Bray People

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Nature focus of Shaking Bog festival

Creativity and writing with a nature theme, set in the idyllic setting of Glencree. Mary Fogarty reports


Diarmuid Gavin

Diarmuid Gavin

Diarmuid Gavin


There was excitement in Enniskerry Library last Wednesday evening, for the launch of 'The Shaking Bog' nature writing festival, taking place in the Glencree Valley on June 22 and 23.

This brand new midsummer festival of nature writing will be awakening and enlivening the valley with a diverse offering of events. From poetry readings to conversations, workshops to nature trails, creative writing for children to musical interludes - this festival will offer an immersive and enriching experience for literature and nature lovers alike.

National and world renowned artists and writers will participate at the Glencree Centre for Peace and Reconciliation, Fighting Words Wicklow and Knockree Hostel.

'I am extremely excited to curate a festival within my own local community,' said festival director Catherine Nunes, who also founded the acclaimed Dublin Dance Festival. 'Living here in such extraordinarily beautiful landscape has been both my sustenance and my inspiration for this event. I wanted to do something that would reawaken our connection to the natural world in an intimate and meaningful way. But I also hope that The Shaking Bog will reflect the serious quality and excellence of the nature writing that is being published today and for the festival events to be both thoughtful and thought-provoking.'

Among others, names worthy of note include: Britain's favourite nature writer (and farmer) John Lewis-Stempel, award-winning poet Pascale Petit, poet and official 'national treasure' Paul Durcan, celebrated writer Carlo Gebler, Wicklow-based author and naturalist Declan Murphy, Emmy award-winning wildlife cinematographer Theo Jebb and superstar children's author Shane Hegarty.

There will be a feast of opportunities for children with a very special 'Young Shakers' day-long event at Aurora House Glencree, presented in association with Fighting Words. This event includes song-writing, graphic fiction and creative workshops as well as storytelling, bird and bat box building, scavenger hunts and a special grand finale event. Children will also feature in their own Budding Writers Reading Event at Curtlestown School.

A special tribute is also planned for the Bray resident, the extraordinary poet Shirley McClure who died recently, with readings and contributions by poets Jane Clarke and Katie Donovan.

To top it all off the festival finale will be a concert of music and readings at St. Kevin's Church, Glencree featuring the wonderful Liam O'Maonlai with guests including Mary Coughlan, The Square Pegs, Diarmuid Gavin; Katie Donovan; the Fugato Quartet and others.

The festival is funded by Wicklow County Council and County Wicklow Partnership Leader Programme, with support from Poetry Ireland, Glencree Centre for Peace and Reconciliation, Fighting Words, and local sponsors King Tree Services and Greenking Composting.

Go to for a programme of events.