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195 W Washington St, Athens, GA 30601

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This event will bring together writers Seán Hewitt, Louise Kennedy, and Martin Doyle for a group reading and conversation with Nicholas Allen, Baldwin Professor in Humanities and director of the Willson Center for Humanities and Arts. The event is presented by the annual Betty Jean Craige Lectureship in the department of comparative literature and intercultural studies, and by the Willson Center as part of its Global Georgia series of public events. Peter O’Neill, associate professor of comparative literature and chair of the department’s annual lectures, conferences and events committee, will give an introduction.

Booksellers from Avid Bookshop will be on hand to offer books for sale and signing following the event.

Hewitt was born in 1990. He is the author of the memoir All Down Darkness Wide, for which he was awarded the 2022 Rooney Prize for Irish Literature. His earlier works include J. M. Synge: Nature, Politics, Modernism and the poetry collection Tongues of Fire, which was awarded the Laurel Prize and was shortlisted for the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award, the John Pollard Foundation International Poetry Prize, and a Dalkey Literary Award. He is the recipient of a Northern Writers’ Award, the Resurgence Prize and an Eric Gregory Award. Hewitt is a book critic for the Irish Times and teaches modern British and Irish literature at Trinity College Dublin.

Kennedy grew up near Belfast. Her first novel, Trespasses (2022) was called “Brilliant, beautiful, (and) heartbreaking” by the New York Times Book Review, and was named a Best Book of the Year by the Washington Post. Kennedy is also the author of a collection of short stories, The End of the World Is a Cul de Sac. She has written for the Guardian, the Irish Times, and BBC Radio 4.

Doyle is the books editor of the Irish Times. His upcoming book Dirty Linen, which builds on two essays published in the Irish Times, reflects on the Troubles’ impact on his own life and that of his community as they struggled to live normal lives. It is due to be published by Merrion Press in October 2023.

The annual Betty Jean Craige lecture honors Craige, University Professor Emerita of Comparative Literature and a former director of the Willson Center.

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