Monday 23 April:

Official Opening of Cork World Book Fest 2018

23 April, the date on which both Cervantes and Shakespeare died, has been recognized by UNESCO as World Book Day for many decades. The Deputy Lord Mayor of Cork will join the Cork World Book Fest team to officially open this year’s Fest, in homage to the Catalan tradition of the Book and the Rose.  A celebration of books and reading uniting Cork and Barcelona!

Location: River Lee Hotel                        Time: 13:00



Tuesday 24 April:

A morning with Shane Hegarty – Booking Essential

Shane Hegarty is the writer of the Darkmouth series of fantasy adventure books. With fun visuals, creative games and lots of audience participation this event will reveal to local schoolchildren where he finds his ideas for the Darkmouth series, and how children can unlock theirs. Shane even reveals the two most important words behind any great story. Booking is essential

Location: City Library, Grand Parade                 Time: 10.00


Workshop: Story ideas with Shane Hegarty – Booking Essential

Author Shane Hegarty will facilitate a workshop exploring story ideas with local school children. Free. Booking required.

Location: City Library, Grand Parade                Time: 12.00


Rainbow Writing

The opening night of this year’s festival celebrates LGBT+ writers and literature. Join writers Brian Finnegan, Jamie O’Connell, poet Sarah Clancy and Orla Egan for an evening of lively discussion and readings.

Brian Finnegan is editor of Ireland’s LGBT magazine GCN. He edited the short story collection, Quare Fella. He is the author of Camp as Knickers and two novels, The Forced Redundancy Film Club and Knowing Me Knowing You. He has also ghostwritten a number of celebrity autobiographies,

Jamie O’Connell has been short-listed for the Maeve Binchy Award and the Sky Arts Future’s Fund, and long-listed for BBC Radio 4 Opening Lines Short Story Competition. O’Connell’s critically acclaimed debut short story collection Some sort of beauty was published by Bradshaw Books in 2012.

Sarah Clancy is a poet from Galway. She is the author of three collections of poetry, including The Truth and Other Stories, Stacey and the Mechanical Bull Belfast, and Thanks for Nothing, Hippies. Her work has been published in the UK, Canada and the United States. It has also been published in translation in Italy, Poland, Slovenia and Mexico.

Orla Egan is the author of Queer Republic of Cork, Cork’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Communities, 1970s-1990s. She created the Cork LGBT Archive to preserve and share information on Cork’s rich history of LGBT activism and community formation.

Location: City Library, Grand Parade         Time: 19:00   


Chang Ying-Tai and Billy O’Callaghan – In Conversation

Chang Ying-Tai (張瀛太) is an award-winning Taiwanese novelist and short story writer. She holds the position of Distinguished Professor at the National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, Taipei. Over the past two decades, she has been the recipient of numerous major awards, including the Award for Literary Writing from the Taiwanese Ministry of Education. Her works include four novels and three short-story collections. Two of her novels, The Bear Whispers to Me and As Flowers Bloom and Wither, have been translated into English. Zither Player of Angkor, is forthcoming in late 2018. Chang Ying-Tai will be in conversation with Billy O’Callaghan.

Location: City Library, Grand Parade                  Time: 20:00


Wednesday 25 April:

Teen Day

Cork City Libraries’ Teen Day 2018, organised by our Teen Committee, includes writing workshops, quizzes, cardboard cosplay, board games, an open mic and much more. Attend events throughout the day for your chance to win a prize hamper! Events are free and open to 13 – 18 year olds. For more information see our Teen Page.

Location: City Library, Grand Parade            Time: 10.00-19.00


Workshop: Manifestos – Poetry Workshop – Booking Essential

Sarah Clancy will introduce participants to writing some powerful pieces of spoken word poetry where the performers are saying something that matters deeply to them. Suitable for people new to poetry and for experienced writers who want to experiment.  Free – booking required.

