Breaking Ground Ireland

Breaking Ground Ireland is a welcome and promising initiative to spotlight literary talent, foster creative community, and celebrate the rich plurivocity of stories that enliven contemporary Ireland.

Nidhi Zak/Aria Eipe

Celebrating diverse Irish writing

Shining a light on the rich and diverse contemporary literature of Ireland, Breaking Ground Ireland showcases and celebrates over 90 writers and illustrators from ethnic minority backgrounds, including Irish Traveller writers, from the island of Ireland.

Conceived by Cúirt International Festival of Literature and National University of Ireland Galway, they approached Speaking Volumes to produce Breaking Ground Ireland. This is a continuation of our existing Breaking Ground series, which since its inception has supported the careers of hundreds of British writers and illustrators of colour. Irish literature is widely recognised and beloved around the world, but recent studies have made plain that the Irish literature sector does not reflect the breadth and diversity of writing talent working in Ireland today.

Visibility is an important step on the path to building a career as a writer and we hope that this project will provide meaningful opportunities for writers who have not benefited from traditional platforms, and support change growth in Ireland’s literature sector. 

A key outcome will be a booklet, in print and digital format, showcasing writers at every stage of their careers from emerging and early-career to established voices. The booklet will raise the profile of over 90 contemporary Irish authors from under-represented, culturally diverse backgrounds and will be a valuable resource nationally and internationally, demonstrating the range of contemporary Irish literature.

The booklet will be distributed to organisations around Ireland including publishers, editors, festivals, arts organisations and local authorities, and was launched at Cúirt International Festival of Literature in April 2022.

To stay updated with the project, visit

This project is made possible with the support of Irish Research Council.

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