Final touches are being made to Castlebar’s first ever literary festival, Wild Atlantic Words, which takes place next month. Celebrating the literary heritage of the west, the festival features a weekend of readings, recitals, debates, new writing, book launches, poetry and music.
Well known names like RTE broadcaster Sean O’Rourke, sports presenter Michael Lyster, Maurice Manning and Senator Marie Louise O’Donnell will headline the events, while Wild Atlantic Words will have a special section devoted to new and emerging western writers.
A special highlight will be the presentation of the first Literary Appreciation Award to celebrated local author, Michael Mullen, and will provide the opportunity to honour a writer who has won international acclaim over forty years of literary work.
The festival will have a particular focus on social inclusion, with events targeted at youth and older people. The former will feature readings by three of Mayo’s newest and edgiest writers, Colin Barrett, Elizabeth Reapy and Sally Rooney.
Wild Atlantic Words will kick off on Friday, October 7, with an Irish language book launch by Gno Maigheo, followed by a sportswriting seminar hosted by Michael Lyster at the County Library.
Saturday will see the culmination of a literary project at the Linenhall, where up to 500 Mayo primary school children will present Sea of Words where there will be a visual presentation of their favourite pieces of literature.
Castlebar’s historic Courthouse will be the setting of the history /literary seminar, headed by Sean O’Rourke, preceded by the Michael Mullen award at the Linenhall.