Venues Initative

Venues Initiative


Dani Gill and Siobhán Kane announced as Words Ireland’s first Literature Curators

Words Ireland is delighted to announce the launch of its Venues Initiative. Two highly experienced literature curators – Dani Gill and Siobhán Kane – have been funded by Words Ireland to work closely with two regional arts centres to programme ambitious and innovative literature events for the stage.

The Venues Initiative is a pilot scheme that aims to bring quality literature events to the region’s big stages, finding new audiences for the best of Ireland’s live literature performers. It will also create well-paid and meaningful work for Irish writers and performers. Between now and June 2018, these two curators will stage a total of six large literature events.

Dani Gill, former Director of Cúirt International Literature Festival, creative writing tutor and author of After Love (Salmon 2017) will partner with the Backstage Theatre and Arts Centre in Longford Town.

Siobhán Kane is founder and programmer of Young Hearts Run Free and the bi-annual festival No Idle Day, both of which regularly programme Ireland’s finest and most innovative artists in unusual and unlikely spaces. Siobhán is also a writer and academic, and will be working with the Linenhall Arts Centre in Castlebar.

By sharing their learning through a number of ‘how to’ manuals for producers and venue managers, the initiative will spur on more venues, writers and producers to programme ambitious literature events for the stage. Information on best curatorial practice, audience engagement and a contacts bible will empower more producers, publishers, festival directors and touring companies to create quality and ambitious literature programmes. These documents will be made available on

Michael McLoughlin, Chair of Words Ireland stated: “There’s a growing hunger from audiences for great Irish literature. It’s been happening on the page for over a decade. Now we’re keen to make it happen on the big stage too, creating employment for writers and memorable experiences for audiences.”

The Venues Initiative is one of a number of new projects launched by Words Ireland this year. The recently launched National Mentoring Programme will select 11 emerging writers from over 200 applications to work closely with professional writers on developing their work-in-progress. The Writers Café series – professional development events for writers – will tour the country this autumn. And details will shortly be announced about ‘WordCon @ ILFDublin’ – Ireland’s first National Writers Conference to be held during the first weekend of the International Literature Festival Dublin, 19 + 20 May 2018.