The Dalkey Book Festival is back next month with a stellar line-up


Over the past two years, festivals have taken a huge hit while people have been minding themselves, staying at home and trying to avoid the plague. Now that everything is slowly returning back to normal we couldn’t be more delighted to hear that the Dalkey Book Festival is returning this June!

The worst of times require the best of minds and in this unsettling year, the festival’s line up includes some of the world’s sharpest thinkers and writers, including Simon Schama, Fiona Hill, Sally Rooney, and Fintan O’Toole.

From 16th to 19th June, over 100 of the world’s finest authors and sharpest intellects  will descend on the beautiful, historic seaside town of Dalkey, including writers from all over the world as well as nationwide coming together in a wildly varied programme of over 80 events. 

In what could be one of the most pivotal years of our lifetime, the festival brings together thinkers from the worlds of literature, history, politics, journalism, technology and economics including Simon Schama, Fiona Hill, Gary Shtynegart, Annie Mac, Robert Shrimsley, Blindboy, Yassmin Abdel-Magied, Sally Rooney, Fintan O'Toole, Catherine Belton, Elif Shafak, John Banville, Karen Duffy, Marian Keyes, David O'Doherty, James O'Brien, Claire Keegan, Sarah Winman, and many more.

Dalkey Book Festival has also announced the shortlists for this year’s Dalkey Literary Awards presented by Zurich. The winners of the 2022 ‘Novel of the Year’ and ‘Emerging Writer’ Awards, with a prize fund of €30,000, will be announced at the festival on 18th June.

The ten shortlisted authors include five established Irish literary favourites in the ‘Novel of the Year’ category and five up-and-coming writers across a range of genres who have been nominated for the ‘Emerging Writer’ award.  

The shortlisted titles in the 2022 Dalkey Literary Awards are: 

Novel of the Year: April in Spain by John Banville, Beautiful World, Where Are You by Sally Rooney, Nora by Nuala O’Connor, Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan and White City by Kevin Power.

Emerging Writer: A Crooked Tree by Una Mannion, Bright Burning Things by Lisa Harding, Eat Or We Both Starve by Victoria Kennefick, The End of the World is a Cul de Sac by Louise Kennedy and Unsettled by Rosaleen McDonagh.

Here’s the rundown on some other exciting festival highlights from all aspects of literature and entertainment, including a list of speakers and events.

POLITICS AND WORLD AFFAIRS: Fiona Hill, the woman who took down both Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, will fly in from the US. This US National Security adviser and Russia specialist will be one not to be missed. Google her!  Catherine Belton, whose bestseller Putin’s People, gets into the world’s most dangerous mind and network.

LITERATURE: Sally Rooney needs no introduction.  Where else would you see this global literary superstar? Sarah Winman, Elif Shafak, John Banville, Claire Keegan and many more. 

PODCASTS: Blindboy brings his podcast as too will Marian Keyes,Tara Flynn and David McWilliams. 

SCIENCE: Ireland's most renowned immunologist Luke O’Neill  takes us through the wonders of science in a digestible and, accessible way in Never Mind the B*ll*cks; Trust the Science! Renowned science writer Matt Ridley investigates Covid: where did it really come from?. Who am I? Memory, Identity & Imagination is for anyone who has ever had a GP appointment, with neuroscientist Dr Jules Montague and Luke O’Neill.

ECONOMICS: This year Kilkenomics comes to Dalkey, for economics and comedy by the sea. Comedians Andrew Maxwell, Barry Murphy and Colm O’Regan will host and A Kilkenomics' favourite, Jargon Busting – Economics Made Simple, arrives in Dalkey.  

Learn how we could transform this island with Eric Lonergan, Corinne Sawer and Mark Blyth in ‘Ireland Transformed: The Saudi Arabia of Renewable Energy?’.

CRYPTO: 500,000 Irish people are believed to hold some crypto. Are they being taken for the biggest ride since Ponzi rocked into town? Join Marla Dukharan and Andrew Maxwell (Crypto: New Money or Old Scam?) 

COMEDY: Let’s have a laugh with the New Yorker’s "funniest satirist writing in America today”, Gary Shtynegart. Paul Howard’s Ross O’Carroll-Kelly returns home to discuss the great events shaping the world. David O’Doherty: whoa is me’, trots back onstage with all of the misplaced confidence of a waiter with no pad. 

Gary Shteyngart and David McWilliams

WRITING WORKSHOPS: Take part in writing workshops with Maggie Hammand (Creating Richer Characters) and Jan Carson (Writing Your First Short Story).

FAMILY: There is fun for all the family too. Join Paul Howard and  Eoin Colfer, two of Ireland’s funniest writers to hear all about Adrin, his cheese nightmares, the Fowl Twins & their secret hideout on a certain local island. 

Chris Haughton’s much-loved book, Oh No, George! is 10 years old this year. Join Chris for a very special birthday party! Discover ‘Leaflings:Baby + toddler doodle’ with Niamh Sharkey, a fun  doodle for young artists and their grown-ups.

Tickets go on sale this Tuesday 3rd May at 9am via