BBC – Open Book

Audio & Video, Interviews, News

Elizabeth Day talks to Lisa McInerney and Lucy Caldwell, two young writers born in the same year from different side of the Irish border. 100 years since partition, they discuss how a literary culture once defined by exile and sectarian identities is being reconfigured in exciting new ways today. (listen at the BBC)


Book List – Sunday 23 May and Thursday 27 May

The Rules of Revelation by Lisa McInerney
The Glorious Heresies by Lisa McInerney
The Blood Miracles by Lisa McInerney
Being Various: New Irish Short Stories: Edited by Lucy Caldwell
Multitudes by Lucy Caldwell
Intimacies by Lucy Caldwell
Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín
A Belfast Woman by Mary Beckett
A Literary Woman by Mark Beckett
Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney
Book Parts: Edited by Dennis Duncan and Adam Smyth
Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Wild Fire by Nelson DeMille
The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman by Laurence Sterne
Bad Behaviour by Mary Gaitskill
Because They Wanted To by Mary Gaitskill
Two Girls, Fat and Thin by Mary Gaitskill
Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert

Lucy Caldwell in conversation with Hedwig Schwall


Lucy Caldwell talks to Hedwig Schwall about narrative perspective in general and you-narrations in particular, about the influence of James Joyce and Lucia Berlin on her short story collections Multitudes and Intimacies and about family dynamics. She reflects on motherhood and autobiographical writing, on the act of choosing love over fear, and on the power of literature to hold a space for its readers. She also discusses the Belfast author C.S. Lewis and lipstick, the Northern Irish community in London and the importance of diversity; last not least, she thinks about what it means to be European in times of Brexit.

Dublin Book Festival


Yan Ge and Lucy Sweeney Byrne In Conversation with Lucy Caldwell

Join Belfast Book Festival Patron, Lucy Caldwell in conversation with two stellar short story writers, Lucy Sweeney Byrne and Yan Ge.

Lucy Sweeney Byrne’s debut short story collection Paris Syndrome (2019), explores travelling the world alone as a young woman. She has recently been shortlisted for the Brick Lane Bookshop Short Story Prize Yan Ge has been writing and publishing in Chinese for many years, and began writing in English in 2016. Her work was featured in Being Various: New Irish Short Stories.

The Event is now available online. To watch it, visit the DBF website.

Irish Literary Society: Autumn Journal / Spring Journal

Interviews, News

Louis MacNeice’s ‘Autumn Journal’, written August to December 1938, was an immediate personal response to the public events of those months and the mood on the streets. ‘It is the nature of this poem,’ a prefatory note declared, ‘to be neither final nor balanced.’ In ‘Spring Journal’, written between March and late August 2020, the novelist Jonathan Gibbs replies to MacNeice and redeploys his form in an urgent, fluent act of witness to the events of this Covid year. Angry, desperately sad, self-aware, sceptical about what writing is for, the book is both a week-by-week record and something ‘carved from chaos’.

Lucy Caldwell joins David Collard, Jonathan Gibbs and Michael Hughes to reflect on the making, the form (‘elastic quatrains’ in cantos) and context (WWII, COVID-19) of both poems.