Eclectic mix and free gigs to Limerick Literary Festival

UL based writer and novelist Sarah Moore Fitzgerald gives a 'Pitch to Publication's workshop, with Dan Mooney Picture: Oisin McHugh True Media

THERE is plenty of jizz to Limerick Literary Festival 2018, growing more fiesty and multicultural in its celebration of literature. Founded to honour the legacy of writer Kate O’Brien’s pioneering spirit, this festival pulls the written word across poetry, biography, lectures, workshops, readings, music performance, even a Desert Island Books panel with talking heads.

Check out the programme on and book tickets or a weekend pass for six venues at Thursday February 22 to Sunday 25.

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Arts page met with the committee’s PRO Eimear Redmond to find what is new, what’s free and fun, taking place across the city in Library @Granary, Limerick City Gallery of Art, Ormston House, Narrative 4, Chez le Fab, Belltable and Dolan’s.

Columnist and publican Billy Keane will get things off to a waggish start at Pery Square on Friday 23 at 6pm followed by mezzo-soprano Martha O’Brien. Open to all.

Oddly, the first event precedes this ceremonial with Chez le Fab being the forum on Thursday 22 at 7pm for “sandwiches, poetry and prose. Stanzas poetry group will reach into Kate O’Brien’s writing and take inspiration from it. This is going to be quite experimental and there is an ‘open mic’ event afterwards with the floor open to storytelling, music and so on.” Again, free.

Jump to Sunday 25 at Belltable with a ticketed suite of interesting stuff unfolding. First academic Jana Fischerova will give the keynote lecture, ‘The prohibition of ‘Mary Lavelle’ as a turning point in Kate O’Brien’s career’.

Followed by a separate event at noon, Desert Island Books will be selected by actors/ writers Lisa Harding, Pat Shortt and Róisín Meaney, with a view to their published  picks being signed by them.

“This year we are going to have two authors who write together, for the Key Note Lecture at 2pm on Sunday. Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen created the facebook page ‘Oh My God, What a complete Aisling’ and eventually got to develop it as a novel, published by Gill Books. Their talk will be moderated by Sarah Moore Fitzgerald [UL, novelist] on the committee this year”.

Saturday February 24 is sited in LCGA, a series of talks and readings by international class writers such as Fergal Keane and novelist Kit de Waal, winner of the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year for ‘My Name is Leon’.

And while Blindboy Boatclub/ Kevin Barry’s gig in Dolan’s is sold out, “the power of protest music” from the late slot occupiers, ‘The Revolution will not be Spotified’, will satisfy many.