EBCF 2019 Events

David Butler

A Talk by David Butler

Date: Fri 01 March 
Time: 2pm 
Venue: Cruises, Queens Hotel 
Price: Free

James Joyce is famously known as the author whose work; three novels, his play, Exiles, and all fifteen of the short stories are set in the Dublin of his youth.

What is less well known is that much of Joyce’s imaginative world takes place outside the city that ‘wore the mask of a capital’. Whether the Galway of Nora Barnacle alluded to in The Dead; the Cork to which Simon Dedalus brings young Stephen in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man; the Mullingar where Millie Bloom is sojourning on June 16th, 1904 or the Queen’s Hotel, Ennis where Leopold Bloom’s father tragically took his life, an entire imaginative hinterland is conjured beyond the bounds of the Dear Dirty Dublin he immortalized.

This talk will be an exploration of that imaginative hinterland.

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Tomás Mac Conmara

Date: Fri 01 March
Time: 2pm
Venue: Temple Gate Hotel
Price: Free

An exploration by Tomás Mac Conmara of the Black and Tans and the Irish War of Independence in social memory using oral recordings documented across Clare with the county’s oldest citizens.

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Crafty Readers Activity

Date: Fri 01 March 
Time: 2pm
Venue: Clare Museum 
Price: €8

Fancy making your own book mark? Perhaps with matching earrings? This craft workshop, hosted by Burren Beads, is a chance to relax, meet other festival-goers and have the pleasure of making something to bring home. No experience needed and all equipment is provided.

Spaces are limited.

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Wine Tasting

Are you going to an event in the Festival? 

The Wine Buff will provide a free glass of wine, with background information, on Friday afternoon to a limited number of ticket holders. It’s a lovely way to meet other attendees and relax together with a glass of wine.

Booking is essential and time slots are available on the hour from 2pm to 7pm on Friday 1st March 2019, duration 30 minutes, up to 6 per session.

Phone 065 684 2082 to book and bring an EBCF event ticket with you. 

The Irish Times Book Club

with Kevin Breathnach

Date: Fri 01 March 
Time: 4pm  
Venue: Temple Gate Hotel
Price: €8

Martin Doyle, Irish Times books editor, interviews author Kevin Breathnach on his debut novel, Tunnel Vision. It is a documentary of the narrator’s post-adolescent relationships; an account of his life abroad; an autobiography of a compulsive liar detailed in six piercingly intelligent critical essays on photographic self-portraiture and a personal diary. Whether writing about the sale of Susan Sontag’s archive, or the reframing of André Kertész’s wedding photograph, Breathnach’s writing - brave, wild, and genre-bending - inaugurates a dazzling new voice in art and literature.

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Thomas Lynch

Date: Fri 01 March 
Time: 4pm
Venue: St. Columba’s Church 
Price: €8

What Michael Hartnett called “the long subtraction” began for Thomas Lynch on Christmas Eve 2012 with news of the death of Dennis O’Driscoll.  This sadness was followed by the death in September of 2013 of Seamus Heaney, then Phillip Casey in February of 2018, Macdara Woods in June and Matthew Sweeney in August the same year. 

These men of Lynch’s generation had been fixtures in his catalogue of poets, friends, correspondents and heroes and had kept his access to Irish poetry incarnate and alive. Their work in words, their powerful memories, attending their funerals were, of course, a sort of comfort.  But their dead and goneness, their beyond our reachness, the hush where their mighty voices used to be remain real griefs. The power of their poems is undiminished and by keeping those poems in the discourse of poets and readers, we honour and celebrate their lives and their gifts of language.

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Festival Official Opening

and the opening of Elemental Fusion exhibition at the glór gallery

Date: Fri 01 March
Time: 5.30pm
Venue: glór 
Price: Free 

Join us for the Official Opening of EBCF 2019 and the opening of Elemental Fusion at the glór gallery. See further detail under Exhibition Guided Tour on Saturday 02nd March in glór.

Emilie Pine with Dr. Tina O’Toole

Emilie Pine in conversation with Dr. Tina O’Toole

Date: Fri 01 March 
Time: 6pm 
Venue: glór 
Price: €8/€6

Notes to Self is an Irish Book Award winner, and one of the most talked about books of the last year. Uncovering many taboos in Irish culture, the book has been described as ‘honest, brave, searing’ by The Sunday Times. Emilie Pine is Associate Professor in Modern Drama at University College Dublin, Ireland. She has published widely on Irish culture, including reviews for RTÉ’s  Arena,  Irish Theatre Magazine  and the  Irish Times. 

