Loyalist Billy Hutchinson to read at Over The Edge

Progressive Unionist Party leader to be joined by Fiona Sampson, Rosita Sweetman, and John Cunningham

Billy Hutchinson.

Billy Hutchinson.

LOYALIST BILLY Hutchinson, a Belfast city councillor, will be among the readers at the Over The Edge annual non-fiction special on Thursday October 28 at 6.30pm.

Hutchinson is the current leader of the Progressive Unionist Party. In the 1970s, he was involved in the formation of the Young Citizen Volunteers and was later influential in brokering the loyalist ceasefire of 1994.

He was involved in the negotiations which led to the Belfast Agreement on Good Friday 1998 and was nominated by the UVF as its interlocutor with the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning chaired by General John de Chastelain. Last year, his memoir, My Life In Loyalism, was published by Irish Academic Press.

Rosita Sweetman has worked as a journalist with The Irish Press, The Irish Times, the Sunday Independent, the BBC, and RTE. She has published three best selling books, On Our Knees (1972 ), On Our Backs, Sexual Attitudes in a Changing Ireland (1979 ) and the novel, Fathers Come First (1974 ). In 2004 she co-produced an allergy cookbook, What To Eat When You Can’t Eat Anything. Her most recent book, Feminism Backwards, was published last year by Mercier Press.

Fiona Sampson poet by Ekaterina Voskresenskaya

Fiona Sampson. Photo:- Ekaterina Voskresenskaya

Fiona Sampson is a leading British poet who received an MBE for Services to Literature. Emeritus Professor of the University of Roehampton, she has served on the Council of the Royal Society of Literature and is a Trustee of the Royal Literary Fund. Other honours include the Newdigate Prize, Cholmondeley Prize, Hawthornden Fellowship, and numerous awards from the Arts Councils of England and of Wales, Society of Authors, Poetry Book Society, and the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

John Cunningham [pictured below] lectures in history at NUI Galway and is co-director of the Irish Centre for the Histories of Labour and Class. He is editor, with Ciaran McDonough, of a volume commissioned by ASP/Arden to mark the bicentenary of James Hardiman’s classic history of Galway - Galway Arts and Culture, 1820-2020, which is out in November.

There will be an open-mic after the featured readers. Those interested in taking part should text Kevin Higgins on 087 - 6431748 or register via the Over The Edge Facebook page between 6pm and 6.30pm on the evening of the reading.

The MC will be Susan Millar DuMars. To join the meeting go to https://us02web.zoom.us/j/7389013549. The meeting ID is 738 901 3549. https://irishacademicpress.ie/product/my-life-in-loyalism/


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