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MoLI is delighted to launch Past/Present/Pride, a series of conversations that celebrates LGBTQ+ writers. Hosted by psychologist Dr Paul D’Alton, Past/Present/Pride will reflect on the work of writers that have witnessed significant social change for members of the LGBTQ+ communities in Ireland & beyond.

Past/Present/Pride is a collaboration between MoLI and UCD’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion programme. Over the last number of years UCD has made an explicit commitment to promoting an inclusive community where people identifying as LGBTQ+ feel safe, valued and provided equal opportunity.

Episode 1: Emma Donoghue

In the first episode of Past/Present/Pride, Dr Paul D’Alton speaks with Emma Donoghue, author of over twelve novels, including Room, Akin, and Stir Fry. Across a rich hour of conversation, Donoghue, born in Dublin in 1969, touches on subjects as diverse as same-sex parenting, the tension between safety and freedom, coming out to her mother, and the power of fiction. Donoghue’s new novel, The Pull of the Stars (Pan Macmillan) is set in a Dublin hospital in 1918 during the height of the Spanish flu pandemic.

Episode 2: Colm Tóibín

In the second episode of Past/Present/Pride, Dr Paul D’Alton talks to Colm Tóibín, celebrated Irish writer and three-time Booker Prize nominee. Tóibín’s work across journalism, non-fiction, short story, drama, and novel is known for its exploration of the inner world of fully realised characters, their flawed inter-relations with those around them, and their struggle to find identity torn between divided worlds. In this hour of conversation, Tóibín discusses topics ranging from the COVID-19 pandemic, his experience with cancer, the role of the novelist in today’s world, and recent forays into the world of poetry.

Episode 3: Mary Dorcey

In the third episode of Past/Present/Pride, Dr Paul D’Alton hears from Mary Dorcey, poet and fiction writer, about learning to read, coming out, her relationship with her mother, and her experience of an oppressive 1970s Ireland. Mary Dorcey has been publishing poetry since her first collection Kindling in 1982. Her poetry has appeared on the Junior Certificate curriculum in Ireland, the O Level curriculum in the UK, and in the BBC anthology A Hundred Favourite Poems of Childhood, and in 1990 she was awarded the Rooney Prize for Literature. Dorcey’s work explores the deep complications and joys of love and relationships. Her poems have been recognised for their touching descriptions of homosexual love and her frank and honest exploration of the relationship between mother and daughter. She is a member of Aosdána and now lives in Wicklow.

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