The Irish Itinerary


Gerry Smyth



Music in the work of James Joyce: From Chamber Music to Finnegans Wake


It is widely acknowledged that music played a crucial role in the artistic imagination of James Joyce.


This performance offers a musical journey through Joyce's unrivalled literary oeuvre, taking in all his major works along the way.


Guided by academic, musician and actor Gerry Smyth, we shall also be encountering some of the principal genres of Irish music, before taking a close look at (and listen to) Joyce's lesser-known debut publication, the song-cycle entitled Chamber Music (1907).


Below: Esther Smyth and Gerry Smyth in the studio playing a traditional anti-press gang song called 'Cruel'






Sinéad Murphy and Darina Gallagher



'Songs of Joyce' is a musical extravaganza of songs drawn from the life and works of James Joyce, from bawdy street ballads and sea shanties to music hall hits and folksongs. Performed with gusto by Sinead Murphy and Darina Gallagher, this musical evocation of an era has been acclaimed by critics and academics alike, and to date has performed sell-out shows all over Ireland as well as Glasgow, Boston, New York and Moscow.


“A Joycean feast of music hall memories….delightful” Anne Madden, The Belfast Telegraph


“Comic joy – with a real sense of joie de vivre.” Alan Chadwick, Scottish Herald



Rita Duffy



Rita Duffy was born in 1959 in Belfast. She received a B.A. at the Art & Design Centre and a M.A. in Fine Art at the University of Ulster. She is one of Northern Ireland's groundbreaking artists who began her work concentrating primarily on the figurative/narrative tradition.


Her art is often autobiographical, including themes and images of Irish identity, history and politics. Duffy’s work has grown and evolved but remains intensely personal with overtones of the surreal. Homage is paid to the language of magic realism and always there is exquisite crafting of materials. She has initiated several major collaborative art projects and was made an Honorary Member of the R.S.U.A. for her developmental work within the built environment. She is an associate at the Goldsmiths College, London and is currently working on an artistic exchange with Argentina and N. Ireland, looking at the role art has in post conflict societies.


Her Belfast studio practice continues to develop and her public art projects are increasingly preoccupied with international themes. Currently she is developing a series of new works for the Public Records Office of N.I. which is designed into the new building. Duffy’s work is being increasingly collected at home and abroad with work in numerous public and private collections


Anne Enright



Anne Enright is an Irish author and Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. Her novel The Gathering won the 2008 Man Booker Prize which was followed by the Irish Novel of the Year award in 2008. In 2011 her novel The Forgotten Waltz won the Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction.


Catch Anne discussing her works ath the New York Writers Institute here:



Medbh McGuckian

Medbh McGuckian was born in 1950 to Catholic parents in Belfast, Ireland. She studied with Seamus Heaney at Queen’s University, earning a BA and MA, and later returned as the university’s first female writer-in-residence.


McGuckian’s poems are layered collages of feminine and domestic imagery complicated by a liminal, active syntax that, in drawing attention to the weight of one phrase on another, emphasizes and questions our constructions of power and gender. Her work is reminiscent of Rainer Maria Rilke in its emotional scope and John Ashbery in its creation of rich interior landscapes. Praising McGuckian’s Selected Poems (1997), Seamus Heaney said, “Her language is like the inner lining of consciousness, the inner lining of English itself, and it moves amphibiously between the dreamlife and her actual domestic and historical experience as a woman in late-20th-century Ireland.”


McGuckian has earned significant critical acclaim over the course of her career. Her poem “The Flitting,” published under a male pseudonym, won the 1979 National Poetry Competition. In 1980 McGuckian published two chapbooks of poetry and also won the prestigious Eric Gregory Award. Her first collection, The Flower Master (1982), won the Poetry Society’s Alice Hunt Bartlett Prize, the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature, and an award from the Ireland Arts Council. On Ballycastle Beach (1988) won the Cheltenham Award, and The Currach Requires No Harbours (2007) was short-listed for the Irish Times Poetry Now Award.


Her honors also include the Bass Ireland Award for Literature, the Denis Devlin Award, and the American Ireland Fund’s Literary Award. She won the Forward Prize for Best Poem for “She Is in the Past, She Has This Grace.”



Mary Morrissy



Mary Morrissy was born in Dublin where she still lives. She has published a collection of short stories, A Lazy Eye (1993), and two novels inspired by true events: Mother of Pearl (1995), the story of a stolen infant, and The Pretender, a fictional history of the Polish woman who claimed to be Anastasia, daughter of the last Romanov Tsar. Morrissy has taught in creative writing programmes at the Universities of Arkansas and Iowa in the US as well as in Trinity College, Dublin. A third novel, based on the life of Bella O'Casey, sister of the famous Irish playwright, is under way.

Faces of the Irish Itinerary

Circuit List 2013

  • Sweden- Norway
  • France - Belgium - the Netherlands
  • Czech Republic - Austria - Hungary
  • Italy - Spain - Portugal
  • United Kingdom


Centre List


  • Stockholm - Gothenburg - Dalarna - Agder
  • Paris - Rennes - Lille - Leuven - Nijmegen
  • Prague - Vienna - Pécs - Debrecen
  • Trieste - A Coruña - Braga
  • Aberdeen - Liverpool - London