Galway is the place to be right now if you are a fan of the arts and great literature. The Cúirt International Festival of Literature has kicked off and now hitting its 28th year, it still has the power to draw crowds and great artists and writers. This is my favourite time of the year in Galway and there is always a lot going on and tons of great gigs to go to.
Yesterday, I was lucky enough to be at a lunch with Seamus Heaney, Michael Longley and Edna O’Brien (working at the restaurant may have helped my admission to the exclusive lunch) and I just had to bring along Sarah Clancy for company and she was of course delighted to be my guest.
The festival each year bangs up an array of events for children and adults from discussions, readings, workshops, kitchen readings and so on and it’s the interaction with local writing to that makes it one of the best arts festivals in Ireland.
Last night I had the privilege to go hear two giants of Irish and worldwide literature and this was Seamus Heaney and Michael Longley. The Town Hall Theater was packed to the rim full of eager well tuned lovers of poetry, stuck to each word spoken from the great men. It was a wonderful night, and for me personally, a treat to hear Michael Longleys ‘Ceasefire‘, just amazing, and to hear one of my favourite Heaney pieces ‘Oysters‘, a gorgeous poem to hear live and was my highlight of the night.
The two men were in flying form and full of humour. The event was also attended by the Irish President Michale D.Higgins who sat behind me and I got to meet him, great day indeed.
There is a lot more to fit in between now, Thursday and Sunday. On Friday there will be a discussion with Lucy Caldwell and Tishani Doshi which I look forward too. On Friday afternoon, ROPES, the MA students of NUIG will launch their annually publication which is always a treat (you can read my review here on this publication) and that night in the Town Hall theater, Sharon Olds and Paula Meehan will delight another packed house of eager poetry lovers that I am insanely looking forward too this.
Saturday morning, again, a delicious treat (we really are spoiled this year) when Pricila Uppal, Tiffany Atkinson and the brilliant Tishani Doshi will give a reading at 1pm in the Town Hall Studio. So much goodness this year just wish I could attend everything. There are still some tickets left for certain gigs so be sure to go hear to the Cúirt International Festival of Literature website to check for tickets. Enjoy!