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Hay Festival Kells 2014

Article by Vanessa Fox O'Loughlin © 24 April 2014 .
Posted in the Magazine ( · News for Writers ).

Following a hugely successful and award-winning inaugural event last summer, the Hay Festival Kells returns from 3-6 July 2014 with an even bigger and more ambitious programme. There are a fabulous list of festivals happening in Ireland this summer, including Dublin Writers Festival in May, and Listowel Writers Festival in June. If you’re a writer, at least one of these festivals should be on your MUST DO list. As well as giving you an opportunity to mingle with publishing industry professionals, listening to some of the best writers in the world will undoubtedly inform and improve your own work.

Lyndy Cooke, Hay Festival Producer said, ‘We are delighted to be back – after a thrilling inaugural year – and we are looking forward to an even bigger opportunity to celebrate language, share stories and ideas with authors, poets, playwrights, sportsmen, chefs and actors in the historic town of Kells. We’re ready to debate and discuss. Join us for chapter two of many chapters of Hay Festival Kells.’

Hay produces festivals across five continents celebrating great writing around the world from Wales to Bangladesh, Ireland to the Lebanon, Kenya to Mexico and India to Colombia. For more information please visit www.hayfestival.org

Bord Gais Book Club - win books every month!Festival Highlights
A host of Irish and International writers are set to participate in the Hay Festival Kells 2014 programme including:

British novelist Louis de Berniére penned the international bestseller Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. Jung Chang is best known for her autobiography, Wild Swans, which has sold over 10 million copies worldwide.

Irish novelist Joe O’Connor is the author of many acclaimed books, including Star of the Sea and Cowboys and Indians. Author Donal Ryan has been shortlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award 2014 for his debut work, The Spinning Heart – the only Irish author on the short-list of ten books.

Anthony Summers and Robynn Swan are co-authors of the Pulitzer Prize nominated The Full Story of 9/11 and Osama Bin Laden.

Horror & Fantasy writer Darren Shan is the author of many acclaimed series, including The Darren Shan Saga, and he has sold in excess of 20 million books worldwide.

Benjamin Black is a crime novelist who created the character Quirke and who has just published his first novel featuring Raymond Chandler’s creation Phillip Marlowe, The Black-Eyed Blonde. Northern Irish author Eoin McNamee was long listed for the Man Booker Prize for his novel, The Blue Tango.

Journalist and author Audrey Magee recently published her first novel, The Undertaking.

Anne Marie Casey is the author of No One Could Have Guessed the Weather.

Gerry Stembridge is a novelist, playwright, screenwriter and film director. Also appearing are children’s author Paula Leydon, the winner of the CBI Book of the Year Award for The Butterfly Heart, Belfast writer Glenn Patterson who has penned nine novels, including The International and the recently published The Rest Just Follows and Paul Rouse who has written extensively about the history of the GAA and is one of the authors of The GAA – A People’s History and The GAA – County by County.

Irish Language Events
Thanks to the generous support of Foras Na Gaelige, a celebration of Irish language literature and publishing will yet again feature prominently at this year’s Festival, with a number of events, to cater for young and old, being hosted throughout the weekend. Among those providing entertainment geared towards the younger audience will be musician, author and Futa Fata director Tadhg Mac Dhonnagáin, who will perform a show of song and verse that promises to be lively, spellbinding and fun-filled; Fibín, who will bring their highly visual and widely acclaimed show An Ronn Dall to stage, that uses music, storytelling and live art to tell the tragic story of The Blind Seal; and Lúrapóg Larapóg, which is another show full of comedy and richness of language, utilising material from three recently published children’s books: Ící Pící, Ní Thuigimse Daoine Fásta and Báidín Fheidhlimidh that will be sure to inspire the imagination and mind of all present.
For the more mature reader, there will be an interview with Rónán Mac Con Iomaire, who will discuss his recently published award-winning book, Rocky Ros Muc, based on the life of champion-boxer Seán Mannion; a topical discussion with journalists Cathal Mac Coille, Harry Magee and Máirín Ní Ghadhra about their contributions to the recently published, Scéal Scéil; as well an event, to be hosted by RTÉ’s Siún Nic Gearailt, celebrating the huge contribution of the late Maidhc Dainín Ó Sé to Irish language literature, at which his yet to be published novel, Hitler Miaow, will be launched, in the presence of both family and friends.

Food Village
A major new string to our Festival bow this year is the addition of The Hay Food Tent. Fáilte Ireland Food Ambassador Olivia Duff of the Headfort Arms Hotel has put together a fantastic programme of food tastings, demonstrations, stalls and talks that will delight all ‘foodies’. Perched on the front lawn of Eureka House, The Foodie Tent will host a melange of demonstrations, foodie discussions and book presentations, with guests including Sally McKenna of the renowned McKenna Guides, Rory O’Connell of Ballymaloe Cookery school, organic chef Evan Doyle of Brooklodge, and many more, with MCs John Healy from RTE’s ‘The Restaurant’, Kevin Sheridan of Sheridans Cheesemongers and Olivia Duff. Also present will be a variety of stalls where artisan foods, locally produced in the Boyne Valley region, will be on display, as well as available for purchase. Younger visitors can enjoy Children’s Cookery Workshops with author Judi Curtin and Pauric White of The Forge Restaurant.

Kells Type Trail
This is the fifth  year of the Kells Type Trail, which will see the word ‘create’ appearing in 20 locations around the town, in homage to the inspiration the Book of Kells has provided all over the world. The word will be translated into a number of languages in recognition of the multi-cultural community now living in Kells. It will also be depicted in numerous forms, including a human spelling (with 270+ students making up the letters in a playground) and on ribbons in the grounds of Eureka School. Kells Type Trail is an initiative of local artist Mark Smith, in conjunction with a number of community groups. It will be launched on Thursday July 3rd in its now traditional venue, The Church of Ireland.

One of Fáilte Ireland’s Top 10 Destinations in Ireland, Kells is an ancient market town in County Meath, 40 miles north of Dublin and renowned worldwide as the spiritual home of the Book of Kells®, completed in the 9th century. Today, the town remains a vibrant community with a lively events programme, located in the beautiful Boyne Valley among the turns of the Blackwater River. Kells is neighboured by a UNESCO World Heritage site, Headfort House, and the unique Spire of Lloyd, a mysterious inland lighthouse built in the late 18th century by the 1st Earl of Bective. As well as the town’s rich monastic legacy, Kells offers an exciting arts and crafts scene, with many artists working and exhibiting in the local area.

The full programme will belaunched internationally at Hay Festival in Wales on Sunday June 1st. Listings and online ticket bookings will be available at hayfestival.org/kells.

An Irish launch event will be held in the Long Room at Trinity College Dublin on Thursday June 19th.

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