Athlone Literary Festival announces 2011 line-up

Author and historian Ruth Dudley Edwards will be discussing her crime wrting and political view on Saturday October 8 as part of the Athlone Literary Festival.

Author and historian Ruth Dudley Edwards will be discussing her crime wrting and political view on Saturday October 8 as part of the Athlone Literary Festival.

Athlone’s Literary Festival has announced its 2011 line-up. It features diverse events such as a creative writing workshop with Big Smoke Writing Factory, discussions with poet Gabriel Rosenstock and writer Nuala Ni Conchuir, and an interview with Ruth Dudley Edwards.

The event literally has something for everyone; whether it’s crime fiction, comic strips, poetry, music, or true-life stories, Athlone Literary Festival has something for you. The festival takes place from October 7 - 9. Speaking about the 2011 event, festival chairperson Jarlath Duffy commented, “We are thrilled this year to have such a talented and diverse line-up and we hope that the festival will attract participants from all over the Midlands region. Writers and writing are an important resource in our community and Athlone Literary Festival provides a valuable forum for both new and nationally recognised writers to connect with audiences. We’re also very pleased to be working with local arts collective Making Space, who have done so much in Athlone in the past year to connect as many people as possible to the local growing arts scene.”

The opening event of festival will be a discussion between former Mountjoy Prison governor John Lonergan, Mrs Justice Catherine McGuinness, and well-known communications lecturer and newly appointed Senator Marie-Louise O’Donnell. The discussion will focus on John Lonergan’s book The Governor. The former governor of Mountjoy Prison has never been afraid to wear his liberal credentials on his sleeve. An effective communicator, he has been the most high-profile person ever associated with the prison service in Ireland. His book shows a man with a humane and progressive outlook who often found himself regarded as a maverick and at odds with bureaucracy.

The festival will also include a workshop on publishing with Jo O’Donoghue of Londubh Books. The workshop will examine all aspects of publishing from traditional methods to online publishing. There will also be a discussion on how landscape affects writing with writer Nuala Ni Conchuir and poet Gabriel Rosenstock. Nuala is an extraordinary writer who has won many short fiction prizes including the Cúirt New Writing Prize, RTÉ Radio’s Francis MacManus Award and the Cecil Day Lewis Award. She will be joined in this discussion by poet Gabriel Rosenstock. He has written or translated over one hundred books, is a memberof Aosdána and a former chairman of Poetry Ireland.

“Of course everyone has their own favourite part of the festival and for many people it is our local Sunday Miscellany with local authors and musicians. This will be a key part of the festival in 2011 and this event usually draws the largest crowd. On Saturday we have a unique event with music and readings from poet Michael Harding, music from Kieran Burke and an interview with Philomena Lynott, who has recently written a book on her son, musician Phil Lynott. I really have to say that 2011’s programme is one our best yet,” added Mr Duffy.

This year’s festival features a number of events for younger people and it also continues to provide a platform for up-and-coming writers and artists. Events for young people include a Teddy Bear’s Picnic in Athlone Library, a writing workshop for young people and a how to draw a comic strip workshop.

The festival takes place from Friday October 7 to Sunday October 9. A full festival programme is available on and the festival can also be found on Facebook and Twitter. To make a booking email [email protected] or phone/text (086 ) 2282760.


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