Ennis Book Club Festival
4th - 6th March 2016

The annual Ennis Book Club Festival is back with its unique mix of readings, discussion, debates, comedy and chat in one of Ireland's friendliest towns.  From 04-06 March 2016, we celebrate 10 years of loving books with a very special weekend of literary, musical and poetic treats, all preceded, for the first time, by a special programme for young readers.    
2016 will be a year for the curious, designed to give our audiences plenty of food for thought as we reflect on the significance of the centenary year.  We take a slightly alternative look at the centenary however and ponder questions that past and present revolutionaries evoke and how far we have travelled, or indeed not travelled, since.
As part of the Festival, we will introduce books for everyone, including babies.  We will hear from writers and poets in both Irish and English, and we introduce some new writers in our Ones to Watch session.  In the company of some of Ireland's finest writers, we celebrate the literary gem that is the short story. We take time to consider the ways in which revolutionary women, past and present, shaped and continue to shape our world.  We reflect on how both Mothers and Fathers are celebrated in writing. Throughout the weekend, we'll also have walking tours, a special 10th birthday Ennis Book Club Festival supper, cabaret and festival club.
We're finalising our programme at the moment; the aim of this Newsletter therefore is to give you a taster of what’ll be on offer.  And, with Christmas so near, why not check out our special 10th Anniversary Voucher Offers below. Purchase by 23 December will enable you to purchase all EBCF tickets at the Concession Rate.  What better present for the avid book reader than a discounted pass to the Ennis Book Club Festival in spring 2016!  
We hope that this initial programme overview will whet your appetite – it certainly has ours in planning it!  Over the coming weeks, our events and confirmed contributors will continue to grow.  Be sure not to miss out on the latest updates by Liking us on Facebook and following us on Twitter.  
Looking forward to seeing you in Ennis in 2016!
Ennis Book Club Festival Committee


Programme Detail

Friday, 04 March 2016
Events will kick off in association with Clare County Library on Friday, 04 March. 
To start proceedings, Dr Anne Byrne, NUIG, will give a fascinating insight into the early letters of Nancy Nolan, Dublin housewife and fan of author Virgina Woolf, to Virginia’s husband Leonard Woolf (1943-1944). Nancy’s admiration for the life and literature of Virginia Woolf first prompted her unsolicited 4-page letter to Leonard in 1943, two years after the death of Virginia.  The correspondence that ensued offers a keen insight into women’s lives in 20th century Ireland.
We follow with a sneak preview of two new Penguin Debut writers.  Vanessa Ronan and Kit de Waal will join us to discuss THE LAST DAYS OF SUMMER and MY NAME IS LEON respectively.  Get the opportunity to read both books before they become bestsellers in summer 2016!
Later that evening we'll host a reception to welcome everyone to An Evening with Marian Keyes and Fiona Looney.  Marian needs no introduction as a novelist, columnist and hugely entertaining panellist.  And, most importantly, she has Clare roots!
And, we’ll round our opening night off with the Singing Café – Songs from the works of James Joyce.  Darina Gallagher and Sinéad Murphy will recreate the ‘café chantant’ or ‘singing cafe’ from Joyce’s short story ‘Araby’, Dubliners. Join us for what promises to be a comic, bawdy, if not indeed risqué, night of song and entertainment!

