And She Did Not Know That She Carried Armour

The launch of the Limerick Literary Festival in honour of Kate O'Brien will take place on Wednesday February 1st at 5:00pm in O'Mahony's Bookshop Limerick. The festival returns to its usual February slot and the programme for 2023 includes talks, interviews, poetry, an exhibition and more to be announced.

The full programme will be announced on February 1st by Ann Blake a Limerick performer, playwright, director, podcaster and musician. Her autobiographical play, The Morning After The Life Before, (Guna Nua Theatre), which was performed at the 2019 Limerick Literary Festival, has enjoyed international acclaim and multi-award winning success in The UK, Canada and New York. She co-hosts the podcast, The Limerick Lady, with singer Emma Langford, and is currently an Artist In Residence at Ormston House.

The Festival will open in The People's Museum, No 2 Pery Square on Friday the 24th and continue there on Saturday the 25th with the Sunday 26th programme in the Belltable.

The event continues to honour the life and works of the Limerick author, Kate O'Brien while attracting prominent participants nationally and internationally.

The theme for 2023 is resilience and centres around the Kate O'Brien quote above.

Building on this significant history, the Limerick Literary Festival seeks to promote Limerick nationally as a place of literary excellence and to provide a platform where readers can meet their favourite authors and other readers.

The festival will be opened by Shirley Keane and Fiona Linnane on Friday the 24th, and Saturday the 25th will feature authors Casey King, Sean Hewitt, Donal Ryan, Claire Louise Bennett and Doireann Ní Gríofa along with French Author Maylis Besserie who will be interviewed by Cliodhna Ni Ríordain. Maggie O'Neill will lead the Kate O'Brien Hour on Sunday the 26th, preceding the presentation of the Kate O'Brien Award for 2023 with a reading by each of the three shortlisted authors, Sheila Armstrong, Emilie Pine & Olivia Fitzsimons. This will be followed by the ever popular Desert Island Books with Niall MacMonagle and Kay Sheehy who will be in conversation discussing their favourite books.

The festival will culminate with a very special event, The Road To Riverdance, an afternoon of music and chat with Riverdance Composer and Freeman of Limerick City Bill Whelan who will chat with radio broadcaster and comedian Dermot Whelan about his recently published memoir of the same name and will be accompanied by musical guests fiddler Zoe Conway and her guitarist husband, John McIntyre.

Other highlights will include the launch of an exhibition of archive materials from the late Limerick poet Desmond O'Grady which will go on display in the People's Museum at Number 2 Pery Square and UL Poet in Residence Emily Cullen will give a reading at the Dooradoyle Library on Friday February 24th at 11am.


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