Friday 19 January 2018

Cork festival to display talent across board

A celebration of promising writers and established greats, says Andrea Byrne

Andrea Byrne

Hot on the heels of last weekend's hugely successful Dalkey Book Festival, book lovers can look forward to yet another summer smorgasbord of writerly delights. The West Cork Literary Festival, which takes place in Bantry, kicks off on Sunday, July 3, and runs until July 9, with a bulging line-up of events proving exactly why it is one of Ireland's foremost literary events.

The fact that it is located in one of the country's prettiest seaside towns only adds to its charm.

Organisers are touting it as a celebration of both current talent and "those who have gone before us". In fact, it is a celebration of the latter group that formally begins proceedings. Special guests, including Senator David Norris, Pauline McLynn, Peter Sheridan, Ardal O'Hanlon and Tom Hickey, will read from their favourite dead authors.

In terms of contemporary writers, this year's festival offers everything from up-and-coming talent to established to award-winners, from both Ireland and abroad.

In what is guaranteed to be one of the festival's highlights, "An Afternoon with Michael Morpurgo", takes place in the Maritime Hotel at 2.30 on Thursday July 7.

With his recent book Shadow winning a heap of awards and a Steven Spielberg film adaptation of his 1982 novel War Horse due for release next year, Morpurgo will have loads to talk about.

Aspiring scribes of all genres should not miss Tuesday's panel discussion, which will discuss "Why Write? What is the Point of Creative Writing?". Participating authors in the discussion, which has been organised by the Faber Academy Dublin, are Gillian Slovo, Hugo Hamilton and Lucy Caldwell.

The debate will be chaired by the festival's artistic director Denyse Woods.

At 8.30 that night, "An Evening with John Banville", with the introduction provided by the equally wonderful John Boyne, promises to be worth every cent of the €15 ticket price. Be sure to book early as key events sell out quickly.

Other highlights of the festival, which is now in its 14th incarnation, include Linda Grant in conversation with Sue Leonard. There are also a number of workshops on offer, which are being given by international best-selling authors John Boyne, Hugo Hamilton and Lucy Caldwell, to name but a few.

Furthermore, there are events organised for children of varying ages, as well as a Teen Poetry Competition 2011. Loads to look forward to. Now all we need is for the sun to shine.

The West Cork Literary Festival takes place from Sunday, July 3, to Saturday, July 9. For bookings call (027) 55987. Visit www.west

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