Please also see Pop-up Book Club on Notes to Self with lunch on Saturday 2nd March.

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The Shoemaker and his Daughter

Conor & Zhanna O'Clery with Gavin Grace

Date: Fri 01 March 
Time: 8pm
Venue: glór
Price: €12/€10

Conor O’Clery and his wife Zhanna talk to Clare FM’s Gavin Grace about Conor’s new book The Shoemaker and his Daughter, which follows in the footsteps of a remarkable family whose epic story spans eighty years of Soviet and Russian history, from Stalin to Putin, and provides an insight into life in a secretive world at seismic moments in time. 

'[A] superb, illuminating book ... A memoir of great power and poignancy.' (Peter Hitchens, Mail on Sunday)

The Shoemaker and his Daughter is kindly supported by The Rowan Tree Café

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Festival Club

Date: Fri 01 March  
Time: 10pm  
Venue: glór  
Price: Free

Join us after a busy day for the Festival Club at glór. A chance to catch up on all the day’s events and mingle with authors and readers alike!

Jane O’Brien

with Jane O’Brien

Date: Sat 02 March
Time: 9am 
Venue: Meet @ glór 
Price: €8

Join Jane O’Brien on her award-winning walking tour of Ennis. Praised by the Lonely Planet as the best way to appreciate the town!

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Books & Buns

Date: Sat 02 March  
Time: 10am  
Venue: Rowan Tree Café  
Price: €10/€8

Enjoy a Saturday morning book club gathering and test your knowledge of all things literary in our beloved Books & Buns session. Refreshments included, setting you up for a busy day!

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Annmarie O’Connor

with Annmarie O’Connor

Date: Sat 02 March  
Time: 10am
Venue: County Boutique  
Price: €10

Join Annmarie O’Connor to discuss decluttering tips that help take the stress out of getting dressed. Annmarie is a best-selling author, award-winning stylist, fashion writer and wardrobe wellness coach. A self-styled ‘inexpert expert’ on the subject of mindfulness, Annmarie’s books, The Happy Closet and The Happy Medium explore how considered choices can increase our sense of satisfaction. What better venue to be in than the County Boutique for this stylish talk!

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Paul Lynch & Michelle Richmond

with Paul Lynch & Michelle Richmond and hosted by Paula McGrath

Date: Sat 02 March 
Time: 11.30am
Venue: glór
Price: €12/€10

A firm festival favourite – 10 Books never disappoints. This year we’ve invited novelist and yoga-guru Paula McGrath to chair our authors’ passionate recommendations.

Michelle Richmond is the bestselling author of The Year of FogNo One You Know, Dream of the Blue Room, Golden State, and the award-winning The Girl in the Fall-Away Dress. A native of Alabama’s Gulf Coast, she lives in Paris. Her latest novel The Marriage Pact is a New York Times Bestseller. Paul Lynch is the internationally-acclaimed, prize-winning author of Grace, The Black Snow and Red Sky in Morning. He won the French booksellers’ prize Prix Libr’à Nous for Best Foreign Novel and was a finalist for the Prix du Meilleur Livre Étranger (Best Foreign Book Prize). US author Ron Rash has called Paul, “one of his generation’s very finest novelists”.

10 Books You Should Read is kindly supported by Temple Gate Hotel

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Pop-up Book Club with Lunch

Notes to Self

Date: Sat 02 March
Time: 11.30am
Venue: Temple Gate 
Price: €10 (includes lunch)

Emilie Pine’s Notes to Self addresses challenging issues and is original in form – an ideal book for deeper discussion. This intimate event provides an opportunity to explore the book in a bookclub style meeting, in different groups of 3-4 people, and to engage with other participants. Emilie will join us after the group discussions and respond to points raised. The event finishes with a light lunch, and a chance to chat with new friends and old. The facilitator is Tom Conaty, a great friend of the festival over many years, and synonymous with interesting and lively events.

As in all good book clubs, we do expect you to have read the book beforehand! Duration 2 hours.

You may also be interested in going to Notes to Self event on Friday 1st March.

