Saturday 24 March 2018

The life and times of Ledwidge at the castle

The life and poetry of the Slane poet Francis Ledwidge will be explored at a seminar in Slane Castle to mark the centenary of his death.

The seminar on Saturday 14th October - titled Francis Ledwidge: Poetry and the First World War 1917-2017 - is being organised jointly by Meath County Council and the Francis Ledwidge Museum Committee. It will also see the launch of a book "A Bittern Cry", a testament to Francis Ledwidge, the man and poet, edited by author and poet Tom French with an introduction by Professor Gerald Dawe and including a collection of essays and poetic contributions by 19 writers. The book is published by Meath County Council, Poetry Ireland/Eigse Eireann and the Francis Ledwidge Museum.

Cllr Gerry O'Connor, Cathaoirleach of Meath County Council and Rosemary Yore, Chairperson of the Francis Ledwidge Museum Committee will deliver addresses of welcome to the seminar at 9.45am (registration from 9am) and Eiléan Ni Chuilleanáin, Ireland Professor of Poetry will perform the official opening.

The first session - The Poetry of Francis Ledwidge: Irish and British Contexts - will be chaired by Professor Dawe, Trinity College and include contributions by Lucy Collins (Ledwidge Country), Jim Haughey ('The helpless child of circumstance?' - Ledwidge's poems about enlistment), Terry Philips (The Experience of War), Nerys Williams (Poet(s) of the Black Chair: Reading Hedd Wyn with Francis Ledwidge). Philip Orr will chair a section entitled "Francis Ledwidge's War" and contributors will include Myles Dungan (Ledwidge the Warrior), Frank Ledwidge (The Attack on Kidney Hill, 15th August 1915).

Author Peter Fallon will chair a reading of Ledwidge's poems, with contributions by Gerald Dawe, Eiléan Ni Chuilleanáin. Philip Orr and Gerard Smyth. An open forum discussion, chaired by Myles Dungan and including Fran Brearton, Tom French and Frank Ledwidge will take place just before the launch of A Bittern Cry. Violinist Julieanne Forrest will perform at the book launch.

Tickets €20 (includes lunch and refreshments) are available from the Francis Ledwidge Museum Telephone; 041 9824544 or and online from Solstice Arts Centre Navan

Drogheda Independent