Recently the programme for the Limerick Literary festival, formerly known as The Kate O’Brien Weekend was launched at an event at 1 Perry Square in Limerick City. The programme was launched by composer Bill Whelan.
The festival began in 1984 to mark the tenth anniversary of the death of Limerick-born Kate O’Brien. The event continues to celebrate the life and works of the author while attracting prominent participants from all over the world. It is an aspiring mix of both discourse and discussion.
The Festival officially opens on Friday, February 21st at 7.00p.m. in Dance Limerick Space (St John’s Church on John Square). The official opening will be by Vicky Phelan and will be followed by a musical interlude presented by National Opera Ireland.
This year’s theme is “Imagination”, using a quote from Kate’s novel Without my cloak – “Wherever you go the most of life will have to happen in your mind”-
Once again the 2020 festival presents the “Kate O’Brien Award” for the best novel/ short story collection by a debut Irish female writer. In association with City Library, The Granary, the fewstival welcomes poet and novelist Catherine Phil McCarthy, and in association with the Hunt Museum, actor and storyteller Cathy Rose O’Brien, Kate O’Brien’s grandniece, who will discuss curating the Kate O’Brien exhibition at the Museum of Literature Ireland (MOLI).
On Saturday the 22nd, in Dance Limerick Space, there will be great activity with author of the Forgotten Revolution Liam Cahill, novelist Christine Dwyer Hickey, literary agent Jo Unwin, authors Sarah Davis Goff, Dan Mooney, editor and professor at Sorbonne Paris Cliona Ni Riordain, Limerick born writer Paul Lynch, English novelist Andrew Miller, poet and broadcaster John Kelly and arts administrator and author David Barrie.
On Sunday the 23rd, in the Belltable, the festival welcomes Professor Emerita Patricia Coughlan and Ireland’s Laureate Na nÓg and novelist Sarah Crossan. This will be followed by the Kate O’Brien Award presentation and the Desert Island Books where director and actor Gerry Stembridge and bibliotherapist and author Ella Berthoud will reveal their choice of 5 books to carry to a desert island. Finally, distinguished Irish dramatist and screenwriter Roddy Doyle will bookend the 2020 Limerick Literary Festival in honour of Kate O’Brien.
Further information and a detailed programme is availabel at HERE
At the launch of the festival programme Ger Sweeney spoke to Festival Producer Ella Daly and later to Bill Whelan. These interviews can be heard below.