Monday 20 November 2017

Seamus Heaney in exciting line-up for Listowel Writers' Week

Seamus Heaney
Seamus Heaney
Madeleine Keane

Madeleine Keane

THE programme for Listowel Writers' Week was launched in typically ebullient fashion.

Speaking about this year's festival, the chairman, Sean Lyons, said: "Less than a year after man first walked on the moon, a group of visionary people gathered to plan the first Listowel Writers' Week. Since then, only a dozen people have walked on the moon but tens of thousands have thronged the streets of Listowel to share in a celebration of Irish and international culture and literature.

"This year, while the moon is deserted, we will bring an exciting and varied programme of events to Ireland's Literary Capital, here in the heart of north Kerry."

Looking at the programme, you can see why they wax so lyrical. The festival, which runs from Wednesday, May 28 until Sunday, June 1, has a distinguished line-up of international authors, among them IMPAC winner Gerbrand Bakker, Jim Crace, Tishani Doshi, Douglas Kennedy and Aminatta Forna. They'll be joined by indigenous talents – IMPAC nominee Donal Ryan, Goldsmith's winner Eimear McBride and Belfast's inaugural Poet Laureate, Sinead Morrissey. And the festival will celebrate our late, much loved Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney in a special Poetry Aloud event, where young award-winning students will read from the poet's work.

Meanwhile, The New Writers' Salon will continue to showcase the best and most exciting emerging poets and prose writers in Ireland today, with the opportunity for budding writers to read their work at an open-mic session.

Now in its 43rd year, Listowel will recall the 100th anniversary of the First World War and the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide with a panel discussion featuring BBC foreign correspondents Fergal Keane and Andy Kershaw, and army officer and author Tom Clonan. Catering for our youngsters, the Kerry fest features an alternative cultural school tour, 'authors in schools' day, workshops, picnics, book clinics and will include celebrated children's writers such as John Boyne, Siobhán Parkinson and Sarah Webb.

And there's good news if you're on a budget – there's a newly established Festival Glamping Site located in Listowel's beautiful park in the heart of the town. For more information and tickets for all events, visit

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