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24/09/2021

Listowel Writers’ Week marks half century mark

Listowel Writers’ Week  marks half century mark

A Mystery Event takes place on Saturday, June 5 to mark the 50th anniversary of the Listowel Writers’ Week, co-founded by among others, John B Keane

BILLED as Ireland’s oldest and longest-running literary festival, Listowel Writers’ Week marks its 50th anniversary with a special online festival running from this Wednesday to Sunday, June 6.

The programme, as always, offers a mix of poets and prose writers reading from and talking about their work. Among those to be featured this year are writers Damon Galgut, Christine Dwyer-Hickey and Rachel Kushner while the poets include John McAuliffe, Caoilinn Hughes and Victoria Kennefick. Festival president, Colm Tóibín will also be taking part in a number of events.

The online festival offers a number of innovative events including a family painting workshop and an illustration workshop.

A specially commissioned online exhibition 'Dear John' is John MacMonagle’s imagined responses from twenty famous or infamous people including Vladimir Putin, the Dalai Lama, Melania Trump, Pope Francis, Boris Johnson and Meghan Markle. Their very personal, idiosyncratic, fictional notes appear on the title pages of books carefully selected by John.

From Altar To Halter is a dramatisation of John B Keane's celebrated letters from St John's Theatre and is the perfect introduction to some of Keane's wittiest and best-loved creations: the parish priest, the postman, the successful TD and the matchmaker.

There is also a Visual Arts Social Media Challenge which invites people to submit original artwork inspired by a book or literary theme. The literary trail goes virtual this year and as always, there will be sessions for children including a workshop with the beguiling title Making a Monster of a Story.

On opening night, the winners of this year’s literary competitions will be announced including the winner of the prestigious Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year and the Piggott Poetry Prize.

There is also a Mystery Event which takes place on Saturday, June 5 to mark the 50th anniversary of the festival co-founded by, among others, the late John B Keane and Bryan McMahon.

Go to listowelwritersweek.ie for full details. Events are free but donations will be welcome.

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