Festival of Writing and Ideas in Borris 2016: Best talks to go to on the Saturday
From the 10-12th June, the amazingly lovely and pretty Festival of Writing and Ideas will be launched on the very pretty town of Borris in Co. Carlow.
I’ve been to many, many lit festivals and Borris is absolutely in the top two to visit in Ireland. (Bantry is the runner-up this year, IMO) The FOWI(Festival of Writing and Ideas) 2016 is in its 5th year. We have been to every single one, the first was small but so nice and this year it is big but absolutely keeping its edge and uniqueness. It is spreading into the town/village this year with some events taking part in pubs and the Step House Hotel. Brilliant move.
I am going to name-check a few events that you really should make an effort to go see if you are in the area of Carlow on the weekend of 10th to the 12th of June 2016.
The top event that you must, must, must see is Beowulf. This is a live theatre, one-man performance by Bryan Burroughs. I saw this last year in Visual in Carlow. I had heard so much about it and it excelled my expectations. It will blow your away, make you cry,cry, cry and laugh and be in awe of the actor that is Bryan Burroughs. He writes, produces and performs in this play based on the story of Beowulf but with a modern, universal twist. It received top play in the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and New York Times rated it 5 stars out of 5. It sells out wherever it goes and I actually think it might be too late for you to even see this! It is on Sat, 11th June at 7 pm in the Hennessy Stage in Granary. Go now and book.
Next up, let me go back to the Friday, 10th June, my tips there are the reading by Simon Callow of Seamas Heaney Aeneid VI, it is accompanied by uileann piper, David Power who previsouly performed with Heaney. Probably booked out already!
Saturday, 11th June again and plenty to see. The day tickets are sold out so book tickets individually. I can only ever do 2-3 readings in a day at Borris as I like to browse the book tent and drink coffee and sample the food there. 11 o’ clock in the Ballroom, and we have an interesting title Successful writing is a slow, daily meticulous form of mental illness with Joseph O’ Connor and Sinead Gleeson. At the same time in the Granary we have Life Changing adventures with Rob Penn and Andy Middleton. The conversations at Borris between authors and seemingly not authors like Andy Middleton are always engaging and much more interesting than your stock Q and A with “So, tell us about your writing process?” etc.
At 12:30 in the Ballroom, we have the brilliance that is Claire Kilroy, Danielle McLaughlin and Ayelet Waldman. They will chat about literature and it being about sex and not having children. I am there. At the talk, I mean…
Straight after at 2:00 we have Deborah Levy, Claire-Louise Bennett and Rob Doyle all talk about a day in the life of a book. Deborah Levy was in Borris last year and I really enjoyed listening to her, she is a quirky short story writer so check these three out.
You might have time to relax for an hour or two, grab some lunch or saunter around the village or frolic with the children in the meadows(TM-Simon Lewis) as the next interesting talk is at 5 with 3 events running at the same time! We have Kate Tempest who is a poet, rapper and novelist. Impressive. Also, have Sara Baume, Donal Ryan and Luke Brown(Editor of Granta:New Irish Writing Magazine) talk about the Granta Irish issue. Donal Ryan is a great reader, writer and gives most excellent answers so go for that alone. The third talk that is on that time is 5 X 15:5 speakers, 15 minutes each. I am going to say to go to this one if you have to pick as the speakers are all totally diverse and intriguing. Love this format. Deborah Levy talks about David Bowie, Viv Albertine talks about fatherless girls, Ayelet Waldman talks on LSD microdosing so it sure to be fun, fun, fun!
Lastly at 6:30 and this is the highlights (as it is very late for a Rozzie and a husband and a young boy to be out and about) is Kevin Barry and Mariella Frostrup. I know, you are sick of me saying go see Kevin Barry.
Go, see Kevin Barry.
That is my lot for Saturday. Next post will be on what you can go see on the Sunday, 12th June. Come back then. You know you wanna.