In its 25th year the Maria Edgeworth Literary Festival is going virtual and has created an engaging event with authors John Connell, Laura Mc Kenna, poet Annemarie Ní Churreáin, educationalist and Edgeworth expert Dr. Clíona O’Gallchoir University College Cork, writer/visual artist Ciara Tuite, ecologist Noreen McLoughlin, writer Fiona Sherlock, writer/poet David Butler, historian Matt Farrell and many talented readers, singers and musicians.
The annual festival celebrates the diverse legacy of the Anglo-Irish writer, educationist and social commentator Maria Edgeworth whose family the town of Edgeworthstown takes its name.
Down through the years the festival has attracted some of Ireland’s foremost literary figures including; Anne Enright, Deirdre Purcell, J P Donleavy, Michael Harding, Pat Mc Cabe, Brian Leyden and Marita Conlon-McKenna to name but a few. This year our 25th anniversary will be no exception with John Connell author of ‘The Cow Book’ and ‘The Running Book’, John will be discussing his experiences during lockdown and about his publications and plans for the future, Annemarie Ní Churreain is an exciting young poet whose first publication, ‘Bloodroot’, reflects on the lives of young women imprisoned within Irish institutions whose stories are haunted by the ever present spectre of the patriarchal Irish state that Maria Edgeworth would have rebelled against.
Student winners of this year’s unique Letter Writing Competition will have an opportunity to read and discuss their work with adjudicator Creative Writer Laura McKenna whose first book ‘Words to Shape my Name’ was published by New Island Books. Laura will also read from her own works.
The festival coincides with the recent opening of the Maria Edgeworth Centre and the launching of its new website, www.mariaedgewortcentre.com Annually the festival tries to enhance the awareness of the legacy of Maria Edgeworth and this year will be no exception when Professor of English at UCC ,Dr.Clíona O’Gallchoir will talk about a collaboration between UCC, Oxford University and the Edgeworth Society to digitize some of Maria Edgeworth’s extensive archive held by the Bodleian and the National Library of Ireland. This project is funded by UKRI_AHRC and the Irish Research Council under the ‘UK-Ireland Collaboration in Digital Humanities Network Call’
The festival will also feature local talent that continues to contribute to the cultural heritage of the town. The event promises to be very exciting and could not go ahead if it were not for the support of Creative Ireland/Longford, Poetry Ireland and local support. There will be a live link to the Festival on this page on the 22nd. We’d like to thank our guest writers and our performers for their contributions. Enjoy!!