Professor Joseph O’Connor
BOB Geldof will be the headline name when the UL-Frank McCourt Creative Writing Festival takes place in Limerick this May, the first time it will be hosted in McCourt’s home town.
And the Boomtown Rats frontman will be joined by a host of writers, many with Limerick connections, according to author and broadcaster Prof Joseph O’Connor, who is the Frank McCourt Chair of Creative Writing in UL and the driving force behind it.
Kevin Barry, Limerick-born Marian Keyes along with Limerick-based Donal Ryan, Mary O’Malley, Julian Gough, Martin Dyar, Eoin Devereux and Kerry Neville will feature at the three-day event which runs from May 3 to 6. And the promise is for a lively weekend of workshops, lectures and conversations.
There will also be a special session aimed at second-level students and their teachers.
“It is wonderfully exciting to be bringing these world-renowed artists to Limerick,” Joseph O'Connor said, when he unveiled the programme, pointing out that the event has taken place in New York in recent years.
“Thanks to our generous sponsors, Shannon Airport, we have been able to keep ticket prices very low, and in the case of the school event, free.
“Bob Geldof, whose recent documentary on Yeats, put the great poet back on the bestseller list, is such an interesting figure, with so much to say.
“Impac award-winning novelist Kevin Barry is a brilliant performer of his work,” he added.
Kevin will take part in an event on May 3, along with Julian Gough, the Tipperary-born author now living in Berlin, whose new book Connect is already being spoken of as a bestseller. Castletroy based Donal Ryan is well known to for his award-winning novels and short stories and poets. Mary O’Malley and Martin Dyar have both done stints as writers-in-residence at UL.
“I would encourage all Marian Keyes fans and Book Club members to come and make a night off it when Marian joins us,” Prof O'Connor added.
There will also be a special live recording of the Sunday Miscellany programme, involving writers and musicians with UL connections and the festival will include a session on How to Get Published.
“The UL/Franck McCourt Crative Writing Summer School is open to application from everyone but please note that numbers are strictly limited and the event is booking up quickly,” Prof O'Connor said. “No previous writing experience is required but some would be helpful.”
The cost of the three-day event is €200 or €150 for students and unwaged. This covers all classes, workshops and lectures as well as the welcome reception, light lunch on Saturday and a literary brunch on Sunday and admission to the Sunday Miscellany recording as well as to the public readings.
See www.frankmcourt. ulfoundation.com for more.