Dalkey Book Festival 2024: Key events and information

One of the world’s most revered literary festivals, the Dalkey Book Festival kicks off next month with a glut of cultural events.

Dalkey Book Festival 2024: Key events and information.

For the past 14 years, the Dalkey Book Festival has been one of the highlights of Ireland’s – indeed, the world’s – cultural calendar. It attracts tens of thousands of people to south Dublin to hear from the most important names in contemporary literature.

This year’s festival will take place from 13 to 16 June in the seaside suburb, with a focus on Irish writers after an important year for Irish literature.

Dalkey Book Festival – “the best little festival in the world”

Seamus Heaney, Sian Smyth, and Bono at the Dalkey Book Festival in 2012.
Credit: Wikipedia Commons/ Conor McCabe

Described by Salman Rushdie as “the best little festival in the world”, the annual Dalkey Book Festival sees many of the world’s preeminent literary figures descend upon the south Dublin suburb for four days of talks, readings, and workshops.

The festival was started in 2010 by Sian Smyth and David McWilliams, and has become a highlight of Ireland’s cultural calendar in its 14-year history.

Previous lineups have included some of Ireland’s most important contemporary writers, like Seamus Heaney, Maeve Binchy, and Joseph O’Connor, as well as some of the world’s most revered literary figures, such as the aforementioned Rushdie.

This year’s festival is under a month away and promises a wealth of cultural events.

Irish writers – central to the Dalkey Book Festival

Author Paul Lynch (left) and his book, Prophet Song, alongside the Booker Prize (right).
Credits: Flickr/ ActuaLitté; Facebook/ The Booker Prizes

The past year has been incredible for Irish literature. Irish authors made history by making up a third of the longlist for the prestigious Booker Prize.

Paul Lynch clinched the award for his novel Prophet Song, and the Limerick-born but Donegal-raised author will give a talk about the book with Madeleine Keane on Saturday, 15 June, at 14:00 at Dalkey’s Seafront Marquee.

Paul Murray also received Booker recognition for The Bee Sting, and he will discuss his novel on the Saturday with Roisin Kiberd at 17:30 at St Patrick’s Church.

Finally, fellow Booker Prize nominee Elaine Feeney will be involved in a panel discussion about poetry with Madeleine Keane, Breda Wall Ryan, and Victoria Kennefick at the Heritage Centre, also on Saturday at 17:00.

Other Irish writers appearing at the festival include Claire Keegan, Anne Enright, Kevin Barry, Donal Ryan, John Boyne, Colin Barrett, Nuala O’Connor, Mary Costello, and Sinéad Gleeson.

Other events – highlighting important writing from around the globe

The exterior of the Seafront Marquee at Dalkey Book Festival.
Credit: Facebook/ Dalkey Book Festival

Many of the world’s greatest writers and thinkers will join those Irish names at this year’s Dalkey Book Festival.

Most poignant will surely be the Palestinian voices invited to the festival. Isabella Hammad, Karim Kattan, and Nathan Thrall will discuss Palestinian literary and cultural output in the face of slaughter on Saturday at 14:00 at Cuala GAA.

Meanwhile, the BBC’s Middle East correspondent Jeremy Bowen will join the festival directly from Jerusalem.

Other highlights include talks from CNN broadcaster Christiane Amanpour, The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg, and leading Shakespeare scholar James Shapiro.

Check out the Dalkey Book Festival programme in full and secure your tickets here.

Find Your Dream Hotel in Ireland

On the hunt for the ultimate hotel for your Irish adventure? Explore a curated selection ranging from the charming heritage of boutique accommodations in Dublin's vibrant heart to the tranquil luxury of rural retreats and the captivating coastal vistas. Start your search below to find the perfect stay with our trusted hotel partner.

Get featured on Ireland Before You Die

Do you want to get your Irish business more online exposure? Especially to those interested in travelling the best places in Ireland? Then why not get a dedicated feature on Ireland Before You Die. Find out more here.

Related Posts


Ireland Before You Die is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Send this to a friend