'Banquet of reading' planned for Cúirt festival's 25th year


WRITERS JOYCE Carol Oates, Roddy Doyle, Ian Rankin and Colum McCann, and publications Grantaand the New Yorker,will be among the participants at the 25th anniversary Cúirt International Festival of Literature which opens in Galway next month.

Claire Keegan, Marina Carr, Olivia O’Leary and Josh Ritter are also contributing to the programme, details of which were outlined last night by former Irish Film Board chairwoman Lelia Doolan in Galway.

The 25th anniversary event has formed a partnership with Toronto’s International Festival of Authors to bring some leading Canadian writers, publishers and broadcasters to Cúirt. Culture Ireland is also supporting a visit to Cúirt by directors from similar festivals in New York, New Zealand, Berlin, Edinburgh and Slovenia.

A joint quarter-century birthday is being shared with Irish language publishers Cló Iar-Chonnachta, and two “emerging voices” in Irish language literature, Scott De Buitléir and Caitríona Ní­ Chléirchín, will read at the festival.

Serbian-American Charles Simic, who was appointed 15th US poet laureate, and 2008 Arab American Book award winner Naomi Shihab Nye are among several international poets invited, along with Scottish author John Burnside and Irish poets Nuala Ní­ Dhómhnaill, Paula Meehan and Gerard Smyth of The Irish Timesand Aosdána. Smyth’s latest collection for Dedalus Press, The Fullness of Time,will be published at the festival.

Five Galway-based poets including Fred Johnston and Mary O’Malley, who have been closely associated with the week-long “banquet of reading” over the years, will read at one of a number of special events.

Singer-songwriter Josh Ritter will speak to broadcaster and musician Philip King about the power of the lyric.

The festival runs from April 20th-25th. See www.cuirt.ie .