Culmore Literary Festival to celebrate Derry’s wonderful literary tradition


The second annual Culmore Literary Festival takes place June 6-22 at the Culmore Community Hub.

There is something for everyone. Award-winning writers, poets, storytellers, singers, print, radio and TV journalists will present a range of events for all ages and interests.

There will be book readings and interviews, conversations, screenwriting workshops, poetry readings, storytelling for adults, bedtime stories for children and an evening of songs and stories with the singer-songwriter Anthony Toner.

You and everyone are invited to come to Culmore, on the banks of the beautiful River Foyle, to celebrate the town’s wonderful literary tradition.

Here are some of the guests who will be attending the event.

Michael Bradley

Michael Bradley joined his school friend’s band in Derry in the summer of 1974. They had two guitars and no singer.

Four years later, the Undertones recorded “Teenage Kicks” and became one of the most remembered British bands of the post-punk era.

Michael works as a radio producer at BBC Radio Foyle and has managed to remain the band’s bassist since 1974.

In 2016 he wrote a book about his memories of The Undertones, covering the years 1974 to 1983.

Michael will join us to discuss ‘My Life As An Undertone’ on Saturday, June 11 from 7:30-9:30 p.m.

Joe Mahon (above)

Joe Mahon began his career as a primary school teacher, teaching English and history. He then worked on BBC Radio Foyle as a contributor before becoming a producer.

He then became director of Radio Foyle, before moving on to television.

He worked at the BBC and then took a job with the independent production company Northland Films.

Joe is best known as the presenter and producer of Lesser Spotted Ulster, Lesser Spotted Journeys and Ulster Giants.

A born explorer of places and people, Joe lives in Derry/Londonderry. Joe will join us on Wednesday, June 15 at 7:30 p.m. for a great evening of entertainment giving us insight into his long and varied career.

george murphy

George Murphy was a 30-year-old musician who told hilarious stories. Gradually, the stories became more frequent and funnier.

He still sings the occasional song, especially if it’s humorous.

He constantly performs at comedy clubs, weddings, storytelling clubs and concerts.

George won the London Comedy Award in 2015. He continues to travel across Ireland and the UK, displaying his humor at numerous festivals to great acclaim.

Join George for a very entertaining evening of storytelling and song on Friday, June 17 at 7:30 p.m.

Antoine Toner

Anthony Toner is delighted to join us for an intimate evening of song and story in the upstairs room of The Hub, in a year that will see him release two albums: Emperor, an all-acoustic collection, revisiting his favorite songs old catalogue, including ‘Sailortown’, ‘The Road to Fivemiletown’, ‘Well Well Well’ and many more – and The Book of Absolution (scheduled for release in August).

This album will add to his catalog of personal songs, full of ideas about the human condition that never fail to strike a chord with listeners. Between songs, Anthony always shares hilarious and insightful stories from the road; and is also one of Northern Ireland’s finest guitarists.

As one audience member recently commented after an Anthony show, “It was like living through a series of beautiful shorts.” Anthony will perform at the Hub on Saturday, June 18 from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Sam Burnside (above)

Sam Burnside is an established poet and writer who lived for many years in the Culmore area. Sam Burnside was born in County Antrim and spent most of his working life in the North West where he was involved in adult education before setting up and becoming the first director of the Verbal Arts Centre.

His writings have won numerous awards, including the Allingham Poetry Prize, the University of Ulster McCrea Literary Award, the Sunday Tribune Hennessy Literary Award in 1989.

He was shortlisted for the Pushcart Prize (USA) for his long poem “Stretcher Bearer” in 2016. He is the recipient of a Hennessey Literary Prize.

In 2012 he was appointed MBE for his contribution to the arts. Sam will read some of his most beloved poems during our Poetry Night on Monday, June 20 from 7:30-9:30 p.m.

Feargal Friel

Feargal Friel is assistant manager of Hollybush PS and has been teaching children in Culmore for twenty-four years.
Her love of the natural world and the local landscape influenced her decision to take up poetry writing in 2016.

Feargal will join Emily Cooper and Sam Burnside for an evening of poetry readings and talks on Monday, June 20 from 7:30-9:30 p.m.

Emily Cooper (above)

Emily Cooper has been published in Stinging Fly, Banshee, Poetry Ireland Review, Irish Times, Stand and London Magazine, among others. She has received residencies from RCC, Donegal; the Arts Council of Northern Ireland; Gray Wood Arts; Irish Cultural Center, Paris; and the Irish Writers Centre.

Since 2019, she has received the Next Generation Award, Literature Fellowship and Agility Award from the Arts Council of Ireland, as well as an ACNI SIAP Award, two Donegal County Council Artist Fellowships and a Culture and Creativity grant from Creative Ireland. .

She is the editor of the literary journal The Pig’s Back and her first poem Glass was published by Makina Books in 2021.

Claire Allen

Claire Allan is a former journalist from Derry in Northern Ireland, where she still lives with her husband, two teenagers, two cats and a dog who thinks she is a human child. In her eighteen years as a journalist, she has covered a wide range of stories from attempted murders to court hearings, the Saville Inquiry into the events of Bloody Sunday and countless topics. of human interest.

Claire has been writing crime novels since 2018, The Nurse is her sixth thriller. She has also worked as a story consultant on upcoming BBC drama Blue Lights and is currently working on a TV adaptation of her novel The Liar’s Daughter.

Brian McGilloway (above)

Brian McGilloway, born in Derry in 1974, is the author of twelve mystery novels including the mysteries of Ben Devlin and the Lucy Black series, the first of which, Little Girl Lost, became a New York Times and UK bestseller. United.

As well as being shortlisted for a CWA Dagger and Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year, he is a former recipient of Ulster University’s McCrea Prize and won the BBC’s Tony Doyle Award for his screenplay, Little Emperors.
His novel, The Last Crossing, won Theakston’s Highly Commended Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year 2021 award.

Brian currently works as an English teacher in Strabane, where he also lives with his wife and four children. Her most recent novel is The Empty Room.

Claire Allan and Brian will join us to discuss their mystery novel on Wednesday, June 22 at 7:30 p.m.

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