Filtering by: Hillsborough
Writing workshop with Sheena Wilkinson
Apr
26
10:30 AM10:30

Writing workshop with Sheena Wilkinson

  • Barry Gallery, St Malachy’s Parish Church (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Admission: £10 | BOOK HERE

Sheena Wilkinson, described in The Irish Times as 'one of our foremost writers', writes contemporary and historical fiction for young people and adults. She has won many awards including the CBI Book of the Year in 2013 for Grounded. Her most recent novel, Star by Star, published to commemorate the centenary of female suffrage, was shortlisted for the Irish Book Awards and won the CBI Honour Award for Fiction. Her short stories have also won awards, and a short story was recently included in the acclaimed anthology Female Lines: New Writing by Women from Northern Ireland.

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The Little Book of Co Down Book Launch with Doreen McBride
Apr
26
11:00 AM11:00

The Little Book of Co Down Book Launch with Doreen McBride

  • The Market Room, Hillsborough Courthouse (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Admission: Free | BOOK HERE

The Little Book of County Down is a compendium of fascinating, obscure, strange and entertaining facts about this ancient county of Northern Ireland. Here you will find out about Co. Down’s history, its literary heritage, its churches and castles, its festivals and fairs, and its famous (and occasionally infamous) women and men. Author Doreen McBride has written many accounts of the history of Ireland and is fascinated by local history, folklore, and traditional stories. She has shared her stories in America, Canada and New Zealand, travelling the world an international storyteller.

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‘New Chapters’ by Women Aloud NI
Apr
26
2:00 PM14:00

‘New Chapters’ by Women Aloud NI

  • The Market Room, Hillsborough Courthouse (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Admission: Free | BOOK HERE

As the soil warms and buds burst through, Spring also sees the writing of a new chapter in the Women Aloud NI history book, as they open our membership doors and new members step through.  Join us at this exciting event, bursting with new writing, to listen to a selection of readings on the theme of migration from emerging and experienced writers. These ‘new chapters’ are guaranteed to be fresh and exciting!

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John Hewitt's Natural World with Seán Hewitt
Apr
26
3:30 PM15:30

John Hewitt's Natural World with Seán Hewitt

Admission: £8 | BOOK HERE

In this talk Seán Hewitt will introduce the work and life of John Hewitt and explore the politics of landscape in Hewitt’s poetry. Seán is a research fellow in the School of English, Trinity College Dublin. He was selected as one of the Aldeburgh Eight in 2015, won a Northern Writers' Award in 2016, and the Resurgence Prize in 2017. He is a book critic for The Irish Times. His debut pamphlet is Lantern (Offord Road Books, 2019).

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The Ravenmaster: A Talk by Christopher Skaife
Apr
26
6:30 PM18:30

The Ravenmaster: A Talk by Christopher Skaife

Admission: £15 / £13 concession | BOOK HERE

For centuries the Tower of London has been home to a group of famous avian residents: the ravens. Each year they are seen by millions of visitors and have become as integral a part of the Tower as its ancient stones. Yeoman Warder Christopher Skaife is the current Ravenmaster at the Tower of London and in his fascinating new book, he describes the ravens’ formidable intelligence, their idiosyncrasies, and their occasionally wicked sense of humour. Over the years in which he has cared for the physical and mental well-being of these remarkable birds, Christopher Skaife has come to know them like no one else. His book is an intimate behind-the-scenes account of life with the ravens of the Tower.

Supported by Historic Royal Palaces

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Literary Lives with James Runcie
Apr
26
8:00 PM20:00

Literary Lives with James Runcie

Admission: £8 | BOOK HERE

Meet James Runcie, the creator behind Sidney Chambers, Grantchester’s unconventional clergyman who can go where the police cannot. Sidney Chambers and The Shadow of Death was published in 2012, soon followed by five more in the treasured Grantchester Mysteries series. He has also written The Road to Grantchester, the captivating prequel to the Grantchester series. In 2014, ITV launched Grantchester, a prime-time series starring James Norton. The fourth series was broadcast earlier this year.

James Runcie is an award-winning film-maker, Commissioning Editor for Arts at BBC Radio 4, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and the author of eleven novels which have been translated all over the world. He is formerly Artistic Director of the Bath Literature Festival and was Head of Literature at the Southbank Centre in London from 2013-2015. He lives in Edinburgh.

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Poetry Ireland Introductions
Apr
26
9:30 PM21:30

Poetry Ireland Introductions

Admission: Free | BOOK HERE

Relax with some poetry best served chilled over refreshments in The Hillside a charming, rustic pub which first opened its doors to patrons in 1752. Poetry Ireland Introductions is a programme which encourages excellence in the writing and performance of poetry in Ireland, by supporting emerging talented poets in the early stages of their careers. Three of the 2019 poets, who have been selected by Martina Evans, will read their work. 