Location: Triskel Christchurch                     Time: 10.30-12.30


Matthew Sweeney My Life as a Painter

Matthew Sweeney’s palette in My Life as a Painter – his twelfth collection – features a wild mix of birds and animals: lizards, snakes, rats, camels, donkeys, feral cats, dogs and owls. One dog transmits telepathic requests for the food he wants, and there’s a parrot who speaks as ambassador for the bird world. Sweeney’s canvas here is the transhuman: where boundaries between human and non-human can’t be fixed, dreams turn into torments, secrets stay hidden, strange communiqués remain unclear, and the natural weirdness of his native Donegal verges on the surreal.    This will be a special night of celebration as Matthew Sweeney is joined by friends Jo Shapcott, Maurice Riordan, Gerry Murphy, Mary Noonan, Deane Brown and Patrick Cotter to read from the book.  Patrick Cotter, Director of the Munster Literature Centre, will introduce the readers.

Location: City Library, Grand Parade                          Time: 19:00


Thursday 26 April:

Story, Rhythm and Rhyme with Deidre Ryan

Suitable for babies and toddlers accompanied by an adult

Location: Children’s Library, City Library, Grand Parade                Time: 10.00


Ag Caint le Ré Ó Laighléis – Booking Essential

Irish language author Ré Ó Laighléis will talk to secondary school students about what inspires him to write and will share his enthusiasm for the Irish language. Booking essential.

Ré Ó Laighléis is a writer of children’s, teenage and adult fiction in English and Irish. He was presented with the ‘An Peann faoi Bhláth’ award by the President of Ireland, Mary McAleese, in recognition of his contribution to Irish literature. His best known collections include the multi-translated Ecstasy and other stories, Heart of Burren Stone, Goimh agus scéalta eile, Bolgchaint agus scéalta eile, Punk and many others.  Fáilte roimh chách.

Location: City Library, Grand Parade                     Time: 10.30


Poetry Surprises! Celebrating Poetry Ireland Day

A unique spoken word performance by Maria Wojdylo Kelly from poems by Cork based poets. Maria will also be performing her poem Safety, Sanctuary, Set of Web. Themes include nature, inner inspection, inner exploration, social analysis and health.

Location: City Library, Grand Parade                                                    Time: 11:30–12:30 and 15.30–16:30


Workshop: Maistir-rang le Ré Ó Laighléis

Máistir-Rang sa scríbhneoireacht i nGaeilge le Ré Ó Laighléis agus baill de chuid Peann & Pár, grúpa scríobhnoirí lonnaithe sa Leabharlann.  Fáilte roimh chách.

Location: City Library, Grand Parade                    Time: 16:00


Southward Editions Chapbooks Launch

My Life as a Stalinist a themed selection by Gerry Murphy and a debut publication by young Cork poet James O’Leary There are monsters in this House

Location: City Library, Grand Parade                     Time: 17.30


Bodies in the library; Crime fiction by Julie Parsons and Kevin Doyle

Julie Parsons was born in New Zealand but has lived in Ireland for most of her adult life. She was a radio and TV producer with RTE until her first novel, Mary, Mary was published in 1998. It was a critical and commercial success and translated into many languages. The Therapy House won the Crime Fiction Book of the Year Award at the Irish Book Awards 2017.

Julie will be in conversation with Mary Morrissy, award winning Irish novelist and associate Director of Creative Writing at University College, Cork.

Location: City Library, Grand Parade                          Time: 19:00


Book Launch: To Keep a bird singing   

Kevin Doyle holds a Masters in Organic Synthesis from NUI (Cork), and now works as a writer and creative writing teacher. He is the winner and has been short listed for many awards including the Tipperary Short Story Award, Over The Edge New Writer Of The Year, Hennessy Literary Awards, Seán Ó Faoláin Prize and the McLaverty Short Story Award.  To Keep a bird singing is Kevin’s first novel. It will be launched by Danielle McLaughlin. Danielle won the Saboteur Award for Best Short Story Collection 2016 and with Madeleine D’Arcy runs Fiction at the Friary.

