New dates announced for postponed Frances Browne Literary Festival
The Frances Browne Literary Festival is delighted to announce new dates for its annual festival. Postponed last month due to the tragic events in Creeslough, the Festival will now take place on Friday 11th and Saturday 12th November.
Celine McGlynn, Chairperson, says ‘We look forward to welcoming old friends and new next weekend. Although our festival programme is reduced, we still have some wonderful events for you to enjoy.
As a mark of support to the community in Creeslough the main festival events will be free and non-ticketed. The Committee are asking for donations to be made on the evening of the events to the Creeslough Community Support Fund instead.
Creative writing workshops are €15 per person. Please register your interest by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org and then simply come along on the day.
Poet and author Anne McMaster, one of last year's winners, commented "Remarkable things happen when languages and literature draw communities of writers together. The Frances Browne Literary festival has this kind of creative synergy. It's a festival that encourages, welcomes and celebrates. You can't ask better than that!"
Some events for the 2022 Festival have already taken place. The 6th Class Pupils of St. Mary’s Stranorlar, and 5th and 6th class of the Robertson National School Stranorlar enjoyed three workshops over three weeks facilitated by Louise Conaghan, where they learned about Frances Browne and Granny’s Wonderful Chair through Drama. Shirley-Anne Bonner dramatist and designer of the workshops describes how “with the aid of translated resources our Ukrainian pupils participated in these activities, beautifully embodying the spirit of our festival : ‘Treasure Each Voice’ ”.
Highlights of the upcoming weekend include:
Cultural Event and Frances Browne Poetry Competition Awards Ceremony
We welcome poets, authors, musicians and dramatists to celebrate the works and legacy of Frances Browne. Hear readings from past and present winners of the Frances Browne poetry awards, along with live music and readings from acclaimed poets/authors, Angeline King and Anne McMaster.
Creative Writing Workshops
Saturday 12th November: Various Locations and times
Irish Language - suitable for fluent and non-fluent Irish speakers, hosted by poet Dubhán Ó Longáin.
Ulster Scots Language - an interactive introduction to writing in Ulster dialect considering Scots, Ulster Scots and Ulster English, hosted by author Angeline King. This friendly and informal class is suitable for everybody, including beginners!
Book Launch : Bláth na dTulach
Saturday 12th November: The Coffee Loft, Alexanders of Ballybofey
Contributor Dubhán Ó’ Longáin in conversation with fellow contributor Eithne Ní Ghallchobhair.
Celebration of Ulster Scots Culture
Saturday 12th November, Parish Centre, Stranorlar, 8pm
A unique evening of storytelling, drama, music, poetry and lots more, compered by author and poet Angeline King. All welcome! The evening will include:
Sarah Leech : Strangers to our Own' by Dr Pauline Holland. This new play about the 19th- century Donegal Poetess’s encounter with the man who discovered her, based on real-life events, will be performed by a dramatic reading.
Donegal Piper, Christy Murray
Storytelling and the Poems of Robbie Burns with Sam Fletcher
Angeline Kelly introduces and reads from her book 'Dusty Bluebells'
Writers Anne Mc Master and Angeline Kelly share their journeys into writing in Ulster Scots
Cllr Patrick McGowan, Cathaoirleach of the Lifford Stranorlar Municipal District congratulated the Frances Browne Literary 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 County Council colleagues and management and staff, we wish the Frances Browne Literary Festival every success,” he said. The festival committee is particularly grateful for the support of Donegal Arts Officer Traolach O’ Fionnáin for funding the production and rehearsal costs of the postponed shows The Tale of Fairy Foot and Sarah Leech: Strangers to our Own. We also appreciate the enormous work of directors Tanya Ward of Aishlingí Academy and Margaret Hannon, and all the cast and crews involved.
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. Known 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 Frances Browne Literary Festival is funded and supported by Donegal County Council, the Ulster Scots Agency, the Arts Council, Creative Ireland Programme and the Finn Valley Voice.