West Cork Literary Festival announces 2014 programme

Jonathan Miller

Posted on: 4th June, 2014

Category: Arts & Entertainment

Contributor: West Cork People

Above: Sir Jonathan Miller

Bantry once again welcomes an exciting line-up of leading writers next month when the West Cork Literary Festival gets underway from July 6 – 12.

Booker Prize-winning novelist and poet Ben Okri, one of the finest African writers in the post colonial tradition, will read on the opening night of the Festival in the Maritime Hotel. Awarded an OBE, he became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1987 and four years later won the Booker Prize for his third novel ‘The Famished Road’.

Sir Jonathan Miller joins the Festival audience the following evening when he will mark his 80th birthday by reading from his collected writings. Part of the legendary comedy revue ‘Beyond the Fringe’ with Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, Jonathan Miller has many strings to his bow – he is a theatre and opera director, actor, author, television presenter, humourist, sculptor and medical doctor and according to the New York Times, “he combines qualities that shouldn’t be contained in one person; he is a unique performer and thinker.”

In a special evening on Tuesday, July 8, supported by Poetry Ireland, leading Canadian writer and poet Anne Michaels will read from her work alongside Ireland’s Professor of Poetry, Paula Meehan. On Wednesday, July 9, the much-loved novelist Jennifer Johnston will read from her new novel A Sixpenny Song and talk about the writing life. She will also talk about her award-winning debut novel The Captains and the Kings, which remains one of the first and classic Irish First World War novels. Amid the commemorative events this year, we will hear about what inspired the novel and what it was like writing about World War I in different times.

Memoir is the subject of the Thursday evening event when Blake Morrison and Hugo Hamilton read from their work and discuss memoir and writing. Blake Morrison is best known for his multi award-winning memoir ‘And When Did You Last See Your Father?’, which was made into a feature film. Hugo Hamilton’s book The Speckled People, a unique German-Irish memoir was hailed an “instant classic” by Colum McCann.

Recent winner of the PEN/ Faulkner Prize, Karen Joy Fowler makes the journey to Bantry from the United States to read on the final evening of the Festival. Her best-selling novel The Jane Austen Book Club was made into a film of the same name.

Throughout the week, the Festival also features Eimear McBride, Alberto Manguel, Carmen Bugan, A Tribute to Seamus Heaney, A Literary Brunch with John Kelly, Rupert Isaacson, Christopher Somerville, Philip Hoare, Leanne O’Sullivan, Andy Kershaw, IMRAM Blues Project and much more. Alexandra Pringle, Group Editor-in-Chief of Bloomsbury Publishing, is 2014 Editor in Residence.

The Bantry Bay Series returns with maritime-themed events on Whiddy Island and throughout the town. This series is generously supported by the Bantry Bay Port Company.

Since the inception of the West Cork Literary Festival in the late 1990s, workshops have been at its heart, encouraging both novice and experienced writers. From Creative Writing for Beginners to Historical Fiction, Scriptwriting to Poetry, Wild Women Writing to the Short Story, there is a workshop to suit every aspiring or established writer looking to spend time in beautiful Bantry honing their craft. Writers such as Richard Skinner, Maurice Riordan, Mary Morrissy, Abbie Spallen, Kevin Rushby and Oisín McGann will be facilitating three and five day writing workshops at this year’s Festival.

The Children’s Festival remains as popular as ever with events this year featuring Gabriel Rosenstock, Mairi Hedderwick — the Creator of Katie Morag, Judi Curtin and many more special events.

The West Cork Literary Festival runs from July 6 to 12 and is generously supported by The Arts Council, Cork County Library and Arts Service and Failte Ireland. Booking on www.westcorkliteraryfestival.ie, Tel: 027 52788/9 LoCall: 1850 788 789.

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11th October, 2017  ·  

Submarines, American Sailors, and the Underwater War in Irish Waters, 1917-1918
by Dr John Borgonovo in The Parish Centre, Clonakilty
on Thursday Oct 26 2017 at 8.30 pm

In 1917, unrestricted submarine warfare by German U-boats brought the United States into WWI and created a crisis in Britain. To defeat the submarine menace, an American naval fleet was dispatched to County Cork, bringing about 10,000 sailors with it. This talk will explain the circumstances of this extraordinary event, and how Cork residents dealt with their unexpected American guests.

Dr John Borgonovo is a lecturer in the School of History at UCC. His publications include Spies, Informers, and the 'Anti-Sinn Féin' Society: The Intelligence War in Cork City, 1920-1921; The Dynamics of War and Revolution: Cork City, 1916-1918; Exercising a close vigilance over their daughters: Cork women, American sailors, and Catholic vigilantes, 1917-18; Something in the Nature of a Massacre: The Bandon Valley Killings Revisited (with Andy Bielenberg). His latest publication (with co-authors John Crowley, Donal Ó Drisceoil and Mike Murphy) is the highly acclaimed and magnificient Atlas of the Irish Revolution. In July of this year, he organised a very successful conference on Winning the Western Approaches - Unrestricted Submarine Warfare and the US Navy in Ireland 1917-1918.
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11th October, 2017  ·  

Apple Juicing Day in Clonakilty next Sunday Sept 30th. All welcome to bring their apples from 2-6pm to the Clonakilty Community Garden (on entrance road to Clonakilty Lodge).

Building on the success of its inaugural 2016 event, local voluntary environmental organisation Sustainable Clonakilty invites people to bring along their apples and press them to extract their own juice to take home, using the group's Apple Press.

Volunteers will be at hand to assist in the procedure. Bring along your apples washed; clean containers to freeze your juice (milk/juice bottles or cartons, plastic bottles with caps); clean, sterilised glass bottles to pasteurise with swing caps or suitable for 26 mm diameter metal cap.

A limited number of new 3 litres juice bags that are suitable for freezing and pasteurising, can be purchased for a nominal fee on the day also.

This is a free community event and donations will be welcome to cover costs.

For further information, please contact Xavier at xavierdubuisson@gmail.com or text at 086/0476124.
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26th September, 2017  ·  

Dúchas Clonakilty's first lecture for the Autumn promises to be of huge interest to all: Emerging from the Shadow of Tom Crean – The Parish Centre, Clonakilty, Thursday September 28th 8.30pm.

Lecture by Aileen Crean O’Brien & Bill Sheppard

In May 2016, Kerry man Tom Crean, along with Ernest Shackleton and four other crew members, landed the James Caird lifeboat on the rocky isle of South Georgia. The navigation of that small boat, across 1500 km through icy winds and towering seas, is regarded as the greatest ever feat of navigation. They then trekked across the forbidding and inhospitable mountains and glaciers of South Georgia to seek help for the rest of their crew, who were left behind on Elephant Island after their ship, the Endurance, was crushed by the Antarctic ice.

One hundred years later, Crean’s grandaughter, Aileen Crean O’Brien, set off with her sons and partner to follow in her grandfather’s footsteps. Join Aileen and Bill to hear of their adventures (and misadventures) on the Southern Ocean and the island of South Georgia.
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7th September, 2017  ·  

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