Niall MacMonagle was born in Killarney and studied at UCC where he wrote an MA thesis on Virginia Woolf. He taught English for thirty-five years, first at Bandon Grammar School and then at Wesley College, Dublin. He has edited several anthologies and textbooks including the Lifelines series, Poetry Now and Windharp Poems of Ireland since 1916. He writes a weekly art column in the Sunday Independent and broadcasts frequently on RTE Radio 1. He founded Poetry Aloud, has done many public author interviews and has served on the boards of the National Library and the Seamus Heaney Foundation. In 2017, he was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Letters by UCD for services to literature.
Zoë Strachan was born in Scotland and is the award-winning author of three novels: Ever Fallen in Love, Spin Cycle and Negative Space. As an editor, she has collected six new writing anthologies, and she also publishes short stories, essays and criticism. She teaches Creative Writing at University of Glasgow and has a PhD in Scottish Literature. Fellowships include the International Writing Program of University of Iowa, the University of Otago, UNESCO City of Literature writer-in-residence at the National Museum of Scotland and a Robert Louis Stevenson Award. Two of her works for stage are Panic Patterns (with Louise Welsh) and an opera adaptation of The Lady from the Sea (music by Craig Armstrong) for the Edinburgh International Festival, where it won a Herald Angel Award. She makes sound art/experimental radio with composer Nichola Scrutton.
Yannick Garcia is a Catalan writer and translator based in Barcelona. He has published poetry, for which he won the Gabriel Ferrater Prize, as well as short story collections, such as Barbamecs and La nostra vida vertical which was awarded the Documenta Prize. Many of his stories have appeared in literary magazines and anthologies and have been translated into Spanish, Italian or Galician. He has also translated dozens of books from English and French into Catalan and Spanish by authors such as George Saunders, Lydia Davis, Sherman Alexie, David Vann, Sebastian Barry, Joseph O’Connor, Carson McCullers or Joseph Conrad. He has taught translation, interpretation and creative writing at Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona.
Cathy Rentzenbrink was born in Cornwall, grew up in Yorkshire, lived in London for twenty years, and has now moved back to Cornwall. She is the author of The Last Act of Love, which was a Sunday Times top ten bestseller of the year and was shortlisted for the Wellcome Prize and the Portico Prize. She followed this with A Manual for Heartache and her next book is called Dear Reader: The Comfort and Joy of Books and will be published in September 2020. Cathy presents The Bookseller podcast, writes a column for Prospect, reviews books for The Times, and speaks and writes regularly on life, death, love and literature. She is often to be found doing events in bookshops and libraries, at festivals, and in prisons.
Shreela Ghosh was born in Shillong, India and lives in London. She has worked in the Arts for more than 30 years and in 2009, she became the founding director of the Freeword Centre in London which brings together people working in literature, literacy and free expression. For several years the International Translation Day conference was held at Freeword. Shreela continues to champion translators and promotes translating as a creative act. Between, 2011 – 2018, she was part of the British Council’s Global Arts senior management team. During this period, she felt privileged to live and work both in Dhaka, Bangladesh and in New Delhi, India. Shreela believes that novels are the best place to start if you want to understand another culture. Photo by: George Torode
Chris Morash is the Seamus Heaney Professor of Irish Writing in Trinity College Dublin, where he served as Vice-Provost of the university from 2016-19. He has published extensively on Irish culture, including studies of Irish Famine literature, A History the Irish Theatre 1601-2000, A History of the Media in Ireland, and he is co-editor of the Oxford Handbook of Modern Irish Theatre (2016). From 2009 to 2014, he served as the first chair of the Compliance Committee of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland. He was elected to Membership of the Royal Irish Academy in 2007, and to Fellowship of Trinity in 2016. He is originally from Nova Scotia.