A Look At Some Of Tomorow’s Highlights (Friday)

Louise Doughty
Louise Doughty

Louise Doughty 1.00pm at The Arms Hotel Ballroom

Multi-award-winning Louise Doughty is the author of seven novels, including the recently published Apple Tree Yard (2013) – a psychological thriller and insightful examination of the values we all live by and the choices we make. Her first novel, Crazy Paving (1995), a black comedy about accidents, chaos theory and urban terrorism, was shortlisted for the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and her sixth, Whatever You Love (2010), was shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award and longlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction. She also published one work of non-fiction, A Novel in a Year (2007), based on her hugely popular newspaper column. After completing an MA in Creative Writing at UEA, she moved to London where she spent the rest of her 20s at various temping jobs which provided the material for Crazy Paving. Her fourth novel, the internationally acclaimed Fires in the Dark (2003), is based on the history of the Romany people and her own family ancestry.

Louise will be interviewed by Listowel Writers’ Week’s Anne O’Neill who has an MA in Creative Writing.


Jim Crace 2.30pm at St John’s Theatre

“Inimitably excellent, Jim Crace stands on his own ground among living English novelists…”  – Boyd Tonkin, The Independent

Jim Crace
Jim Crace

Born in Hertfordshire in 1946, Jim Crace is the multi award-winning author of 11 books. His most recent novel Harvest (2013) was shortlisted for last year’s Booker Prize. His other titles include Continent (1986), which won the Whitbread First Novel Award and the Guardian Fiction Prize. Quarantine (1997) won the Whitbread Novel of the Year Award and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. Being Dead (1999) took the 2001 National Book Critics Circle Fiction Award USA and was shortlisted for the Dublin IMPAC Award. Crace was awarded the EM Forster Award by the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1992 and became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1999. He lives in Birmingham.

Jim will be interviewed by fiction writer and poet Nuala Ni Chonchúir who is also teaching our Short Fiction Workshop at the festival.


Listowel Writers’ Week in Association with Poetry Ireland are delighted to present two events: Sinead Morrissey and Remembering Seamus

Sinead Morrissey
Sinead Morrissey

Sinéad Morrissey in conversation with Anne Enright 4.30pm at The Arms Hotel Ballroom

Belfast’s inaugural Poet Laureate Sinéad Morrissey is the recent winner of the prestigious 2013 TS Eliot Prize for Poetry. Born in 1972, she grew up in Belfast and read English and German at Trinity College Dublin, from which she took her PhD in 2003. Her five collections are: There Was Fire in Vancouver (1996), Between Here and There (2002), The State of the Prisons (2005), Through the Square Window (2009) and the Forward Prize-shortlisted Parallax (2013). She has lived in Germany, Japan and New Zealand and now lectures in creative writing at the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry, Queen’s University, Belfast.

In conversation with acclaimed novelist Anne Enright. Anne is currently working on her next novel, due to be published in 2015. She is on the judging panel of the Davy Byrnes Short Story Award 2014.

Remembering Seamus 5.30pm, St John’s Theatre

Poetry Ireland and Listowel Writers’ Week are delighted to present students from the 2013 Poetry Aloud competition who will pay tribute to

Seamus Heaney
Seamus Heaney

Seamus Heaney.

Participants will include Niall Hannigan, Coláiste Ailigh, Letterkenny, Eoin Griffin and Gabriel Galway, Milltown Presentation Secondary School, Killarney, Ciara Murphy and Grace Kelly Murphy, St Joseph’s Castleisland, Niamh Ní Chubháin and Treasa Ní Mhaoldomhnaig, Colaiste Íde, An Daingean.  This event will see these gifted students read some favourite Heaney poems.

When Seamus won the David Cohen Prize for Literature in 2007, he gave the twin prize for younger writers (the Clarisssa Luard Award) to Poetry Aloud, because, he said, “it promoted poetry widely, intimately and to inestimable effect … But fundamentally I choose it because it brings poetry into the memory and affections of the young in a way that will make it a lifelong possession and value.”

Poetry Aloud is jointly delivered by Poetry Ireland and the National Library of Ireland and it was established 21 years ago by Niall MacMonagle, who will host this event.


Douglas Kennedy
Douglas Kennedy

Douglas Kennedy Lecture: On the Nature of Fictional Narrative 8.00pm at The Arms Hotel


Don’t miss this wonderful opportunity to hear Douglas Kennedy speak on the nature of fictional narrative in this Listowel Writers’ Week Lecture. Douglas will consider how we construct stories as a way of addressing the mess that is life, and how all fictional writing is – even when not directly autobiographical – nonetheless rooted in the intensely personal. Is the nature of writing somewhat rooted in the need to grapple with the larger questions that hang over every individual life? If the biggest argument in life is the one that you have with yourself, how does the creation of a fictional landscape simultaneously address all those fundamental questions with which we all struggle?

Douglas Kennedy was born in Manhattan in 1955 and graduated magna-cum-laude from Bowdoin College in 1976. He also spent a year studying at Trinity College Dublin and later ran The Peacock Theatre. At the age of 28, he resigned from The Peacock to write full-time. After several radio plays for the BBC and one stage play, he wrote his first book: a narrative account of his travels in Egypt called Beyond the Pyramids (1988). His novel, The Moment (2011), became a No 1 Bestseller in France, as did his earlier novel, Leaving the World (2010). He received the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 2007 and in November 2009 he received the first ‘Grand Prix du Figaro’, awarded by the newspaper Le Figaro.

He divides his time between London, Paris, Berlin, Montreal, Maine and New York.


Eamon Keane & John Sheahan in Concert 9.30pm at The Arms Hotel

Sit back, relax and enjoy an evening of Eamon Keane and John Sheahan combining their considerable talents to produce a kaleidoscope of music, song and poetry.

Eamon and John Sheahan
Eamon and John Sheahan

A key member of The Dubliners for almost 50 years, John Sheahan blends traditional and classical techniques to form his own unique style. Over the years he has gained recognition as a composer and many of his compositions have been performed by the RTÉ Concert Orchestra. During the past decade, John has turned his attention to the music of words, and is currently compiling his first poetry collection. He was recently awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Music by Trinity College Dublin.

Well-known journalist and broadcaster Eamon Keane is an accomplished pianist, composer, and singer/songwriter. Eamon sold out two concerts at the National Concert Hall recently where his stunning piano improvisations on tunes like She Moved Through The Fair featured alongside songs from his acclaimed album Hang The Moon. Eamon has recently composed the haunting score for Mná Dibeartha, the landmark series on the Famine, which is now being distributed worldwide and released on DVD.

To book any of the above events please click here