Saturday, 05 March
Our Saturday programme promises to inspire, to entertain and to challenge us all as readers.  We’ll kick start the day, with our ever popular Books ‘n’ Buns
Diarmaid Ferriter and Catríona Crowe will follow by engaging in some literary jousting on the subject of 10 Books That You Should Read.  Both voracious readers, they will have a bit of fun talking about books that they love.  Regular Book Club Festival attendees will know that listening to people talking about their favourite books is kind of infectious and intriguing!  
Diarmaid Ferriter will also treat us to a talk later that day on his recent publication A Nation Not a Rabble and he will discuss 1916, marking the centenary year. 
Other Saturday events include:
  • The Long Gaze Back, an exploration of the short story with Sinéad Gleeson in the company of Christine Dwyer Hickey, Siobhán Mannion and Lisa McInerney. 
  • A reading of their recent work by poets Doireann Ni Ghríofa and Leanne O’Sullivan, accompanied by The Vanbrugh Quartet performing the Smetana autobiographical concerto, FROM MY LIFE.  
  • Conal Creedon, Cormac James and Kevin Maher will talk about fathers in their own writing and famous father figures in the literature that has influenced them. 
  • A Ones to Watch event to include Henrietta McKervey author of What Becomes of Us. 
On Saturday evening, we’ll host a book club supper to celebrate 10 years of the Ennis Book Club Festival.  This will be followed by our mainstage event with LEMN SISSAY.
Lemn Sissay, poet and playwright, was recently named Chancellor at the University of Manchester, beating off stiff competition in the shape of Peter Mandelson.  Of Ethiopian extraction, he is Official Poet of the FA Cup Final, holds an MBE for services to literature, is Associate Artist at the Southbank Centre and Coram Foundling Fellow.   
He was the first poet commissioned to write for the London Olympics and his installation poem WHAT IF was exhibited at The Royal Academy.  It came from his Disko Bay Expedition to the Arctic alongside Jarvis Cocker, Laurie Anderson, Leslie Feist and KT Tunstall.  His 21ST CENTURY POEM was released on multi million award winning album Leftism by Leftfield.  His head is in London, his heart in Manchester and his vibe in New York. Watch his Ted Talk here and look out for his daily Tweets. His poetry is transformative and his life story extraordinary.           
Sunday, 06 March 2016
DO IT LIKE A WOMAN is the rallying call of our Sunday morning symposium!  In the chair will be Catríona Crowe, with Susan McKay, Caroline Criado-Perez and Micheline Sheehy Skeffington.  Theirs will be an exploration of revolutionary women – both past and present – and the change that has been effected by them. 
It being Mother’s Day, we’ve also invited Colm O’Regan to talk about the IRISH MAMMY.  How often have you retrieved a pair of jeans from the laundry basket and uttered the words 'you'll get another wear out of them....'!  Have lunch with us in the company of Colm and his razor sharp wit, and help us bring the 10th annual Ennis Book Club Festival to a memorable close.


Léamh - Events for Younger Readers

The inaugural LÉAMH festival will delve into the world of books for our younger readers, starting with a special session for the very youngest – babies and their parents.  
glór artist in residence, Joanna Parkes will share GIRAFFES CAN’T DANCE with 3 to 5 year olds in an interactive story session where we learn that everyone, including giraffes, dance, if the music's right!  We have RIDICULOUS a nonsense poetry event with The Ark in which 6 to 10 year olds hear the poetry of Spike Milligan, Tom Lehrer, James Joyce, Roald Dahl and others.  It promises to be a riotous hour of fun.  We've also got The MagicBookshop with Monkeyshine Theatre for everyone over the age of 5.  It will include a treasure trove of wonders where old books flock together and their stories hop from the pages, where every book gets a new life and none of the magic is lost.    
For transition year students and older we're hosting Brian Conaghan author of When Mister Dog Bites, which is funny, irreverent and full of insights into what 'normal' means.  We have Aidan Courtney with his comic book workshops and lots more ...... so look out for further details as we confirm authors, events and times.

10th Anniversary
Ennis Book Club Festival

With Christmas just around the corner why not purchase a special 10th Anniversary Book Club Voucher.  Vouchers available:
  • 10th Anniversary Gold Voucher – €100
  • 10th Anniversary Silver Voucher – € 50

Each voucher purchased by 23 December 2015 will enable you to buy Ennis Book Club Festival event tickets at the Concession Rate. Vouchers can be redeemed against purchase of individual tickets once these go on sale at the glór Box Office (see for full details).


Accommodation Packages

We’re working with local hotels to ensure that Ennis Book Club Festival attendees can avail of a range of Early Bird Accommodation packages.  Book by 15 January 2016 to avail of special weekend packages at the following hotels:
  • Auburn Lodge: 2 nights B&B @ €145 single / €170 for two sharing / €235 for three sharing.  Packages also available for one and three nights.
  • Old Ground: 2 nights B&B with one dinner @ €149 pps.  Offers also available for group bookings.
  • Temple Gate: 2 nights B&B with one dinner @ €135 pps.
  • West County: 2 nights B&B with one dinner @ €95 pps; 2 nights Bed & Breakfast with two dinners €115 pps.  Single supplement €15 per night.
  • Woodstock: 2 nights B&B with one dinner @ €119 pps (€159 single).
Be sure to quote Ennis Book Club Festival when making all bookings!
Copyright © 2015 Ennis Book Club Festival, All rights reserved.

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