Sasha joins Janet Smyth who began working with the festival in 2021 in the role of Family & Children’s Events Programmer. The 26th edition of the festival will run from the 19 – 28 of May in Merrion Square Park, Dublin.
Sasha de Buyl is a literature development professional based in Ireland working across national and international projects. Sasha was Director of Cúirt International Festival of Literature in Galway from 2019 – 2022 and prior to this managed Scottish Books International, developing projects and partnerships for Scottish literature overseas. They also spent two years working as Literature Officer at Creative Scotland and five years managing reader development projects, including the programme for Book Week Scotland, while at Scottish Book Trust. During their career, they have also held roles with StAnza International Poetry Festival, Edinburgh International Book Festival and Aye Write Book Festival in Glasgow. They are currently also a Programme Associate with Belfast Book Festival and a board member of GAZE: Dublin’s International LGBTQ Film Festival.
As Literature & Ideas Programmer Sasha will play a key role in ensuring ILFD’s commitment to delivering an authentic festival experience which connects to Dublin City, a designated UNESCO City of Literature, and which makes speakers, sponsors and audience members want to come back for more. Working closely with the festival core team, they will shape and deliver fresh and engaging programmes suitable for a diverse audience base.
Janet Smyth’s role of Family & Children’s Events Programmer sees her curate the Children’s and Families strand for ILFD. She has 20 years experience working in literature and the arts with children, young people and communities, designing engaging and accessible events, projects and festivals. As well as working with ILFD, she curates the Schools & Families Programme for Boswell Book Festival, the world’s only festival of biography and memoir and is a Consultant to Toronto International Festival of Authors. Previous roles include Deputy Head of Learning & Engagement (Health and Wellbeing) at the National Galleries of Scotland; Children & Schools Programme Director at the Edinburgh International Book Festival for eight years; and Director of the Pushkin Prizes in Scotland, a creative writing competition that works with Scottish and Russian schools. She was also owner of Blast-Off Books, a specialist children’s bookshop and school supply business.
Speaking about the appointments, Aimée van Wylick, ILFD Director and Producer, said: “It’s a very exciting time to be working on the International Literature Festival Dublin. This is an opening of a new chapter with an innovative programming team configuration; along with our plans for building a literary village in Merrion Square Park and reinvigorated relationships with our new and existing partners, we look forward to welcoming everyone to the festival this May.”