READINGS IN kitchens, books left in cafés waiting to be browsed, musicians performing poems and prose, and street performers at a literary festival - this is, as Spock might say, “Cúirt Jim, but not as we know it.”
The Cúirt International Festival of Literature has undergone some exciting changes and will see a host of new events and initiatives designed to bring the festival to the people by going out on the streets, into the county, and (literally ) into people’s kitchens.
Cúirt, which runs from April 12 to 17, will also feature writers with debut collections or novels who have never been to the festival before.
To give people a taste of what they can expect at this year’s Cúirt, copies of books by visiting authors will be left in cafés, pubs, and hotel foyers around the city, where anyone can pick them up and have a read as part of the ‘Read Me I’m Yours’ initiative.
If the reader is intrigued, a flyer or sticker inside the book will inform them of the date and time of the authors’ appearance at the festival. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled!
Another of the new events is the Kitchen Readings programme. Dublin poet Yvonne Cullen and a group of musicians will visits three homes in Westside and three homes in Ballybane to host readings. Further details are available from the libraries in those areas.
Reachtairi na Cúirte, a company of poetry reciters, actors, and musicians that will be performing poems and prose around the city; on the street, in the ‘Latin Quarter’ and at the festival club.
In the county, Cúirt will be linking up with the One Book One Town project in Tuam. This will see schools in the town read a book from January to May each year and do various activities set around the story. Midi Corcoran will read some chapters from this year’s book, The Secret of Kells by Eithne Massey, in the library on Thursday April 14 and Friday 15.
Clarinettist Paul Roe and actress Nuala Hayes will perform a unique bilingual concert of music and words in the library in An Cheathrú Rua on Thursday 14.
The event will also feature the Irish language version of ‘Bedtime Stories’, and a composition of works by Christopher Norby based on a series of short stories by Tim Burton. Then to close this event, local storyteller Mairin MhicLochlainn will perform a storytelling session.