Ennis book club festival attracts top literary names

A NUMBER of internationally renowned authors have been confirmed as participants in the Ennis Book Club Festival 2008, details of which were announced today.

Clare’s county town will host the second annual festival over the weekend, from February 29 to March 2.

Supported by Clare County Library, the event is expected to attract book lovers from all over Europe and North America.

The festival programme will feature author visits, readings, lectures, workshops, exhibitions and cookery demonstrations, musical entertainment and chocolate tasting.

Contributors will include: British author Joanne Harris; Roddy Doyle; Hugo Hamilton, winner of the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature; Morgan Llywelyn; Dermot Bolger, winner of the Samuel Beckett Award; and Nuala O’Faolain.

Other participants will include celebrity chef Neven Maguire; Lorna Landvik, actor, playwright and author; Thomas Lynch, a Michigan-based essayist and poet; Meda Ryan, historian and author of Tom Barry: IRA Freedom Fighter; bilingual writer Nuala Ní Chonchúir; author David Rice; Ré Ó Laighlís, the biggest selling contemporary writer in the Irish language; and poet Mary O’Donnell.

“The event will not only serve and reflect the reading passions of many in the country, but once again provide a significant boost to the local tourism sector. I would like to congratulate the festival organising committee for securing the participation of numerous high profile contributors,” said Ennis mayor Cllr Tommy Brennan.

The festival’s programme of events will include workshops on how to set up and maintain book clubs; two presentations by Trinity College Dublin lecturer Dr Darryl Jones on the work of Jane Austen; a presentation on the papers of Maurice Walsh (author of the Quiet Man) by archivist Martin Morris; a poetry session and CD launch by the Clare Three-Legged Stool Poets; the story of the West Clare Railway by folklorist Eddie Lenihan; and a networking session for book club members to get to know one another and exchange views.

* Tickets for all events are on sale at Glór Box Office (065 6843103 / info@glor.ie

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