The Limerick Literary Festival, formerly known as Kate O'Brien Weekend, is this year celebrating its 35th edition. The event continues to honour the life and works of the Limerick author, while attracting prominent participants from all over the world.
Building on this significant history, the Limerick Literary Festival seeks to promote Limerick nationally as a place of literary excellence and to provide a platform where readers can meet their favourite authors and other readers.
The Festival which will run from Thursday 21st to Sunday 24th February 2019 is one of Ireland's most vibrant and successful festivals which has been running since 1984, and it showcases in a diverse and eclectic programme the best in Irish and international contemporary literature.
Programme of Events
Official Opening & Talks at The Hunt Museum
Friday 22nd February
1pm - Adam Wyeth talk & documentary on poet Desmond O'Grady
6pm - Official opening by Lara Marlowe
7pm - Musical Interlude
Saturday 23rd February
10am - Louise O'Neill
11am - Lyndall Gordon
12pm - Eileen Battersby
1pm - Philippe Claudel
2pm - David Park
3pm - Emilie Pine
4pm - Niall MacMonagle presents Blank Page
Play & Panel Discussion @ Dolans Warehouse
Saturday 23rd February
7.30pm - The Morning After the Life Before by Ann Blake
Sunday 24th February @ The Lime Tree Theatre
10am - Kate O'Brien Hour with Éilís Ní Dhuibhne
11am - Desert Island Books with Nadia Whiston Battersby & David Park
11am - Liz Nugent in conversation with Bill Whelan
2pm - Richard Ford in conversation with Niall Mac Monagle
A packed programme for 2019 includes talks, interviews, panel discussions, poetry, an award winning play, a debut book award, and a music recital.
The Festival highlights include internationally renowned American writer Richard Ford whose novel Wildlife was recently adapted for screen by Paul Dano, acclaimed journalist Lara Marlowe, who will open the Festival in the Hunt Museum on Friday February 22nd, bestselling author Louise O'Neill, the celebrated essayist Emilie Pine, the renowned biographer Lyndall Gordon, critically acclaimed novelist David Park, the award winning author and No. 1 bestseller Liz Nugent who will be in conversation with Riverdance composer Bill Whelan.
Flying the flag for poetry, in partnership with Aliance Francaise, will be French poet and film director Philippe Claudel (il y a longtemps que je t'aime starring Kristin Scott Thomas). Limerick poets Jo Slade and Ciaran O'Driscoll will read in the Granary Library on Friday morning. Adam Wyeth will talk about the legacy of Limerick poet Desmond O’Grady. A special highlight this year for the Festival, The National Library of Ireland, in partnership with Limerick Literary Festival, will present The Blank Page featuring Martin Dyar, Clodagh Beresford Dunne, and Niall MacMonagle who will explore the making of a poem.
Irish novelist and academic Éilis Ní Dhuibhne will talk about Kate O’Brien and her work.
Desert Island Books is a very popular event on the programme and this year it will be presented by David Park and Eileen Battersby’s beloved daughter Nadia Whiston Battersby. It's always wonderful to hear about the books that both inspire and console.
The 4th annual Kate O’Brien award for a debut novel from an Irish female author will be chosen from the following shortlist :
- Teethmarks on my Tongue by Eileen Battersby
- He is Mine and I Have No Other by Rebecca O’Connor
- Promising Young Women by Caroline O’Donoghue
- The Ruin by Dervla McTiernan
- Follow Me To Ground by Sue Rainsford
Shortlist judge Vivienne McKechnie commented on the high standard of all the submissions. " It has been a wonderful year of debut novels for Irish female writers." The winner of the award will be announced on Sunday 24th February.
Dolans is where edgy entertainment meets irreverent comedy at 8pm on Saturday 23rd February in the shape of International award winning play The Morning After the Life Before, fresh from runs in Montreal, London and New York. The show will be followed by a panel discussion with Playwright / Performer Ann Blake, Emilie Pine, Niall MacMonagle, RTÉ producer Paula Shields.
Irish National Opera, in another new and exciting partnership with Limerick Literary Festival, will co-present the opening night musical recital and include works from Kate O’Brien’s novel As Music And Splendour.
The Hunt Museum, Custom House, Rutland Street, Limerick City