Charleston Literary Festival Brings Leading Irish Writers and the Irish Ambassador to the Festival as Part of Their Commitment to International Literary Voices

(EZ Newswire)

CHARLESTON, SC -- Charleston Literary Festival is proud to announce an exceptional lineup of leading contemporary Irish literary voices at this year's event, demonstrating the Festival's commitment to bringing international literary excellence to the stage each year. Internationally acclaimed Irish authors Claire Keegan, Fintan O'Toole, and Paul Muldoon will be in conversation, offering festival-goers captivating insights into Irish culture and literature. The Festival is also honored to confirm the attendance of Geraldine Byrne Nason, the Irish Ambassador to the United States, who will attend the sold-out session featuring Claire Keegan and Fintan O'Toole on the Opening Day of the Festival on November 3.

“I am delighted to attend the wonderful Charleston Literary Festival showcasing some of Ireland’s most talented authors. Ireland has always had a rich literary tradition, but even in a country of storytellers, poets, and writers, rarely has Irish literature been as prolific as it currently is. I look forward to experiencing Charleston’s southern hospitality as we share new ideas and experience the transformative power of great literature,” says Ambassador Byrne Nason about the upcoming visit. 

With ‘Embrace the Conversation’ as the theme for this year’s Festival, attendees can expect a thoughtful exploration of the connection between poetry and music from Muldoon and stimulating discussions from Keegan and O'Toole on themes of community, secrecy, and power. In this boutique setting, festivalgoers can expect to connect, converse, and immerse in the communal spirit of literary exchange and exploration.

"As a Dubliner now living in Charleston, it’s an honor to showcase the best of Irish writing here in the Lowcountry and to welcome Ambassador Byrne Nason. In many ways, Charleston Literary Festival is a confluence of great international and national literature and this year, the Irish component is stronger and richer than ever before," added Sarah Moriarty, Charleston Literary Festival's Executive Director.

With its deep Irish roots, the city of Charleston presents an ideal backdrop for the sessions. Charleston Literary Festival is grateful for the support from the Irish Consulate based in Atlanta, run by Caoimhe Ní Chonchúir. The partnership with the Irish Consulate highlights the strong cultural ties between Ireland and the United States. It reinforces the Festival's commitment to showcasing world-class Irish writers in the Southeast U.S.

Consul General Caoimhe Ní Chonchúir remarked, "Ireland is a country that loves a good book and wholly embraces the importance of storytelling, conversation, culture, books, and the joy of reading. Local themes have universal resonances, and we are thrilled that world-class Irish writers will be at Charleston Literary Festival to share their work and, in turn, contribute to the striking up of cross-cultural conversations."

Irish Authors in Conversation

On November 3, Festival attendees are in for a thrilling dialogue as esteemed Irish writer Claire Keegan, renowned for her short story collection "Antarctica" and acclaimed story "Foster," joins Fintan O'Toole, a distinguished literary critic and columnist for The New York Review of Books and The Irish Times. Keegan grew up on a farm in Ireland and has continued captivating global readers since her literary debut in 1999. She is set to do so again with her new story collection, "So Late in the Day," to be released this November. The November 3 session is sponsored by Culture Ireland, which operates various funding programs to support and promote the presentation of Irish arts internationally.

  • During this sold-out session on the opening day, the authors will delve into a vibrant discussion on Keegan's Orwell Prize-winning novel, "Small Things Like These." This compelling novel, shortlisted for the Rathbones Folio Prize and the Booker Prize in 2022, explores themes of community, secrecy, and abuses of power.

  • Award-winning writer and social critic Fintan O'Toole will be the interlocutor for the Keegan session. O'Toole, a renowned literary critic and esteemed columnist for The Irish Times and The New York Review, has built a distinguished career on excavating social, political, and cultural issues.

  • "Small Things Like These" is currently being adapted into a film, produced by and starring Cillian Murphy, recently seen in the leading roles of the film "Oppenheimer" and television series "Peaky Blinders."

On November 10, renowned Northern Irish poet Paul Muldoon, a contemporary of Séamus Heaney and a celebrated member of their generation, brings his distinguished career to the stage. In conversation at the Festival, he will read from his work with Paul McCartney and delve into the relationship between poetry and song while examining the impact of these genres on his creative process and that of other artists. Festival-goers can anticipate an enthralling conversation that uncovers the meeting of two distinct artistic realms.

As an accomplished poet and academic, Pulitzer Prize-winning Paul Muldoon has made significant contributions from his tenure at Oxford University to his current role as Professor of Humanities at Princeton University. His collaboration with Paul McCartney on two volumes of the former Beatles' lyrics (2021) highlights his deep understanding of the intricacies of language. Widely regarded as one of the most captivating poets of our time, Muldoon writes and performs rock music with Princeton-based bands. 

Charleston Literary Festival 2023 runs November 3–12 at various historic venues with stories of their own featuring a blend of today’s leading contemporary writers alongside emerging writers, including young writers. See here for more information about this year's event. Each year, the Festival welcomes the community to gather for intimate conversations around the ideas from great literature while also being exposed to new voices and topics from around the world.

Event Details

Claire Keegan with Fintan O’Toole: "Small Things Like These" Book Discussion
Date: November 3, 2023
Time: 2–3 p.m.
Venue: Circular Congregational Church
Tickets: Sold Out

Paul Muldoon: Ways With Words
Date: November 10, 2023
Time: 4–5 p.m.
Venue: Dock Street Theatre
Tickets: Available here

About Charleston Literary Festival

Charleston Literary Festival is a boutique literary festival that runs every November for ten days in Charleston, South Carolina. With roots in the Charleston House in the UK—home of the radical writers, artists, and thinkers of the Bloomsbury Group—Charleston Literary Festival is committed to maintaining an international perspective while building up and giving back to the local community on which it is built. Founded in 2017, we specialize in high-quality Festival events that create perspective-altering conversations with world-renowned authors and thinkers. Charleston Literary Festival’s distinctive international ethos allows attendees to engage with renowned authors in unique settings and contribute to conversations around outstanding books and ideas.

The Festival’s programming is carefully curated based on literary and artistic excellence, originality, and critical acclaim. The Festival has established a reputation for presenting exceptional speakers from diverse backgrounds in intimate venues. Pulitzer, Booker, and Nobel Prize-winners take the stage for unscripted conversations—then meet and sign books for the audience immediately after the sessions. Speakers and attendees return year after year to experience the Festival’s unrivaled hospitality and social events. Charleston Literary Festival is committed to offering a diverse program of events regarding speakers and topics, reaching out to all communities, and initiatives that widen access to its programs.

For more information, visit or @CharlestonLitFest.

About Culture Ireland

Culture Ireland promotes Irish arts worldwide. We create and support opportunities for Irish artists and companies to present and promote their work at strategic international festivals and venues. We develop platforms to present outstanding Irish work to international audiences through showcases at key global arts events, including the Edinburgh Festivals and the Venice Biennales. For more information, visit or @CultureIreland.

About the Consulate General of Ireland

The Consulate General of Ireland is responsible for Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. We are honored to work for Ireland, to serve our citizens, to engage with the Irish community and those of Irish heritage, to build relationships, and to promote Irish interests and values in the Southeast. This is an incredibly diverse and dynamic region, bursting with economic potential, rich culture, and deep links to Ireland going back centuries. For more information, visit or @IrelandAtlanta.

Media Contact

Sterling Eason, Eason Creative Studio


SOURCE: Charleston Literary Festival

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