Friday 23 March 2018

Written word is focus of pilot project

Poet Jane Clarke
Poet Jane Clarke

Leading authors Michael Harding, Eoin McNamee, Adele O'Neill, Julie Parsons and others will feature on the programme for the 'Way with Words, Wicklow', a pilot literature project for County Wicklow.

These are just some of the writers and poets headed for Arklow and Blessington Libraries in the coming months to give free readings, talks and writing workshops for all ages.

Others included on the programme, which has just been announced, are Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick, Michael Emberley, Peggie Gallagher, Joe Brennan, Oisín McGann, Catríona O'Reilly, Moya Cannon, Jane Clarke and Úna-Minh Kavanagh.

The 'Way with Words, Wicklow' event takes place in Arklow and Blessington Libraries from March to May of this year.

Led by Nell Regan, Wicklow County Council Literature Curator, 'Way with Words' is a Wicklow County Council initiative supported by Creative Ireland, in collaboration with Wicklow Arts Office and Library Services.

As well as the packed programme taking place in the libraries, writers and poets will be out and about visiting Men's Sheds, schools, community groups and working with creative writing groups all over the county.

'Way with Words, Wicklow' was due to kick-off with a day of free events for children and teens in Blessington Library last Saturday, March 3, but this had to be postponed due to the inclement weather. For details on when then will be rescheduled, contact the library through

Highlights for Blessington in April and May include the 2016 Irish Times Poetry Now winner and Wicklow-born poet, Catríona O'Reilly, reading on Saturday, April 28, while on Friday, May 11, author and Irish Times columnist, Michael Harding, will talk about the 'Art of the Memoir'. He will also be visiting the local Men's Shed to swap stories over a cup of tea.

Way with Words' concludes in Blessington on May 12 with the winner of the 2017 Irish Independent Crime Book of the Year Award, Julie Parsons in conversation with Rose Barrett O'Donoghue.

In Arklow Library, 'Way with Words' will run from March 20 to March 24, the library will be buzzing with authors, readers, aspiring writers and illustrators of all ages.

Aspiring writers are encouraged to attend the first workshop with a view to setting up a creative writing group in Arklow Library. This session will be facilitated by Poet Jane Clarke on Tuesday, March 20.

'Way with Words' will officially launch at Arklow Library at 6.30 p.m. on Thursday, March 22. Special guest Michael Harding will discuss the 'Art of the Memoir' at 7.30 p.m. His latest book, 'On Tuesdays I'm a Buddhist' was an instant bestseller. Michael will also be visiting a local Men's Shed to swap stories over a cup of tea.

On Friday, March 23 at 1 p.m., local author Adele O'Neill will read from her latest thriller 'Behind a Closed Door'. Later on Friday evening, the winner of the 2015 Kerry Group Novel of the Year, Eoin McNamee, and Audrey Magee, the Wicklow novelist whose debut novel was shortlisted for the Bailey's Women's Prize for Fiction, will talk books. Join them as they each recommend and discuss five books for people to read. Recommend 10 is a must for all readers and would also make a great book club outing.

There is a range of exciting children's events on Saturday, March 24, including a children's storytelling session with Wexford native Joe Brennan and an illustration workshop for the under-6's with the award-winning author of the 'Mad Grandad' series, Oisín McGann. Children's Books Ireland Book Doctors will be in the library all morning talking with young readers and issuing prescriptions for a good read.

Poet Moya Cannon will facilitate an open-mike session at 2 p.m. which will include a signed poetry recital by the Library's Irish Sign Language Group.

Also, on Saturday, March 24, blogger, travel writer, social media manager and U Magazine's Social Activist 2017 Úna-Minh Kavanagh will give a workshop 'Successful Blogging' for teens.

All events are free but booking is required. Tickets from and in both Arklow and Blessington Libraries. Contact Arklow Library: Tel 0402 39977 or Blessington Library at 045 891740. Email or Facebook: @WicklowWayWithWords. Twitter: @WicklowWords.

Bray People