I would like to thank Cork City Council for supporting my attendance at the International Conference on the Short Story in English, which was held in Vienna this year.
At the Conference itself I was fortunate to be reading with the renowned and gracious American writer Shirley Abbott. Nuala Ní Chonchúir kindly acted as the introducer at this event, which took place on Thursday 17 July. I read a short story from my collection and showed my short film, ‘Dog Pound’.
Then Shirley read from her own work.
The audience were wonderful and most appreciative; there was no shortage of questions and we could easily have spent more time chatting.
Later that evening, six Irish writers, including myself, featured at an event in the Irish Ambassador’s Residence in Vienna. This was daunting, particularly as I was the last person to read. However, all six Irish writers – Nuala Ní Chonchúir, Alan McMonagle, Valerie Sirr, Billy O’Callaghan, Evelyn Conlon and myself – did a great job and the evening turned out to be a huge success.
My thanks to the Irish Ambassador, James Brennan, for generously hosting the event, and also to his assistant, Andrea Schwarzlmueller. And my sincere thanks to Ann Luttrell of Triskel, Cork, who organised the event many months ago and introduced the Irish writers so well that evening.
I was also very happy to see the wonderful Liadain O’Donovan, daughter of the late Frank O’Connor and a stalwart friend and supporter of Irish writing, among the invited guests.
Here’s a photo of myself, about to read at the event:
And here I am, after the reading, with the fantabulous Canadian writer Lauren B. Davis: