Celebrated Donegal poet Annemarie Ní Churreáin will deliver the keynote address at this year's Frances Browne Literary Festival which opens at the Balor Arts Centre, Ballybofey, on Thursday, October 13.
"I've long been interested in Frances Browne. It is a special honour to celebrate the achievements of a fellow Donegal woman,” she said.
Annemarie Ní Churreáin is from Gort a'Choirce. Her publications include Bloodroot (Doire Press, 2017), Town (The Salvage Press, 2018) and The Poison Glen (The Gallery Press, 2021). She is an Arts Council recipient of The Next Generation Artist Award and a co-recipient of The Markievicz Award.
The opening night will also feature a short play, ‘Sarah Leech: Strangers to Our Own’ by Dr Pauline Holland, musical delights from Philippa Collings and her singers, newly discovered work by Frances Browne and the presentation of the second Frances Browne Award, followed by a weekend of shows, workshops and discussions.
Members and voluntary members of the Frances Browne Literary Festival Committee:
front, (l-r): Shirley Anne Godfrey, Dr Pauline Holland and Leah Fairman.Back: Celine McGlynn, Dubhán ÓLongáin, Máire Holland and Pat Holland
Cathaoirleach of the Lifford-Stranorlar Municipal District, Cllr Patrick McGowan, congratulated the festival committee on the launch of what is now an annual literary festival.
“Donegal County Council is proud to be the main sponsor of the festival. Donegal East is unique in Ireland with Irish, English and Ulster Scots traditions. This literary festival highlights the work of Frances Browne as well as recognising the multicultural traditions of this community that have co-existed over many generations.
"On behalf of my Donegal Council Council colleagues and management and staff, we wish the Frances Browne Literary Festival every success and hope locals and visitors alike will take time to attend the many events that are planned from 13th to the 16th October 22,” he said.
The festival’s inspiration is Stranorlar born Frances Browne (16 January 1816–21 August 1879) who was, at one time, the best-known writer of fairy tales in the British Isles and much of the world.
Commonly referred to as The Blind Poetess of Ulster, she was also a celebrated journalist and novelist, famed for her children’s short stories, most notably the widely translated Granny’s Wonderful Chair (1856).
“The festival celebrates the inclusive and pluralist culture of Frances Browne’s homeland. On behalf of the committee, we are delighted with the programme for this year and are confident after the success of last year’s festival that The Frances Browne Literary Festival is a valued event that raises awareness of the literary culture and heritage of East Donegal,” said Celine McGlynn, chairperson of the Frances Browne Literary Festival Committee.
The festival is funded and supported by Donegal County Council, Ulster-Scots Agency, Arts Council, Creative Ireland Programme and Finn Valley Voice.
Now in its second year, the events run from October 13-16.
For the full programme details follow their website and social media pages:
You can also get in touch with them on Facebook and Instagram.
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