Entertaining line-up at Athlone Literary Festival

Christiane O’Mahony

Christiane O’Mahony

The cream of Ireland’s artistic talent will gather in Athlone on the first weekend of October for the 14th annual Athlone Literary Festival.

Acclaimed author Pat McCabe (The Butcher Boy, Breakfast On Pluto ) will kick-start the festivities with an entertaining and exclusive reading from his new book, Hello Mr Bones, Goodbye Mr Rat on Friday October 4.

Award-winning poet Vona Groarke will discuss writing with novelist and poet Dermot Healy on Saturday October 5 from 1.30-3pm. Vona will treat audience members to readings from her much-anticipated collection, X, due for release 2014, and Dermot will reminisce with readings from his autobiography, The Bend For Home.

“This year’s programme offers the most eclectic mix of events yet,” said festival chairperson Fionnuala O’Connell. On Saturday night Ireland’s newest comedic talents, Christiane O’Mahony (Mario Rosenstock Show ) and George Fox (winner Ted Fest best comedian ) will host a stand-up comedy performance followed by Poetry in the Dark.

On Sunday October 6 from 3-5pm renowned Irish composer, Bill Whelan, will discuss the ever-evolving artistic relationship between Ireland and America with Irish-American lecturer, stage director, and producer, Prof James Flannery. Renowned psychotherapist Dr Terry Lynch, will talk about overcoming mental distress with his books, Beyond Prozac and Selfhood.

There is plenty on offer at this year’s festival for aspiring writers. Paths to Publishing sees three newly published writers dispel the myths of the publishing industry, outlining the challenges and pitfalls of getting published today.

Festival workshops include Writing a Novel with award-winning author James Lawless and a poetry workshop with Vona Groarke. Children’s events include a picnic with teddy bears in Athlone library and a monster doodle workshop in Abbey Road Studios. The festival takes place on October 4-6 with most events taking place in the Shamrock Lodge Hotel.

For more information log on to.athlone literaryfestival.com.

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