Saturday 4th July

11am - 1pm

Meet The Publisher

The people selected to meet Paula Campbell, publisher at Poolbeg Press, will be contacted by Carol Long. You will be given your code for your interview time, via Zoom.

11am - 1pm

What's In A Name?

Fintan Murphy will be exploring with Dr Conchubhar Ó Crualaoich and Michael Fortune  the origins of the names of Irish personal names and our Wexford Townlands. Old Irish meanings, Norse foundations and more will be discussed … making history a live experience, through word.

Dr Conchubhar Ó Crualaoich 

Dr Conchubhar Ó Crualaoich, is an author of numerous essays on Gaelic Wexford & Sligo, including women’s names among the Gaelic Irish of Wexford, men’s names among the Gaelic Irish of Wexford. Irish among those of Anglo-Norman descent in Wexford, Irish surnames among the Gaelic Irish in Wexford in the 16th and 17th centuries, the Irish proprietors of lands in northeast Wexford prior to their dispossession and incorporation of the town of Gorey, surnames in townland names in Sligo, and place-names in Sligo. Co-author with Aindí Mac Giolla Chomhghaill of Logainmneacha na hÉireann IV: Townland Names in Co. Wexford

An in-depth analysis of every townland name in County Wexford is included in his book: Place Names of Wexford along with a lengthy essay about the historical importance of the research.

The work reveals the wealth of historical information that can be gleaned from placenames when carefully and systematically researched.

The body of place names provides insight into historical demographics. The extent of Norse and Anglo-Norman settlement in Wexford is well known but analysis of the completed research shows that the Irish language became the vernacular among those groups in most of the county and was even robust enough to coin new placenames in pockets among the Anglo-Normans in the very south of the county.

It has emerged that many apparently Yola placename elements are shown to to be unique to South Wexford as they crop up in other Anglo-Norman placenames elsewhere in The Pale counties of Dublin, Kildare, Meath and Louth.

Currently working on townland names in Wicklow & Meath. Current project concerning Wexford is the identification of the 149 Gaelic Irish gentlemen and officers name in a Grand Panel Return for Wexford dating from 1608 (most are named without a surname in the return).

Michael Fortune

Michael Fortune has been a pioneer in socially engaged work within Ireland over the past twenty years and his practice has widened the conversations regarding the intersection of traditional and contemporary cultures. Fortune continues to produce project work throughout the country and works as a part-time Associate Lecturer at Limerick School of Art and Design (Master of Education and Digital Media). He also conducts work as a Visiting Lecturer in many colleges and universities Ireland and is currently an External Examiner on Limerick School of Art and Design’s MA programme. His life, interests and practice are an intertwined and inseparable mix of the ancient, the contemporary, the private, the public and the intangible.

1pm + Live, free

2pm - 3pm

Crime Writer's Panel hosted by Paula Campbell

Two amazing nationally acclaimed Irish crime novelists Andrea Mara and Jane Ryan,  will discuss their works and journey to the story of “crime” with Poolbeg Press publisher, Paula Campbell.

Andrea Mara

Andrea Mara is a crime novelist from Dublin, Ireland, where she lives with her husband and three young children. 
Her first book, The Other Side of the Wall, was shortlisted for the Kate O’Brien Award 2018 and was recently an Amazon number one bestseller in Irish Crime.

Her second book, One Click, was shortlisted for Irish Crime Novel of the Year at the 2018 An Post Irish Book Awards, and a recent number one on Amazon in Irish Crime and Northern Irish Crime.
Her third novel, The Sleeper Lies, published in February 2020, was an Irish Times Top Ten Bestseller.

Andrea also runs multi-award-winning parent and lifestyle blog,

Jane Ryan

Jane Ryan studied with Chartered Accountants Ireland and works in the technology industry. Her short stories and articles are published online and in print and she was shortlisted for the Hennessy Literary Award. Her first novel, 47 Seconds, was published in 2019 and shortlisted for the John McGahern Annual Book Prize.

