A substantial Irish delegation of writers, musicians and publishers will represent Ireland at the Guadalajara International Book Fair (25 November – 3 December 2023) in Mexico. The presence is delivered by Literature Ireland and Harp Ireland with support from Culture Ireland.
The enhanced Irish presence this year arose from the designation of the European Union as the Guest of Honour. Across the 9-day event, the Fair will welcome 74 writers from across Europe.
Irish writers Colm Tóibín, Naoise Dolan*, Tadhg Mac Dhonnagáin, Louise Nealon and Megan Nolan will present their latest books and discuss their writing on a global stage, engaging with writers from across Mexico, Central and South America. Irish publishing will be represented by Nidhi Zak/Aria Eipe (Skein Press), Elizabeth Goldrick (Little Island Books), and Micheál Ó Conghaile (Cló Iar Chonnacht).
The Guadalajara book fair, known locally as the FIL, is the third largest book fair in the world with a footfall of over 800,000 people across nine days.
Sharon Barry, Director, Culture Ireland commented: “The designation of the EU as the Guest of Honour at this year’s Guadalajara Book Fair has enabled Culture Ireland to support a substantial Ireland presence at this year’s event. I’m delighted that Literature Ireland is leading such a strong delegation of Irish writers opening doors for future opportunities in this region. In addition, participation by artists from Harp Ireland in the wider cultural programme will also attract strong interest from Mexican audiences. Undoubtedly, this year’s attendance will provide valuable insights which will inform our activity in the region for years to come.”
Speaking of Ireland’s participation, Sinéad Mac Aodha, Director of Literature Ireland said: “The Spanish language is the fourth most spoken language in the world with over 350 million speakers in Latin America. Our aim with this showcase is to invite the hundreds of translators and publishers who attend the fair to look more closely at Irish literature and ultimately to publish it. The addition to the programme of two magnificent Irish harpers, Seamus Ó Flatharta and Siobhán Armstrong with the participation of Harp Ireland, enhances our national presence and enriches our cultural offering at this important event.”
A special focus on Irish literature will take place on 30 November, with a gala performance of poetry, prose and the Irish harp concluding with a reading of Seamus Heaney’s poem ‘At the Wellhead’ in English, and in a Spanish translation by his Mexican translator Pura Lopez Colomé.
Direct information about the Guadalajara International Book Fair is available here.
If you are travelling to the fair and would like to visit Literature Ireland's stand, it is located at MM20. If you would like to arrage a meeting ahead of time, please contact Isabel Dywer, firstname.lastname@example.org.
*With assistance from The Arts Council Ireland.
What the authors have to say:
I am so grateful and honoured to be attending the Guadalajara International Book Fair and deeply thankful to Literature Ireland for facilitating my presence. I have heard nothing but amazing things about the atmosphere and passion shared between writers, readers and publishing professionals in Guadalajara – every writer I know who has been in the past has been telling me how jealous they are that I get to go this year. I am excited to have the opportunity to learn more about Latin American Literature and to meet fellow writers from such an enormous array of different countries; what a treat and a privilege.
– Megan Nolan
Is álainn an onóir dom a bheith san áireamh i measc na scríbhneoirí ó Éirinn a bheas páirteach in Aonach Leabhar Guadalajara 2023. Agus ó tharla an fhéiniúlacht Eorpach a bheith chomh tábhachtach céanna dom is atá mo chúlra Gaelach Éireannach, is mór an pléisiúr a bheith ag dul ann agus an tAontas Eorpach faoi onóir ag aonach na bliana seo.
It's a wonderful honour to be among the writers from Ireland invited to participate at the Guadalajara Book Fair thus year. And as I think of writing in the Irish language as being a part of the vast patchwork of European creativity, it's a particular pleasure to go this year when the European Union is the guest of honour.
– Tadhg Mac Dhonnagáin
It is an absolute privilege for me, as a writer in the early stages of my career, to be invited to the other side of the world to speak about my work.
To be a writer is to harbour a yearning to connect with others without having to speak or leave home. It is an absolute discovery to find that once you begin to share your work, it becomes a way to travel the world. I cannot wait for the smorgasbord of experiences that the Guadalajara Book Fair has to offer.
– Louise Nealon
I'm thrilled to be a part of the Guadalajara Book Fair. I look forward to practicing my Spanish and to having lots of great conversations about books. As an Irish writer living in Berlin, I'm very energised by international connections between literary communities, so I'm excited to deepen my connection with the Spanish-language literary world at the fair.
– Naoise Dolan
Tadhg Mac Dhonnagáin © Conor Horgan
Louise Nealon © Courtesy of the Author
Colm Tóibín © Reynaldo Rivera
Megan Nolan © Sophie Davidson
Naoise Dolan © Maria Bianchi
Posted to on 22 Nov 2023.