Location: City Library, Grand Parade                       Time: 20.00


DISCOVER TASMANIA – Nicholas Shakespeare – Booking Essential

Few authors have been so in love with the Australian landscape as Nicholas Shakespeare. The award-winning author has devoted years to writing about Australia, including a non-fiction work, In Tasmania, as well as his novel Secrets of the Sea, which is set in the island state.  Nicholas Shakespeare’s latest book Six Minutes in May will be published in paperback in April.  It was selected as a 2017 Book of the Year in The Guardian, Daily Telegraph, Observer and The Economist.  In conversation with former Australian resident, writer Denyse Woods

Location: Triskel Christchurch      Time: 20:30        Tickets: €6/€5


Friday 27 April:

A Morning with Nigel Quinlan – Booking Essential

 Limerick born writer Nigel Quinlan’s first novel, The Maloneys’ Magical Weatherbox is based on a short story he wrote as a teenager while minding his parents’ petrol pumps. The sequel Cloak of Feathers was published in January 2018.  Nigel will meet with young readers to talk about the inspiration behind his new book The Cloak of Feathers.  Suitable for 8 – 12 year olds. Booking essential

Location: City Library, Grand Parade                  Time: 12:00


Student Book Launch – Booking Essential

Launch of books written by transition year students from St. Angela’s College featuring works under several genres produced by the students themselves.

Special guest is the Dublin writer of several young adult fiction novels, Claire Hennessy. Free but booking essential as places are limited.

Location: Triskel Christchurch                        Time: 13:00-14:00


Discussion with Anna McQuinn, writer and publisher  – Booking Essential

Anna McQuinn has worked as an editor, writer and publisher of children’s books in the UK for almost 30 years. She has been a champion of inclusion since she began working in the area and is on the board of the Working Group Against Racism in Children’s Resources and the board of IBBY UK.

Suitable for those in the childcare sector. Booking essential

Location: City Library, Grand Parade                         Time: 16:00


Poetry and discussion with Jo Shapcott and Maurice Riordan

Jo Shapcott was born in London. She has won a number of literary prizes including the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Collection, the Forward Prize for Best Collection and the National Poetry Competition (twice). Tender Taxes, her versions of Rilke, was published in 2001. Her most recent collection, Of Mutability, was published in 2010 and won the Costa Book Award. She was awarded the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry in 2011.

Maurice Riordan was born in Lisgoold, Co. Cork and is a graduate of UCC. His most recent collection of poems is The Water Stealer. Among his previous collections are The Holy Land, Floods and A Word from the Loki. He edited The Finest Music an anthology of early Irish poetry in translation.  He is a former editor of The Poetry Review and is Professor of Poetry at Sheffield Hallam University.

Leanne O’Sullivan poet and lecturer in creative writing at University College Cork will introduce the poets.

Location: City Library, Grand Parade                          Time: 19:00


HOME –  From Syria and Slovenia – Booking Essential

Diana Darke and Dušan Šarotar

A Syrian specialist and middle east cultural expert, Diana Darke’s My House in Damascus, details her love affair with Syria, a relationship that goes so deep that she bought a house in the Old city in 2005.  Her new book, The Merchant of Syria will be published in April.

Nominated for the Dublin Literary Award 2018 for Panorama, Slovenian writer Dušan Šarotar takes the reader on a deeply reflective journey from northern to southern Europe – by way of Ireland – deftly blending fiction, history and journalism as he and a group of travellers relate their unique stories and common quest for somewhere they might call home.

Both writers will give short readings from their work and will be in a conversation with writer and critic, Eileen Battersby.

Location: Triskel Christchurch     Time: 20:30-21.30      Tickets: €6 / €5


Saturday 28 April:

Art Installation                                                    

In April Cork Community Art Link and Cork City Libraries worked with children from St Maries of the Isle Primary School to explore the story of migration to Cork City. Participants took part in a series of workshops during which they considered what it means to be part of an intercultural city and the benefits of a diverse population. Come and see the art installation representing migration from the perspective of the children.

