Festival Contributors

Festival Contributors

Enjoy the art of great conversation, wonderful literature and moving music in this new Leaves on Air Podcast series.

Dermot Bolger

This year’s festival is curated by

Dermot Bolger was born in Dublin and is one of Ireland’s best known writers. His fourteen novels include The Journey HomeThe Family on Paradise PierTanglewood, The Lonely Sea and Sky and, most recently, An Ark of Light. His debut play, The Lament for Arthur Cleary, received the Samuel Beckett Award. His numerous other plays include an adaptation of Joyce’s Ulysses and, most recently, Last Orders at the Dockside, both staged by The Abbey. He has published nine collections of poetryand edited numerous anthologies, including The Picador Book of Contemporary Irish Fiction. Bolger writes for Ireland’s leading newspapers, and in 2012 was named Commentator of the Year at the Irish Newspaper awards. When his first short story appeared while a schoolboy in 1976, Bolger never expected it to take forty-four years to publish a collection of stories. But after being interrupted by fourteen novels, he used the recent lockdown to finish his debut collection of stories, Secrets Never Told, published this autumn. www.dermotbolger.com

David Power

Waterford-based David Power is one of Ireland’s most acclaimed uilleann pipers whose stage credits include the off-Broadway show ‘Love’s Pure Light’, the Irish Rep. Theatre’s ‘The Field’ and Eugene O’Neill’s ‘A Touch of the Poet’ on Broadway.  He has regularly performed with poets including Dermot Bolger, Kerry Hardie, Seamus Heaney and Thomas McCarthy. His three solo albums are My Love is in America, Cuachín Ghleann Neifin and The eighteen Moloney. Power regularly performs with the fiddlers Willie Kelly and Martin Hayes and presents recitals with the organist Malcolm Proud. The Irish Times has described his piping as having “a breathtaking freshness…his fluid, fluent playing as light as a feather”

Anne Griffin

Born in Dublin, Anne Griffin now lives in Mullingar. In 2019 her debut novel When All Is Said was an Irish No. 1 bestseller when published by Sceptre. It has now been published in the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa and is being translated into sixteen languages. Described by John Banville as “a rare jewel”, by Donal Ryan as “a hugely enjoyable, engrossing novel” and by Graham Norton as “beautifully observed, masterful storytelling”, When All is Said won the Newcomer of the Year Irish Book Awards, 2019.

Marianne Lee

Marianne Lee grew up in Tullamore, Co. Offaly and now lives in Dublin with her husband. She has a degree in Visual Communications from the National College and Art and Design and an MPhil in Creative Writing from Trinity College Dublin. She works as a designer and copywriter, and has published a selection of poetry and self-recorded an album. Her debut novel, ‘A Quiet Tide’, a fictionalised account of the life of Ellen Hutchins, Ireland’s first female botanist, who collected and discovered rare spies of plants while working in isolation in West Cork, was published in 2020 by New Island.

Hilary Fannin

Hilary Fannin worked as an actor throughout the 1980s and 1990s. Her first play was staged at London’s Bush Theatre and since then she has written numerous stage and radio plays. She was joint writer-in-association at the Abbey Theatre for its centenary year, 2004. She is co-creator and mentor of a playwriting course run by Fighting Words in association with the Abbey Theatre. Her acclaimed memoir Hopscotch was published by Doubleday in 2015. She began writing for The Irish Times in 2004 and currently writes a weekly column for that paper. She was named Columnist of the Year at the 2019 NewsBrands Ireland Journalism Awards. Her debut novel, The Weight of Love, was published by Penguin Random House this year.

Carlo Gébler

Carlo Gébler was born in Dublin in 1954.  His most recent books from New Island) include The Wing Orderly’s Tales – a collection of stories told by a prison orderly; The Projectionist – a biography of his father, Ernest Gébler, and The Innocent of Falkland Road, a novel set in the 1960s London of his childhood. His response to the ongoing pandemic has been to re-tell twenty-eight tales from Boccaccio’s Decameron, in a new book, Tales We Tell Ourselves, published in October 2020.A member of Aosdana, he is married with five children and has lived in Enniskillen since 1989.

Festival Contributors

The Festival

usually runs in various locations in Portlaoise, Co Laois. This year it will be hosted online in line with government guidelines on events.