Operation Education: A Teen Focused Arts Festival

© www.annmcnamee.ieFollowing the enormous success of last year’s inaugural Operation Education, we’re delighted to be hosting this exciting initiative again in 2014 as part of Listowel Writers’ Week Literary Festival, which takes place this year from 28 May – 1st June 2014.

Operation Education is geared towards Transition and 5th Year students and last year over 200 students attended from schools all over Kerry, although the initiative is open to schools throughout Ireland. One of its objectives is to introduce the students to a poet who will be on their Leaving Cert course as well as stimulating and enthusing students with a varied programme of events. Student Caoimhe Mawe from Presentation Tralee said, “I loved hearing John Montague read. I’m now studying him in 5th year and his poems are now more meaningful to me.”

At just €5 per student for the whole day’s events it’s fantastic value for money and a real boost for the students. Just to give you an idea of what to expect, here’s an outline of the 2014 Operation Education Day which takes place on Thursday 29 May 2014.

John Boyne9.30am             Festival Lift-off with award-winning author John Boyne (pictured left).

“My inspiration,” by John Boyne.

Award-winning author of 13 books for adults and young adults, including the iconic The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, will reveal what drives him to put words on paper.


10.00am           “Poetry, a Natural Thing.”

Famous for his amazing and original poetry readings, Paul Durcan (pictured right) will read from his entertaining, poignant andPaul Durcan sometimes subversive poems, all of which are on the 2016, 2017 and 2018 Leaving Cert Course. Paul will also discuss the inspiration behind his distinctive work with teacher, critic and writer of the “Poetry Now” Series of English Notes, Niall MacMonagle.

11.00am           Students will partake in a literary odyssey through Listowel’s atmospheric streets.

11.45am           Performance Poetry


Seamus Barra O SuilleabhainSm

Séamus Barra O’Suilleabháin (pictured left) is an upcoming talented young poet who will “rap” you around his poetry as he prepares you for… Stephen James Smith (pictured below), Dubliner, writer performer, chancer, five-us-a-goer-of-that-sure, biscuit dunker, ice-cream lover.

Stephen James Smith 2














12.45 pm         Lunch

1.30pm            A live, high-octane musical gig with The Promise.

2.15pm            Presenting Stefanie Preissner (pictured right), actor and playwright.Stefanie Preissner

A significant new talent and writer of two award-winning plays, Solpadeine is my Boyfriend and Our Father, Stafanie will have you on the edge of your seats with her show-stopping and insightful performance.

3.00pm            Finish

“Operation Education is building on the magic of last year with an eclectic, inspiring programme which will connect with young people. Our mission is to ensure that teenagers become touched by literature in a fun-filled, exciting way.” Joanna Keane O’Flynn, Director of Operation Education.

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