 Supported by Poetry Ireland

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Mixed Veg with Seedhead Arts & Myra Zepf
Apr
27
10:00 AM10:00

Mixed Veg with Seedhead Arts & Myra Zepf

Admission: Free | Drop In. No Booking Required

“The day Tom declared war on vegetables was a day he would never forget…”

Just like Tom, star of the beautifully illustrated book Mixed Veg, you too will encounter a crop of boisterous vegetable creatures as you explore the grounds of St Malachy’s Parish Church. There will be plenty of ‘thyme’ for craft activities from Seedhead Arts, writing your way through ‘The Story Patch’ with Myra Zepf and a short reading from Mixed Veg author Sybil Allen at 11am.

This drop-in event is suitable for children aged 3 – 10 years.

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Poetry and Plants with Jean Bleakney
Apr
27
10:30 AM10:30

Poetry and Plants with Jean Bleakney

Admission: £10/£8 concession (Ticket includes garden entry ticket) | BOOK HERE

Accompany Poet and Plantswoman, Jean Bleakney on a special morning walk through the beautiful gardens of Hillsborough Castle, pausing to admire and hear more about the plants and vistas whilst discovering how and why the garden remains a perennial inspiration for poets. 

Oh grant the muse with pausing step to press

Each sun-bright avenue, and green recess

 - ‘The Temple of Nature’, Erasmus Darwin

 Supported by Historic Royal Palaces

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Writing workshop with Rosemary Jenkinson
Apr
27
10:30 AM10:30

Writing workshop with Rosemary Jenkinson

  • Barry Gallery, St Malachy’s Parish Church (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Admission: £10 | BOOK HERE

Rosemary Jenkinson is an award-winning playwright and short story writer. She was Artist-in-Residence at the Lyric Theatre in 2017 and received a Major Individual Artist Award from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. Her plays include The Bonefire (winner of the 2006 Stewart Parker BBC Radio Award), Basra Boy, White Star of the North, Planet Belfast, Here Comes the Night, Michelle and Arlene, Lives in Translation and I Shall Wear Purple. She has published three collections of short stories, most recently Catholic Boy (Doire Press, 2018).

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Poetry Reading with Seán Hewitt and Paul Maddern
Apr
27
11:00 AM11:00

Poetry Reading with Seán Hewitt and Paul Maddern

Admission: £8 | BOOK HERE

Despite the thorns of love and pain, the poems in Seán Hewitt’s debut pamphlet Lantern are unafraid to dive into the wilderness. Paul Maddern’s latest publication The Tipping Line, is part auto-biography, part exploration of artistic practice, and part historical record, moving between the beaches of Donegal and Bermuda, and through the cities of London, Leeds, and New York.

Seán Hewitt is a fiction reviewer for the Irish Times and a Leverhulme Research Fellow at Trinity College, Dublin. Paul Maddern was born in Bermuda and lived in Canada, the USA, and England before moving to Co. Down in 2000. He is the proprietor of The River Mill writers retreat in Co Down.

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Darjeeling Express with Asma Khan
Apr
27
12:00 PM12:00

Darjeeling Express with Asma Khan

Admission: £8 | BOOK HERE

Meet proprietor of acclaimed London restaurant Darjeeling Express Asma Khan, who has been making headlines: she hired an all-female kitchen team; she’s the founder of a charity for second daughters in India, who can require further support than other family members, and she is the first chef from Britain to appear on hit Netflix documentary show Chef's Table. We’re delighted to have Asma with us to share stories and some delicious food with our audience!

A project supported by the European Union’s PEACE IV Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB).

Supported and facilitated by the Institute for Conflict Research (ICR).

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Whittrick Press: In Conversation with Sybil Allen & Anne Montgomery
Apr
27
12:30 PM12:30

Whittrick Press: In Conversation with Sybil Allen & Anne Montgomery

Admission: £8 | BOOK HERE

Lifelong friends actress Sybil Allen and artist, illustrator and textile designer Anne Montgomery published their stunning children’s book, Mixed Veg with Whittrick Press in 2018. Like the best produce, Mixed Veg has taken its time to come into the world. Sybil and Anne will discuss how the initial manuscript and drawings that germinated in the 1970s flowered into a picture book 40 years later.

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Literary Lunchtime with Will Eaves
Apr
27
1:00 PM13:00

Literary Lunchtime with Will Eaves

Admission: £8 | BOOK HERE

Will Eaves’s novel Murmur takes as its starting point the conviction and chemical castration of brilliant Enigma Code-breaking mathematician Alan Turing. It’s an inventive imagining of the mind of a genius; a heart-breaking and thought-provoking dive into the human consciousness.

Will Eaves is the author of five novels and two collections of poetry. He was the Arts Editor of the Times Literary Supplement from 1995 to 2011 and now teaches at the University of Warwick. Murmur was shortlisted for the Goldsmiths Prize in 2018.

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Publishing Panel with Tramp Press, Penguin Ireland & No Alibis Press
Apr
27
2:30 PM14:30

Publishing Panel with Tramp Press, Penguin Ireland & No Alibis Press

Admission: £10 | BOOK HERE

Wonder what a ‘slush pile’ is? What do literary agents really do? This panel of publishing experts can tell you how a book makes its way into print, offer tips to get on the route to publication, and provide insights on how the book industry works.

Emma Warnock attended Queen's University Belfast where she completed a PhD in contemporary fiction in 2006. She worked as a freelance editor before joining No Alibis Press as commissioning editor in 2018.

Brendan Barrington is an editorial director at Penguin Ireland, and editor and publisher of The Dublin Review.

Tramp Press was founded by Lisa Coen and Sarah Davis-Goff in 2014 with the aim of publishing exceptional work exceptionally well. Tramp's recent successes include Mike McCormack's Solar Bones and Emilie Pine's No. 1 Bestseller Notes to Self.

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Heritage Walking Tour with Judy Crawford
Apr
27
3:00 PM15:00

Heritage Walking Tour with Judy Crawford

Admission: £8 | BOOK HERE

Judy Crawford is a fully trained Blue Badge guide who has conducted walking tours around the entire village for over 20 years, and comes with a wealth of experience and knowledge. This walk will last approximately one hour, leaving and returning to the Visitor Information Centre, taking in the Castle, churches and Fort.

Please note the tour may include steps and crossing busy roads. Please wear appropriate footwear and clothing suitable for all weathers!

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Reading with Wendy Erskine and June Caldwell
Apr
27
4:30 PM16:30

Reading with Wendy Erskine and June Caldwell

Admission: £8 | BOOK HERE

Compellingly dark, with depictions of longing loneliness laced with dry humour, coupled with caustic takes on the state of society, this is an afternoon of fearless fiction from two startlingly talented short story writers. Perfect if you like your fiction on the far side of surreal.

Room Little Darker, June Caldwell's acclaimed collection of short stories, was published by New Island Books in 2017 and Head of Zeus in 2018. Her debut novel Little Town Moone is forthcoming from John Murray in 2020.

Wendy Erskine’s debut collection of short stories, Sweet Home, was published by The Stinging Fly Press in September 2018 and will be published by Picador in 2019.

Chaired by Susan Tomaselli.

Susan Tomaselli is founder and editor of gorse journal. She is former co-editor of 3:AM Magazine and editor at 3:AM Press. She has written for The Guardian, The Irish Times, The Stinging Fly, Bookmunch, CultureNI, and contributed to Little Black Book of Books (Cassell 2007), The Beat Anthology (Blackheath Books 2010), and We’ll Never Have Paris (Repeater Books 2019), amongst others. She is currently working on a novel-in-essays, Traces, on memory, trauma, technology, and failure.

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Creating a Space with Esther Mogada, James Gitari and Macy Stewart
Apr
27
4:30 PM16:30

Creating a Space with Esther Mogada, James Gitari and Macy Stewart

Admission: £10 | BOOK HERE

Today’s world can seem like a hard place to make it as an artist. Hear first-hand how these creatives forged their own creative paths.

Creating a Space is a company run by Esther Mogada and James Gitari, based in Blick Studios, Belfast. Creating a Space works in film-making, photography, music production, video production and events management, showcasing creatives through interviews and film. They recently worked with Womenfolk for The Time is Now panel.

Macy Stewart is a fashion & portrait photographer based in Holywood. After leaving school she studied with Mastered: London, a 10-month accelerator course offering access to mentoring and personal insight from industry experts.

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The River Mill Readings with Janice Galloway
Apr
27
6:00 PM18:00

The River Mill Readings with Janice Galloway

Admission: £8 | BOOK HERE

Janice Galloway has authored award-winning novels, short stories and books of non-fiction, including Clara, All Made Up, and her ‘anti-memoir’ This is Not About Me. Her first novel, The Trick is to Keep Breathing is now widely regarded as a Scottish contemporary classic and was republished in 2018 as a Vintage Classic. Her collaborative work includes a range of texts for typographers, visual artists, sculptors, musicians and videographers. Her latest book, Jellyfish, is a collection of short stories inspired part by David Lodge’s statement that: “Literature is mostly about having sex and not much about having children. Life is the other way round.”

She lives in Lanarkshire with her husband, best friend and other animals.

