The Listowel Arms Hotel’s ballroom was lit with the warm light of the setting sun for the opening night of the 45th annual Listowel Writers Week festival.
Beautiful sounds of a duet ‘The Bookshop Band’ Ben Please and Beth Porter created a wonderful atmosphere. Liz Dunn, Chairperson of the Festival Committee invited everybody to indulge and immerse in celebrating the written word.
Listowel Writers’ Week President Colm Toibin in his video message spoke about literary heroes and 1916 rising.
The festival was officially opened by Paul Muldoon, the recipient of last year’s Pigott Poetry Prize. He gave a very engaging and entertaining speech and referred to J.B.Keane’s story ‘Changes’. He also expressed how proud he was to officially open Listowel Writer Week.
The Kerry Group Irish Novel of The Year was awarded to Anne Enright for her novel The Green Road.
The Pigott Poetry Prize went to Eilean Ni Chuilleanain for The Boys of Bluehill.
Kerry County Council Creative Writing for Youth Awards were presented to creative kids from all over Ireland in several age categories.
This year’s special award The John B. Keane Lifetime Achievement Award in association with Mercier Press was presented to Rev.Dr.J.Anthony Gaughan, author, historian and one of the co-founder of Writers Week festival. The John B. Keane award was particularly special to Tony as he was great friends with the late John B. – “we went to St. Michael’s together and played for Listowel Emmets together”, Tony said.
This year’s programme is packed with a myriad of events to suit everyone, for programme of events please refer to www.writersweek.ie.