Fabulous queer events happening at Galway's Cúirt Festival this week

The Cúirt Festival returns to Galway for a host of in-person and online events and there’s a veritable smorgasbord of queer content on the calendar for anyone interested in all things literary.

Some of the queer writers appearing at the Cúirt Festival. Far left, Shon Faye; middle, Harry Josephine Giles; far left, Seán Hewitt
Image: @shon.faye/@HJosephineGiles/@seanehewitt

The Cuirt International Festival of Literature has kicked off and the coming week promises to be one of literary magic for Galway. The programme boasts a range of events catering for everyone with an especially strong focus on inclusion.

From fat activism with Charlotte Cooper to racism and ableism with Rosaleen McDonagh and no less than eight queer-themed events, this year’s programme really pushes out the boat on minorities.

Here’s what LGBTQ+ attendees can look forward to:  

Liars and Dreamers: Harry Josephine Giles and Eley Williams
Wednesday, April 6 at 7pm
An Taibhdhearc
In an event to explore how well we really know our mother tongues, queer writers Eley Williams and Harry Josephine Giles will discuss their debut novels and how they unpack the language of their native backgrounds through their lived experiences.

Thursday, April 7 at 5pm
An Taibhdhearc
AerachAiteachGaelach (AAG) is a queer arts collective founded by Ciara Ní É and Eoin Mc Evoy in 2020 which operates through the medium of Irish. In this event, Ciara and Eoin will discuss the group and the intersection of art, queerness, and the Irish language.

The Transgender Issue: Shon Faye
Friday, April 8 at 5.30pm
Town Hall Theatre
In her powerful book, The Transgender Issue: An Argument for Justice, Shon Faye examines how the wrong conversations are being amplified, in which Trans people are denied a meaningful voice. Shon will discuss with writer and drag extraordinaire Wren Dennehy (aka Avoca Reaction)  her vision of a healthier space for talking about gender, justice, solidarity and equality.

Haunting History: Gail McConnell and Jay Bernard
Friday, April 8 at 7pm
An Taibhdhearc
Jay Bernard and Gail McConnell will deliver readings from their most recent works exploring the archives of atrocities in the 1980s; Jay’s Surge: Side A looks at the New Cross Fire of 1981 and Gail’s The Sun is Open interrogates the murder of William McConnell by IRA gunmen in 1984. Both writers ask profoundly difficult questions about the role of art in the wake of violence, the role the archive plays in forming and preserving memory, and the ethics of how art handles the most volatile subject matter. 

Keeping the Colours New: Debut Poets Showcase
Sunday, April 10 at 1:30pm
The Mick Lally Theatre
Ireland has never been short of world-class poets and Cúirt is excited to showcase the talents of a new generation. Join Nithy Kasa, Victoria Kennefick, Nandi Jola and Padraig Regan.

We Were Always Here: Seán Hewitt, Gail McConnell, Padraig Regan
Sunday, April 10 at 5:30pm
The Mick Lally Theatre
How can we imagine a future when history seems eager to forget us? Cúirt has brought together three of Ireland’s finest queer poets to consider this question. Seán Hewitt (the inaugural poet-in-residence at the Irish Queer Archive), Gail McConnell and Padraig Regan will read from and discuss their work, their inspirations and the importance of a queer history made visible.

Booking for all Cúirt Festival events, both in-person and online, is available at Cuit.ie.

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