Supported by The River Mill

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Wuthering Night: An Ode to Kate Bush with LARKS and Alana Henderson
Apr
27
8:00 PM20:00

Wuthering Night: An Ode to Kate Bush with LARKS and Alana Henderson

Admission: £8 | BOOK HERE

Kate Bush’s music and lyrics embrace silliness alongside seriousness, channelling literary allusions as diverse as Emily Brontë, Hans Christian Andersen and James Joyce, to pop-culture icons like Elvis and Houdini. In this celebratory event, marking 40 years from the release of The Kick Inside, the debut album that introduced the remarkable ‘Wuthering Heights’ to the world, writers and musicians offer personal responses to the influences that pepper Bush’s music. A tribute to the extraordinary and revolutionary musical icon, by artists and fans alike.

Cellist and singer Alana Henderson weaves pop, folk and classical elements to craft a sound which is strikingly unique. A two-year stint moonlighting as Hozier’s touring cellist saw Alana travelling the world, with a homecoming bringing the release of a single ‘Let This Remain’ in 2017. 2019 sees Alana back with a new EP, her trademark cello bolstered with shimmering electronics and slide guitar.

LARKS is the new project from Fiona O’Kane. She draws influences from rhythmic Electronic based beats, infused with Indie & Alternative sensibilities, all the while keeping her sincere, heartfelt lyrics as strong as ever. In February 2019 LARKS released a cover of the Kate Bush classic Running Up That Hill in her second collaboration with Arvo Party.

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Creaturely Poetry with Gail McConnell
Apr
28
10:30 AM10:30

Creaturely Poetry with Gail McConnell

Admission: £10 | BOOK HERE

Gail McConnell’s debut poetry pamphlet is Fourteen (Green Bottle Press, 2018). Her second pamphlet, Fothermather, explores the interaction between parenthood and queerness (Ink Sweat & Tears, forthcoming 2019). Gail is a lecturer in English at Queen’s University Belfast. She is the author of Northern Irish Poetry and Theology (Palgrave, 2014) and articles on modern Irish poetry. Gail is working on a book which features ‘Type Face’, a long poem published in Blackbox Manifold concerning the experience of reading a Historical Enquiries Team Report.

Participants are asked to please read the following short essay in advance of the workshop: ‘A Tremendous Fish’ by Mark Doty, available at http://poems.com/special_features/prose/essay_doty.php

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Myra Zepf -  Upcycling Irish Mythology: Rewriting Old Legends for New Times
Apr
28
11:00 AM11:00

Myra Zepf - Upcycling Irish Mythology: Rewriting Old Legends for New Times

Admission: £10/£8 concession | BOOK HERE

In this brunch-time lecture author Myra Zepf will explore the rich tradition of Irish mythology and its ever-changing narratives and forms, charting how they evolve and renew with each new era. She will share her recent experiences and the challenges faced as she worked on a new rewriting of the story of ‘Midhir and Etaoin’ for an upcoming book, balancing the preservation of inherited tradition with the pressing need to re-stitch the ancient tale for contemporary gender-balance.

Supported by Historic Royal Palaces

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Diversity: Lisburn Writers Club
Apr
28
1:00 PM13:00

Diversity: Lisburn Writers Club

Admission: Free | BOOK HERE

A showcase of this group which meets locally to share their writing of short stories, poetry, drama, autobiographical and non-fiction work. They come from all backgrounds and places and have been meeting for several years. Some members have been published and have won national poetry awards. Come along and share our words.

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Literary Lunchtime with Darach Ó Séaghdha
Apr
28
1:00 PM13:00

Literary Lunchtime with Darach Ó Séaghdha

Admission: £8 | BOOK HERE

Darach Ó Séaghdha is an Irish writer, podcaster and Irish language activist. He is the author of Motherfoclóir: Dispatches from a not so dead language, which won Ireland AM Popular Non-Fiction Book of the Year in the 2017 Irish Book Awards. He runs the popular Irish-language-trivia Twitter account The Irish For.

'Motherfocloir' [focloir means 'dictionary' and is pronounced like a rather more vulgar English epithet] is a book based on the popular Twitter account @theirishfor. 'Motherfocloir' takes an irreverent, pun-friendly and contemporary approach to the Irish language. The author includes stories about his own relationship with Irish, and how it fits in with the most important events in his life. An event for all lovers of the quirks of language.

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Workshop: Writing to the Image with Malachi O’Doherty
Apr
28
1:30 PM13:30

Workshop: Writing to the Image with Malachi O’Doherty

Admission: £10 | BOOK HERE

How do you write for an image or a series of images? Digital media now commonly combine images and text and it is important for writers and photographers to understand each other’s media, whether to provide captions or commentary for a series of pictures or to select pictures to illustrate or complement text. In this workshop, Malachi O'Doherty will take you through the editing of image sequences in slideshows and work with you on how to write for the pictures in such a way that text and image work together.

