Writers’ Week to Unveil full line-up of Main Events and Children’s Festival

It’s a case of Let the Magic Begin in Listowel from this Wednesday evening, May 27th. Here we take a look at what’s on and a photographic trip back through a spread of ‘weeks’ in Listowel from recent years.

This year’s Listowel Writers’ Week Festival, which runs from May 27th – 31st May 2015 will be opened by Ireland’s inaugural Laureate for Irish Fiction, Anne Enright on Wednesday evening, 27th May at the Listowel Arms Hotel.

Entry is Free and is on a first-come first-served basis.  Listowel Writers’ Week president, Colm Tóibín will preside over the evening.  The highlight of the opening night will be the announcement of the winners of the festival’s diverse writing awards. The total prize fund of €35,000 includes:  The Kerry Group Irish Novel of Year Award 2015 and The Pigott Poetry Prize.

Festival Highlights include:

On Thursday 28th May: An interview with award-winning authors Alex Preston and Nuala Ní Chonchúir;  An interview with authors Anne Enright and Colm Tóibín and a reading by poet, Paul Durcan.
Friday 29th May: An interview with award-winning author Andrew O’Hagan – who is one of his generation’s most exciting and serious chroniclers of contemporary Britain and the part it plays in the world;  Award-winning novelist and poet Nick Laird in conversation with Niall MacMonagle;  An interview with Boston crime writer Dennis Lehane – many of whose novels have been adapted into award-winning films; Evening theatre with the hugely talented Pat Kinevane in a presentation of the captivating and unforgettable ‘Underneath’.
Saturday 30th May:   A lecture with Middle East correspondent Patrick Cockburn, based on his latest book, The Rise of Islamic State: ISIS and the New Sunni Revolution;
An interview with Indian author Neel Mukherjeewhose second novel The Lives of Others was published last year and shortlisted for the Man Booker, the Costa Novel and the Folio Prizes;  An interview with Norwegian novelist Per Petterson, probably best known for his 2003 best-selling novel Out Stealing Horses. His seventh novel I Refuse explores familiar themes such as the disappearance of parents, childhood damage and male friendship;  Bafta award-winning Graham Norton in conversation with Rick O’Shea to discuss his memoir The Life and Loves of a He Devil.
Sunday 31st May:  A lecture with historian and Professor of Modern Irish History at UCD Diarmaid Ferriter, based on the Ireland of 1913-23 and draws on newly-released archival material;  A lecture with psychoanalyst and author Michael Murphy, well known as an award-winning senior television producer, director and newscaster with RTE. His acclaimed memoir At Five in the Afternoon – My Battle with Male Cancer was published in 2009; Evening Theatre is ‘The Year of the Hiker’ – John B. Keane’s penetrating study of the return of the family patriarch after a period of twenty years, much to the confusion and consternation of his family.
New this year is a special Yeats Event to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of the Nobel Prize winning poet W B Yeats.

Poetry Aloud: Finalists from the Poetry Aloud Children’s Competition will read his work.
The hugely popular New Writers’ Salon will return for its 3rd year and will once again showcase a new tranche of Ireland’s best and most exciting emerging writers of tomorrow.

The National Children’s Literary Festival at Listowel Writers’ Week is also delighted to announce the launch of its 2015 Festival Programme, which takes place this year from 28th May – 31st May. 

Whether your children are toddlers or pre-teens, they will participate in a wide variety of excellent, imaginative and interactive readings, workshops and performances from some of today’s best children’s authors, illustrators and performance artists.  New for this year is that everyone that can now books events for this year’s festival online at www.writersweek.ie/children
 Alice in Wonderland: In celebration of the 150th anniversary of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland there will be two excellent Dance Workshops on Saturday 30th May for both six to eight  and nine to 12 year olds.
“We would encourage parents and schools to book early to avoid disappointment,” Elizabeth Dunne, Chairperson of the National Children’s Literary Festival said.

Tickets for Graham Norton interview in the main festival sold out in just 75 minutes and the organisers anticipate the interest in the children’s programme will be brisk..
Other exciting events the organisers would like to draw visitors’ attention to include:  Thursday, May 29th. Andrew Cope is the author of the best-selling children’s series ‘Spy Dog’ and ‘Spy Pups’;  Philip Ardagh author of the Grunts and 100 other award winning books
Shane Hegarty’s debut book Darkmouth is the hottest property in town!

Wild Boar Productions Present The Hero in Red and White
All events in this year’s programme will take place at Listowel Community Centre and are now available to book online at www.writersweek.ie/children or by calling Maria McGrath on 068 21074.  For Further information contact: Máire Logue on 068 21074, 087 2433304 or maire@writersweek.ie or see the website here: http://writersweek.ie/