Limerick’s newest literary festival – Limerick Summer Literary Festival – will take place this coming July. A joint venture between The Limerick Writers’ Centre and Campus Life Services of UL, the festival will run from Friday 18th July to Sun 20th July, and this year it will incorporate the Bring Your Limericks to Limerick International Poetry Competition with over €1000 in prize money. The competition was made an international event last year as part of The Gathering celebrations in the University of Limerick and was an enormous success.
The festival will be officially launched by the vice chairman of Limerick City of Culture 2014 and former secretary general to the President of Ireland, Tim O’Connor Friday 18th July at the Pavilion on the UL campus.
As well as showcasing the famous five-line Limerick verse, the festival will also include readings, book launches, performances and workshops over the three days. Dominic Taylor, a director of The Limerick Writers’ Centre, says ‘we hope to make this festival a popular event with something for everyone, both serious and lighthearted with the international Limericks competition being the centrepiece of the weekend’.
Already signed up to take part are Limerick person of the year and Booker nominated novelist Donal Ryan, who will give a reading on Friday 18th at 7.30pm. Limerick born internationally acclaimed novelist Paul Lynch will host a master class on writing the novel on Sat 20th and two Limerick authors Cristoir O’Flynn and John Liddy, who has been appointed Limerick City of Culture writer in residence for July, will have new books launched plus, there will be lots more.
The centrepiece of the weekend is, of course, will be the Bring Your Limericks to Limerick International Poetry Competition. Last year over 600 people entered the competition from all over Ireland and the world, with 50 finalists turning up on the night to do battle for the €1000 prize. Last year’s event was won by North of England performance poet Christine Robinson after a tense competition. This year the organisers are hoping to have an equally exciting contest with again flamboyant local actor Myles Breen hosting on the night.
Last year also, to coincide with the competition, The Limerick’ Writers’ Centre commissioned local historian Dr Matthew Potter to write a history of the Limerick verse and its association with the area. Outlining the reason for the book he explained that
“The aim was to create an awareness of the connection between the place and the poem so that Limerick can establish itself internationally as one of the few places that gave its name to a literary form. Think Shakespeare and Stratford, Joyce and Dublin, Burns and Scotland, Limerick and the Limerick”.
This year again the book will be highlighted and a new print run will be launched over the weekend.
Entries are now been taken for the competition and local wordsmiths are encouraged to take part. You can enter on-line at www.facebook.com/limerickcompetition or pick up an entry form from your local library and various venues around the area.
Overseas visitors can avail of the very competitive accommodation available on the UL campus with self-catering accommodating starting from €39.00 per night.