2017 Press Release

Goldsmith International Literary Festival 2017  –    Press Release.

The 33rd Goldsmith International Literary Festival was launched last Thursday evening at Ballymahon Community Library.  The festival, which is the third longest running festival of its type in Ireland, will take place as usual over the June Bank Holiday. Founded in 1984 to celebrate the literary genius of Oliver Goldsmith and to promote beautiful Goldsmith Country as a tourist attraction, it has explored many aspects of Goldsmith’s life and work. A huge variety of renowned critics, politicians, poets, journalists and academics have stimulated informed and amused audiences in that time. This years theme is “Goldsmith and the Irish Experience in London”- (Every Absurdity has now a champion to defend it). The festival opens on Friday 2nd June at 8.30 in The Rustic Inn Abbeyshrule. It will be preceded by a short recital by the much loved Innyside Singers. The festival will be officially opened by Paddy Mahon, CEO, Longford County Council and Chaired by festival chairman Seamus McCormack. The Keynote address will be given by Jonathan Moore – “The Irish in London in the Time of Oliver Goldsmith and  After. From Grub Street to Brexit.” Jonathan Moore has been a lecturer and journalist covering Irish affairs for over thirty years. For much of this time, he lectured in Irish history politics and journalism at what is now London Metropolitan University. He wrote for among others the Scotsman, Guardian and Irish Post in addition to broadcasting for BBC TV and radio, Al Jazeera, Sky News, CNN, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, NBC and Channel 4. A topic of such relevance and a speaker of such expertise should make for a lively discussion in the Rustic Inn. The night will conclude with music from the Des Smyth Trio.

Saturdays programme begins at 11.00am with Goldsmith Literary Tour. The afternoon programme begins at 2.30pm with Chair: Joe Flaherty. Arthur Conlon will deliver an interesting talk on “The Georgian City: A Journey through Goldsmith’s London.” This will be followed by Prof. Norma Clarke – “Goldsmith: In His Time and Ours.” Professor Clarke is professor of English Literature and Creative Writing at Kingston University, London. Her critically acclaimed recent work, Brothers of the Quill: Oliver Goldsmith in Grub Street is, among other things, a study of Goldsmith in the context of his Irish associates in London. Day two concludes in the iconic pub The Three Jolly Pigeons with a B-B-Q and music by The Henshaws

Sunday begins with the seventh annual Goldsmith Miscellany.  Chaired by Longford Archivist Martin Morris and featuring a number of short talks interspersed with music, this will take place in the lovely Goldsmith Room. Speakers and contributors include Aidan O’Hara, Jean Farrell, Luke Baxter, Claire Mc Cormack and Hugh Campbell. We are indebted to Co Librarian Mary Carleton Reynolds and staff for allowing us to use this lovely venue. Music for this event provided by Donie Keyes and Padraig Campbell.

The closing event, Poetry at Pallas takes place as usual at the lovely little park at Goldsmith’s birthplace, Pallas. The event will feature readings by the winners of the children’s and adults’ poetry competitions. The adjudicator for this year’s Goldsmith Prize is poet Michelle O Sullivan. a NATIVE OF Chicago she grew up in Sligo and now lives in Mayo, its landscape – rivers, mountainsides, livelihoods was the inspiration for her stunning debut collection of poetry, The Blue End of Stars. This first collection received great critical acclaim and won the prestigious dlr Shine/Strong Award presented at the annual Mountains to Sea Book Festival. Her most recent collection, The Flower and the Frozen Sea is also critically acclaimed. Joe and Chris Farrell, Pallas will once again sponsor the annual cheese and wine reception with lots of age appropriate refreshment for the younger poets. Chaired by Anne Tully of the Festival Committee the poetry competitions have received an extremely high quality entry from all over Ireland. Talented local flautist Gerry Bohan will provide musical accompaniment.The Goldsmith International Literary Festival has a very full and exciting programme of events and the hard working committee are looking forward to welcoming old friends and new to Goldsmith Country. We acknowledge the invaluable sponsorship of our friends in Longford and Westmeath. A full list of sponsors will acknowledged by publication in the local press