Nollaig na mBan 2024: Bodies of Work
January 6, 2024
Irish Writers Centre
€25 (€23 Members)
Tickets will go on sale at 11am on Wednesday 6 December 2023
Nollaig na mBan 2024
Bodies of Work
Tickets will go on sale at 11am on Wednesday 6 December 2023
We are thrilled to present the 2024 edition of our annual Nollaig na mBan celebration. Taking place from 7.00pm–9.30pm on Saturday 6 January, 2024 at the Irish Writers Centre (Dublin 1), Nollaig na mBan (AKA Women’s Christmas or Little Christmas) will showcase the extraordinary achievements of women writers in Ireland.
This year’s theme is BODIES OF WORK, a celebration of our incredible Irish women writers working in different literary forms. With award-winning poet Jessica Traynor as the MC, the audience will be guided through a variety of different literary genres that Irish women writers have showcased throughout their careers including fiction, poetry, short stories, creative non-fiction and more.
Expect incredible readings of new pieces of work commissioned specially for Nollaig na mBan 2024. Participating writers include novelist Christine Dwyer Hickey, short story writer and novelist Jan Carson, poet Nessa O’Mahony, and broadcaster, Gaeilgeoir, writer and producer Ola Majekodunmi. Also featured is Irish PEN/PEN na hÉireann, an organisation that aims to defend the right of writers to freedom of expression, where we will remember and embrace our writer peers across the globe who struggle with censorship and imprisonment, some of whom have died for the freedom to write unshackled.
We will also celebrate Ireland’s thriving literary journal scene, by spotlighting literary journals created and curated by women writers through a series of soapbox performances. Channel, gorse, Howl and Sonder Magazine will be featured and there will be readings from their editors.
Musical entertainment will be provided by the wonderful Ellie O’Neill. Ellie’s songwriting explores intimacy, love, loss, and queerness.
Ticket price includes a complimentary glass of wine.
As in previous years, we’re encouraging those attending to take part in a New Year’s Kris Kindle extravaganza. Bring along a much-loved book by a woman writer, wrap it and label or tag it with a description of no more than three lines. If you bring a book, you go home with one too!
MC: Jessica Traynor
Jessica Traynor is a poet, essayist, librettist, and poetry editor at Banshee. Her debut collection, Liffey Swim (Dedalus Press, 2014), was shortlisted for the Strong/Shine Award. The Quick (Dedalus Press, 2018) was an Irish Times book of the year. Pit Lullabies (Bloodaxe, 2022) is a Poetry Book Society Recommendation and was an Irish Times book of the year, and a Guardian Best Summer Read of 2022. It was shortlisted for the Yeats Society Sligo/ Irish Independent Poetry Prize. She is 2023 recipient of the Lawrence O’Shaughnessy Award for Poetry. Other awards include the Ireland Chair of Poetry Prize, the Listowel Poetry Prize, and Hennessy New Writer of the Year. She was 2023 Arts Council Writer in Residence in Galway University. She was a judge for the 2023 Forward Prizes and is a poetry critic for The Irish Times.
Jan Carson is a writer and community arts facilitator based in Belfast. Her first novel, Malcolm Orange Disappears, was published in 2014 followed by a short-story collection, Children’s Children (2016), and two Postcard Stories anthologies. Her second novel, The Fire Starters (2019), won the EU Prize for Literature and was shortlisted for the Dalkey Novel of the Year Award. The Raptures (2022) was shortlisted for the An Post Novel of the Year and the Kerry Group Novel of the Year. Her work has appeared in numerous journals and on BBC Radio 3 and 4. She won the Harper’s Bazaar short-story competition and has been shortlisted for the BBC National Short Story Award, the An Post Irish Short Story of the Year, and the Seán Ó Faoláin Short Story Prize. Jan’s writing has been widely translated. Her short story collection, Quickly, While They Still Have Horses is forthcoming in Spring 2024. Jan is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.
Sinéad Creedon is a prose and poetry writer. Her works have been published in a variety of print and online journals, and in 2021, her short story Home Is Where was shortlisted for the Benedict Kiely Short Story Award 2021. In 2022, she received funding to work on a novel, which she is currently editing. Residing in London, she is the co-founding editor of Sonder Magazine, and works in marketing at Turnaround Publisher Services, helping indie and overseas presses reach a UK and Irish market.
