* Lecture on concept of invisibility in literature from the cap of Perseus to Harry Potter’s cloak
* Arts Council increases fee and extends Children’s Literature Laureate term
Ireland’s sixth Laureate na nÓg Áine Ní Ghlinn will deliver the inaugural Laureate na nÓg lecture Lifting The Invisibility Cloak on the Words Ireland website, at 6pm on Tuesday, 1 December.
• The Laureate na nÓg lecture, which will be presented at this year’s Dublin Book Festival, will be one of the most significant and lasting contributions that the Laureate will make. Sparking critical discourse, the lecture celebrates the strength and power of children’s literature. The lecture also honours the role that the artist plays in Irish life.
• Áine’s lecture will focus on the concept of invisibility in literature from the cap of Perseus to Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak. In this, her inaugural Laureate lecture, she explores the creative freedom and limitations anonymity brings. Her stated ambition as Laureate na nÓg is to lift the cloak of invisibility from Irish language writing for children. But what does that mean for her as writer? And why is it important for her creative process to have parity of esteem with artists who write in English?
• Laureate na nÓg is now 10 years old. Previous Laureates include Siobhán Parkinson, Niamh Sharkey, Eoin Colfer, PJ Lynch, and Sarah Crossan.
• The annual lecture has been introduced following a recently completed review. Another key recommendation of the review was to establish parity of esteem with Laureate na nÓg, the Ireland Chair of Poetry and the Laureate for Irish Fiction. In addressing this, Council has agreed to raise the Laureate na nÓg stipend to €50,000 per year, and to extend the term to three years, bringing it in line with the other honours.
The Arts Council’s Chair, Kevin Rafter, said, “At the Arts Council, we want to celebrate the artistry and imagination of our children’s writers and illustrators. Laureate na nÓg is the highest honour that can be awarded to a children’s writer or illustrator – and the Council believes that the artist’s voice should be amplified, so that it can be heard in every corner of the country, in every aspect of our lives. This seems even more important today.”
He continued, “This lecture will be one of the most significant and lasting contributions that the Laureate will make. The Council is delighted to increase and strengthen its support for this valuable and powerful initiative, and looks forward to building on the tremendous success of the Laureate to date.”
Speaking about her lecture, Áine Ní Ghlinn said, “The children of today will blossom into the adult readers and writers of the future, keeping our proud literary tradition alive and well on the world stage. We need to ensure that our young people are inspired to read and to lead rich creative lives in both Irish and English. I am grateful to the Arts Council for their recognition of the importance of children’s literature and for bringing about this welcome parity of esteem for Laureate na nÓg, by putting it on an equal footing with the Ireland Chair of Poetry and the Laureate for Irish Fiction.”
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