Michael Smith is a best-selling author whose book, An Unsung Hero, the biography of explorer Tom Crean, opened a new chapter in Irish history and stimulated widespread interest in Ireland’s role in Polar exploration. An Unsung Hero has been translated into the languages of China, Germany, Italy and Korea and has encouraged a number of spin-offs, including a successful stage play and songs. Crean’s story has since been popularised for children through the successful adaptation, Tom Crean – Iceman and Fear San Oighear, the Irish language edition for younger readers. Tom Crean’s story has since been adopted onto the national curriculum in Irish schools.
Worldwide sales of Michael’s books have risen above 250,000 and include Shackleton – By Endurance We Conquer and Great Endeavour – Ireland’s Antarctic Explorers. Michael has returned to the theme of unsung heroes with his latest book, Icebound in the Arctic – The Mystery of Captain Francis Crozier and the Franklin Expedition. He has appeared on TV and radio and lectured extensively at prestigious venues such as the National Library of Ireland, Royal Society of Irish Antiquarians, National Maritime Museum and Royal Geographical Society London, the Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge and the Princess Grace Memorial Library, Monaco. He appeared at Immrama in 2018 and has also spoken at numerous other literary festivals in Ireland, including Dublin Book Festival, Writers’ Week Listowel, Cuirt, West Cork Literary Festival, Ennis Book Festival and the Mountains to Sea Festival. Michael is a former award-winning journalist with The Guardian and The Observer.
Details of this year’s festival programme can be found elsewhere on this website.