WriteStuff

WriteStuff

WriteStuff is a podcast in which Chris Fitzgerald interviews prominent writers about all things writing. People interested in reading and writing will hear how successful writers go about their craft from the seed of an idea to publication. Novelists, journalists, poets, academics and lyricists will be interviewed to gain insights into what makes quality writing.

Episodes

August 2, 2019 21 mins
As well as being a gifted writer, Ian Maleney is a very thoughtful and articulate speaker, which comes across in this conversation. Ian talks about a lot of the topics that he has that he expressed in his collection of essays, Minor Monuments, as well as many of the challenges that face a young artist in Ireland today. 
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In Hugo Hamilton’s fictional memoir, Dublin Palms, he explores themes of home and displacement and describes the difficulty of growing up in a multi-lingual home. Here he discusses those themes and describes the process of writing fictional memoir, which he says is like creating a ‘blurry self-portrait’. He also reads from Dublin Palms and talks about how he writes now, after so many years of experience and success. 
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June 18, 2019 28 mins
Anne Griffin’s debut novel, 'When All is Said' is rightly getting praise from authors, reviewers and the public for its depiction of Maurice Hannigan, a fictional character that you come to deeply know and relate to through reading the novel. Here, Anne speaks about how she got published, how she dealt with rejection and how she created such an affecting character. 
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June 4, 2019 17 mins
‘I think what poetry needs most of all is music.’ This episode of WriteStuff features Niall MacMonagle, who is incredibly knowledgeable and passionate about poetry. He is a teacher and collector of poetry, being responsible for some much loved anthologies, including the Lifelines series and Windharp. He has also created texts which present poetry to students like Poetry Now. Here he talks about the value of poetry to everyone and...
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May 2, 2019 41 mins
Helen Cullen offers insights into how she wrote her first novel, The Lost Letters of William Woolf. After reading from the opening of the novel, Helen describes how she came to the premise of the novel and how she developed the characters. She also offers an honest portrayal of the anxiety felt at the different stages of the publication process.
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January 28, 2019 16 mins
In 'Illuminate', Kerrie O’Brien has created a collection of poems that deals with a range of themes, yet is coherent in its style and beauty. Here she talks about ‘Illuminate’ and the work that went into creating it as well as reading two of the most loved poems from that collection. She also gives her take on the current literary scene as someone who has worked in many areas of it and the relationship between her poetry and her vi...
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January 10, 2019 13 mins
‘I always think of the voices that don’t get amplified in society.’  Sorcha Fox is a multitalented performer, actor, writer, director and poet who has written a poetic sequence called Remember that invites her audience to remember their national past, which can invoke pride or often shame. Her words and performances are powerful evocations of the darker elements of Ireland’s past and by highlighting these elements force her audien...
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December 18, 2018 36 mins
 ‘Poetry is about addressing the limits of our perceptions.’ Martin Dyar is a poet who manages to be both a respectful scholar of the traditions of poetry and a voice that is contemporary and mindful of the future of the form. In this interview, Martin discusses the role of the poet and offers many insights into a life dedicated to the study and creation of poetry as well as reading three of his compositions.
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November 29, 2018 32 mins
In the Earlie King and the Kid in Yellow, Danny Denton has written a novel that really fits into the archive of Irish fictional writing while standing out as something unique in its delivery of an imaginative context of an alternative Ireland, with a plot that is exposed through various storytelling devices and characters that are both likable and very familiar. Danny talks here about rejection, persistence, the fun and the hard wo...
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In this episode, Dr. Martina Carroll talks about the connection between writing and positive psychology. As a teacher, psychologist and writer, Martina has a lot to say about how writing can play a role in developing positive psychology.
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October 30, 2018 28 mins
‘When I sit down to write, I’m pursuing an ideal of total freedom.’ Rob Doyle talks here about his novel 'Here Are the Young Men', his story collection 'This is the Ritual', his forthcoming novel and an anthology of experimental Irish writing that he edited called 'The Other Irish Tradition'. He also talks about his introversion, a soon to be released movie of his novel and his passion for Nick Cave.
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October 12, 2018 17 mins
‘Sometimes I think this person can’t write a letter, so I don’t have the confidence that they can write a book.’  Jo Unwin went from working in a bookshop to establishing a very prestigious literary agency. We speak here about how she went from acting to setting up her agency. Jo talks about the importance of agents to writers, what she looks for in a writer and what influence technology is having on the literary world.
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October 1, 2018 25 mins
Kit de Waal’s latest novel; The Trick to Time tells two love stories, both involving Mona, a woman who has suffered a lot and who comes up with a way of using dolls to provide healing to women who have suffered the loss of a child. We talk about this in this interview as well as her great first novel; My Name is Leon, in which she drew a lot from her professional life in describing the experience of a child in a foster care system....
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September 13, 2018 10 mins
This episode is a chat, a laugh and a song from Cork national treasure John Spillane. John tells us about his recent goings on, how his songwriting has changed through the years and he plays us a lovely version of Shanagolden as a tribute to Seán McCarthy.
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August 28, 2018 24 mins
The always engaging Michael Harding reads from his latest book ‘On Tuesdays I’m a Buddhist’ and goes on to talk to Chris about the importance of storytelling and his experiences of therapy, both of which are central themes of the book. He details his journey through various religions and philosophies and his connection to ritual as a means of ‘embracing the cosmos.’
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August 15, 2018 25 mins
Stephen James Smith is a poet with a voice that is unique yet distinctly Irish. He has written poems that epitomise being from Dublin, being from Ireland and being a son. He speaks about these poems in this conversation as well as the responsibility he feels when writing about his home, the financial struggles he faces as an artist living in Dublin and the many projects he is involved in at the moment.
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August 8, 2018 13 mins
In this episode, Chris talks to Emilie Pine who has just released her collection of essays called Notes To Self. In Notes to Self, Emilie beautifully articulates some of her most difficult experiences, in doing so, she gives the reader the opportunity to confront those experiences and emotions that we might tend to suppress. The collection is understandably getting a positive reaction from both critics and readers. Here she talks a...
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July 27, 2018 16 mins
In this episode, Chris talks to the brilliant Eimear McBride. Eimear talks here about her two novels, A Girl is a Half-formed Thing and The Lesser Bohemians as well as other projects she has been working on, including her work as the Inaugural Creative Fellow at The Samuel Beckett Research Centre. Eimear discusses adaptations of her work, in particular, the performance of Aoife Duffin in the stage adaptation of A Girl is a Half-for...
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July 17, 2018 20 mins
Colm Tóibín is one of Ireland’s most prominent writers. A prolific writer of plays, essays, articles, poetry and many much-loved novels. In this wide-reaching discussion, Colm talks to us about change in Ireland, writing his recent novels compared to his earlier work, common themes in his writing and his process. The idea of flow in writing and sport is discussed as well as well as how he feels about his writing being analysed by o...
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This podcast features interviews with President Michael D. Higgins and Professor Geraldine Higgins at the opening of Seamus Heaney: Listen Now Again, a new exhibition featuring Heaney’s archives at the new Bank of Ireland Cultural and Heritage Centre. President Higgins opened the exhibition and we feature excerpts from his speech at the event here in addition to an interview with the President as well as the curator of the exhibiti...
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