3.15pm - 4pm

Clara Rose Thornton (USA) in conversation with Róisín Williams

Happy Independence Day, USA …

Clara’s passion, writing and action is about equality for all people. Recent events in the USA are very close to Clara’s heart. Roisin will explore what forces work within Clara to write .. and through writing … influence …

Clara Rose Thornton

Clara Rose Thornton, from Chicago, USA is a spoken word artist, culture journalist, event organiser, and RTÉ [Ireland] radio and television broadcaster. … She was instrumental in founding the inaugural Black History Month Ireland in 2014, and toured the country as the observance’s headlining performer.


Róisín Williams

Róisín is a Journalist/Communications Consultant.  She holds a BSc in Social Science and a Higher Diploma in Journalism and Public Relations. Róisín is a mentor/trainer with Wexford Local Development and Director of Media and Communications for  She was feature editor for her college paper ‘The Informer’, a freelance Journalist with ‘The Sunday World’ publication for three years, with over 60 articles published.  Róisín has been working in communications and public relations with various companies for over eight years.  She is heavily involved in community work and is the secretary for the ‘Strawberry Fair Festival and liaison with Enniscorthy Tidy Towns.  In her spare time she participates in local musicals and charity events.

4.30pm - 6.30pm

Cursed Murphy hosts Spoken Word

Cursed Murphy, a Wexfordian, hosts and performs with a range of guests who will also decide which of the five selected spoken word performers who entered our competition will win the 2020 Cursed Murphy Spoken Word Award. Guests are Clara Rose Thornton (USA); Elizabeth McGeown the inaugural 2019 Spoken Word Award winner (UK/EI); John Cummins; Cormac Lally; Stephen James Smith.

The selected Cursed Murphy Spoken Award competitors are , in alphabetical order, Demi Atar, David Braziel, Kate Feliz, Colin Hassard, Natalie Holborow.

Clara Rose Thornton 

Clara Rose Thornton, from Chicago, USA is a spoken word artist, culture journalist, event organiser, and RTÉ [Ireland] radio and television broadcaster. … She was instrumental in founding the inaugural Black History Month Ireland in 2014, and toured the country as the observance’s headlining performer.

Stephen James Smith

Stephen James Smith is a Dublin poet and playwright central to the rise of the vibrant spoken word scene in Ireland today. To date, his poetry videos have amassed over 3 million views online.

Elizabeth McGeown

Is a poet from Belfast, Northern Ireland. She is the current All-Ulster slam champion, has been a finalist in the All-Ireland Poetry Slam four years in a row, and represented Northern Ireland at the 2019 Hammer & Tongue UK Slam Finals in the Royal Albert Hall. Performances include Electric Picnic, Body & Soul, Sunflowerfest, Loud Poets and Sonnet Youth. She is the winner of the 2019 Cúirt International Festival of Literature: Spoken Word Platform and the 2019 Inaugural Cursed Murphy Spoken Word Prize. She has received funding from The Arts Council of Northern Ireland and The National Lottery to work on her first full-length spoken word show.

John Cummins 

John is a Poetician, one of Ireland’s most unique voices, has brought his spoken word poetry to every corner of our Isle.  From festival fields to our national concert hall, john shares poetry that aims to highlight, uplift and inspire.  His words break down the boarder between audience and performer.  John’s story is the story of us.

Cormac Lally 

Cormac Lally is a father, husband, and poet from Tullamore now living in Skibbereen, west Cork. He has been a Munster Slam and Leinster Slam Championship winner. He has published two collections Scribbles, Dribbles and Homegrown Nibbles and Too Busy Dancing. He earns a living writing poetry for best men, brides, and grooms through his website

Joint 2020 Cursed Murphy Award Winner

Demi Anter

Demi Anter was born to Austrian and German parents and grew up in the Californian desert. Her writing has appeared in numerous journals across the US, UK and Europe, including Banshee (forthcoming), ROPES and Ninth Letter. She has been a featured poet at Glastonbury Festival, Electric Picnic and Poetry Ireland. She lives in Berlin. Performance videos, workshops and upcoming dates can be found at:

David Braziel

David is a poet, writer and performer, three times winner of the Belfast Book Festival Poetry Slam and a regional and national finalist in the All Ireland Poetry Slam. David has hosted and performed shows at the Lingo Festival in Dublin and on the “Live from the Sunflower” comedy showcase broadcast on BBC Radio. In 2015 David supported spoken word artist Polar Bear at the Aspects Festival in Bangor. David’s first collection of poems “I Am Not a Poet – And Other Poems” was published in 2015 and his one-person show “Too Big for Words” was performed in Belfast in 2017. He is currently working on a new show with the support of a grant from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.

Kate Felix

Kate Felix (she/her) is a Canadian poet, playwright,and filmmaker.  Her work has been published in Litro, Room Magazine, and Cream City review (among others) and her short films have been selected for over fifty film festivals worldwide. Although she prefers live readings, Kate has lately become a denizen of the virtual open mic scene and Cursed Murphy Spoken Word Award will be her first competitive event.

Joint 2020 Cursed Murphy Award Winner

Colin Hassard

Colin Hassard is a poet from Banbridge, Co. Down. He has twice been Ulster Poetry Slam Champion and was Runner Up in the Seamus Heaney Award for New Writing 2018. As well as performing his work on BBC Radio Ulster and Sky One, Colin has had poems published in The Honest Ulsterman, Headstuff, North West Words and more. Colin is also a former Writer-in-Residence for the NI Human Rights Festival.

Natalie Holborow

Natalie Ann Holborow is a Swansea-born writer and winner of both the Terry Hetherington Award and Robin Reeves Prize in 2015. She has been shortlisted and commended for various other awards including the Bridport Prize, the National Poetry Competition and the Hippocrates Prize for Poetry and Medicine. Her debut collection, ‘And Suddenly You Find Yourself’ (Parthian, 2017) was listed as one of Wales Arts Review’s ‘Best of 2017’. Her second poetry collection, ‘Small‘, is to be published by Parthian in 2020.

8.30pm +

Cáca Milis Cabaret hosted by Helena Mulkerns with special guests Colm Tóibín and Eoin Colfer (pre-recorded) year, as part of the Wexford Literary Festival, the Cáca Milis Cabaret presents a special, literary-themed event live online via ZOOM.

April’s debut online Cáca Milis Cabaret had audience members tuning in from China, Alaska, Spain, the United States and more. In keeping with the current COVID-19 guidelines, Cabaret founder and hostess Helena Mulkerns is delighted to work with the Wexford Literary Festival and the Wexford Arts Centre for a Saturday night evening of literature, music, short film and more.

Our special guests are multi-award winning writer Colm Tóibín and international best-selling author Eoin Colfer – both from Wexford.They head a spectacular line up, including spoken word from Michelle Dooley Mahon, just back from a successful run of  The Scourge  off Broadway.There will be original music from The Man Whomsome beautiful songs from the fabulous singer Caitríona O’Leary and piano composition from songwriter-composer Josh Johnston. Our comedy tonight comes from much-loved Italian comedian, Carlo Jacucci.

There’ll be sultry tango from two of Ireland’s premier tango dancers, Hernán Catvin and Tara Whelan, and Ciné Sweetcake presents a suitably literary film, Pitch ‘n’ Putt with Beckett and Joyce, written and directed by Donald Clarke. Finally, our Fine Art virtual showcase is Murmuration by artist Nicola Anthony, featuring ‘Fáilte Uí Dhonnchú’, by Cork poet Louis de Paor.

Book your place from the Wexford Arts Centre website to receive your ZOOM event link and password, and your Cabaret Playbill.Then, on Saturday, log in to the event and sit back with your computer, iPAD or phone to enjoy an intimate, eclectic evening of the arts in a vaudevillian format with a dedicated audience.

All you pay for your seat is the subsidised admission fee of €5, which supports both the artists and the literary festival itself. See you there!

PROGRAMME, click here