without ever overshadowing it. Not only did it help ignite my love for reading, it might even be why I took up design work in the first place!”
Grace Kelly – Marketing & Administrative Assistant
Background: Grace Kelly is a writer, researcher, and event manager currently based in Dublin city. Grace is a graduate of English Studies at Trinity College Dublin. Last year, they were awarded as the Island of Ireland winner in the Literature category at the Global Undergraduate Awards. They have worked on projects including the Lingo Spoken Word Festival, Trinity LitFest, The Poetry Brothel Dublin and Slam Sunday. Grace writes for themselves, loves the creative process as much as the output, and is currently studying the impact and value of arts practices in caring for people with dementia. Grace is still chasing that elusive work/life balance they have read so much about, but is lucky to love their work.
What ignited your passion for reading: “My reading definitely started with my mam. I remember impatiently waiting for her to finish the latest Marian Keyes or Cecilia Aherne book so that I could get my hands on it (on more than one occasion I stood at the foot of her bed while she read the last chapter). Aherne’s A Place Called Here was the first time I got excited about magical realism and was the first book my mam and I vehemently disagreed on. That conversation made me realise I wanted to study literature and I’ve been talking about books since.”
Caoimhe White – Marketing & Administrative Assistant
Background: Caoimhe recently completed her undergraduate degree in Trinity College Dublin in Law and is currently undertaking her Master’s degree in Literature and Publishing in NUI Galway. In the past, she has written music articles for TN2 Magazine, and continues to do so on her own blog. She works with Big Smoke Writing Factory and produces YouTube videos centered around bookish content. She has loved words, writing and reading for as long as she can remember, and is loving being part of #DBF2020 so far.
What ignited your passion for reading: “My grandmother loved literature, and was a great storyteller; some of my earliest memories are of my brother and I visiting her and hopping into her bed where she would read us stories or tell us a story of her own. She would produce a book catalogue in the run up to Christmas and our birthdays, and we were encouraged to pick out multiple(!) books as our presents. I have voraciously consumed stories ever since, and hope to keep my grandmother’s efforts alive by promoting reading far and wide.”