The Sunday Service: Reflections on Loss at Cúirt International Festival of Literature 2022

Sometimes art can express things in ways we as individuals cannot. Cúirt International Festival of Literature is hosting a unique series of performances and reflections on grief and loss at The Mick Lally Theatre in Galway on Sunday 10 April. Composer Ailís Ní Ríain and writers Michael Pedersen, William Keohane and Jay Bernard will explore the landscape of loss on a personal and societal level. 

The Sunday Service is supported by the Irish Hospice Foundation’s Seed Grants Scheme and delivered in partnership with Scotland House.

This event will feature the World Premiere of Wait, a new work for string quartet composed by Irish contemporary classical composer Ailís Ní Ríain, co-commissioned by Galway Music Residency and Cúirt.

This piece was conceived in response to a poem – ‘Wait’  by the American poet Galway Kinnell – and Ní Ríain has created a layered aural experience from this inspiration. The poem is a meditation on suicide and loss, and audiences will also have an opportunity to hear it read by Kinnell in a video recording during the event.

Writers Michael Pedersen, William Keohane and Jay Bernard will then guide the audience through their meditations on grief and loss, and the galaxy of feelings and memories sparked by those explorations.


Michael Pedersen is a prize-winning poet, having produced two highly-acclaimed collections of poetry with Polygon Books. A prose debut, Boy Friends, is forthcoming with Faber & Faber in 2022.

William Keohane is a writer and poet from Limerick. His work has appeared in Banshee, Queering the Green, Hennessy New Irish Writing and the RTÉ Radio 1 Sunday Miscellany. He recently completed an MA in Creative Writing at the University of Limerick.

Jay Bernard is a British artist, writer, and poet from Croydon, London. Their multimedia performance work Surge: Side A received the 2017 Ted Hughes Award for new poetry. They co-authored Not Quite Right For Us, a volume of stories, essays, and poems by several writers edited by Sharmilla Beezmohun.

Ailís Ní Ríain is an Irish composer and writer who aims to produce work that challenges, provokes and engages. Her work has been performed across Europe, in Israel, Brazil, USA and Japan and broadcast on BBC and RTÉ.

Contempo Quartet has been Galway Music Residency’s Ensemble in Residence since 2003 and was RTÉ’s Resident Quartet from 2014 until 2019.

This is a pay-what-you-can event.

Further information and booking:

Supported by the International Literature Showcase Collaboration Fund. The International Literature Showcase is a partnership between the National Centre for Writing and the British Council.


Sign up to our e-bulletin to keep up to date with the latest news and opportunities.