Listowel Writers’ Week officially threw open the doors to its 48th festival on Wednesday night.
A host of Irish and international poets, playwrights, novelists, short story writers, artists and musicians flocked into Listowel yesterday evening for the 48th opening and awards ceremony of Listowel Writers’ Week.
Award Winning Poet
Award winning US Poet Billy Collins officially opened the festival. Music on the evening was provided by award winning A Capella group Ardú.
There were recitations from poet Clodagh Beresford Dunn who won the Bord Gais Irish Book Awards Poem of the Year 2017.
A Cuppa with Colm
Festival President Colm Tóibín was present at the opening ceremony and he hosted A Cuppa with Colm on Thursday morning.
Festival Chairperson Liz Dunn, while welcoming everyone to the opening ceremony, said that this year’s festival programme is outstanding and covers such a wide variety of literature and responses to literature, that there really is something for everyone.
Best Irish Festival 2018 Award
“It certainly justifies our Best Irish Festival 2018 Award,” said added.
The John B. Keane Lifetime Achievement Award, in association with Mercier Press, was presented to writer, Edna O’Brien in recognition of her outstanding contribution to literature internationally.
Biggest Buzz of the Night
The biggest buzz of the night was kept for the announcement of the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year Award 2017.
Irish novelist Paul Lynch with his novel Grace, walked away with the €15,000 prize. The prize was presented to Paul Lynch by Frank Hayes of Kerry Group.
Mr. Hayes said that as one of the notable highlights of the annual Irish literary awards, the Kerry Group Award for Irish fiction has once again brought the country’s finest writers to the fore.
Five Fantastic Novels
“This year’s shortlist includes five fantastic novels that sit comfortably alongside the previous winners of this prestigious prize. Congratulations to each of the shortlisted authors and most especially to our Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year winner, Paul Lynch, for his wonderful work Grace,” said Mr. Hayes and he also thanked this year’s adjudicators Jane Urquhart and Alex Preston for their hard work and dedication to the adjudication.
The Pigott Poetry Prize
The Pigott Poetry Prize was awarded to Colette Bryce who won €8,000 for her collection Selected Poems 2000-2014. This prize is for a published collection of poetry by an Irish poet generously sponsored by Mark Pigott, KBE, Chairman and Chief Executive of PACCAR Inc.
Mark’s family originated from Listowel and emigrated to the United States in the late 1890s. Mark flew in from New York on Wednesday and he too thanked this year’s adjudicators Billy Collins and Deryn Rees Jones for their work in choosing this year’s winner.
Festival Continues to Sunday
The festival continues until Sunday, June 3rd and will feature a host of international and national writers and guests in Listowel for five days of books, banter and bestsellers!
Guests will include Margaret Drabble, Adrian Dunbar, Anthony Horowitz, Alex Preston, Jimmy Page, Scarlett Sabet, Michael Longley, Colette Bryce, Billy Collins, Pauline Bewick, Carlo Gebler, Eimear McBride to name a very small selection.
Creative Writing Workshops
The festival will also feature 12 Creative Writing Workshops ranging from novel, poetry, songwriting and short fiction.
Running alongside the main festival, Listowel Writers’ Week also hosts The National Children’s Festival over four days and will feature: Joe Coelho, Sarah Webb, Robin Stevens, Helena Duggan and a host of family themed events.
So… something for everybody during the Bank Holiday weekend in The Kingdom of Words!
Read more on: www.writersweek.ie
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