Listowel Writers' Week Fringe

Blogging Listowel's Literary Scene

Archive for August, 2009

Kerry Group profits rise : LWW sponsor prospers

August 25, 2009 By: ana Category: connections

Food group Kerry has reported a 5.2 per cent rise in first-half profits despite a 3.2 per cent dip in sales…”

Kerry Group is one of the key sponsors of LWW.

Good news eh.

The future of literary festivals in Ireland

August 21, 2009 By: Paul O'Mahony Category: preparations

Make no mistake about it, there are people in high places planning to cut public funding for literary festivals.

It’s an issue we have no interest in ignoring. All of us who’ve enjoyed Listowel Writers’ Week better not take it forgranted that LWW2010 will go ahead as before.

It may. I don’t know anything about the financing of LWW09, so I have no idea how dependent it was on public funding.

Right now there are plans to cut everything. If you have any influence, I hope you are using it to ensure LWW10, the 40th, will be the best ever.

Joseph O’Connor on the Arts & Listowel Writers’ Week

August 17, 2009 By: Paul O'Mahony Category: connections, journalism

A fine article by Joseph O’Connor in the Irish Independent recently…


“We are not a people who will ever feel that our purpose is to grub like dung-beetles, in order to stave off the IMF. This year, at the Writers’ Week festival in Listowel, a thousand local people attended the opening night. That’s an awful lot of people for a small Irish town. I wonder could any TD in the nation draw the same?

We need the arts now. We never needed them more. To damage them would be to damage ourselves, and all we hold dear, and all we have inherited from the greats…”

Bloggers have been on summer holiday in Limerick, staying in UCH

August 16, 2009 By: ana Category: audio podcast, blogs, connections, preparations

We’ve been resting & recovering in Limerick with some Summer Music on the Shannon.

It’s been just like the Riviera. Crowded, hot, exciting and exhausting…

We’ll need a holday to recover from living with people from so many countries. Limerick has become a cosmopolitan place. Visitors from Canada, USA, Japan, Norway, UK, Spain, Italy, Kildare, Germany… and so on.

Like any hothouse there has to be a common language. It’s been music.

If you want to find out more about how hot Limerick’s been, try this link – when you have time on your hands.

We look forward to resuming normal service here soon – when we’ve recovered. Rest assured, we’ve been telling them in Limerick all about Kerry.

[One thing for sure, we hope Listowel Writers’ Week 2010 – the 40th festival – will be live streamed – broadcast live on the internet. After what they did in University Concert Hall, it should be possible…?]

Here’s another literature festival : Cheltenham

August 06, 2009 By: Paul O'Mahony Category: connections, organisers, poetry

It’s good to be aware of other literature festivals. It offers another perspective on Listowel Writers’ Week.

There will never be another literary festival like Listowel: it’s a snowflake loaded with a special atmosphere.

I’ve been to Cheltenham Literature Festival (now The Times Cheltenham Literature Festival) at least twice, maybe three times. I once competed in the UK Allcommers Poetry Slam, without distinction (but the top three performance poets were amazingly good).

This is Cheltenham’s offering this year…

George Kimball mentions Listowel Writers’ Week in an obituary

August 06, 2009 By: Paul O'Mahony Category: connections, historical, journalism, participants

‘.. .This summer I was invited to read at a literary festival, the Listowel Writers Week in Ireland. Another of the invitees was the novelist and director Rebecca Miller, who in addition to being Daniel Day-Lewis’ wife is also Arthur Miller’s daughter. One morning at our hotel there I read her the offending passage from Meyers’ book.

“That’s absurd,” she said. “I’m sure my father never believed that. A View from the Bridge and On the Waterfront were always going to be two separate plays. One had nothing to do with the other.”

I know I told Benn about that conversation when I returned from Europe. But now it occurs to be that I never got a chance to tell Budd, who would have, I suspect, found it comforting…’

Read the whole piece here, in “The Sweet Science“. This is the first time I’ve read George Kimball in the flesh, his latest column.

I must say he’s every bit a wonderful writer as he is a person. Brings back memories of having breakfast with him @LWW2009…

Work in progress to maintain the blog…

August 05, 2009 By: Paul O'Mahony Category: blogs, connections

I’ve just deleted 200 comments – all spam.

I wish there was a way to highlight all the spam, so that I could simply press a button and vanish them all.

Perhaps saying anything about spam is unwise: might it draw spam here?

Patrick Stack is so stretched with other work that it may be a while before he fixes this issue.

Meanwhile, if anyone has any bright ideas on how I could deal with spam quickly, I’m listening…

Listowel Writers’ Week in the firing line

August 04, 2009 By: Paul O'Mahony Category: journalism, participants

The controversy over Irish TD’s & councillors’ expenses has come to Listowel Writers’ Week.

Irish Independent reports…

“… Mr Dollard [councillor] said he had attended the Listowel Writers’ Week in Kerry three years in a row at an average cost of €1,000 on each occasion because he was the chair of the Westmeath Arts Forum. He confirmed he had not written any novels yet but said the areas of numeracy and literacy were very close to his heart.

I would go to a lot of seminars that deal with the arts. That’s why I go to the Listowel Writers’ Week. It gives me an insight into what is going on in the area of arts in Ireland, particularly literature,” he said.

Councillors claim €17,000 for mileage but don’t even drive – National News, Frontpage – (4 August 2009)

Mary Keane & Bert Griffin in J B Keane’s pub

August 01, 2009 By: Paul O'Mahony Category: participants, photographs

They were both good enough to let me take this photograph.

- two people who figured strongly in my enjoyment of Listowel Writers’ Week 2009

Colm Toibin @ Listowel Writers’ Week 2009

August 01, 2009 By: Paul O'Mahony Category: connections, organisers, participants, photographs

I took this photograph in Listowel Arms Hotel on the first day of Writers’ Week 2009.

Shortly after I introduced myself to Colm and told him about the blog. He said he’d be happy to be interviewed later.

However, in the fire of the festival, I never got back to him – so I’m left with “the one that got away”.

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