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Migration: New to the Parish with Sorcha Pollak
Apr
28
3:00 PM15:00

Migration: New to the Parish with Sorcha Pollak

Admission £8 | BOOK HERE

New to the Parish: Stories of Love, War and Adventure from Ireland’s Immigrants chronicles fourteen personal stories of people who have come to Ireland for work, education, retirement, love and in some cases, out of necessity, forced from their homes by death and destruction, given context by succinct analysis of how world events over the past decade have played a role in the migration crisis.

Author Sorcha Pollak is an Irish journalist based in Dublin working for The Irish Times with a specific focus on migration and immigrant communities in Ireland.

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Heritage Walking Tour with Judy Crawford
Apr
28
3:00 PM15:00

Heritage Walking Tour with Judy Crawford

Admission: £8 | BOOK HERE

Judy Crawford is a fully trained Blue Badge guide who has conducted walking tours around the entire village for over 20 years, and comes with a wealth of experience and knowledge. This walk will last approximately one hour, leaving and returning to the Visitor Information Centre, taking in the Castle, churches and Fort.

Please note the tour may include steps and crossing busy roads. Please wear appropriate footwear and clothing suitable for all weathers!

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Afternoon with The Lifeboat
Apr
28
4:00 PM16:00

Afternoon with The Lifeboat

Admission: £8 | BOOK HERE

The Lifeboat is a poetry reading series and small press based in Belfast, run by Stephen Connolly and Manuela Moser. In 2018 they released three pamphlets, Chords of Inquiry by Anna Loughran, Plot by Joe Lines and Genuine Human Values by Susannah Dickey.

Susannah Dickey's poetry has appeared in Ambit, The Scores, The White Review, Poetry Ireland Review, The Tangerine, Hotel and the anthology Why Poetry? (Verve Poetry Press, 2018). Joe Lines recently received a PhD in English from Queen's University Belfast, and his research interests include eighteenth-century literature of crime. Anna Loughran's poetry has appeared in The Tangerine and the 'Hour by Hour' edition of the Poetry Jukebox. She is currently working towards an MA in Poetry at Queen's University Belfast.

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Be Our Guest: New Writing on Hillsborough’s Past
Apr
28
4:00 PM16:00

Be Our Guest: New Writing on Hillsborough’s Past

Admission: £6 / £5 concession | BOOK HERE

This event launches a new collaborative publication produced by Hillsborough Castle and Gardens and The John Hewitt Society. Five prominent Northern Ireland based writers have been commissioned to respond to five historical figures from Hillsborough’s past and have created new pieces of writing to animate the lives of these former residents. The publication also includes additional contributions by participants from a range of community groups who took part in workshops with the writers. The launch will include readings from each of the writers and a selection of readings by community participants. The writers included are: Jan Carson, Emily DeDakis, Maeve O’Lynn, Ian Sansom and Myra Zepf.

This project is supported by Heritage Lottery Fund and Community Relations Council. We would like to thank the Institute for Conflict Research for their support for this project.

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'Happy Arrivals' with Housing4All
Apr
28
4:30 PM16:30

'Happy Arrivals' with Housing4All

Admission: Free | BOOK HERE

Housing4All is a group of asylum seekers trying to ensure that the human right to housing is realised for destitute asylum seekers in Northern Ireland. In the autumn of 2018, Housing4All designed their own human rights monitoring surveys to capture the experiences of asylum seekers in Belfast, monitoring the denial of their socio-economic rights. This short rehearsed reading that members of Housing4All will perform focuses on some of these issues in more detail, highlighting the difficult realities of the lives of people seeking asylum, safety, and sanctuary in Belfast.

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Sky You Are Too Big: Poetry Reading with Maria McManus, Viviana Fiorentino, Nandi Jola and Anesu Khanya Mtowa
Apr
28
5:30 PM17:30

Sky You Are Too Big: Poetry Reading with Maria McManus, Viviana Fiorentino, Nandi Jola and Anesu Khanya Mtowa

Admission: Free | BOOK HERE

Poets Maria McManus, Viviana Fiorentino, Nandi Jola and Anesu Khanya Mtowa present a special poetry reading exploring translations, language, cultural diversity and difference, inclusion, and the themes of belonging, dispossession, feeling lost, migration and seeking asylum. This reading was first staged in December 2018 to raise awareness of Larne House Visitors Group, a local volunteer group who visit detainees in the ‘Larne House’, here in Northern Ireland.

