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Patricia Lockwood awarded £20,000 Swansea University Dylan Thomas Prize

This Saturday’s reviews in The Irish Times are Patricia Fitzpatrick on Pandemonium by Jack Horgan Jones and Hugh O’Connell; Paul Murray on Model Citizens by Daniel Shand; Martina Evans on new poetry collections by John Kelly and Denise Saul, plus two anthologies, My Name Suspended in the Air: Leland Bardwell at 100 and The Heavy Bear Who Goes with Me, 100 classic poems chosen by Neil Astley and Brendan Kennelly; Oliver Farry on Has China Won? by Kishore Mahbubani; John Self on I, John Kennedy Toole by Jodee Blanco and Kent Carroll; Sean Duke on Suzie Sheehy’s The Matter of Everything: Twelve Experiments That Changed Our World; Anna Carey on Idol by Louise O’Neill; Siobhan Kane on I Used to Live Here Once: The Haunted Life of Jean Rhys by Miranda Seymour; Declan Kiberd on CLR James: A Life Beyond Boundaries by John L Williams; Mihir Bose on Legacy of Violence by Caroline Elkins; and Sarah Gilmartin on Spies in Canaan by David Park.

This Saturday’s Irish Times Eason offer is The Perfect Lie by Jo Spain. You can buy the bestselling thriller with your paper for just €4.99, a saving of €5. Her latest, The Last to Disappear, has just been published. The author also revealed this week that she is collaborating with screenwriting partner David Logan to bring her her six-book Detective Tom Reynolds series to the screen with Line of Duty creator Jed Mercurio and Jimmy Mulville as producers.

The US writer Patricia Lockwood has been awarded the £20,000 Swansea University Dylan Thomas Prize for her debut novel, No One Is Talking About This (Bloomsbury), which was also shortlisted for last year’s Booker Prize and the Women’s Prize for Fiction.

Namita Gokhale, chair of judges, called it a “vital reflection on online culture today” and Lockwood a “deeply timely winner” and “the voice of a generation of new writers who grew up under the constant pressures of real-time news and social half”.

“No One Is Talking About This is a searingly witty and innovative take on modern-day internet culture and the experience of family trauma in the modern world,” she said. “The book’s flow of consciousness, almost diary-like in quality, is remarkably deft at capturing the psychological impact that simultaneous alienation and ‘group think’ life online has on us as individuals. Lockwood is an astonishing and wholly original new voice.”

The other titles shortlisted were: A Passage North by Anuk Arudpragasam, Auguries of a Minor God by Nidhi Zak/Aria Eipe, The Sweetness of Water by Nathan Harris, Open Water by Caleb Azumah Nelson and Filthy Animals by Brandon Taylor.

Thom Breathnach

Immrama Festival of Travel Writing returns following a three-year hiatus due to the pandemic. It will take place from June 16th to 19th in Lismore, Co Waterford.

Co-organizer Edward Lynch said:” We are delighted to announce the return of the Immrama Festival of Travel Writing. The theme of the 2022 festival is ‘Big lives in small places. Roots in small towns’ and all of our speakers will share their insights of their global journies and those of others who left their small towns to go on great adventures and return with such of life discoveries. It is exciting to have Immrama return again – just as it is exciting to have travel return again. We hope that the festival speakers will excite and inspire audiences.”

Des Ekin, Michael Smith, Donald Brady, De Dannan’s Charlie Pigott, Ralph Riegel, Thom Breathnach, Billy Keane, Turtle Bunbury, Molly Twomey and Grace Wells are among those taking part. Immrama.com or call 085 8628445.

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Sean O’Connor has won the 2022 HSA Merit Book Award for Best Haibun Book published in 2021, for his title, Fragmentation.

Based in Tipperary, O’Connor is the first Irish writer to win this award which has been run by the Haiku Society of America since 1975. Dublin based poet, Amanda Bell, came close when she took second place in the Merit Book Award for her title, Undercurrents, in 2017.

O’Connor was awarded a literature bursary from the Arts Council of Ireland in 2021. This enabled him to complete his winning book, Fragmentation, published by Alba Publications in London (2021). He is the founding editor of The Haibun Journal, the only English-language print journal dedicated to the Japanese literary form, Haibun.

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Acclaimed actor Barry McGovern will read the entirety of Ulysses by James Joyce in its centenary year over seven consecutive days on the Abbey Theatre’s Peacock stage. The final day of the reading takes place on Bloomsday, Thursday, June 16th.

“I want to read the complete book in public to celebrate the centenary of the publication of Ulysses and to show people who are afraid of the book how life affirming and how funny it is,” McGovern said. Booking: abbeytheatre.ie

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National Crime Reading Month launches this June – a major initiative from the Crime Writers Association to celebrate the genre and get everyone reading. Running in collaboration with UK national charity, The Reading Agency, bestselling authors have been appointed as ambassadors across Ireland and the UK, including Steve Cavanagh and Louise Phillips in Ireland, plus Anthony Horowitz and Ian Rankin in the UK. In Ireland too, Library Champions, Sharon Dempsey and Catherine Kirwan have been appointed.

Crime Reading Month will be an inclusive initiative celebrating diversity in the genre at every level and the CWA is encouraging bookshops, libraries and schools to get involved with their own events under the #PickUpAPageTurner hashtag. Interested organizers can download promotional tools including logos, posters and press release templates at www.crimereading.com. They can also upload all their events at the site.

Spearheaded by CWA board member, bestselling crime writer Sam Blake, Crime Reading Month will be launched at Dublin’s Hodges Figgis simultaneously with an event at Cork City Library and another at Waterstones’ London Piccadilly branch at 6.30 on June 1st. In Dublin Louise Phillips will be in conversation with Patricia Gibney, with readings from Fiona Sherlock, EV Kelly and Paul McNeive. In Cork, Library Champion Catherine Kirwan will be in conversation with Tadhg Coakley.

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