The 32nd Cúirt International Festival of Literature is delighted to announce the launch of the Cúirt Labs programme for 2017. The Cúirt Labs are the festival’s education and youth programme, engaging schools and young people every April. This year’s Labs will run alongside the festival, over 6 days from Monday 24th-Saturday 29th April.
Each year writers, illustrators and other creatives are invited to give workshops for children and teenagers in Galway Arts Centre. Previous participants include graphic novelist Will Sliney, author and illustrator Patricia Forde and Galway Community Circus. They are given a simple brief: to start by telling their audience what they were like at that age and how they ended up with their dream job.
The Cúirt Labs programme is now in its 5th year, and has expanded in 2017 to include a full day of Irish language workshops. These will be hosted by acclaimed Galway theatre groups Fibin and Branar.
Also facilitating workshops at this year’s Labs will be Claire Hennessy, Dave Rudden and William Wall. Claire Hennessy has published several YA novels, as well as editing the literary journal Banshee. Claire’s work focuses on themes of feminism and mental health, although all of her work is injected with a heavy dose of humour. Dave Rudden is a writer from Dublin. His first novel Knights of the Borrowed Dark, a YA fantasy novel, was released to widespread acclaim last year. William Wall is an award winning novelist and poet, and is the only European recipient of the Drue Heinz Literature Prize. William’s novel Ghost Estate was featured on the Leaving Cert curriculum in 2015.
As well as literature and theatre, Irish singer/songwriter Sive will run a workshop focusing on music. The world of sports and newspaper publishing will also feature, with a talk from Gerard Siggins, author of the Rugby Spirit series and former sports editor of the Sunday Tribune.
‘Cúirt Labs are a mix of readings, workshops and talks, all in 40 minutes’ Maeve Mulrennan, the Cúirt programmer describes. “Each primary school group goes to three different sessions, exposing them to a wealth of creativity and imagination”.
Speaking on the announcement, Festival Manager, Tara O’Connor said: “The Cúirt Labs are one of the most important and fun elements of the festival. There has been a huge focus on building the education programme over the past five years and it has resulted in an exciting and diverse programme for young people. Having doubled in size since 2013, the Cúirt Labs will be extended to six days this year, kicking off with Cúirt Labs as Gaeilge”.
For more information on Cúirt Labs contact Karen Arnold at the Galway Arts Centre on 091 565886
The 32nd Cúirt International Festival of Literature will take place from 23rd – 30th April 2017 in various locations around Galway City. See http://www.cuirt.ie/ for more details.