Hay Literary Festival comes to Borris House

The internationally-renowned Hay Literary Festival comes to Borris as part of the Éigse Arts Festival 2012.

The internationally-renowned Hay Literary Festival comes to Borris as part of the Éigse Arts Festival 2012.

The Hay Festival curated, by Eleanor O’Keeffe of London’s ‘5x15’ and Vivienne Guinness, has been celebrating literary minds, swapping ideas and opinions, inspiring creativity and transformation for almost 25 years since its inception in 1988. A festival Bill Clinton described as ‘Woodstock for the mind’. Its appeal continues to grow with its net widening to reach people old and young, from literary greats to beginner scribes.

The list of events at the festivals has expanded in recent years with some Hay Literary Festivals around the world including musical performances, film previews and ‘Hay Fever’, (a children’s festival which runs in conjunction with the main festival) to their itinerary. As the festival comes to Ireland in June it will play host from June 9 - 10, to a wealth of literary greats who are taking part in the Hay Literary Festival this year at Borris House.

Kerrie Hardy presents her forthcoming collection The Ash and the Oak and the Wild Cherry Tree (Gallery Press), accompanied by David Power on Uileann pipes and introduced by fellow poet Gerry Smyth. This event will be immediately followed by a reception to launch of Kerry’s book! Colm Toíbín makes his latest book New Ways to Kill Your Mother as the basis of a presentation on famous writers’ relationships to their families. Craig Brown talks about the 101 meetings that make up his new book One on One, and presents his own parodic One-Stop Literary Festival.

Comedy writer producer John Lloyd (Spitting Image, Blackadder, QI) will be deep in conversation with Sean Hardie (Bremner, Bird and Fortune, Not the Nine O’Clock News) while journalist and filmmaker Ben Anderson (Holidays in the Axis of Evil) meets Fintan O’Toole to discuss his gripping account of the Afghanistan war in Helmand province, No Worse Enemy, and his latest assignments.

Booker-prize winner Anne Enright (The Gathering) will talk about her career as a novelist, essayist and short story writer, drawing from her most recent work The Forgotten Waltz and novelist and screenwriter John Banville will give audiences a sneak preview from his forthcoming novel Ancient Light (to be published July 5).

Oscar-nominee and film director Stephen Frears (Dangerous Liaisons (1988, The Van (1996), High Fidelity (2000), The Queen (2006) talks to Dr. Orla Ryan and Waterboys frontman Mike Scott reads from his memoir, Adventures of a Waterboy (2012), and will give an interview about his career.

Philosopher and novelist AC Grayling will give a sermon on The Good Book from the pulpit of the Chapel. Best-selling novelist and travel writer Katie Hickman talks about The Aviary Gate Series, reading from The Pindar Diamond talking about the forthcoming A Winter Tale. Travel writer and historical novelist William Dalrymple dramatises passages from his novel The Last Mughal to the accompaniment of North Indian vocalist Vidya Shah.

Other events include Leviathan, a public conversation with leading commentators which informs, entertains and engages, through satire, comedy, and music. Also 5x15 Stories: ‘Nomadic Lives’ with Fernanda Eberstadt, Katie Hickman, Perry Ogden, Aoife Kavanagh and Lionel Shriver all talking passionately for fifteen minutes on a subject of their choice. Novelist and ‘ex-poet’ Blake Morrisson reads from his memoir about his Kerry-born mother (Things My Mother Never Told Me) and his recent novel The Last Weekend, which is currently being filmed for television, and talks about a writer’s life with John McKenna. Award-winning Irish playwright and Aosdána member Marina Carr will talk about her work with Loughlin Deegan, Director of The Lir, and will read from some of her plays.

With such prominent names in Irish and International literature under one roof, this is truly an opportunity of a lifetime to share ideas and swap notions with modern literary greats and Éigse 2012 is delighted to welcome you to the Hay Literary Festival Borris House, Borris from Saturday 9th June until’ Sunday 10th to do so. All day tickets are available, however please note there are overlapping events. Tickets to all events are €9 and must be booked through the GB Shaw Theatre on 059 9172400 or

Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.

Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.