Local audiences the priority for Cúirt director Manuela

Arts Week with Judy Murphy

Anyone who attended the celebration of Galway poet and playwright Rita Ann Higgins at the city’s Town Hall Theatre last week will have been reminded what an incisive, funny and fearless writer she is.  As friends and colleagues from the literary world, including Eva Bourke, Elaine Feeney, Sarah Clancy, Michael Gorman and Mary O’Malley, read her poetry and spoke of how Rita Ann’s work has affected them, their love and respect was apparent – as was the power of her writing.

The event, organised by Tracey Ferguson of Galway International Arts Festival, was hosted by broadcaster and playwright Vincent Woods and it was special.

The good news for those who didn’t make that occasion is that Rita Ann will be in the Town Hall again on Sunday, April 28, as part of the closing event for the Cúirt International festival of Literature.

It’s a poetry reading that also features Scotland’s Jackie Kay, no stranger to Cúirt, who will read from her long-awaited new collection, May Day. Derry’s Susanah Dickey, whose debut collection, ISDAL, has been shortlisted for the Forward Poetry First Collection Prize will feature too, as will Athenry woman, Elaine Feeney, reading from her new collection, All the Good Things You Deserve.

Cúirt began life in the 1980s as a poetry festival and while it has expanded considerably since then, the festival’s current director, Manuela Moser, recognises those roots.

“The headline acts on Friday and Sunday night this year are poetry, ” she says.

“We had several poetry events last year and were very happy with how audiences received them. I thought it would be interesting to see what would happen if we gave poetry a bigger stage this year.”

Pictured: Cúirt director Manuela Moser has put poetry centre stage this year. Photo: Andrew Downes, Xposure.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

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