Christine Dwyer Hickey is a novelist and short story writer. She has published 8 novels and the short story collection The House on Parkgate Street and Other Dublin Stories. Her novel Tatty first published in 2004, was Unesco One City One Book 2020. The Cold Eye of Heaven won The Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year 2011. Her work has been translated into several languages. Her most recent novel, The Narrow Land won the Walter Scott Prize 2020 and the Dalkey Literary Award 2020. Her forthcoming novel Our London Lives will be published in September 2024. She is a member of Aosdána.
Cassia Gaden Gilmartin is editor of Channel, a Dublin-based literary journal publishing work in English and Irish that fosters connection between people and the natural world. Conceived in 2019 on the day of the first global climate strike that year, Channel aims to create a space for the emergence of new narratives surrounding nature in the public consciousness and to build a community of writers, artists and readers grounded in shared ecological concern. Aside from publishing Channel, Cassia also works as Production Executive at New Island Books and builds supports for Ireland’s publishing community as Chair of SYP (Society of Young Publishers) Ireland.
Róisín Leggett Bohan is a Cork writer with work forthcoming in Poetry Ireland Review and Aesthetica. In 2022, she was the winner of flash fiction with Southword, winner of creative non-fiction with Atlantic Currents II, and was runner-up in the Martín Crawford Award for Short Story. She is a UCC graduate and the grateful recipient of Arts Council and Cork City Arts funding. Róisín is a Poetry Ireland Introductions poet and an editor at HOWL New Irish Writing.
Ola Majekodunmi was born in Lagos, Nigeria and raised in Dublin, Ireland. She is a broadcaster, Gaeilgeoir, writer and producer. She has organised and spoken at literary festivals such as Dublin International Literature Festival and West Cork Literary Festival.
Lauren O’Donovan is a writer from Cork, Ireland. In 2023, she won the Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award and the Cúirt New Writing Prize in Poetry. In 2022, Lauren was awarded Arts Council funding and a Munster Literature Centre Mentorship. Lauren is a graduate of UCC, co-founder of Lime Square Poets, and an editor at HOWL New Irish Writing.
Nessa O’Mahony was born in Dublin and lives there. She has published five books of poetry – Bar Talk, (1999), Trapping a Ghost (2005), In Sight of Home (2009) and Her Father’s Daughter (2014). The Hollow Woman on the Island was published by Salmon Poetry in May 2019. She has edited journals and anthologies including the recent Poetry Ireland Review tribute to Eavan Boland and Tearing Stripes Off Zebras. Forty Years of Women Writing in Ireland (Arlen House 2023).
Ellie O’Neill is an emerging artist from Co. Meath. Her multifaceted practice includes working as a solo artist, collaborator and soloist, both in Ireland and abroad. Ellie’s primary solo artistic output focuses on songwriting that explores intimacy, love, loss, and queerness. She creates raw, intimate, and rich material which is heightened through a fluid and collaborative relationship with her band members; always placing the emotional detail of the songs at the forefront. As a vocalist she has performed as featured soloist with Glasshouse Ensemble since 2016 at major festivals throughout Ireland and is currently collaborating on a score for Irish filmmaker Alan Gilsenan. Ellie’s promising debut album encompasses work developed over the past three years and is currently in the final stages of postproduction. It is poised for release in 2022, with anticipation from both audiences and promoters alike.
Susan Tomaselli is founder and editor of gorse journal, and associated Gorse Editions. She has written for numerous publications, introduced a re-issue of Mervyn Wall’s Leaves For the Burning (Swan River Press), and has contributed to the books We’ll Never Have Paris (Repeater Books), In Context 4 – In Our Time (South Dublin County Council’s programme of public art), Hairline Crack: A Dialogue (Niamh McCann exhibition, Ludwigshafen, Germany/Paris, France) amongst others. She has participated in numerous literary festivals (West Cork Literary Festival, Cúirt, Listowel, Mountains to Sea, Hillsborough Festival of Literature & Ideas), curated Doolin Writers’ Weekend 2020, and provides consultation to arts organisations (Temple Bar Gallery + Studios Dublin, The Arts Foundation UK) and literary publishers. She was writer-in-residence at Maynooth University 2020/21, and has taught at Arvon Foundation (UK). She is currently working on a novel-in-essays, Traces.
The Irish Writers Centre is currently housed in 19 Parnell Square, Dublin 1. This is a Georgian building which unfortunately does not have a lift. There are 5 steps into the entrance level. The majority of the event’s activities will take place in the Kiely room which is on the first floor and requires climbing 30 steps in total. There are public toilets available and these are located on the ground floor and basement floor of the building. For further information on access to our building, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.