UL Creative Writing hosted Laureate for Irish Fiction, Sebastian Barry, in Conversation with Prof Joseph O’Connor, at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance on Thursday 7th March.
A capacity audience of 230 attended, including UL President Dr Des Fitzgerald and Mrs Fitzgerald. Sebastian Barry gave a spellbinding twenty-minute reading from his Costa-award-winning novel The Temporary Gentleman before settling in to a fascinating, free-flowing and very entertaining conversation with Joseph O’Connor. The two covered the inspiration for imaginative writing, Sebastian Barry’s work as Laureate, the role of the writer in the wider community, and the contemporary fiction scene in Ireland.
Professor O’Connor remarked:
“It was Sebastian Barry’s first visit to UL and I am delighted that this internationally renowned and multiple-award winning writer was received with such warmth and by such a large audience of our students, faculty members and local people. It was truly a memorable night. I would particularly like to thank UL President Des Fitzgerald for attending. He is always so supportive of Creative Writing here at UL. And I add my immense thanks to Dr Sandra Joyce, Paula Dundon and all our sister and brother creative artists at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance for hosting us with such generosity, and to Sarah Bannan, Arts Council Head of Literature, and Cormac Kinsella, who did so much to make the event such a great success.”