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Elemental Fusion

Guided Tour of the Exhibition

Date: Sat 02 March 
Time: 11.45am 
Venue: glór Gallery  
Price: Free

Four Clare makers, Vivienne Bogan, Kathryna Cuschieri, Nicola Henley and Jane Seymour, have been brought together for an exhibition, Elemental Fusion, based on themes of gender, identity and place. Vivienne Bogan works mostly with mixed media on paper, found materials and experimental print techniques. Glass Artist, Kathryna Cuschieri captures the beauty of rivers and the fragile natural eco splendour that is slowly eroding in Clare. Textile Artist, Nicola Henley’s work explores our native birds - their relationship to sky, sea and land, reminding us of our own connection with the natural environment. Ceramicist Jane Seymour completes the foursome, creating vessels made by smoke firing, and also working figuratively, etching into the unfired clay. Join them for guided tour of their exhibition as they discuss their work.

Clare Youth Theatre

Presents Little Friend

Date: Sat 02 March 
Time:
1pm 
Venue: Studio @ glór 
Price: Free

Clare Youth Theatre presents Little Friend, a dramatised performance inspired by the book by Mexican writer, Emilio Rojas, who is a contemporary successor in the literary tradition of Gibran, Saint-Exupery and Tagore. The book is an allegorical adventure of the human search for understanding. Members of Clare Youth Theatre chose the stories and created the work with directors Clare Townsend and Eleanor Feely.

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Intergenerational Event

Getting To Know You!

Date: Sat 02 March  
Time: 2pm 
Venue: Studio @ glór  
Price: Free

This event is an intergenerational performance by residents of St. Joseph’s Hospital, Ennis and members of Clare Youth Theatre, featuring poetry, drama and readings. It is directed and supported by Eleanor Feely and Clare Townsend.

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The Beyond Borders Book Club

Date: Sat 02 March
Time: 2pm
Venue: Temple Gate Hotel  
Price: Free

The Beyond Borders Book Club took place once a month on Thursday evenings for four months during the winter of 2018/19. In this year’s final session, Clare based poet Sarah Clancy interviews the four presenters Malgorzata Buchalik, William Wohlgemuth, Deirdre Yelverton, and Evgeny Shtorn who revisit books from Poland, Hungary, South Africa, and Russia that they generously shared with us.

The Beyond Borders Book Club is kindly supported by Essilor

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Doireann Ní Ghríofa, Maya Homburger and Barry Guy

with Doireann Ní Ghríofa, Maya Homburger and Barry Guy

Date: Sat 02 March
Time: 2pm
Venue: St. Columba’s Church
Price: €10

Join us for what promises to be a unique event with world renowned musicians Barry Guy and Maya Homburger who provide the music, while award winning bilingual Irish writer Doireann Ní Ghríofa provides the poetry. 

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Grace Wells, Niall Allsop & Margaret Hickey

with Grace Wells, Niall Allsop & Margaret Hickey

Date:
Sat 02 March
Time: 2pm
Venue: Clare Museum
Price: Free 

Ennis Book Club Festival is delighted to support and introduce local writers through the New Voices event. This year the writers include Niall Allsop, Grace Wells and Margaret Hickey. 

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The Seven Sisters

Date: Sat 02 March
Time: 3pm
Venue: Record Break Café  
Price: Free

The ‘Seven Sisters’ is a group of female poets, gathered together, to address gender imbalance in the representation of Irish writers, enticed by the idea that a cogent response is imperative. Women poets will orate for ten minutes each, sharing from their own work, as well as work from 18th to 21st Century Irish Females. The Seven Sisters are Deirdre Devally, Mary Ellen Fean, Karen J McDonnell, Ruth Marshall, Deborah Ryan, Clare Sawtell and Sinéad Nic Síoda.

Julia Kelly & Thomas Lynch

with Julia Kelly & Thomas Lynch

Date: Sat 02 March 
Time: 4pm
Venue: glór
Price: €12/€10

Join the host of Ireland’s largest online book club, Rick O’Shea, as he discusses novelist Julia Kelly’s moving memoir about her relationship with her former partner Charlie Whisker. Rick and Julia are also joined by poet, undertaker, and essayist Thomas Lynch to talk about his latest book Whence & Whither: On Lives and Living, a book from one of our most gifted writers and thinkers about death and the meaning of living.

