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Newcastle West, Co Limerick
About our festival…
Éigse Michael Hartnett Literary & Arts festival which vibrantly honours the poetry and memory of one of Ireland’s best loved poets, is a celebration of the word in all its guises; poetry, song, drama, dance, stories and conversations. This festival is an exciting weave of Irish and international poets and writers, singers, dancers, actors and storytellers with the weekend comprised of readings, lectures, concerts, dance and theatre performances. Irish culture, exciting, warm, participative, is on show, what poet Michael Hartnett would have described as the ‘harp side of the Irish coin’. Irish poets and writers collide with international literary guests creating a festive weekend that lends itself to lively gatherings, easy conversations and spirited debates. Events sprawl over the town of Newcastle West, a medieval town described as the heart of Desmond country. Bustling and energetic, the town’s library, court house, medieval castle, shops, pubs and streets become ad hoc performances spaces. The festival’s outreach programme extends into all the towns primary schools, a wide number of the county’s post primary schools, the community hospital for the elderly, day care centres and the local Cheshire Home.
The Éigse Festival commenced in 2000 following the untimely death of poet Michael Hartnett in 1999, one of Ireland’s greatest and much loved twentieth century poets. Initiated by Limerick County Council Arts Office which continues to organise and fund the Éigse with funding support also gratefully received from the Arts Council. An enthusiastic small committee of local people, writers and poets, has been integral to the flourishing and development of the Éigse festival. In 2012, the festival was privileged to have poet, philosopher and our President, Michael D. Higgins perform the official opening.
Over the years the festival has hosted a really exciting line up of guests including Paul Durcan, Nuala O’Faolain, Jackie Kaye, Fintan O’Toole, Fleur Adcock, Christy Kenneally, Carol Ann Duffy, David Whyte, Rita Connolly, Stephen Rea, Juliet Turner, John F. Deane, Colum Sands and Brian Keenan.
Join us on April 25th 2013 in Newcastle West for a rich, spirited, warm weekend of exciting events.
3rd January - The opening speeches from the 2011 and 2012 festivals are now available as audio files here
2nd January - The Hartnett Memorial lectures from the 2011 and 2012 festivals are now available as audio files here
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