Imagining Ireland: Speaking Up, Singing Louder

LONDON Barbican
Silk Street


Recent years have seen a groundswell of women’s voices in Irish literature, music and poetry. This special event will celebrate those voices, bringing together a stellar cast of women with a lot to say. 

Art-pop auteur SOAK creates emotionally probing songs of startling candour. Both as lead singer of the band Lankum and a solo artist, Radie Peat is one of the remarkable voices of new folk.

The words are just as vital as the music.

Deborah Levy is the author of seven novels, including Swimming Home, Hot Milk and The Man Who Saw  Everything, all of which were nominated for the Booker Prize. She has written two acclaimed works of memoir, Things I Don’t Want To Know and The Cost of Living. She joins some of the leading lights of an acclaimed generation of Irish writers to speak out.

The evening includes Wendy Erskine (Sweet Home), Sinéad Gleeson (Constellations), Sara Baume (A Line Made by Walking), and Emer McLysaght & Sarah Breen (Oh My God, What a Complete Aisling, The Importance of Being Aisling). Word and music meet in the work of Denise Chaila, a Zambian-Irish rapper, singer and poet hailing from Chikankata in Zambia and based in Limerick. Her music blends spoken word and rap to give voice to the sound of a transatlantic odyssey.

‘A glorious musical melting pot, a modern multi-faceted view of Irish experience’

(★★★★☆ The Guardian on Imagining Ireland 2018)
  • ‘ A collection of essays, frank and revealing, which make up a memoir telling the story of a woman’s life through her body and all the things that happen to it. It’s very well written, clever and moving ’
    (The Times)
  • ‘ Constellations [by Sinéad Gleeson] wades in beyond a comfortable depth on matters of life, death, love, art and womanhood, with poeticism, sensuality and piercing honesty. You’re in for a treat ’
    (Irish Independent)

Imagining Ireland 2020 is curated by Sinéad Gleeson and Gary Sheehan, produced by NCH and Serious and supported by Culture Ireland.