I’m thrilled to have been appointed the new writer-in-residence for Dun Laoghaire / Rathdown County Council. For the next year, I’ll be based on the 5th floor of the shiny new Lexicon library building, overlooking Scotsman’s Bay.
Joyce’s omphalos squats on the horizon so whenever I look up from the desk at the sparkling water, it’ll serve as a rebuke to get back to the work in hand: a novel, set between Ireland and Budapest, if I can banish Mr. Virag’s ghost.
During the residency, I will be initiating a new platform for workshops and events called, “The Pale Project”. The idea is to focus attention on the hidden issues of inclusion and exclusion we stumble against or around in the territories we inhabit daily, by drawing on that loaded term, ‘The Pale’. From late September, I’ll be asking participants to walk, map, catalogue, photograph, play in, research, investigate, draw, encounter, explore their chosen territories before we turn to writing up a sense of place in a variety of forms early next year.
Further details of this project and all events connected with the residency will be posted on The Pale Project or you can follow the project on twitter @thepaleproject. Or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
A new story, ‘The Weather Project’, will appear this month in All Over Ireland, a Faber anthology of contemporary short fiction, edited by Deirdre Madden. Also included are new stories by Colm Toibin, Eoin MacNamee and Mary Morrissey. Mine recounts a seventieth birthday trip to London and the different memories the city evokes for a mother and her daughters. The title comes from this exhibition by the Danish artist, Olafur Eliasson, at the Tate Modern, which they visit during the day.
I look forward to reading from ‘The Weather Project’ and discussing the short story form with Eoin MacNamee and Deirdre Madden at the International Literature Festival, Dublin on Sunday May 24th. The panel will be expertly chaired by Prof. Stephen Matterson, 6pm, Smock Alley Theatre.
I’m delighted to let you know that I’ll be reading The Crocodile by the Door each night next week on RTE Radio One’s, Book on One. It’s a programme for night owls as it goes out at 11.10 pm after The Late Debate. It will also be available by podcast for four weeks – you’ll find all the details here:
The Irish Writers’ Centre at Parnell Square have invited me to lead a two-day course, called ‘Writing from Life,’ next spring. I will be sending out a short reading list in January to those interested in participating. I know how hard it is to get your fresh print in all its smudgy, trembling, first glory to enter a room and claim its reader without apology. Further details below.
Writing from Life with Selina Guinness
Sat 1st Mar + Sat 8th Mar • 10.30AM – 4.30pM • 2 days • €150/€135 Members
This course invites participants who have already started writing a memoir or non-fiction essays. It starts from the premise that many key elements of narrative fiction equally apply to writing non-fiction: creating a point-of-view, controlling the pace of disclosure, finding strong characters in vivid and credible settings. We will also consider the ethical and political questions raised by writing from life. Participants should come to the workshop with works-in-progress ready for development. Selina Guinness’s memoir, The Crocodile by the Door, was shortlisted in the Biography section for the Costa Book Awards 2012 and in the Best Newcomer category for the Bord Gais Irish Energy Book Awards 2012.