Colm Tóibín announced as the new Laureate for Irish Fiction

Colm Tóibín has been appointed as the newest Laureate for Irish Fiction and begins his three-year tenure in February.

First established in 2015, the Laureate for Irish Fiction is a role that is received by an Irish writer of fiction, with the role seeking to encourage a new generation of writers, promote Irish literature nationally and internationally and encourage the public to engage with high-quality Irish fiction.” 

Colm Tóibín’s appointment follows Sebastian Barry (A Long, Long Way, 2005; The Secret Scripture, 2008), who took on the role from inaugural Laureate Anne Enright (The Gathering, 2007; The Green Road, 2015).

Colm Tóibín
Colm Tóibín (Photo: RTE / Under The Radar)

“Colm is one of our finest writers with a recognised international reputation,” Professor Kevin Rafter, chair of the Arts Council Ireland, said. “His novels and short stories are not just acclaimed by critics but they are also loved by readers. I know he will bring his tremendous intellect, and endless energy and empathy, to the role of Laureate for Irish Fiction.”

Widely celebrated across the globe, Colm Tóibín is the author of ten critically acclaimed novels, and dozens of non-fiction works. He is internationally recognised for works such as the Booker-nominated Brooklyn — which was turned into an Academy Award-winning film of the same name — and The Master, the latter of which won some of the biggest literary awards of the year.

In response to the honour, Colm Tóibín said, “I am honoured to be appointed Laureate. I am proud to follow Anne Enright and Sebastian Barry in establishing a public role for a writer of fiction in Ireland. I will do what I can to work with a community of readers so that fiction continues to enrich our lives, allow us to see the world more clearly, or with a deepened sense of mystery. I will also work with fellow writers and aspiring writers to enhance the role novels and stories play in Irish life.”