We will be raising money for two charities: Phone Credit for Refugees and Larne House Visitors Group.

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Evening with The Tangerine
Apr
28
5:30 PM17:30

Evening with The Tangerine

Admission: £8 | BOOK HERE

The Tangerine is a Belfast-based magazine of new writing. It covers culture and politics, and is published three times a year. The Tangerine includes features, reportage, commentary, fiction, poetry, illustration and photography. This showcase event includes a selection of readings from writers featured since the journal debuted in 2016.

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Home: with Jan Carson and Anthony Toner
Apr
28
8:00 PM20:00

Home: with Jan Carson and Anthony Toner

Admission: £8 | BOOK HERE

Jan Carson and Anthony Toner offer a personal, playful and insight-filled duet right on the crossroads where music and words meet. Expect readings and songs from the artists’ own catalogues, but with some favourite selections from other artists added for good measure.

Jan Carson is a writer and community arts facilitator based in Belfast. She curated the inaugural Hillsborough Festival of Literature & Ideas in 2018. She specialises in running arts projects and events with older people, especially those living with dementia. The Fire Starters, her second novel, was published by Doubleday in April 2019.

Since the release of the hugely popular single Sailortown ten years ago, Anthony Toner has released a string of popular albums and played countless live performances, where his storytelling and engaging patter have become as much a part of the show as his music.

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Small Town Stories with Joshua Burnside & Damian Smyth & Bernie McGill
Apr
29
8:00 PM20:00

Small Town Stories with Joshua Burnside & Damian Smyth & Bernie McGill

Time: 8pm – 9:30pm
Venue: Market Room, The Courthouse
Tickets: £7 | book now

This very special evening of words and music features three artists of exceptional talent presenting poetry, songs and story on the theme of small town living. This will be an intimate and memorable performance not to be missed.

Joshua Burnside was born in Ireland, but cites the music of Colombia, Eastern Europe and North America as the greatest influences on his unique sound. Deftly blending folk textures and melodies with elements of electronica, he has made it difficult for pundits to put him in a box.  

Bernie McGill’s novel, The Watch House, was published in 2017 by Tinder Press. She is also the author of Sleepwalkers, a collection of stories short-listed in 2014 for the Edge Hill Short Story Prize, and The Butterfly Cabinet. Her work has been placed in the Seán Ó Faoláin, the Bridport, and the Michael McLaverty Short Story Prizes and she won the Zoetrope:All-Story Award in 2008.

Damian Smyth’s five collections are Downpatrick Races (2000), The Down Recorder (2004), Lamentations (2010), Market Street (2010) and Mesopotamia (2014). English Street is due later this year. He is Head of Literature & Drama at the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.

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English Pen Readings
Apr
29
6:00 PM18:00

English Pen Readings

Time: 6pm – 7pm 
Venue: Market Room, The Courthouse
Tickets: Free | book here

In solidarity of writers who are in prison or otherwise at risk around the world, five Northern Irish writers will read from the work of some of the incredible individuals supported by English PEN’s Writers at Risk Programme. The event will be introduced by Hannah Trevarthen, Events and Development Manager at English PEN.

English PEN supports the freedom to write and the freedom to read in the UK and around the world. 

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Faith & Fiction: Padraig O'Tuama and Phil Harrison
Apr
29
4:30 PM16:30

Faith & Fiction: Padraig O'Tuama and Phil Harrison

Time: 4.30pm
Venue: Quaker Meeting House
Tickets: £6 | Book here

Padraig O’Tuama is the leader of the Corrymeela Community and founder of the Tenx9 storytelling movement. He is the author of several books including In The Shelter, published by Hodder & Stoughton in 2015. Phil Harrison is a Belfast-based filmmaker, writer and creative. His debut novel, The First Day was published by Fleet in 2017. They will be reading and talking about faith, doubt and the importance of artistic community.

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Film Hub NI screenings
Apr
29
3:00 PM15:00

Film Hub NI screenings

Time: 3pm
Venue: Village Centre
Tickets: £3 | Book here

"You are my tenth Prime Minister, Mr. Blair. My first, of course, was Winston Churchill."

'Film Hub NI in association with the Hillsborough Festival present The Queen (2006) directed by Stepen Frears and starring Helen Mirren and Michael Sheen. A fascinating, funny, wicked and to the point, this is an excellent film about a week every Briton over the age of 25 will remember vividly. Following the death of Princess Diana in an auto accident, Queen Elizabeth II (Mirren) and Prime Minister Tony Blair (Sheen) struggle to decide how the royal family should publicly respond to the tragedy.

