Monday, 2 April 2012

10th John Hewitt Spring Festival in the Glens of Antrim

I am a big fan of the witty, thoughtful writing of Mavis Cheek in particular.

Friday 20th April and Saturday 21st April 2012
The Londonderry Arms Hotel, Carnlough, County Antrim

With Mavis Cheek, Kapka Kassabova, Hector McDonnell, Moya Cannon, Martin Mooney, Eoghan Walls, Heather Richardson, Bernie McGill, Cahal Dallat and Anne-Marie Fyfe

Fri 20 Apr

7:00pm Creative Writing Workshop ~ Eoghan Walls

Eoghan Walls has a BA (Hons) English and Philosophy from University College, Dublin; International Baccalaureate,UCW Atlantic College, Wales; MA in Creative Writing, Queen's University, Belfast; PhD in English Literature, Seamus Heaney Centre, Queen's University. He's won an Eric Gregory Award and a number of scholarships/bursaries. He has taught English in Ireland as well as in Heidelberg, Rwanda, and for the Open University, has published academic papers on philosophy and literature. His first full poetry collection is 'The Salt Harvest'(Seren, 2011).

Sat 21 Apr

11:00am Coffee

11:15am Great Northern Novel

For fiction-fans, the Hewitt Spring Festival's own annual, ongoing Big-Read, the 'Great Northern Novel' debate continues, with poet Martin Mooney (see afternoon event) and novelists Heather Richardson ('Magdeburg', Lagan, 2010) and Bernie McGill ('The Butterfly Cabinet', Headline, 2010) all championing the merits of three more outstanding novels from this part of the world, most recent being David Park's topical 'The Truth Commissioner', preceded by David Martin's haunting Troubles/Civil-War novel 'The Road to Ballyshannon' and Janet McNeill's socially perceptive
'The Maiden Dinosaur'.

1:00pm Lunch

2:30pm The Art of Hope
Hector McDonnell (in conversation) on life, art, the world

From a family long established in the Glens, the 'chosen place' where John Hewitt found cautious optimism in his fellow-Northerners' ability to live together, West-Belfast-born artist Hector McDonnell has studied in Germany, exhibited in London, Vienna, Paris, Madrid, Hong Kong, Stuttgart, Darmstadt, Brussels, Belfast, Dublin and New York, and now divides his time between Glenarm and New York as 'a painter who celebrates life wherever he finds it',(according to John Julius Norwich), painting (among other places) pre- and post-9/11 Manhattan, Tibet and Rwanda.

4:30pm The Poetry of Hope
Moya Cannon, Martin Mooney, Eoghan Walls
and the Poetry of John Hewitt

Three Irish poets take turns to select from, and respond to, themes from John Hewitt's poems, with readings of their own work. Have Hewitt's concerns, and the issues that engaged his generation, from identity and conflict to love of landscape and lore, been replaced by newer, more immediate matters? Or do today's poets find an echo, in their own work, of the explorations of artists and writers from a quarter-century, a half-century ago? Featuring: Eoghan Walls (see above), Moya Cannon (b. Dunfanaghy, 4th collection, 'Hands', Carcanet, 2011) and Martin Mooney (b. Belfast, 4th collection, 'The Resurrection of the Body at Killysuggen', Lagan, 2011).

6:30pm Drinks Reception

7:00pm Dinner

8:30pm The State We're In
Mavis Cheek and Kapka Kassabova

Two writers with strikingly different takes on the contemporary world: Kapka Kassabova first joined us at the Hewitt Summer School with poems of childhood in, and exile from, her native Bulgaria; her latest, 'Twelve Minutes of Love: A Tango Story' takes passion, romance and the exotic in its confident stride. And Mavis Cheek has built an outstandingly popular reputation (15 novels to her credit and currently Royal Literary Fellow at Chichester University) with her witty satires on the hopes, dreams and deluded expectations of contemporary life, ('...wicked social observation', according to Fay Weldon).

All Day Bookstall on Saturday
Courtesy of No Alibis
83 Botanic Avenue, Belfast BT7 1JL
Tel: 028 9031 9601

Evening ~ Creative writing workshop £12
Full day including lunch & dinner £45 (£38 concs)
Half day including dinner £30
Half day including lunch £25
Individual events £8 each at the door (Saturday)

1 comment:

Donna OShaughnessy said...

The price is so reasonable for all that you get. Writers conferences here in the US are crazy high. often 3-4 times what I see in other countries!