Dalkey Book Festival 2023: A Celebration of Literature

The Dalkey Book Festival, one of Ireland’s most anticipated literary events, is just around the corner, promising a captivating celebration of literature and ideas. Set against the picturesque backdrop of Dalkey, a charming coastal town located near Dublin, the festival is renowned for bringing together renowned authors, thinkers, and literary enthusiasts from around the world. As the festival enters its latest edition in 2023, attendees can expect an impressive lineup of speakers, engaging panel discussions, book launches, and a vibrant atmosphere that celebrates the power of storytelling. Let’s explore what awaits us at the upcoming Dalkey Book Festival.

The Festival Experience

The Dalkey Book Festival has gained a reputation for its unique blend of intellectual discourse and entertainment, creating an enriching experience for both avid readers and casual attendees. The festival will span several days, immersing visitors in a library of literary delights. From June 15th to June 18th, book lovers will have the opportunity to engage with esteemed authors, intellectuals, and cultural icons through a variety of events.

Panel discussions featuring thought-provoking themes and diverse perspectives will be a highlight of the festival. Topics such as politics, history, poetry, fiction, and science will be explored, fostering stimulating conversations and igniting intellectual curiosity. Visitors can expect a lively exchange of ideas, as panels will include notable authors, experts, and public figures from various disciplines.

Book launches and readings will offer attendees a chance to discover exciting new releases and engage directly with authors. These sessions often provide unique insights into the creative process and allow readers to connect with their favourite writers on a personal level. Additionally, workshops and masterclasses will provide aspiring authors with valuable guidance and inspiration to hone their craft.

book festival

Image via dublingazette.com

Featured Speakers

The Dalkey Book Festival has consistently attracted an impressive lineup of internationally renowned speakers, and 2023 will be no exception. Prominent figures from the literary world, acclaimed journalists, philosophers, and experts from diverse fields will grace the festival’s stages.

This year’s festival is bringing together experts from different disciplines, like literature, history, policy, journalism, comedy, and science including:

  • Brian Cox, 
  • Ruby Wax, 
  • The Edge, 
  • Dylan Moran, 
  • Masha Gessen, 
  • Peter Frankopan, 
  • David Brooks, 
  • Oliver Jeffers, 
  • Ramita Navai, and many more.

From June 15 to June 18, hundreds of world-class authors and brightest minds will be gathering in Dalkey, the picturesque Irish seaside town. There will be 78 events to choose from.

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The 2023 festival speakers. Image Via dalkeybookfestival.org

The highlights include:

Literature: Richard Ford,  Sebastian Barry, Paul Murray, Roddy Doyle, Elaine Feeney, Jan Carson, Joseph O’Connor, Liz Nugent, John Banville, Audrey Magee, Donal Ryan, Merve Emre, John Connolly, Victoria Kennefrick, Nicole Flattery, Sarah Gilmartin, Alice Ryan and so much more.

Meanwhile, actor Tom Hanks will be making an appearance at the festival to discuss his novel, “The Making of Another Movie Masterpiece”, on 16 June.


Image via entertainment.ie

Politics and World Affairs: Masha Gessen, a Russian specialist and exile, will be interviewed by Dylan Moran. He is the author of the best-selling book The Man without a Face about the world’s most dangerous mind. Gessen will be a must-see for anyone interested in politics and world affairs.

The New York Times’s David Brooks, one of America’s most influential political commentators, will offer a solution to the fragmentation and hostility that permeates society.

History: With the world in a state of war, we discuss the lessons we can learn from history with historians Peter Frankopan, Roy Foster, and Donal Fallon and historian Naoise MacSweeney, author of ‘The West’ and one of the world’s most promising young historians.

Science: The Edge sat down with Brian Cox to discuss everything from particle physics to dark matter to guitar riffs.

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Image via RTE

Psychology: The programme will feature world-renowned behavioural economist Dan Ariely, who is a combination of scientist/comedian, and Ruby Wax, who will be interviewed by the renowned Ian Robertson.

Comedy: The Irish premiere of Dylan Moran’s “We Got This” show is presented, while Climate Warrior Colm O’Regan performs his piece of musical theatre, “Deirdre O’Kane is Demented” and Paul Howard’s “Ross O’Carroll- Kelly” returns home to talk about the major events that are changing the world.

Sports: The funniest man on the football field, Roddy Collins, joins Paul Howard to discuss the beautiful game at CUALA.

Podcasts: Donal Fallon & David McWilliams LIVE!

Economics: Linda Yueh, Carolina Alves, and David McWilliams join in.

Writing: Join in writing workshops with Jan Carson and Sarah Webb for children.

Family Fun: There’s plenty for the whole family to enjoy too. Meet Peter Donnelly of ‘The President’ and ‘Dead Zoo Books’, a family-friendly doodle for budding artists and their parents, and get a book prescription from the Book Doctors at Dalkey Library.

In addition to these notable speakers, the festival will showcase a diverse range of voices from the literary world, including emerging authors, local talents, and industry experts. This mix of established and emerging voices creates an inclusive platform for all to engage with literature and contribute to the cultural discourse.


Image Via dalkeybookfestival.org

Beyond the main festival program, the charming town of Dalkey itself provides a delightful backdrop for literary exploration. With its rich history, picturesque streets, and breathtaking coastal views, Dalkey offers a tranquil setting for attendees to wander, reflect, and indulge in literary conversations at the local cafes and bookshops that line the town’s streets.

The Dalkey Book Festival promises to be a literary extravaganza, celebrating the beauty and power of words. With its idyllic coastal setting and vibrant atmosphere, the festival offers attendees a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in the world of literature and ideas. From engaging panel discussions and book launches to insightful readings and workshops, the festival caters to diverse literary interests and provides a platform for meaningful conversations. As attendees gather to celebrate the written word and engage with renowned authors and intellectuals, the Dalkey Book Festival 2023 is set to be an unforgettable experience that enriches minds and inspires imaginations.

Luvya Bhatia
Luvya Bhatia

An upcoming M.Sc. Communication and Media student at University College Dublin, with a B.A. (Honours) in English Literature from Amity University, Noida, India. Previously worked as a travel journalist, content proofreader and social media intern in India with a number of different media organisations. Specialises in working on Travel and Lifestyle pieces for Babylon Radio.

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