Emer Martin is a Dubliner who has lived in Paris, London, the Middle East, and various places in the U.S. Her first novel Breakfast in Babylon won Book of the Year 1996 in her native Ireland at the prestigious Listowel Writers’ Week. Houghton Mifflin released Breakfast in Babylon in the U.S. in 1997. More Bread Or I’ll Appear, her second novel was published internationally in 1999. Emer studied painting in New York and has had a sell-out solo show of her paintings at the Origin Gallery in Harcourt St, Dublin. Her new book is Baby Zero, published March 07. She has just completed her third short film Unaccompanied. She produced Irvine Welsh’s directorial debut NUTS in 2007. Emer was awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship in 2000. She now lives in the jungles of Co. Meath, Ireland.
Billy O’Callaghan was born in Cork in 1974, and is the author of three short story collections: ‘In Exile’ (2008) and ‘In Too Deep’ (2009), both published by the Mercier Press, and ‘The Things We Lose, the Things We Leave Behind‘ (2013), published by New Island Press.
In 2010, he was the recipient of an Arts Council Bursary for Literature. His stories have won and been shortlisted for numerous honours, including the 2013 Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Award, the George A. Birmingham Award, the Lunch Hour Stories Prize, the Molly Keane Creative Writing Award, the Sean O’Faolain Award, the RTE Radio 1 Francis MacManus Award, the Faulkner/Wisdom Award, the Glimmer Train Prize and the Writing Spirit Award. He has also been short-listed in three consecutive years, 2008-2010, for the RTE Radio 1 P.J. O’Connor Award for Drama.
Over the past fifteen years, more than eighty of his stories have appeared in literary journals and magazines around the world, including: Absinthe: New European Writing, Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, the Bellevue Literary Review, Confrontation, Hayden’s Ferry Review, the Los Angeles Review, Narrative, Pearl and the Southeast Review (all USA), the Fiddlehead (Canada), Bliza (Poland), Pilvax (Hungary), Versal (Holland), the Kyoto Journal (Japan), and Yuan Yang: a Journal of Hong Kong and International Writing (China). New work is forthcoming in F Magazine and the Bellevue Literary Review (both USA), and The Lakeview International Journal (India). He also regularly reviews books for the Irish Examiner.
“I know of no writer on either side of the Atlantic who is better at exploring the human spirit under assault than Billy O’Callaghan. The stories in The Things We Lose, the Things We Leave Behind are at once harrowing and uplifting, achingly sad and surpassingly beautiful. O’Callaghan is a treasure of the English language.” – Robert Olen Butler, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain.
Tom Inglis is a Professor of Sociology in University College Dublin. He grew up in Dublin, completed his Bachelors and Masters degrees in University College Dublin (UCD) and his PhD in Southern Illinois University (1979-1984). He worked as a Research Officer for the Catholic Church from 1976-1979. He was Director of AONTAS, the National Association of Adult Education (1986-1991). He joined UCD in 1991.
He has written extensively about Irish culture, particularly in relation to religion, sexuality, the media, globalisation, love and the meaning of life. He has published numerous articles and books in these areas including Moral Monopoly: The Catholic Church in Modern Irish Society (originally published 1987 with a revised 2nd ed. 1998); Lessons in Irish Sexuality (1998); Religion and Politics (2000 co-edited); Truth, Power and Lies: Modern Irish Society and the Case of the Kerry Babies (2003): Global Ireland: Same Difference (2008), Making Love: A Memoir (2012) and Love (2013).
He was editor of Irish Journal of Sociology from 2002–2005 and President of the Sociological Association of Ireland from 2005-2008. More recently, he has become involved in Irish Studies, writing articles for Eire-Ireland and Irish Review. In 2012, he organised an international workshop Are the Irish Different? in UCD which examined Irish social and cultural difference and the role of the human sciences within Irish Studies. This has formed the basis of his edited collection, Are the Irish Different? (Manchester University Press, 2104, forthcoming).
As well as writing about love, he is currently finishing a book The Meanings of Life in Contemporary Ireland (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015 forthcoming). This is based on 100 in-depth personal interviews that he conducted throughout Ireland in 2008-2009.
Dr Eibhear Walshe is a senior lecturer in the School of Modern English at University College Cork. His biography Kate O’Brien A Writing Life was published by Irish Academic Press in 2006 and he edited Elizabeth Bowen: Visions and Revisions for Irish Academic Press in 2008 He was a section editor for The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing: Volume 4 (Cork University Press, 2002); a contributor to the New Dictionary of Biography (Oxford University Press, 2004) and guest edited The Irish Review in 2000.
His other publications include the edited collections, Ordinary People Dancing: Essays on Kate O’Brien (Cork University Press 1993), Sex, Nation and Dissent, ( Cork University Press:1997) Elizabeth Bowen Remembered (Four Courts Press: 1999) and The Plays of Teresa Deevy (Mellen Press: 2003.) He co-edited, with Brian Cliff Representing the Troubles (Four Courts: 2004) and Molly Keane: Centenary Essays. (Four Courts Press: 2006) with Gwenda Young and Imagination in the Classroom (Four Courts Press) with Anne Fogarty and Eilis Ni Dhuibhne was published in 2012.
His memoir, Cissie’s Abattoir was published by Collins Press in 2009 and he edited Elizabeth Bowen’s Selected Irish Writings for Cork University Press in 2011 .Oscar’s Shadow: Wilde, Homosexuality and Ireland was published by Cork University Press in 2012 and A Different Story: the Writings of Colm Toibin was published by Irish Academic Press in 2013. His first novel The Diary of Mary Travers will be published in 2014 by the Somerville Press.
Steafán Hanvey is a singer-songwriter from Northern Ireland who was born during one of the bloodiest years of “The Troubles”. Growing up in an artistic and unconventional household – his father is an acclaimed photographer and both of his parents were traditional Irish musicians – Steafán’s exposure to all kinds of music began in utero. Citing influences from Joni Mitchell to Liam Clancy, perhaps the most important of all was the home itself, where the young Steafán was often called upon for a tune or two himself.
Steafán’s new album Nuclear Family was released in the US and Canada in 2013 when he embarked on a tour of colleges, venues and people’s living rooms.Nuclear Family is an album that meditates on the constructive and destructive forces inherent in many families and relationships. “As I sifted through my memories and experiences, I caught the public and political face of Northern Ireland pressing hard against the window of my private and personal world. Making the album made me realise that although I had never written explicitly about Northern Ireland, Northern Ireland had in fact, written me.” Steafán believes that “art can bring order and logic to chaos” and says that Nuclear Family is what someone trying to make sense of such chaos sounds like.
In tandem with the album-release, Steafán is touring Nuclear Family’s artistic corollary – the critically acclaimed multimedia performance-lecture entitled Look Behind You! A Father and Son’s Impressions of The Troubles In Northern Ireland Through Photograph and Song. Look Behind You! ™detailshow a father and son (both artists) have negotiated the personal and political landscapes of Northern Ireland. The project promotes the Yeatsian/Heaney notion that “The End of Art is Peace”.