Late Night Art: Our Queer Lives: Katherine O’Donnell & Diarmuid Hester

Date Thursday 06 June 2024
Time 7:30 PM - 9:00 PM
PricePay What You Decide - Recommended Price £12.50

In conversation with Neil Hegarty

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Late Night Art: Our Queer Lives: Katherine O’Donnell & Diarmuid Hester

Words & Art

Belfast Book Festival presents a special book-infused edition of Late Night Art!

Join us in welcoming to the stage writers Katherine O’Donnell and Diarmuid Hester in conversation with Neil Hegarty

Katherine’s Slant (New Island Books, 2023) offers a meta-narrative on creativity as a way to make sense of the world, showing writing as a way to explore trauma and grief allowing people to ‘be brave facing the public world.’ 

Diarmuid’s Nothing Ever Just Disappears (Allen Lane, 2023) illustrates the connections between artistry, spaces, love and creativity. Following seven remarkable figures Hester ruminates on the powerful history of queer spaces and the ramifications of their loss. 

Drawing materials will be provided, along with some ideas on responding visually to Katherine and Diarmuid’s work. You are welcome to get creative or sit back with a glass and listen in. 

We welcome PaperxClips as the bookseller for this event who will be selling a selection of books at the event. Paperxclips are LGBTQIA+ in content, written by LGBTQIA+ authors or have relevant content!


Katherine O’Donnell is Professor of the History of Ideas at UCD School of Philosophy. She has been an activist for many years, most notably with the Justice for Magdalenes Campaign and, more generally, with feminist justice issues and LGBTQ+ communities. Slant is her first novel, and was shortlisted for the 2024 Kate O’Brien Award.

Dr Diarmuid Hester is a radical cultural historian, activist, and author of Wrong: A Critical Biography of Dennis Cooper and Nothing Ever Just Disappears: Seven Hidden Histories. His writing has appeared in the Guardian, The Irish Times, n+1, the New Inquiry, and the Los Angeles Review of Books. Diarmuid is a BBC New Generation Thinker and the co-founder of Club Urania, Cambridge’s premier performance and music night for queer people and their friends. He teaches at the Faculty of English, University of Cambridge, and is a research associate of Emmanuel College. 

Neil Hegarty grew up in Derry. His novels include The Jewel, described by the Irish Times as ‘a vital book for our time’, and Inch Levels, which was shortlisted for the Kerry Group Novel of the Year award in 2017. Neil’s non-fiction titles include Frost: That Was the Life That Was, a biography of David Frost; The Secret History of our Streets, which tells the story of twentieth-century London; and The Story of Ireland, which accompanies the BBC television history of Ireland. His essays and short fiction have appeared in the Dublin Review, Stinging Fly, Tangerine and elsewhere; he is a regular literary reviewer with the Irish Times; and is co-editor with Nora Hickey M’Sichili of the essay collection Impermanence, published by No Alibis and recently adapted for radio by RTÉ. Neil lives in Dublin.


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