Friday, 11 May 2012

A literary summer

Last month’s Cúirt International Festival of Literature in Galway kicked off the summer’s literary festivals. The theme of this year’s festival was ‘Communication and Language’ and how readers engage with and absorb literature. Paul Durkan, John Banville and David Mitchell and Ruth Padel were some of those who gave performances.

The life and works of poet, short-story writer and playwright Dylan Thomas along with his ties to north County Clare are to be celebrated in a new international literary festival, to be held in the Falls Hotel in Ennistymon from Friday May 18th to Sunday, May 20th. The three-day festival will feature lectures, poetry recitals, a documentary screening, and a history tour outlining Ennistymon's connections to the Welsh literary legend and other poets, including Brian Merriman. For further details see

Next up is Listowel Writers’ Week which runs from May 30th to June 3rd. The line-up of speakers includes Germaine Greer and Patrick deWitt – Booker nominated author of The Sisters Brothers. The winner of the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year award worth €15,000 will be announced on the opening night. See

The Dublin Writers’ Festival runs from June 4th to 10th. Leading science writer Richard Dawkins, 2010 Nobel literature winner Mario Vargas Llosa and author Jeanette Winterson feature on a programme which includes events for children in addition to workshops and film. For further information, see

 The West Cork Literary festival which runs from July 8th to 14th celebrates the area’s maritime heritage and will include readings and talks based on all sorts of matters nautical, as well as a reading on an Irish Navy vessel. Talks by John McCarthy, Michael Parkinson, Anita Shreeve and Anita Desai are among the attractions for adults while Anne Fine and Alex Scarrow will entertain children. See

The 25th Hopkins Festival will be a unique celebration of poet Gerard Manley Hopkins and his interest in all the Arts. This festival, which takes place in County Kildare from July 21th to 27th ,will explore the universal appeal of Hopkins's poetry.

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