Cúirt festival to be launched next week

Paul Murray, author of the acclaimed novel Skippy Dies, the English poet Simon Armitage, rapper Buck 65, and the Booker winning Irish author Anne Enright are all coming to Galway for Cúirt.

The Cúirt International Festival of Literature runs from April 12 to 17 and this year’s festival promises to be quite different from previous years, with a host of new events and initiatives planned.

In addition to the traditional readings in the Town Hall Theatre, Cúirt, under the new leadership of programme director Dani Gill, will feature events in Corrandulla, Tuam, and An Cheathrú Rua; events in the Druid Lane theatre; informal free events around the city; and a literary themed theatrical troupe will take to the streets of the Latin Quarter.

One of the most exciting new initiatives will be Read Me I’m Yours. This will see copies of books by visiting authors to Cúirt being left in various locations around the city where people can pick them up and read them. They will have a sticker or a flyer inside that gives the date and time of the author’s reading so that those intrigued by what they read can go along to the event. These books will be left at cafés, pubs, and hotel foyers.

Another new initiative is the Kitchen Readings. This will see Dublin poet Yvonne Cullen, accompanied by musicians, visiting three houses in Westside and three houses in Ballybane during Cúirt to do public readings of her work.

Sports fans can also look forward to Cúirt as the festival will feature readings by John Doyle and Steve Bloomfield in the Druid Lane Theatre on Saturday April 16 at 12 noon.

Doyle is the author of The World Is A Ball in which the football loving Doyle travels around the world looking at the ways in which the sport is truly a global phenomenon, a religion, a joy, and a source of magic, entrainment, and a way in which people and societies reveal much about themselves.

Steve Bloomfield’s Africa United looks at the sport on that continent, its popularity, and the way it has been used by politicians to further their own ends.

Other Cúirt highlights will be the launch of Kevin Barry’s debut novel City Of Bohane, published by Random House; a reading by Gerbrand Bakker, author of The Twin on April 14 in the Town Hall Theatre; and a joint event featuring The Irish Times’ Lorna Siggins and Nigerian writer Helon Habila in the Town Hall on April 15.

Dermot Healy will read from his first novel in 11 years, Long Time No See, and Cúirt will also host a panel discussion on the Granta publication The Irish Short Story. There will also be visual art exhibitions, master classes, children’s workshops, visual art exhibitions, and music events.

Labour party president Michael D Higgins will launch the full programme of events in The Oyster Bar in the Hotel Meyrick, Eyre Square on Tuesday March 1 at 6pm. The programme can also be downloaded from www.cuirt.ie that same evening

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