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Writers' Week to go Stateside

Listowel Writers' Week is going global with news that the inaugural 'sister' festival will be held in California in October.

The Californian town of Los Gatos was twinned with Listowel since 1994 - initially instigated by Jimmy Deenihan - and it is hoped that the latest development will further strengthen existing relationships.

Over the past number of decades, several delegations have travelled between the two towns, creating positive links particularly in the Silicon Valley area that have led to an Irish Innovation Centre being opened in the San Jose area.

Having visited the 'literary capital of Ireland' in June to gain an insight into how the festival is run in the North Kerry town, organisers in America felt it appropriate to set up a mirror event in their home town.

Programming assistants from Listowel will accompany some of Ireland's best contemporary writers Stateside where Listowel Writers' Week will be showcasing a Limited Edition Portfolio entitled, 'HOPE'.

The collection is a direct result of a collaboration between the festival and Stoney Road Press.

Comprising five original pieces of written work from Eavan Boland, Anne Enright, Jennifer Johnston, Brendan Kennelly and Colm Tóibín, the portfolio will be accompanied by a limited edition print especially created and signed by Irish artist, Donald Teskey.

Festival co-fouder and director, Catherine Barry, said organisers are very proud to showcase Ireland's top contemporary literature.

Of the inaugural festival, Chairperson of Listowel Writers' Week, Liz Dunn, said the committee is delighted to be facilitating greater contact with our twin town of Los Gatos through its association with these events.

"We wish Catherine Barry and her committee a happy and fulfilling festival this year and look forward to hearing all about it from our Listowel Writers' Week representatives on their return," she said.