Leading National And International Poets and Writers Gather In Limerick

From: Dunphy Public Relations
Published: Thu Sep 20 2007

Nuala O'Faolain, John Waters and Leanne O'Sullivan will join other high profile names at years 'Éigse Michael Hartnett', which features writers of national and international renown. Integrated into the weekend of readings, talks, music and dance is the awarding of the Michael Hartnett Annual Poetry Award 2007.

Michael Hartnett, who wrote both English and Irish poems, was born in Croom County Limerick in 1941 and died in Dublin in 1999. He is commonly regarded as one of the most significant voices in late 20th century Irish writing.

"This year's programme of events is so wide ranging that there is something of interest for all age groups and tastes", explained Joan MacKernan, Limerick County Arts Officer.

She continued, "As well as readings the weekend features lectures, workshops around the pubs in Newcastle West and dramatised works by leading Irish poets and playwrites. A particular element of the festival will be the integration of music and song with noted singers performing with the guest's poets."

"Eigse means a gathering of poets and writers and this certainly is the case for this weekend, with well-known Limerick poet Catherine Phil McCarthy, poet and writer John W. Sexton, writer Christine Dwyer Hickey, biographer Penny Perrick and the young gifted poet Leanne O’Sullivan, among the many literary guests", explained Ms. MacKernan.

Elsewhere during the weekend, Nuala O'Faolain will speak on the topic 'The Times That Were In It', recording her personal memories of Michael Hartnett and of Irish society of that time. 'Art is Mystery - Nothing Else' is the intriguing subject matter that John Waters, broadcaster and journalist, will open the weekend with this evening at the Public Library in Newcastle West.

The Michael Hartnett Annual Poetry Award 2007 will also be presented this evening. This year's judges Michael Coady, Theo Dorgan and Gerard Smyth have selected The Holy Land by Maurice Riordan as the winning volume for the Hartnett Award 2007. The Michael Hartnett Poetry Award has a value of EUR6,350, is one of the biggest poetry prizes in the country and is jointly funded by Limerick County Council and the Arts Council.

The Holy Land is Maurice Riordan's third book of poetry. The Cork-native's poetry books A Word from the Loki (1995) was a PBS Choice and nominated for the T.S. Eliot Prize and Floods in 2000 was Book of the Year in both The Sunday Times and Irish Times.

Limerick County Council Arts Officer Joan MacKernan said, "We established the award in 2000 in honour of Michael Hartnett and to honour and encourage the work of contemporary poets. We are delighted with the sustained interest in the award as was evident this year by the number of entries. Previous winners are Seán Ó Leocháin 2000, Julie O'Callaghan 2001, Gearóid Mac Lochlainn 2002, Vona Groarke 2003, joint winners Sean O’ Curraoin and Padraig O'Snodaigh 2004, Sinéad Morrissey and Kerry Hardie 2005 and Paddy Bushe 2006."

Ms. MacKernan added that this evening's presentation to Maurice Riordan would kick start a memorable weekend of events in Newcastle West.

"Holding the events in different locations around the town from the Desmond Banqueting Hall to Ned Lynch's pub in The Square, lends itself to lively gatherings and easy conversations", she said.

"Eigse Michael Hartnett is a festival of words, in many guises, poetry, song, drama, dance and storytelling. And as one strolls around the town of Newcastle West to each of the events, Michael Hartnett's poems in the shop windows provide a lovely literary backdrop", concluded Ms. MacKernan.

Full details of the Éigse Michael Hartnett programme are available from the Limerick County Arts Office on 061 493498/496300 or www.lcc.ie


Note to Editor:
For further information contact County Arts Office 061-496498 or Mark Dunphy of Dunphy Public Relations on 086-8534900 or media@dunphypr.com

Mark Dunphy
Dunphy Public Relations
County Clare
00353-868534900 (Mobile)
00353-656839692 (Fax)
Company: Dunphy Public Relations
Contact Name: Mark Dunphy
Contact Email: media@dunphypr.com
Contact Phone: 00353868534900

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