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Festival of Writing set to be bigger and better

Film directors Steve Coogan, Stephen Frears and more in line-up


Steve Coogan is speaking at the festival.

Steve Coogan is speaking at the festival.

Dolly Alderton is speaking at the festival.

Dolly Alderton is speaking at the festival.


Steve Coogan is speaking at the festival.


The tenth edition of the Borris House Festival of Writing & Ideas announced its line up for the weekend long gathering which takes place from June 10 to June 12, focussing on a very international event, following the hiatus of visiting writers for the past two years.

In August last year, due in particular to assistance from the Live Performance Support Scheme, an 'Ireland-only' iteration of the festival took place - against all odds, and one of the only literary events to take place in the flesh - which gave Irish writers a chance to meet their readers again. The organisers recognise the need to hear from (and meet) overseas voices once again, and conflict journalism - which has always been an area the event has explored, is at the forefront, as are writing for the screen, music lyrics, stage, environmental impact, diversity, health and of course fiction.

Highlights include hearing from musicians Laurie Anderson, John Issely (Dire Straits), Colin Greenwood (Radiohead), Cormac Begley and Philip King.

Actors and film directors are well represented: Lenny Abrahamson, Ruth Wilson, Stephen Frears, Steve Coogan, Colm Meaney, Sharon Horgan, Jeremy Irons, Sinead Cusack, Nick Broomfield and David Puttnam.

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Investigative or conflict journalists (many coming straight from Ukraine) include: Ben Anderson, Anne Applebaum, Catherine Belton, Luke Harding, Sally Hayden, Oliver Bullough, Mary Fitzgerald, Lindsey Hilsum, Misha Glenny, Patrick Radden Keefe, and Ed Vulliamy.

Exceptional thinkers such as Margaret MacMillan, Roy Foster, Fintan O'Toole, Mary Robinson, Gabrielle Walker will explore global rights and wrongs.

And some speakers to relish because they will take attendees to wild places: Elizabeth Boyle who mixes medieval history with heavy metal, Dolly Alderton's exhilarating wit and life lessons, Max Porter's portrayal of Francis Bacon, Jay Rayner talking about his last supper (and, apparently, playing jazz piano), Chelsea and Everton footballer Pat Nevin on being a weirdo, Paul Muldoon's project with Paul McCartney, marine scientist Finn van der Aar's world, the trans world of Travis Alabanza, Han TIernan and Shon Faye, and bad boy of fiction DBC Pierre, a dance-memoir from Michael Keegan Dolan and more.