Hopkins festival celebrates 30 years in Monasterevin

Poet Gerard Manley Hopkins

Paula Campbell

Reporter:

Paula Campbell

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paula@leinsterleader.ie

Hopkins festival celebrates 30 years in Monasterevin

Hopkins festival Committee Wayne Harrington, Sr Ann Scully, Dan Carmody, Richard O'Rourke, Pascal O'Brien

The 30th annual Monasterevin Hopkins Festival will take place on Friday and Saturday, July 26 and 27, 2019.

It kicks off with the annual art exhibition in the Convent of Mercy and this will be opened by the two recently elected  members of Kildare County Council from the Monasterevin area, Kevin Duffy and Patricia  Ryan.

The Festival continues on Friday 26 with the Annual Moore Abbey Concert in the Baronial Hall, Moore Abbey where the guest  artist is tenor Dominic McGorian.

On Friday afternoon the Annual Artists for Peace Art Exhibition takes place in the Convent, Drogheda Street, and is curated by Sr Ann Scully of the Sisters of Mercy.

This event draws artists from many parts of the country both professional and amateur.

"Monasterevin has not had a County Council representative for 35 years but in the recent local elections two public  representatives were returned, Patricia Ryan and Kevin Duffy and they will open the proceedings," said Committee Chairman Richard O'Rourke.

"Three  venues will be in use for this year’s Festival with the Baronial Hall in Moore Abbey being where the majority of the  lectures will take place. For the past number of years, the annual concert in the Baronial Hall draws have been very popular and this year we trust will be no exception. This year Tenor,  Dominic  McGorian performs. Dublin born,  but now living in  Waterford, he has  performed in concert in Ireland and has toured in Europe, Russia and in America where he sang with the   Irish  Tenors on tour. His repertoire is wide and varied and patrons will be guaranteed an entertaining and enjoyable  evening."

Saturday morning sees the  commencement, at 10 am sharp, of the festival lectures with the opening lecture, entitled,  “Tom  and Gerard: The Inverse lives of T.S. Eliot and G.M. Hopkins”  by James  Harpur.

James has published six books of poetry and his latest volume The White Silhouette (Carcanet 2018) was an Irish Times  Book of the Year.

Lance Pierson will be the second lecturer and his contribution is entitled, “Hopkins and Milton”. This lecture explores four  major areas where Hopkins looked to Milton as a mentor.

The Monasterevin Community Centre will be the venue at 2pm when Jo O’Donovan RSM will deliver her lecture, "Hopkins-The  Poet of Theology“, in which she explores Hopkins as the poet of theology.

When Hopkins  stayed at Monasterevin  House, which is now the Presentation Order Generalate, he was a guest of the  Casssidy family and it becomes the venue at 3pm when James Harpur will read some of his poetry.

James will be followed at 4.15pm at the same venue for the very popular “My Favourite Hopkins Poem” event when  members of the audience are invited  to recite their choice of the poet’s work.

“Much work goes into the organising of this event each year and the festival would not be possible without the generosity  of  the  sponsors: Schlötter Ireland DAC, Kildare County Council and Mason Hayes and Curran”, Richard  O’Rourke added.

“The Art Exhibition has proven to be a tremendous success and it is thanks to  the hard work of Sr Ann Scully that this has  happened. The event has attracted an  array of artists from near and far who are very talented and who have diverse and varied skills which adds to the wonderful range of work on display”, Richard  added.

He went on to say that it would be very difficult to put on the Hopkins Summer Festival if it was not for the generosity and  good will of the Presentation Order, the Sisters in Moore Abbey, the Sisters of Mercy and Monasterevin Community Centre.

“We are spoiled in Monasterevan to have four such wonderful venues and our thanks and appreciation is very real and  genuine for the help and assistance extended to us by so many people and organisations”, he added.

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