The Irish Pages Podcast

Conversations about contemporary writing from Ireland and overseas.

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  • 12. Gerard McCarthy's 'Old Istanbul & Other Essays': Manus Charleton and Nora McGillen

    Manus Charleton and Nora McGillen talk to Irish Pages editor Chris Agee about Old Istanbul & Other Essays, the first collection of essays by Gerard McCarthy, who died shortly before their publication in 2022. McCarthy’s dazzling philosophical writing occupies the region where philosophy merges into literature, drawing deeply on the influence of Nietzsche, Marcus Aurelius and Montaigne. Manus and Nora discuss their memories of Gerard and his life and work as a social worker and writer, and some of his philosophical preoccupations, including his quest for silence, the world beyond language and the human search for meaning.

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  • 11. Luka Bekavac and Igor Sticks: ‘August After Midnight’ and ‘W’

    Croatian novelists Luka Bekavac and Igor Štiks discuss their latest novels, August After Midnight and W, published in English by Irish Pages Press, with Jacob Agee, Managing Editor at Irish Pages. Bekavac explains the complex, experimental form of August After Midnight, and why transcommunication and the region of Slavonia in northeast Croatia play a central role in his work. Štiks talks about the detailed account of recent revolutionary history in W, the division in left-wing politics that runs through it, and how he fed that material into a dramatic mystery thriller.Irish Pages:
  • 10. Chris Preddle and Milena Williamson: Sappho

    Chris Preddle talks to Irish Pages Managing Editor Milena Williamson about his recent translations of Sappho's songs and poems, published by Irish Pages Press. He describes how he fell in love with Sappho's poetry, the technical challenges of translating her work into English, the world of Lesbos in which she lived around 600 BCE, the different genres of poetry she wrote, and whether he considers her a feminist. He also reads several of her poems, both in his English translation and in the Ancient Greek.Irish Pages:
  • 9. Maddy Tongue and Michael Longley: On Helen Lewis

    Maddy Tongue and Michael Longley talk to Irish Pages Editor Chris Agee about Tongue's recent book, Helen Lewis: Shadows Behind the Dance, a heartfelt portrait of the Czech dancer and teacher, which also features poems by Michael Longley, who knew Lewis. Tongue and Longley discuss their memories of Lewis and her extraordinary life, from her devastating experiences under a Nazi persecution to her subsequent career in Belfast as a choreographer and teacher, and her own brilliant memoir, A Time to Speak.Irish Pages:
  • 8. Sorcha Ní Lochlainn and Roisin Costello: Corncrakes and the Songs of Rathlane

    Sorcha Ní Lochlainn and Roisin Costello talk to Irish Pages Managing Editor Milena Williamson about their recent pieces in the journal, which both look at the use and traditions of the Irish language in different periods and settings. They discuss how the language has changed through various process, such as the law, family and community; the tradition of song in providing a public voice for women; the experience of hearing the corncrake its cultural resonance; the value and challenges of preserving dialects; and the advantages (or not) or being bilingual.The episode also features two renditions of traditional song by Sorcha.Irish Pages:
  • 7. John F. Deane & James Harpur: Darkness Between Stars

    Irish Pages editor Chris Agee talks to John F. Deane and James Harper, poets from different faith traditions, about their combined collection of poetry, Darkness Between Stars, and how their lifetime of work has explored the mysteries of existence and the divine. In a broad and searching conversation, John and James discuss the decline of traditional religious activity in the modern world, the difference between belief and faith, what makes good (and bad) religious poetry, the nature of Jesus, and why we are all agnostics.Irish Pages:
  • 6. Slavenka Drakulić and Jacob Agee: Invisible Woman and Other Stories

    Slavenka Drakulić talks to Jacob Agee about her new collection of stories, Invisible Woman and Other Stories, published in English by Irish Pages Press, which takes the reader on an intimate journey of ageing. They discuss how the collection developed from a novel into short stories, why the female body remains at the centre of her work, why women’s fiction writing is more likely to be treated as autobiographical than men’s, the recent history of nationalism in Croatia and her experience of being described as one of the ‘five witches of Croatia’ in the early 1990s; and the various and surprising translations of her writing that have appeared.Jacob Agee is a managing editor at Irish Pages and the co-translator of Invisible Woman.