Location: Grand Parade                                           Time: All Day


Workshop: That Killer First Chapter – Booking Essential

Have an idea for a novel and don’t know where to start? Have you finished your novel and want to make sure you avoid the rejection pile?  With lots of no-nonsense advice and practical exercises writer Paul McVeigh will help you write a first chapter that grabs the attention of agents, editors and readers.

Location: Triskel Christchurch       Time: 10.00-14.00       Tickets: €30    


The Not So Secret Agents! – A series of free workshops – Booking Essential

Meet the Agents: Vanessa Fox O’Loughlin  will chat to Simon Trewain, Polly Nolan and Sam Copeland about their role, the current market and what everyone is looking for at the moment. Booking Essential

Location: City Library, Grand Parade                      Time: 10.00-11.30


First Page Pitch: 10 selected authors will read their first page (approx 300 words) to the agents and the room. Our agents will give their feedback the winner will receive a selection of books.  To enter, email your first page to The top 10 writers will be notified ahead of the day. Booking Essential

Location: City Library, Grand Parade                  Time: 12.00-1.00


From Blank Page to Bookshelf: How to Get Published  Vanessa Fox O’Loughlin will find out from the room what everyone is working on and tailor a workshop to their needs. As Ireland’s leading literary scout she has placed bestselling and award winning authors and can help writers at every stage of their career. Booking Essential

Location: City Library, Grand Parade                  Time: 2.00-3.30

 The agents:

Vanessa Fox O’Loughlin is the founder of The Inkwell Group publishing consultancy and the award winning national writing resources website Vanessa writes crime as the No 1 bestselling author Sam Blake.

Sam Copeland
Sam is an agent at Rogers, Coleridge & White.

Polly Nolan works at the Greenhouse Literary Agency, a trans-Atlantic agency specialising in writers for children and young adults.

Simon Trewin is a partner at WME literary and talent agency.


Tallest Smallest Circus, Indian Puppet and Magic Show    

Arran Towers is the founder of Tallest Smallest Theatre, an exciting new performance company for children. Based on a decade of experience, the Tallest Smallest concept is to create highly adaptable, dynamic storytelling shows for young people, based around their participation and interaction.

Location: City Library, Grand Parade                    Time: 12.00 and 15.00


Galician Readings and Translation                

 Luz Pichel is a Galician poet and professor of literature and language in Madrid. She won the prestigious International poetry prize ‘Premio Internacional de Poesía Ramón Jiménez’ in 2004 and the ‘PremioEsquío’ for Galician poetry for the collection ‘Casa Pechada in 2006.  She has published many collections and is the director of the poetry seminar Euraca.

Keith Payne is an Irish writer living in Salamanca, Spain.  His poetry translations appeared in Forked Tongues: Galician, Catalan and Basque Women’s Poetry in Translations by Irish Writers, Ed. Manuela Palacios.

Keith will read the translation of Luz’s poetry.

Olga Novo is a Galician poet and essayist. She studied Galcian Philology at the University of Santiago de Compostela and was Galician literature professor at the University of Southern Brittany. Olga’s works and essays feature in several publications (Festa da Palabra Silenciada, Dorna, Xistral, El País, ABC…).

Location: City Library, Grand Parade                     Time: 13:00-14:00


Story Time with Anna McQuinn

Anna is a bestselling author of over 30 picture books including the successful Lulu series which is sold widely around the world. Championing inclusion and diversity in stories for children, Anna’s books have also been translated into Dutch, Danish, Swedish, Brazilian Portuguese, French, Italian, Mandarin, Chinese and Korean.

Family fun and some free books!

Location: Children’s Library, Grand Parade                    Time: 13.30


Here, There and In-Between – Words of Home and Migration

Launch by Senator Collette Kelleher and introduced by Paul Casey.

