What a fantastic weekend! I hadn’t been to this festival before and had only heard of a few of the authors. But I decided to give it a go and what a discovery it was. The Coachhouse behind Dublin Castle as well as the Alliance Francaise were host to three days of insightful, entertaining and charming readings and discussions by writers from countries such as Ireland, France, Germany and Mexico.
This year’s 10th anniversary theme was ‘love and death’ which sparked some thought-provoking and humorous conversations. According to the organisers this year’s event had a record number of attendees, which was hardly surprising given the high calibre of writing talent present as well as the flawless organisation of the festival.
Some of my favourite ‘discoveries’ included:
Colette Fellous (Tunisian writer living in Paris, check out her radio show on France Culture )
Nicole Brossard (poet and novelist from Montreal)
Dennis O’Driscoll (poet from Thurles who has also just brought out a fabulous book of interviews with Seamus Heaney entitled ‘Stepping Stones’)
and Noelle Chatelet (well-known French writer, actress and – which I was surprised to find out by googling her – sister of Lionel Jospin).
There were plenty of books by the authors for sale at a stall by International Books (Fredrick St South in Dublin, still some leftover books from the festival available), both in French and English, great for autograph hunters. To complement the French theme, there were also yummy croissants and cafe au lait on offer. Oh and if you’re considering attending next year and happen to be worried about your knowledge of French, fear not, they had two excellent interpreters at the events and free earphones for anyone who wanted them. Et voilà!
Who is it for?
Anyone with an interest in French and Irish literature
Why should I go?
Great way of brushing up on your language skills, meet some of the best international writers in a easy-going atmosphere and chat with fellow literature enthusiasts over a cup of coffee. And did I mention all readings were free?
What’s the atmosphere like?
Comfy, relaxed atmosphere, most readings lasted for 1.5 to 2 hours, there was also an opportunity to ask questions at the end of the talks, audience was any age from students to older people
Where can find out more?