Doireann Ní Ghríofa dingle literary festival 2020

The Dingle Literary Festival welcomed Doireann Ní Ghríofa in 2020. Doireann writes both prose and poetry, in both Irish and English. Among her awards are a Lannan Literary Fellowship and the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature.

A Ghost in the Throat (Tramp Press, 2020), finds the 18th-century poet Eibhlín Dubh Ní Chonaill haunting the life of a contemporary young mother, prompting her to turn detective. Described as ‘a book of echoes’, it transcends genre, embracing elements of autofiction, essay, scholarship, sleuthing, and literary translation.

Doireann is also the author of six critically-acclaimed books of poetry, each a deepening exploration of birth, death, desire, and domesticity. Her most recent publications are Lies (An Irish Times Book of the Year and an Irish Independent Book of 2018), and 9 Silences, a collaborative book of poetry and art, created with acclaimed visual artist Alice Maher.

Awards for her writing include a Lannan Literary Fellowship (USA), the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature, The Hartnett Poetry Prize, a Seamus Heaney Fellowship, the Ireland Chair of Poetry Bursary, the Wigtown Award for Gaelic Poetry in translation (Scotland), and the Ostana Prize (Italy). The Arts Council of Ireland has awarded her four bursaries in literature, and in 2019 she was elected to Aosdána.

Doireann’s artistic practice encompasses cross-disciplinary collaborations, fusing poetry with film, dance, music, and visual art. Her work has been commissioned by institutions such as The Poetry Society (Britain), Temple Bar Gallery, Poetry Ireland, The Embassy of Ireland in Britain and the Department of Foreign Affairs. More information on current projects is available here.

Born in Galway in 1981, Doireann grew up in rural County Clare, learning Irish through the Gaelscoil system of immersion education. She attended university in Cork city, where she studied anatomy, psychology, and literature. She lives near Cork city with her husband and their four young children.

Photo: Bríd O’Donovan

Doireann Ní Ghríofa discussed her prose debut, A Ghost in the Throat, with RTE Arena’s Paula Shields. ONLINE – Date: Saturday 21 November 2020 Time: 12.30pm GMT


The Dingle Literary Festival was established in 2019 to create an annual book festival to bring readers and authors together in West Kerry. It’s a literary festival that celebrates living writers as well as honouring the literary heritage of the area. Festival events happen in both Irish and English and range across all genres and age groups. We present both author events and writers’ workshops.

Our vision is of a festival where literature, language and landscape converge to create moments to share stories, to connect minds and allow magic to blossom. It’s a place that sparks discussion, fosters innovation and collaboration in the arts and creates a multigenerational community of readers and writers.

The Dingle Literary Festival is a book festival that elevates and celebrates the richness of Irish language and literature in contemporary life. We encourage a vibrant, relevant literary community to support both established and emerging writers.

Follow this link for news of this year’s festival