Kinsale’s Words By Water literary festival ready for the next chapter

September 23rd, 2023 5:45 PM

By Southern Star Team

Brothers Liam, Rían and Leo Ó’Lorcáin in the new Kinsale Library with Ruth McDonnell at the announcement of the programme for this years Words By Water. (Photo: John Allen)

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AN exciting programme has been revealed for this year’s Words By Water, Kinsale Literary Festival, taking place from Thursday, October 5th to Sunday October 8th.

Some of the highlights will include discussions with Sally Hayden, Paul Howard, and a return this year for Donal Ryan.

‘We have many fantastic authors, writing in a variety of genres, coming to read and be interviewed at events taking place across the weekend. We are confident that this year our programme will have something to suit all tastes,’ said committee member Ruth McDonnell.

Ryan, author of best sellers including The Spinning Heart and From A Low And Quiet Sea, will be in conversation with journalist Shane Coleman on Friday October 6th.

‘We know how much our audience loved Donal’s previous visit to us in 2019 and we look forward to catching up with him about his writing,’ Ms McDonnell said. 

‘Shane will be back in the interviewer’s chair on Saturday when he sits down with Sophie White for what should be a fascinating conversation with an author who has wowed critics and readers alike in recent years.’

On Saturday afternoon, journalist Sally Hayden talks to Mary Morrissy about her multi-award-winning book My Fourth Time, We Drowned, on migration and human rights. 

Other events on Saturday include Fíona Scarlett and Elaine Feeney in conversation with Mairead Hearne.

On the Saturday night, Ross O’Carroll Kelly author Paul Howard returns to the festival and will be joined on stage by Roddy Collins discussing Roddy’s memoir The Rodfather, written with Howard. The pair recently were on stage as part of the literary section of the Electric Picnic.

In addition to welcoming visiting literary figures, Words By Water also promotes Cork-based talent. Disha Bose, Mary Morrissy, and Sara O’Donovan are all appearing at the Local Voices event on Sunday.

‘Another local writer joining us this year is Jerome Lordan, while Alice Taylor is making the short trip from Innishannon for what should be a lovely event in Friar’s Lodge on Friday,’ Ms McDonnell added.

Other events will include workshops in  book-binding class poetry and Haiku poetry events.

On the Saturday morning there’s also a story time for children in the library while Paul Howard,  will meet fans of his books of his children’s books series at  an event in the Trident Hotel on Saturday afternoon.
Events are taking place at a number of venues, including The Lord Kingsale, The Trident Hotel, The Methodist Church and Prim’s

The full programme is available at, with all events open for booking. 

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