Celebrating migration and interculturalism, these works are a culmination of creative writing workshops with the residents of the Kinsale Road Accommodation Centre, held in The City Library with writers Kathy D’Arcy and Paul Casey. These emerging writers will read from their works and will be joined by Cédric Bikond and award winning Doire Press authors Robyn Rowland and Amanda Bell.

Cedric Bikond Nkoma is a 36 years old French citizen. He has been living in Ireland since 2013. Most of his writing experience spans his stay in Cork and Cédric reads his work regularly at the open-mic poetry sessions at Ó Bhéal.

Robyn Rowland is an Irish-Australian dual-citizen. She has written twelve books of poetry, including her most recent Line of Drift (Doire Press). Her work has been awarded a number of prizes and has been featured on Australian and Irish national radio programs.

Amanda Bell is the winner of the 2015 William Allingham Prize and was highly commended for the Patrick Kavanagh Award in 2015 and 2016 and is currently shortlisted for the Shine Strong award. Amanda’s debut full-length poetry collection is forthcoming from Doire Press.

 Location: City Library, Grand Parade                     Time: 14:00-15:00



Irish women poets are coming together all over the country to host Fired! readings, discussions and events, reminding the Irish literary world about the beautiful work and talented female poets who have been erased from the canon of Irish literature.  Come and celebrate these women with poet Kathy D’Arcy and others to spread their words in venues around the city!

Location: Three Fools, Grand Parade              Time: 15.30–17.00       


From Facebook to Fiction – Booking Essential    

Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen

Oh My God, What A Complete Aisling published by Gill Books, started life as a Facebook page depicting a very particular type of Irish girl.  The authors of this publishing phenomenon, Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen, have signed a two-book deal – and there’s talk of a film – to continue the story of country girl Aisling as she makes her way in the world.

In conversation with Deirdre O’Shaughnessy, Editor, Cork’s 96fm Opinion Line

Location: Triskel Christchurch         Time: 16:00            Tickets: €8


Home by the Lee

An intercultural city, Cork embraces all those choosing to make this city a home. New citizens celebrate their place in Cork through poetry prose and visual art.

Location: City Library, Grand Parade                       Time: 17.00

Celebrating Catalan women writers;  Caterina Albert and Maria-Mercè Marçal

Kathleen McNerney is Professor Emerita of Hispanic Studies and Women’s Studies at West Virginia University. Her publications include Latin American, Castilian, and French literature, but most focus on Catalan women writers. Co-editor of Double Minorities of Spain has also edited collections of articles on Mercè Rodoreda and compiled a critical bibliography of Rodoreda’s work. She has translated four novels and many stories, essays, and poems. She has recently translated the stories and a monologue by Caterina Albert, Silent Souls.

Location: City Library, Grand Parade                     Time: 17:15


A Celebration of New Fiction – Booking Essential

Denyse Woods and William Wall

Of Sea and Sand will be Denyse Woods’ sixth novel. Set largely against the rugged, stunning landscapes of Oman, it will complete a trilogy of novels, with Overnight to Innsbruck and Like Nowhere Else set in the Arab world.

Introduced by Alannah Hopkin

William Wall will read from his ‘experiment in form’ – one story told in two forms, a collection of short stories and a novel. The short stories appear as The Islands and the novel form as Grace’s Day.

Introduced by Professor Lee Jenkins, Head of the School of English, UCC.

Free but booking essential

Location: Triskel Christchurch                     Time: 20:00   


Saturday 05 May:

Fringe Event: Readings of Poetry and Fiction

Writers from the UCC MA Creative Writing will read from their poetry and fiction works.  This new wave of emerging writers, from Ireland and beyond, present original and exciting work written in their own distinct voices.

Introduced by Mary Morrissy, Associate Director of Creative Writing, UCC.

Location: Triskel Christchurch                                Time: 14.00