West Cork Literary Festival 2021 - Whats On In West Cork

West Cork Literary Festival 2021

David Caldwell 11:23 11 Jul 2021


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The West Cork Literary Festival takes place in Bantry from 9 - 16 July 2021. Workshops, readings, panel discussion, children's events and more!

It is one of a Quartet of great festivals which run in Bantry on the Wild Atlantic Way throughout the year, the others being West Cork Chamber Musical Festival, Masters of Tradition and West Cork Chamber Music Fringe Festival. All of them major on the fact that participants and visitors just love the atmospherics of West Cork and Bantry, meeting shoulder to shoulder in the pubs and eateries of this welcoming place and the staging of many events in the splendour of Bantry House as much of the festival activity owes its genesis to the efforts of the late Egerton Shelswell-White of Bantry House and his family and the house feature large in these events. So after Covid Lockdown we still are not in normal times and the very personal of these festivals under threat a new way forward had to be found.

As Eimear O'Herlihy, the festival director of West Cork Literary Festival, says:

***"It's hard to believe that it is West Cork Literary Festival time again and that the festival team is right in the thick of it, albeit from our various sitting rooms and kitchens. It still feels like we are in the strange limbo of March 2020 but somehow over 15 months have passed and it’s July 2021.

A year ago we couldn’t imagine how a literary festival could exist without the buzz of the proximity to our favourite authors, the signing queue, the coffees and glasses of wine together as we discussed the various events but we needed to find a way to support writers and to engage with our audiences. We’ve been so pleasantly surprised by the enthusiasm with which writers and audiences alike embraced online events as we all looked for a way to connect with the outside world. This summer we have a packed schedule of over 35 events throughout the month of July. We started the month with a book launch for Mary McGill’s The Visibility Trap on the second of July and will end it on the 29th with an event for The 32, an anthology of Irish working class voices edited by Paul McVeigh."***

There is a wide range of online events from Zoom readings by Torrey Peters and Christy Lefteri to a series of New Dutch Writing featuring Dutch novelists and non-fiction writers including climate journalist Jelmer Mommers. The Festival has pre-recorded three events in Bantry House last month with Kate O’Riordan discussing the success of Smother with Liz Nugent, a special episode of The Tolü and Feli Show featuring Tolü Makay and Felispeaks and novelists Lisa Harding and Fíona Scarlett talking about their latest books. These will be streamed on Vimeo over from Saturday 10 to Monday 12 July.

They also have nine outdoor events for the lucky few who have managed to secure tickets. On Saturday, we will hear from Cauvery Madhavan, Anne Griffin, Rachel Donohue and Rónán Hession. On Sunday it’s the turn of Alannah Hopkins, Séan Hewitt, Nidhi Zak/Aria Epie, Lisa McInerney and Eimear Ryan.

The final outdoor events this year will be on Monday with John Connell, Graham Norton, Louise Kennedy and Stephen Walsh on the stage for their events. It will be strange to see such small audience numbers at these events but also magical to be able to present these gatherings at all. It’s been too long! And rest assured these events will be filmed so everyone will get a chance to see them at a later date.

There are some wonderful partnerships this year with Dublin Book Festival screening Departures, which was filmed in Cobh and features interviews with Cork writers Billy O’Callaghan, Alice Taylor and Jack O’Rourke and this will take place in Bantry Cinemax on 13 July. On 27 July we have the world premiere screening online of A Thing I Cannot Name, a new opera film from Irish National Opera, composed by Amanda Feery with libretto by Megan Nolan.

The West Cork Literary Festival is running throughout July - find out more here.

https://www.westcorkmusic.ie/literary-festival/programme/

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