Writers Banville and Zadie Smith heading to literary festival in Bantry

April 15th, 2016 11:50 AM

By Southern Star Team

Zadie Smith heading for Bantry this year for the West Cork Literary Festival

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A HOST of high-profile writers are heading to Bantry this year for the annual West Cork Literary Festival in July.

Zadie Smith, John Banville, Christina Lamb and Louis de Bernières are just some of the guests expected at the renowned West Cork Literary Festival which runs at various venues in the town, from July 17th to 23rd. 

Poetry is also well represented this year with TS Eliot prize-winner Sarah Howe, as well as Nick Laird, Theo Dorgan and Jo Shapcott.

Join Dame Marina Warner for an evening of short stories inspired by fairy tales, legends and mythology, as well as many other special events, including readings on Whiddy Island in Bantry Bay. 

Literary Agent Carol Blake will share her expertise in the publishing industry, while Catherine Ryan Howard will talk about all aspects of self publishing. Hannah Griffiths, who will be editor-in-residence, has over twenty years experience in publishing, most recently as Fiction Editor at Faber and Faber.

 Festival director Eimear O’Herlihy said the festival was delighted to celebrate so many incredible Irish and international writers, across all genres. 

‘We pride ourselves on championing new writers and those who have just published their first novel, or collection as well as showcasing new work from more established writers whose work we have admired for many years. West Cork is such a special place and it is a great honour to be presenting a literary festival in such magnificent and inspiring surroundings. 

‘We hope the public  will find plenty to excite them and will come along to engage with the writers and their work during this year’s festival. It will be a busy and rewarding week of readings, workshops, seminars, family events, exhibitions and there will be plenty of time for coffee, and even a sea swim,’ she added.

Since the Festival’s inception in the late 1990s, workshops have been at its heart, encouraging both novice and experienced writers. 

Carmel Winters, Christina Lamb, Horatio Clare, Jack Lukeman, Jo Shapcott and Thomas Morris are among those facilitating workshops. From Writing a Novel to the Power of Story in Journalism, song writing to poetry, there is a workshop to suit every aspiring or established writer.

Join John Banville as he reads from his latest novel The Blue Guitar, hear about how Danielle McLaughlin, Barbara Leahy and Marie Gethins’ writing group began, or witness Christina Lamb’s analysis of the realities of Afghanistan, told unlike anyone before.

Enjoy Patricia O’Reilly chatting about the life and work of Irish designer Eileen Gray, or chuckle along to Andy Miller’s ten-step programme to cure you of your bad reading habits. 

Writers Kevin Barry and Cary Davies present an evening of tales of the lives of others, while Seán O’Sé hosts an evening of storytelling and song. 

The Children’s Festival remains as popular as ever with events this year featuring Darren Shan, Kieran Crowley, Chrissie Gittins, Mark Wickham, Horatio Clare, ER Murray and Alan Early, the return of the Book Clinic, and many more special events.

The West Cork Literary Festival runs from July 17th to 23rd in Bantry and is generously supported by The Arts Council, Cork County Library and Arts Service and Fáilte Ireland.

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