Border Literatures

Online Reading and Conversation Series, September 2021 - March 2022

Border Literatures is an online reading and conversation series that began in September 2021 and  will run until March 2022, building discussion of literature into the rich historical conversations that have framed the Decade of Centenaries. The series has been co-curated by the National Library and Professor Nicholas Allen, in  association with the Willson Centre for Humanities and Arts at the University of Georgia.

Border Literatures will share diverse literary perspectives on the experience of living in, crossing through, and reflecting on the century that has passed since the partition of the island of Ireland. It will reflect on how ideas of the border find their way into Irish literature as boundaries, markers, departures and returns.  Through book reading and conversation, the series will explore how writers have shaped these ideas from their individual perspectives, in order to experience a range of literary representations of the border, from the historical to the contemporary. 

We invite you to join us and to share your thought and suggestion using #BorderLits

The Programme

The first event in the series, on 22 September at 7pm, was an introductory conversation, sharing multiple perspectives on borders in different cultural contexts.  After a welcome from Dr Sandra Collins, Director of The National Library of Ireland, a discussion moderated by Professor Nicholas Allen followed. Panelists included Kapka Kassabova, Garret Carr, Dónal Hassett and Suchitra Vijayan. This event can be viewed here

This introduction will be followed by events focused on readings of individual authors, and the series will close with a conversation with four contemporary writers on their work and the border.

Border Literatures 2022

Wednesday 19 January 2022, 7pm
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 Sue Divin and Dr Dawn Miranda Sherrat-Bado in conversation about Sue Divin's Guard Your Heart. Moderated by Nicholas Allen.

Wednesday, 16 February 2022, 7PM
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Stephen O’Neill and Maria Johnston in conversation about Seamus Heaney's Opened Ground: Poems 1966-1996. Moderated by Gail McConnell.

Wednesday, 23 March 2022, 7PM
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This concluding event, New Horizons: A Conversation, will be moderated by Martin Doyle. Panelists will include: James Patterson; Jill Crawford; Nidhi Zak/Aria Eipe; and Luke Cassidy

Previous events in the series included:

Wednesday 20 October, 7pm
Neil Hegarty and Elizabeth Mannion in conversation about Andrea Carter's Death at Whitewater Church: An Inishowen Mystery. Moderated by Liam McIlvanney.

Death at Whitewater Church - discussion questions

Death at Whitewater Church  Border Literatures Death at Whitewater Church by Andrea Carter Information and Discussion Points.pdf (0.33 MB, Adobe PDF)

Wednesday 17 November, 7pm
Eoin Flannery and Eoin McNamee in conversation about Eugene McCabe's Death and Nightingales. Moderated by Martina Devlin


Border Literatures FAQ


Looking for some music to go with your readings? The contributors are curating a Spotify playlist to accompany the series

Main Building, Reading Room.
Main Building, Reading Room.
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