The 2011 Town of Books Festival in Graiguenamanagh, Co Kilkenny
I’ve sat on that diving board a few times myself. The 2011 Town of Books Festival is happening in Graiguenamanagh, Co. Kilkenny this weekend. With readings, rare and specialist books, music, food and more, it promises something for everyone.
I don’t go home as often as I should but this weekend would be a great excuse. The Town of Books Festival, now in its ninth year starts on Friday.
Thousands and thousands of books – specialist, discounted, rare and wonderful books – will be available from booksellers and bookworms, bargain hunters and collectors will descend on the town in their hundreds to enjoy what’s on offer.
A town on the River Barrow in Co Kilkenny (Google Maps here), Graiguenamanagh is a small but busy village about 40 minutes outside of Kilkenny city. People would know it for Duiske Abbey, for Cushendale Woollen Mills and Duiske Glass and for the episode of Glenroe when Biddy and Miley came and stayed the night. Or for the RTÉ series shot in the town. Or the pubs. It’s surprising how many people I talk to know of the place.
It has a vibrant community spirit to it, especially for events like this. There’s a lot going in for this festival, including:
- A visit, reading and book signing by Presidential candidate, Michael D Higgins, author of a new book “New and Selected Poems”
- Adrian Kavanagh is presenting One For The Road – back for one night only
- A cookery demonstration by well known local chef and author of the bestselling cook book, “Food To Love”, Edward Hayden – a familiar face on TV3’s Ireland AM programme
- A talk on his kayaking adventures by Gary Quinn, journalist and author of ‘The Sea Road’ series in the Irish Times Travel magazine
- A talk by Shirley Lanigan, author of ‘100 Best Gardens in Ireland,’ and Mayor of Kilkenny and Tidy Towns expert, David Fitzgerald, followed by a garden visit
- A secondary schools debate with the theme: “The Paper Book is Dead, Kindle is King”
- A tweet up for both twitter and non-twitter folks.
- A local food and craft fair featuring the best of artisan workers from Carlow and Kilkenny, including Helen Finnegan’s award winning Knockadrinna Cheese
- A circus skills workshop for children
- Rowing races on the river Barrow, and a nature walk along the river and newly opened Silair Woods
One of the highlights for me is the inclusion of the Lifelines exhibition – letters from well known and famous personalities and celebrities about their favourite poems. Read letters, see poems, look at handwriting and find out why people like Graham Norton chose Patrick Kavanagh’s EPIC, why Charlie Bird chose Pangur Bán, why Mary Harney chose Stony Grey Soil or Judi Dench chose Adlestrop.
In addition, on Friday the first 500 childen to visit the Festival office after 2pm will get a free book. There’s also a Traditional Music concert in Duiske Abbey and a local food and craft fair.