We are delighted to welcome to the Belfast Book Festival the Seamus Heaney Centre’s 2022-23 Fellows, multi-disciplinary poet and performer Kae Tempest, novelist Roddy Doyle and the Belfast Ensemble’s composer, director and songwriter Conor Mitchell, for a fascinating evening of conversation with Seamus Heaney Centre Publishing Fellow Dane Holt, about their different forms of storytelling.
Each working across different mediums, these three writers, will engage in a lively and constructive conversation about their practice, where it diverges, and where they intersects.
Roddy Doyle is the author of twelve novels, including The Commitments, The Snapper, and Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha, for which he won the Booker Prize in 1993; The Woman Who Walked Into Doors, and, most recently, Love. He co-wrote the screenplay for The Commitments and wrote the scripts for The Snapper and The Van. His most recent screen work was the script for Rosie, released in 2018. His four-part TV series, Family, was produced by the BBC in 1994. He has also written three collections of short stories, eight books for children, the Two Pints series, and memoir of his parents, Rory and Ita. He co-wrote The Second Half, with Roy Keane. His most recent book is a story collection, Life without Children. Kellie, a book he has co-written with Olympic gold-winning boxer, Kellie Harrington, will be published in October 2022. He has also written for stage, including the book of The Commitments musical. He is a co-founder of Fighting Words, which was set up to help and encourage children and young people throughout Ireland to write creatively. Roddy lives in Dublin.
Conor Mitchell is a multi award-winning opera/music-theatre composer, librettist, and stage director. His music blends the worlds of stage design with contemporary visual arts and engages audiences through socially relevant, politically charged subjects. A double Ivor Novello nominee and double Fringe First winner, he is the recipient of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland Major Individual Artists Award and a life fellow of the Arts Foundation for composition, he is also the only non-American to hold 'best score' at the New York Musical Theatre Festival. As Artistic Director of The Belfast Ensemble, his opera Abomination: a DUP Opera was listed in the Top Ten Classical Works of 2019 and won Best Opera Production at the 2020 Irish Times Theatre Awards. He recently debuted his new musical, Propaganda, at the Lyric Theatre in 2022.
Kae Tempest is a poet, writer, lyricist, and a performance and recording artist. They have published plays, poems, novels, non-fiction essays, released albums and toured extensively, selling out shows from Reykjavik to Rio de Janeiro. They received Mercury Music Prize nominations for albums Everybody Down and Let Them Eat Chaos, and two Ivor Novello nominations for The Book of Traps and Lessons. They were named a Next Generation Poet in 2014, a once in a decade accolade. They received the Ted Hughes Award for their long form narrative poem Brand New Ancients and the Leone D'Argento at the Venice Teatro Biennale for their work as a playwright. Their books have been translated into 11 languages and published to critical acclaim around the world. They live in London.