Alan O'Neill, poet Desmond Egan, Jack Sullivan and Conor Mahony at last year's festival
The countdown is on to this year's Hopkins' International Literary Festival, which is due to begin in Newbridge this Friday, July 22.
“An exciting and inspiring week-long celebration of the writing, interests and philosophy of Gerard Manley Hopkins and of his time in Ireland,” is how the organisers describe the festival.
“Hopkins wrote many of his best poems here. The Hopkins Festival week celebrates not just Hopkins poetry but also his interest in all the arts.”
Founded in 1987, the week-long programme of events attracts poets, musicians, artists, writers and enthusiastic Hopkins followers from all over Ireland and worldwide.
This year, the festival will be dedicated to the memory of the late Cllr Willie Crowley, who was an invaluable supporter of the event.
All are welcome to come and enjoy poetry, traditional Irish music, classical music, visual arts, various readings and lectures.
Organisers point out the Hopkins Festival has been described as “the best Literary Festival in Ireland” according to the Oxford Companion to Irish Literature.
Running until Friday 29, the opening takes place at Newbridge College on Friday July 22. Special guest, Czech Republic Ambassador to Ireland, Hana Mottlova, will perform the official opening.
Lectures have been scheduled with high profile academics and esteemed scholars, as well as poetry readings, workshops and concerts by musical talents including world famous Swedish pianist, Hans Palsson, Cathú and Conor Mahony.
Some of the highlights will also include an open air poetry reading on Georges Street on Saturday 23. The festival committee are delighted to hold the G.M. Hopkins 29th Festival International Poetry Hour at the newly renovated Town Hall on Tuesday 26.
Meanwhile, nature expert Michael Jacob will give an informative guided walk along the Liffey in Newbridge on Wednesday 27. For more information, contact 045 487200 or visit the website www.gerardmanleyhopkins.org.