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Shelfmarks with Niall Williams and Christine Breen

14 October 2021

In this bonus episode of Shelfmarks, Zoë Comyns chats to guest writers Niall and Christine about their own relationship with their garden and nature. 

Shelfmarks is a podcast by the Royal Irish Academy podcaster-in-residence Zoë Comyns. Every other week Zoë will sift through the Academy collection for Shelfmarks (biographies, manuscripts, books and reference from the collection) and invite a guest writer to discuss their own relationship with the natural world. Each writer has been specially commissioned to write pieces exploring their own relationship with nature.

Shelfmarks goes live every other Sunday and episodes are available on SoundCloudSpotify and Apple Podcasts.


In this bonus episode of Shelfmarks, Zoë meets with Niall Williams and Christine Breen. Niall and Christine are the authors of numerous books. Niall has been longlisted for the Man Booker for History of the Rain and his most recent novel is This is Happiness. Chrstine Breen’s first novel is Her Name is Rose. Together, their most recent book is In Kiltumper: A Year in an Irish Garden (Bloomsbury, 2021).

Niall and Christine joined us for our Culture Night special episode of Shelfmarks to talk about writing and the natural world. One of the aims of this series is to commission new writing about the natural world and both Niall and Chrstine have a short piece for this episode in the same style as their entries for In Kiltumper - they explore their own relationship with their garden and nature.

A full episode of Shelfmarks will be back next week with poet Jane Clarke and an exploration of the uplands and walking through the work of Robert Lloyd Praeger. 

This series is funded by the Arts Council Literature Project Award. Special thanks to Matt Purcelll for the recording.

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