As Dublin continues to celebrate its status as a Unesco City of Literature, a number of events are scheduled to take place throughout the City this autumn. Dublin has a remarkable literary tradition from Swift to Wilde and that literary tradition lives on with a rich crop of contemporary writers living in the City as evidenced by the "Great Writers, Great Places" events which will take place all over the City this autumn. Words will intertwine with the city as Words on the Street comes to life. Writers will demonstrate their skill and imagination as they present their works in unusual haunts.
I was deeply honoured to launch "Great Writing Great Places" series of literary events this evening on board the Jeanie Johnston. It was really great to see the first event packed to the rafters - despite the blustery weather.
The first session on the Jeanie Johnson relived stories of emigration and loss, a theme prevalent in our history and in the national psyche. Marita Conlon-McKenna, Martina Devlin and Kate Kerrigan shared personal stories, family histories and inspirations for their writings on the theme of emigration, family and loss.
As we huddled together on the replica Famine Ship, the stories shared had a particular poignancy. For many present there was a certain resonance about the current wave of emigration and what it means for this generation.
"Great Writers, Great Places" will follow many inspiring and interesting writers and locations such as The Four Courts, Glasnevin Cemetery, Lost Society, Fallon& Byrne and the crypt at Christ Church.
Great credit is due to Jane Alger and the team at Dublin Public Libraries for developing this event which is just one of many events organised to celebrate our literary heritage.
Details of dates and events can be checked on www.dublincityofliterature.ie. Most of the events are free of charge, booking is required for some.