Jack Harte was born in Killeenduff, near Easkey, Co Sligo, Ireland. When he was nine years old his family moved to Lanesboro, Co Longford, where his father worked for Bord-na-Mona. At the age of eighteen, he came to Dublin where he still lives. He attended primary schools at Killeenduff and Dromore West, Co. Sligo, and at Lanesboro, Co Longford. His secondary education was at Ballyleague, Co Roscommon and Roscommon town. Through evening courses at UCD he got a BA and a teaching diploma.


His first posting was as a bog labourer with Bord-na-Mona. He came to Dublin to take up a job on the docks. He has worked as a bus conductor, a courier, a laboratory technician, an executive officer in the Civil Service. For many years he was a teacher in Clondalkin, and Principal of Lucan Community College.

Educational Author

Between 1979 and 1991 Jack Harte wrote 24 English textbooks for Irish schools. They sold over 400,000 copies and one in every two students who passed through second level schools during that period studied one of his books.

Jack Harte, Short Story Writer

Harte's first collection of stories, Murphy in the Underworld, was published by Glendale Press in 1986. Dedalus Press published his novella, Homage, in 1992 and his second collection of stories, Birds and other Tails, in 1996. From Under Gogol's Nose, a volume of new and selected stories was published by Scotus Press in 2004, along with Lament for the Birds, a CD of his stories and songs commissioned by Sligo County Council. Individual stories have been published in magazines and anthologies in Ireland, Britain, U.S.A., Australia, New Zealand, Finland, India, Bulgaria, and Russia, and have been included in many school text-books.

Jack Harte, Novelist

In 2006 Scotus Press published In the Wake of the Bagger, a novel commissioned by Sligo Co Council under the Per Cent for Art Scheme of the Irish Government, the first literary work to be so commissioned. 2007 saw the publication in Bulgarian translation of his novel, Reflections in a Tar Barrel. It was launched at the Applonia Arts festival, achieved sensational success in Bulgaria, and became a bestseller. The English version was published by Scotus Press in 2008.

Books in Translation

A new translation by Heidi Zojer of Harte's 1996 collection of stories, Birds and other Tails, is now available from Amazon Kindle.

A selection of his stories, under the title, Birds and Selected Stories, was translated into Bulgarian and published by Orpheus (Sofia) in 2001. Launched at the National Palace of Culture in Sofia, Harte’s stories hit a cord with the Bulgarian readers and he was invited back frequently afterwards for festivals and readings. In 2007 the publication of Reflections in a Tar-Barrel in Bulgarian before it was published in English further endeared Harte to the Bulgarian public. 2010 saw the translation of In the wake of the Bagger published, again to popular and critical acclaim. It was shortlisted for the Krustan Dyankov Award (Best Book translated from English) for Vergil Nemchev’s translation.

In 2004 Harte was invited to New Delhi to participate in the Katha Festival, hosted by the Indian Government. Many of his stories were subsequently translated into local languages, and in 2006 a volume of his stories, Dream of a Pyramid, was published by Rajkamal Prakashan in Hindi translation.

Many of his stories were translated and published in Russian magazines and newspapers. In 2007 a translation of From Under Gogol’s Nose was published by Voskresenye Publishing House and launched at the Moscow Book Fair. Harte then travelled to Narovchat where, as the guest author at the annual festival celebrating the birthday of the story writer, Alexander Kuprin, his book was again featured.

Read for the World

Jack Harte ended his term as Chairman of the Irish Writers' Centre by organising and leading the marathon reading, Read for the World, on 15th and 16th June, 2012. 111 writers read for 28 hours, to an aggregate live audience of 1,280 in the Irish Writers' Centre, Dublin. The reading was streamed live without break and was watched online by 117,549 viewers in 53 countries. It set a new Guinness World Record for Most Authors reading consecutively from their Books. ...see here

Jack Harte Bursary

The Irish Writers Centre and the Tyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig have come together to offer a two-week fully resourced Writer-in-Residence Bursary to take place on an annual basis. The award is named in honour of Jack Harte, founder of the Irish Writers Centre, in celebration and acknowledgement of his contribution to Irish literature.

Further information on writerscentre.ie

Other Arts activities

Harte has acted as judge of the Irish Schools Creative Writing Awards, and the Listowel Writers Week Short Story Competition. He has served on the International Reading Panel for G.E.S., the French-sponsored European Creative Writing Project for young people. He has given creative writing workshops throughout the country, including the Fiction Workshop at Listowel Writers Week. During 2000 - 2001 he helped to establish an arts programme at Airfield in Dundrum, Dublin.

Recent Public Readings

He has given public readings throughout Ireland as well as in England, France, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, India, Bulgaria, USA, Russia, Pakistan, Turkey and Mexico. They include

- January, 2004 Indo-European Literary Festival devoted to the ‘Story’, organized by Katha, New Delhi, India.
- May, 2005 International Writers’ Festival, Sofia – Bulgaria’s official event to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the end of World War Two.
- June, 2005 Dublin Writers’ Festival
- July, 2006 Force 12 Festival, Belmullet
- September, 2006 Reading Tour of India, including New Delhi and Mumbai.
- May, 2007 Reading Tour of venues in the US state of Connecticut.
- July, 2007 Lough Ree Arts Festival
- September, 2007 Apollonia Arts Festival, Sozopol, Bulgaria
- September, 2007 Moscow International Book Fair and Kuprin Festival, Narovchat
- March, 2009 Dublin Book Festival
- September, 2009 Frank O’Connor Festival, Cork
- December, 2010 Irish Embassy, Sofia
- March, 2011 Islamabad, Pakistan
- March, 2012 Linares International Literature Festival, Mexico
- April, 2013 Irish Writers' Centre, Dublin
- April, 2013 People's Friendship University, Moscow
- June, 2013 Helikon Bookshop, Sofia
- June, 2013 Hotel Levni, Istanbul

Read more about Jack Harte online:

The house in Killeenduff
where Harte was born.

The Bord na Móna estate
at Lanesboro

With Education Minister,
Mary O'Rourke, at the opening
of Lucan Community College

Receiving a presentation
from the staff of Gymnasium
Munchberg, Bavaria

Jack Harte at
Read for the World