This screening will be accompanied by highlights of royal visits to Northern Ireland from Northern Ireland Screen's Digital Film Archive. For more information go to https://digitalfilmarchive.net/

Film Hub NI is part of the BFI Film Audience Network and is supported by National Lottery Funds through the British Film Institute. For more information go to: http://www.filmhubni.org/

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Hodges and Figgis Anthology event
Apr
29
1:30 PM13:30

Hodges and Figgis Anthology event

Time: 1.30pm
Venue: Quaker Meeting House
Tickets: Free | book here

Reading the Future is the largest anthology of new Irish writing ever, and contains fiction, poetry, drama, Irish language, crime, young adult and children’s writing by over 250 Irish writers. These writers have sold millions of books and have won many awards, including the Oscar, Booker, BAFTA, Kavanagh, Costa and the Dublin Literary Award. While there has long been a debate on the poor representation of women writers in Irish literature, it is a particular pleasure that in this anthology 55% of the contributors are women – the first time this has ever happened in Irish writing. Including readings by Ruth Carr and Medbh McGuckian.

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Literary Knittery with Emily DeDakis
Apr
29
12:00 PM12:00

Literary Knittery with Emily DeDakis

Time: 12 noon 
Venue: The Barn Gallery, 7 Main Street
Tickets: Free | book here

Literary Knittery is a fantastic opportunity for all you knitters, crafters and artists to enjoy a relaxing hour, working on a project whilst being read to. Bring your knitting, crocheting, sketch pad or whatever you're working on, relax with a cup of tea and listen to a selection of handpicked readings and stories.

Emily De Dakis grew up in Atlanta and attended university in New Orleans and Edinburgh. Emily moved to Belfast in 2005 where she studied and taught creative writing at Queen’s University and now works in theatre. As dramaturg & producer for Accidental Theatre, Emily has developed dozens of scripts & performances.

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Young Adult writing workshop with Kelly McCaughrain
Apr
29
10:30 AM10:30

Young Adult writing workshop with Kelly McCaughrain

Venue: Scout Hall
Time: 10.30am – 12pm
Tickets: £6 | Book here

A story-writing workshop for 13-17s on using character development and dialogue to create plot. We’ll use writing exercises, discussion and feedback, and there will be the opportunity to share your work aloud (only if you want to). Suitable for beginners or more experienced young writers.

Kelly McCaughrain is a YA writer from Belfast. She studied creative writing at Queens University Belfast and her novel, Flying Tips for Flightless Birds, is published by Walker Books. Visit her website at kellymccaughrain.com

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Sonnets & Scones with Paula Cunningham
Apr
29
10:30 AM10:30

Sonnets & Scones with Paula Cunningham

Venue: The Owl and The Pussy Cat Cafe
Time: 10:30am – 11am
Tickets: Drop-in | no booking required

Drop in for morning coffee and enjoy a bite-size reading from a local poet; the perfect way to start your day. We’d recommend arriving in plenty of time to this busy restaurant.

Paula Cunningham lives in Belfast.  Her books, ‘A Dog called Chance’, 1999, and ‘Heimlich's Manoeuvre’, 2013, are both from Smith/Doorstop.  ‘Heimlich’s Manoeuvre’ was shortlisted for the Fenton-Aldeburgh, Seamus Heaney Centre, and Strong Shine First Collection Prizes. In 2015 she won second prize in the Costa Short Story Award.

 

 

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Masterclass with Stephen Sexton
Apr
29
10:00 AM10:00

Masterclass with Stephen Sexton

Time: 10am – 1pm
Venue: Village Centre
Tickets: £10 | Book here

10am – 1pm

Workshop

This workshop will provide an outline of some of the principles and procedures of ‘found poetry’, discussing its origins in early 20th century art, and considering the implications of collaging, repurposing and reshaping other texts into poems. Kenneth Goldsmith said “Context is the new content”, and we will explore that statement and the ways in which a found poem is framed and how that contributes to its meaning and reception.

2pm – 3pm

Discussion of participants’ work (to be sent ahead)

We will conclude the day’s session with a structured discussion of participants’ work.

Stephen Sexton is working towards a PhD at the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry. He was the winner of the inaugural Funeral Services Northern Ireland National Poetry Competition. Stephen’s poem ‘The Curfew’ was selected as Winner of the Poetry Society’s National Poetry Competition in 2017.

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Foraging for Images: forest walk and poetry writing workshop with Emma Must
Apr
29
10:00 AM10:00

Foraging for Images: forest walk and poetry writing workshop with Emma Must

Time: 10am – 2pm
Venue: Village Centre
Tickets: £10 | book here

Join poet Emma Must for a spring walk in Hillsborough Forest Park* followed by a writing workshop. No previous writing experience is necessary, just enthusiasm and willingness to have a go. The walk will last about an hour; the workshop will be guided step by step. Please wear shoes suitable for walking and bring a notebook and pen.

