Ferdia Mac Anna

Dubliner Ferdia Mac Anna started out in music, fronting Rocky De Valera and the Gravediggers in the punk era, and latterly, The Rhythm Kings. His first novel, The Last of the High Kings, was originally published by Penguin, with a “Modern Irish Classics” edition brought out by New Island Books in 2011.  It was made into a film starring Gabriel Byrne and Jared Leto. His other literary work includes novels The Ship Inspector and Cartoon City as well as a memoir, The Rocky Years. He was producer and script editor on the acclaimed BAFTA-winning BBC/RTE children’s drama series, ‘Custer’s Last Stand-Up’ and he lectured in Screenwriting and Television Production at various colleges including The National Film School IADT. He currently lectures at UCD and the Open University.  He is also a sought after film script and fiction writing coach.

His debut feature film, All About Eva, premiered at the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival in 2014. His second feature, DannyBoy is a music-focused drama set in small town Ireland in 1981 and is due for release this year.

The 20th Anniversary edition of Cartoon City  was published on 15 October 2020, and is now available to order from bookshops, and online internationally.  See more here.

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Martin-MaloneMartin Malone

is author of seven novels, a memoir, three short story collections, several radio plays and has also written for TV and stage. His first novel, Us won the John B Keane/Sunday Independent Literature Award and was shortlisted for the Irish Fiction Award. His second, After Kafra was scripted for RTE TV. The Broken Cedar was nominated for the IMPAC Award and shortlisted for an Irish Fiction Award. His short stories have been widely broadcast and published. His story, Valley of the Peacock Angel was nominated for the Sunday Times EFG Short Story Prize. He is a contributor to the National Art Gallery’s Lines of Vision: Irish Writers on Art anthology. In May 2016 New Island Books published Black Rose Days.  In June, 2107 Doire Press published his eleventh book, This Cruel Station, a new collection of short stories. Martin is a former military policeman who served six tours as a peacekeeper in the Lebanon and Iraq and much of this experience is explored in his work.  In June, 2018, the second edition of his 2001 novel, After Kafra, came out with 451 Editions .  See more on Martin’s blog here.

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Val Mulkerns

Val Mulkerns is a renowned Irish writer whose contribution to the Irish literature includes work in fiction, children’s books, journalism and broadcasting. She was a member of Aosdána. Her first novel was published in 1951, and her eleventh title, a memoir, was published just months before her death in 2018 when she was 93. She worked as associate editor and theatre critic with The Bell, the influential literary magazine founded by Seán Ó Faoláin, wrote columns for the Evening Press and contributed to The Irish Times.

In its obituary on the writer, The Guardian newspaper described her as “a unique figure in the world of Irish literature” and the Irish Times noted that she was “was a feminist before her time.”

Her first novel, A Time Outworn, was released to critical acclaim in Ireland in 1951. She later worked as a journalist and columnist and was a favourite on the Irish radio programme, Sunday Miscellaney. The Summerhouse  was first published by the John Murray publishing house, London, and a new edition came out in 2013 from Tara Press. She is the author of five novels, three collections of short stories, two children’s books and many published essays and critical writings. In 2016, 451 Editions published a book of collected short stories, Memory and Desire, which was launched at The Irish Writers’ Centre and is currently available in all good Irish bookshops and international online sales outlets.

Val’s memoir, Friends with the Enemy launched in December 2017 and is available internationally in all good bookshops by order through Gardners, Bertrams or Ingram. Her books are broadly available on all main and online book sales outlets.

She is survived by her three children, Maev, Conor and Myles Kennedy. See full press release here.

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Mary O’Donnell

Mary_ODonnell1_161_238Mary O’Donnell is the author of fifteen books, both poetry and fiction, and has also co-edited a book of translations from the Galician. Her titles include Virgin and the Boy, and The Elysium Testament, as well as poetry such as The Place of Miracles, Unlegendary Heroes, and her most recent critically acclaimed seventh collection Those April Fevers (Arc Publications UK, 2015). She has worked in journalism, especially theatre criticism, and presented and scripted three series of poetry programmes for the national broadcaster RTE Radio. A volume of essays, Giving Shape to the Moment: the Art of Mary O’Donnell, is forthcoming from publisher Peter Lang.

Her debut novel, The Light-Makers, was originally published by Poolbeg Press and named The Sunday Tribune Best New Novel of 1992. The second edition of this acclaimed debut was published by 451 Editions in July of 2017 to broad critical acclaim.  The Irish Times review  noted, “issues it raises are as relevant today as they were 25 years ago” and the Irish Independent described it as, “unputdownable”.

Her most recent book, Empire, from Arlen House, was published in November, 2018 and explores the emergence of Ireland from the power of the British Empire in a themed collection of short stories set both in Ireland and Malaysia.

Mary lives in Kildare, and is a member of Aosdána.

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John Banville, Eoin Colfer, Billy Roche and Colm TóibínWexFour:
John Banville, Eoin Colfer, Billy Roche, Colm Tóibín

Four of Ireland’s most acclaimed writers, John BanvilleEoin Colfer, Billy Roche and Colm Tóibín share one thing in common: their Wexford origins. For WexFour, a project originally commissioned to commemorate the 40th Anniversary of the Wexford Arts Centre, they have each written a unique one-act drama. Editor Ben Barnes describes the collection as, “short works illuminated by skilful writing’ where ‘all traverse the familiar territory of loneliness and loss; of spirited humour in the face of diversity; of a battered but still resilient hope for, and belief in, a better future.”   

451’s electronic edition of the book of these four plays was launched at a special WexFour live event in Paris at The Irish Cultural Centre on 2 June 2016, and is available now from all Amazon websites and eBook outlets internationally.  For more on this title, see here.

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