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Anne Griffin, Caoilinn Hughes with Paul Lynch

Anne Griffin, Caoilinn Hughes with Paul Lynch

Date: Sat 02 March  
Time: 6pm 
Venue: Temple Gate Hotel  
Price: €10/€8

Don’t miss this duo of sparkling debut novelists. Come to hear readings and discussion from Anne Griffin’s When All Is Said and Caoilinn Hughes’ Orchid & the Wasp with novelist Paul Lynch.

Debut Authors Event is kindly supported by Irish Writers Union

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Elif Shafak in conversation with Seán Rocks

Date: Sat 02 March 
Time: 8pm
Venue: glór
Price: €15/€13

Join us for an intimate evening with the award-winning novelist, women's rights activist and inspirational public intellectual and speaker, Elif Shafak. Elif writes in both Turkish and English, and has published 16 books, 10 of which are novels, including the bestselling The Bastard of Istanbul, The Forty Rules of Loveand her most recent, Three Daughters of Eve. Her books have been published in 48 languages. Elif is also a TED Global speaker.

This event is kindly supported by The Ennis Bookshop

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Festival Club with Pat O’Connor

Date: Sat 02 March   
Time: 10.30pm  
Venue: Rowan Tree Café   
Price: Free

Join us for some traditional music at the Festival Club at the Rowan Tree Café with Pat O’Connor. Pat is a fiddle player from Feakle in East Clare and his music has the moderate pace and easy flow associated with the East Clare tradition. He is immersed in traditional music and performs at concerts and sessions in America and Japan as well as locally. He gives fiddle playing lessons and has compiled many albums the latest of which  ‘Conversation at the Crosses’ is a collaboration with guitar and accordion player Eoghan O’Sullivan, who will join him on the night.

Paula McGrath

A yoga class for readers and writers 

Date: Sun 03 March
Time: 9am
Venue: Ennis Yoga Studio
Price: €12

Novelist Paula McGrath first qualified as a yoga teacher in 1996 and went on to train in and teach Iyengar, Astanga and Shadow Yoga before turning to the sedentary life of writing. This class will guide readers and writers (and anyone who spends long hours at a desk) through some of her favourite slump-countering postures. Suitable for all levels of yoga experience.

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Ciana Campbell

with Ciana Campbell

Date: Sun 03 March
Time: 9.30am
Venue: Maguire Suite, Old Ground Hotel
Price: Free

Closing Chapters – reflections and readings to remember book club members who have died. All are welcome to join in an informal gathering on Sunday morning where we will take time to remember book club members who have died. It will be an opportunity to share stories, favourite readings and reflections on their contribution to our book club lives. Please do let us know if you would like a particular reading included. You can email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with Closing Chapters in the subject line.

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Sunday Miscellany

Date: Sun 03 March 
Time: 11.30am
Venue: glór
Price: €15/€13

Sunday Miscellany comes to EBCF 2019 and glór for a special recording of the iconic Sunday morning radio show. The programme’s new radio essays and occasional poems, interspersed with complementary music, capture our times, passions and curiosities. With contributions from new and established writers alike, Sunday Miscellany has been a part of Sunday mornings since 1968. It is essential listening to many thousands across Ireland and more around the world. Expect magical readings, and music that will transport you.

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Mary Kenny

with Mary Kenny in conversation with Ciana Campbell

Date: Sun 03 March 
Time: 1.30pm  
Venue: Old Ground Hotel
Price: €22 (includes lunch)

Join us for a unique lunch of stories, debate, and chat with Mary Kenny. Mary has been a journalist, writer and broadcaster for over four decades. She has written for over 30 newspapers and magazines in London and Dublin and has published many books, including Goodbye to Catholic Ireland and Crown & Shamrock: Love and Hate between Ireland and the British Monarchy. A ‘selective memory’ biography, Something of Myself was published in 2013, and most recently New Island published Am I a Feminist?

This event is kindly supported by The Old Ground Hotel

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Tanya Farrelly & Michelle Richmond with Nessa O’Mahony

Tanya Farrelly & Michelle Richmond hosted by Nessa O’Mahony

Date: Sun 03 March
Time: 3.30pm 
Venue: Old Ground Hotel
Price: €10/€8

What makes a great psychological thriller? How does a writer make the hearts of their readers race? Poet and author of the historical thriller The Branchman, Nessa O’Mahony asks these questions and more of Michelle Richmond, New York Times bestselling author of The Marriage Pact and Tanya Farrelly, a Kate O’Brien Award winner and author of The Girl Behind the Lens. 

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