It may not immediately strike many people as a place steeped in literary heritage, but surprisingly large number of highly regarded and successful authors hail from or live in the Dun Laoghaire Rathdown area of Dublin (the ‘dlr’ of the festival title).
J.M Synge, James Joyce and Samuel Beckett grew up there, Hugh Leonard and Maeve Binchy lived there all their lives and contemporary writers who still reside in the area include Joseph O’Connor, Hugo Hamilton, Marian Keyes and Ross O’Carroll Kelly.
There is a strong focus on poetry with two major poetry awards presented during the festival, The Shine/Strong Award which is presented annually to the author of the best first collection of poems published by an Irish poet in the previous year and the Irish Times Poetry Now Award for the author of the best collection of poems in English published by an Irish poet in the previous year.
There is much more than poetry though. Authors of all sorts of fiction attend and there are loads of readings, authors in conversation sessions and workshops covering a variety of topics, with a focus on aspiring and new writers.
The family and schools strands are very strong and get better each year.
Here’s a bit of an intro to whet your appetite:
Date and details for 2020 subject to confirmation.