Ulick O’Connor and Siobhán Armstrong for the Forge at Gort festival

Siobhán Armstrong.

Siobhán Armstrong.

THE WRITER Ulick O’Connor and the internationally-acclaimed harpist Siobhán Armstrong will headline the second Forge at Gort literature festival, on March 27 and 28.

Ulick O’Connor will read at Sullivan’s Royal Hotel at 7.30pm on Friday March 27. Siobhán Armstrong will play a selection of early harp music, with poet Clare Sawtell, at Gort Library on Saturday March 28 at 9.30pm.

Ulick O'Connor was born in Dublin in 1928. After practising at the Irish Bar in Dublin, he turned to writing. His work has spanned biography, poetry, Irish history, drama, diary, and literary criticism.

He contributes a regular poetry column to The Evening Herald, has also written a column for the Sunday Mirror, and a sporting column for the Sunday Times, as well as broadcasting on RTÉ.

Siobhán Armstrong works as a freelance performer and teacher, mainly in Europe. She is at home playing 17th century Italian opera, performing on Hollywood film soundtracks, or gigging at the world’s biggest traditional music festivals. Her greatest interest is encouraging the revival of the early Irish harp.

She founded and chairs the Historical Harp Society of Ireland and is the director of Scoil na gCláirseach–Summer School of Early Irish Harp which takes place each August in Ireland. She plays a copy of the medieval Trinity College harp - the emblem of Ireland - strung in brass and 18-carat gold.

Other writers taking part will be Patricia Burke Brogan, novelist Juliet Bressan, archaeologist and lecturer Michael Gibbins, poet Gerry Murphy, The White House Poets, Tim Cunningham, John Arden, Margaretta D’Arcy, poet and musician Clare Sawtell, Patrick Early, and the editor of alternative fiction magazine Albedo 1 Robert Neilson.

The festival is organised by the Western Writers’ Centre. For more information email westernwriters @eircom.net or call 087 - 2178138.


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