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Adrian Duncan and Sue Rainsford on the theme of art writing and creative writing

Conversations with the Contemporary


Style is the writer’s ghost in the language machine: a series of decisions about what to write and how to write it which is both unconscious and deliberate. With this series UCD Writer in Residence Niamh Campbell is delighted to invite 8 writers to describe and discuss their process, craft, and the context of contemporary life – a world mediated by the internet, ruminating on recent history, making room for new stories, or pushing back against these – in relation to their work and their sense of style. We will talk about possible selves, multiple selves, found or concrete iterations of ‘self’; the self online, the self on drugs, the embodied or disembodied self; destruction, confession, reconstitution, and the experience of launching a debut.

Adrian Duncan is an artist and writer based in Ireland and Berlin. His debut novel Love Notes from a German Building Site, published by The Lilliput Press and Head of Zeus, won the 2019 John McGahern Book Prize. Duncan’s second novel A Sabbatical in Leipzig was published in 2020. His collection of short stories Midfield Dynamowill appear with The Lilliput Press in March 2021. In 2020/21 he exhibited, in collaboration with Feargal Ward, a large-scale film/sculptural installation work titled The Soil Became Scandinavian, at VISUAL, Carlow.

Sue Rainsford is an Irish fiction and arts writer living in Dublin. She is a recipient of the VAI/DCC Art Writing Award, the Arts Council Literature Bursary Award and a MacDowell Fellowship, and has been awarded residencies by such institutions as IMMA and Maynooth University. Her debut novel, Follow Me To Ground, received the Kate O’Brien Award when it was first published in Ireland by New Island Books, was long-listed for the Desmond Elliot Prize and the Republic of Consciousness Award when it was published in the UK with Doubleday, and received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Kirkus Reviews when it was published in the US with Scribner. Recent commissions include her short story “Shorn” for Spoken Stories: Independence, which was read by Saoirse Ronan on RTÉ Radio 1. Sue’s second novel, Redder Days, is forthcoming in March 2021 with Doubleday.

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