Formerly an environmental campaigner, Emma Must’s debut poetry pamphlet, Notes on the Use of the Austrian Scythe, won the Templar Portfolio Award and was published by Templar in 2015. In 2016 she was named as one of the ‘Rising Generation’ by Poetry Ireland Review. Her poems have featured in several recent anthologies.

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Tenx9
Apr
28
8:00 PM20:00

Tenx9

Time: 8:00pm
Venue: The Market Room, The Courthouse
Tickets: Free | Book here

Tenx9 was started in Belfast by Paul Doran and Pádraig Ó Tuama in 2011 and has now spread to cities in Britain, North America, the Netherlands and Australia. It's a straightforward concept - nine people have up to ten minutes each to tell a true story from their lives thus - tenx9. If you have a story you'd like to share get in touch via our website tenx9.com or email us at Tenx9Belfast@gmail.com.

This evening's theme is Village Life.

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A celebration of Hamilton Harty
Apr
28
6:00 PM18:00

A celebration of Hamilton Harty

Time: 6:00pm
Venue: St Malachy’s Parish Church
Tickets: £7 | Book here

Join us for an evening of song and discussion as we celebrate the life and music of the great accompanist, composer and conductor Sir Herbert Hamilton Harty.

With specialist insight into the life of the Hillsborough-born composer from renowned Harty expert Simon Walker, this illustrated talk will also feature performances of some of Harty’s most famous songs by Soprano Megan Mooney

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Mary Morrissy in conversation with Jan Carson
Apr
28
4:30 PM16:30

Mary Morrissy in conversation with Jan Carson

Time: 4.30pm
Venue: Quaker Meeting House

Tickets: £6 | Book here

 

Cork-based novelist and short story writer Mary Morrissy joins us to talk about a literary career now spanning three decades. Mary will read from some of her award-winning novels and short story collections, answer your questions and chat to festival curator Jan Carson about her writing process.

 

Mary Morrissy is the author of three novels, Mother of Pearl, The Pretender and The Rising of Bella Casey and two collections of stories, A Lazy Eye and Prosperity Drive. Mother of Pearl, was shortlisted for the Whitbread Award (now Costa). Her other novels were both nominated for the Dublin Impac International Literary Award. She is Associate Director of Creative Writing at University College Cork and a member of Aosdána.

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'Winning the Vote - the suffrage campaign in Ulster' with Dr Margaret Ward
Apr
28
3:00 PM15:00

'Winning the Vote - the suffrage campaign in Ulster' with Dr Margaret Ward

Time: 3pm
Venue: Scout Hall
Tickets: £6 | Book here

An engaging and informative illustrated presentation on the history of Women's suffrage in the North of Ireland.

Dr Margaret Ward is the author of a number of books, including 'Unmanageable Revolutionaries: women and Irish nationalism', biographies of Hanna Sheehy Skeffington and Maud Gonne and most recently 'Hanna Sheehy Skeffington: suffragette and Sinn Feiner, her memoirs and political writings', UCD Press, 2017.  Margaret is currently Visiting Fellow in the School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics at Queen's University, Belfast.

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Heritage Walking Tour with Judy Crawford
Apr
28
3:00 PM15:00

Heritage Walking Tour with Judy Crawford

Time: 3pm
Venue: Departs from Visitor's Information Centre, The Courthouse
Tickets: £7 | Book here

Judy Crawford is a fully trained Blue Badge guide who has guided around the entire village and inside the castle for a number of years, and comes with a wealth of experience and knowledge. This walk will last approximately one hour, leaving and returning to the Visitor Information Centre taking in the Castle, Church and Fort. Please note the tour may include steps and crossing busy roads. Please wear appropriate footwear.

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Literary Lunchtime with Maureen Boyle & Doireann Ní Ghríofa
Apr
28
2:00 PM14:00

Literary Lunchtime with Maureen Boyle & Doireann Ní Ghríofa

Time: 2pm
Venue: Quaker Meeting House

Tickets: £6 | Book here

Our Literary Lunchtimes will give you an opportunity to hear great, International writers read and talk about their work in an informal, relaxed environment. They'll be a chance to ask questions and find out a little more about their journey as writers.

Doireann Ní Ghríofa is a bilingual writer whose books explore birth, death, desire, and domesticity. Among her awards are the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature and a Seamus Heaney Centre ellowship.

Maureen Boyle’s debut poetry collection, ‘The Work of a Winter’ is published by Arlen House. She won the Ireland Chair of Poetry Prize; the Fish Short Memoir Prize and the inaugural Ireland Chair of Poetry Travel Bursary. She teaches English in St Dominic’s Grammar School, Belfast. 

 

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