The countdown is on to the ninth Lismore Immrama Festival of Travel Writing as the town and festival organisers are looking forward to welcoming an extraordinary gathering of internationally renowned travel writers who will enthral audiences at venues throughout the town from today Thursday, June 9 to 12.
The heritage town will be abuzz with talk of travel as the festival keynote speaker twice winning 'Journalist of the Year' and award winning author Conor O'Clery will present at 3pm on Saturday, June 11. During his time as Foreign Correspondent for the Irish Times from the Troubles in the north in the 1970's, to the Twin Towers attacks in 2001, Conor has observed and explained the key events of the last 40 years with his trademark humour and compassion.
Blogger and award-winning author Rolf Potts will reveal some of his travel secrets including how to travel with no luggage! Rolf has reported from more than sixty countries for the likes of National Geographic Traveller, the New York Times Magazine and Conde Nast Traveler. Rolf will present alongside International travel writer and author Alex Von Tunzelman. Alex von Tunzelmann's latest book Red Heat was published in April to critical acclaim; it is a history of the Cold War in the Caribbean, focused around the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Castros and the Kennedys. This presentation will talk place at 8pm on Saturday, June 11.
Sara Wheeler is not your stereotypical polar explorer and world traveller will host an audience with sailor and poet Theo Dorgan on Friday June 10 at 8pm.
Writer and broadcaster Anthony Sattin has spent much of his life travelling in, and writing about, the Middle East and North Africa, He will talk of his travels and adventures at a Literary Breakfast in Ballyrafter House Hotel at 8.30am on the last day of the Lismore Immrama Festival, Sunday June 12.
Author of the title which inspired the 2011 Immrama Festival theme 'Along The Enchanted Way', William Blacker will close the festival on Sunday, June 12 at 7pm at Lismore House Hotel, where he will explore the festival theme 'Along the Enchanted Way… Travellers Past and Present'
The main guest speaker events at this year's Immrama are just one element of a wider programme of events, with something for all ages and interests. Blogfest! A Bloggers Clinic with Rolf Potts, Manchán Magan, Aine Goggins and Darragh Doyle will celebrate and discuss blogging and social media and their impact on writing, and will offer budding writers and bloggers an opportunity to develop their writing along with their social media savvy.
Festival goers young and old will have the opportunity to journey 'Along the Enchanted Way' with Travellers Past and Present' for the weekend. The wealth of local writing talent will be celebrated at the festival opening on Thursday, June 9, with author readings and the launch of new publications by writers Paul Clements, Áine Uí Fhoghlú , Alan Murphy and David Monagan at Lismore Castle Arts. The inaugural Dervla Murphy Teenage Travel Writing Award (in association with Waterford County Library Service), will be presented to the winner by Manchán Magan at 10am on Saturday morning in Lismore House Hotel.
Saturday, June 11 sees The Molly Keane Writers Award take place at 2pm in Lismore Branch Library and on Sunday, June 12, at noon former County Librarian and Historian Donald Brady will host a free presentation at The Courthouse Theatre on William Deane-Tanner of Belleville Park, Cappoquin alias William Desmond Taylor: Hollywood Actor, Renowned Silent-Film Director and Murder Victim. Eamon Maxwell, of Lismore Castle Arts will give a talk at 2pm on Sunday June 12on the Artist as Traveller, exploring how visual artists use the journey in their work.
Enjoy a Free Family Fun Sunday at the town's Millennium Park with Wobbly Circus and live music by Loudest Whisper- events include stilt-walking, face painting, music, dance and storytelling; or Canoe along the River Blackwater in the company of Jasper Winn, author of Paddle: A Long Way around Ireland. A Gregorian Mass will take place at St Carthage's Catholic Church, and a Farmers Market will commence at 10am at Lismore Castle Avenue.
The Immrama Festival of Travel Writing will be held in Lismore from June 9 to 12, 2011 and is generously supported by Fáilte Ireland, Waterford County Council, Eason Dungarvan, Waterford Airport and the Arts Council. Tickets and further information can be found on www.lismoreimmrama.com or by contacting 058 53803.