Friday, June 18, 2010

Dalkey Book Festival

You may still be recovering from your Bloomsday hangovers, but it's worth continuing your literary odyssey, and taking the train out to Dalkey for the first annual Dalkey Book Festival, which starts today. It may be Dublin's newest literary festival, but it's certainly got an impressive line-up, the sheer diversity and innovation of some of the events is pretty impressive. I've been poring over the programme for the last two weeks, and I've compiled a wish list of my fantasy weekend at Dalkey Book Festival. Here it is:

Friday 18th June.

6pm. See The Happy Prince in the Town Hall. Yes, it's aimed primarily at children, but you can never have enough Oscar Wilde and Michael James Ford's adaptation of the story has had fantastic reviews.

Saturday 19th June.

10am. Guided Joycean Walk. Bloomsday may have been on Wednesday, but you can never have enough Joyce. Starting the festival early will also give you the moral highground over the latecomers who show up in the afternoon. Appearing at the heritage centre at 10am shows that you mean business. And it's free.

12pm. Decorate a Cupcake Competition at Select Stores. Select Stores is the mecca of organic foodmarkets. It's almost worth making a pilgrimage out to Dalkey just to visit it... so the prospect of being able to ice cupcakes in such a lovely shop is absolutely irresistable.

1pm. Writing about Art. Bruce Arnold, critic extraordinaire, will be giving a talk about writing on the arts in the Tramyard Gallery. I've tried to write about art repeatedly, and trust me, it's much harder than you might think. Pick up some tips from an expert and enjoy the fabulous art that is displayed in the gallery (including my mother's paintings!!).

2.30pm. Children's Puppet Show. Need I say more?

3pm. At this point, I know that problems will arise due to the fact that two brilliant authors are due to speak at the same time. Marita Conlon-McKenna, who wrote Under the Hawthorn Tree will be doing children's story-telling at the same time that Joseph O'Connor will be reading from his new novel, Ghost Light. I'm torn between the two of them.

6pm After all this literary diversion, a little relaxation might be in order. Luckily, The Irish Times Favourite Wines event is at On The Grapevine, and guess what, it's free. Make the most of the wine tasting, because the evening won't stop here...

10pm. Oh yes, the fun continues, as you're going to be PARTYING WITH ROSS O'CARROLL KELLY! Paul Howard will be doing a reading at The Queens followed by Rosser himself spinning the decks. Fun times.

11.40pm. The partying should be well underway by now, but it's time to get out of the pub and on to the most exciting event of the entire festival. Make your way down to St Begnet's Graveyard (yes, I'm serious) for Midnight Poe, and see Bewley's Cafe Theatre's acclaimed Poe Show in the most eerie setting ever.

Sunday 20th June

11.30am. Make sure you get up in time to catch the wonderful Maeve Binchy, who'll be giving a free talk in Finnegans. Don't miss it, no matter what happened after the Midnight Poe last night.

2.30pm. Ferdia McAnna and Lia Mills will be giving some advice on how to write memoirs. If the weekend has gone according to plan so far, this workshop might come in useful.

6pm. Finish off the weekend with the Midsummer's Night Barbeque at the Fitzpatrick Castle Hotel. There'll be Prosecco on the lawn with barbeque and music, to round off the festival in a suitably summery way.

Check out the festival programme for the complete listings - there were lots of brilliant things that I didn't mention, this being one of the most unashamedly subjective posts ever to taint the archives of the Writers' Centre blog.

No comments:

Post a Comment