Notes on resilience

"It hurts to struggle, to reach for things that you might not yet be able to meet... When will I be enough? All I can do is keep writing, keep meeting my ideas and my words with an openness that I encourage in others and struggle to find in myself."

Essay 4th May 2022

Butcher’s Dozen

Sean O'Reilly on the reissue of Thomas Kinsella's ‘Butcher's Dozen’ to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday: “a timely reminder that the past has to be fought for and poetry is not beyond lending a hand.”

Criticism Essay 25th January 2022

My Life as a Plagiarist

“I had come across the diary of a war criminal and been surprised to find it was also a love story. My idea in rewriting it and the title I chose – ‘First Love’ – was to invert this expectation.”

Essay 9th December 2021

Boys, Crying

An essay concerning the experience of crying as a trans masculine person, and the ways in which our gender and character are scrutinised based on our most instinctive, unstoppable expressions.

Essay Issue 44/Volume 2: Summer 2021

Name Your Character

Essay Issue 44/Volume 2: Summer 2021


Essay Issue 44/Volume 2: Summer 2021


Essay Issue 44/Volume 2: Summer 2021

Conversations With Jóhann

Essay Issue 44/Volume 2: Summer 2021

Essential Viewing

“Out of everything I watched, only one show truly captured my imagination and that was the BBC police drama Line of Duty.”

Essay 6th March 2021

A Hell Taxonomy

Satanic panic, screen violence and Irish doorways to Hell: Róisín Kiberd meets legendary game designer John Romero.

Essay Issue 43, Volume 2: Winter 2020-21

A Boat To Bilbao

An essay about Ludwig the cat, and the writer who lives with him.

Essay Issue 42, Volume 2: Summer 2020


The tragic death of a Chinese performer in Loughrea, County Galway, in 1936 inspires Clara Kumagai to examine concepts of belonging, sameness and home.

Essay Issue 43, Volume 2: Winter 2020-21

Edna O’Brien’s 90th Birthday Banquet

Louise Nealon invites us all to join her in raising a glass to the queen of Irish literature.

Essay 15th December 2020

Julio Cortázar’s happy chaos

Kevin Barry celebrates the selected stories of a writer who continues to bamboozle and enthrall readers.

Essay 14th October 2020

The Dream That Wakes You Up

A lecture on the mysterious role of inspiration in the writer's work and life, first delivered at Bray Literary Festival in September 2020.

Essay 30th September 2020

Didn’t You Have To Be There?

How a ‘blockbuster sci-fi contagion plot’ has caused one teacher to question the meaning and value of the traditional writing workshop.

Essay 26th June 2020

Bad Influences

Essay Issue 42/Volume 2: Summer 2020

Forms of Inadequacy

Essay Issue 42/Volume 2: Summer 2020

Practice, Process, Product

A lecture on the facets of writing and being a writer, first delivered at Bray Literary Festival in September 2019.

Essay Issue 41, Volume 2: Winter 2019-20

Celestial Realm

Phil is eighty-five. She has been dying for forty years.

Essay Issue 41, Volume 2: Winter 2019-20

What’s in a Name?

Essay Issue 41/Volume 2: Winter 2019-20

Going Clear: Sense and Spectacle at the Dublin Horse Show

As one of the city's oldest sporting spectacles, the Horse Show is a Dublin institution butting up awkwardly against the modern world.

Essay Issue 40/Volume 2: Summer 2019

Five Moments In Sport

Sport is admirable and sport is deplorable. It is an innocent pastime and a pernicious addiction. It means nothing and it means everything. It can be a force for good and for evil.

Essay Issue 40/Volume 2: Summer 2019

Power Cut

The stories of women in Direct Provision are a continuation of Ireland's long history as a carceral state, a place where "it is a lot easier to offer somebody a halfway house and ambivalent status than to grant them the right to a home."

Essay Issue 40/Volume 2: Summer 2019

Nothing Can Dislodge The House

Essay Issue 40, Volume 2: Summer 2019

Firing Up The Imagination

Fiction, that work of the imagination, is a means of making sense of the world, and a way to escape the darkest of realities.

Essay 4th April 2019

The True One

The story of Gil Courtney shows us that, when it comes to making things up, some people really just want to believe. And who can blame them?

Essay 13th March 2019



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