22 - 24 February 2019

The Festival, formerly known as Kate O'Brien Weekend, is this year celebrating its 35th anniversary. The event continues to honour the life and works of the Limerick author, while attracting prominent participants from all over the world. Building on this significant history, the Limerick Literary Festival seeks to promote Limerick nationally as a place of literary excellence and to provide a platform where readers can meet their favourite authors and other readers.

The Festival which will run from 22nd to 24th February 2019 is one of Ireland's most vibrant and successful festivals which has been running since 1984 and it showcases in a diverse and eclectic programme the best in Irish and international contemporary literature.

A packed programme for 2019 includes talks, interviews, panel discussions, poetry, an award winning play, a debut book award, and a music recital.

The Festival highlights include acclaimed journalist Lara Marlowe, who will open the Festival in the Hunt Museum on Friday, February 22nd, followed by an outside broadcast by RTE Arena hosted by Sean Rocks. Irish National Opera, in a new and exciting partnership with Limerick Literary Festival, will co-present the opening night musical recital and include works from Kate O’Brien’s novel As Music And Splendour.

Also with us for the weekend are internationally renowned American writer Richard Ford whose novel Wildlife was recently adapted for the screen by Paul Dano, bestselling author Louise O’Neill, the celebrated essayist Emilie Pine, the renowned biographer Lyndall Gordon, critically acclaimed novelist David Park, the award-winning author and No 1 bestseller Liz Nugent who will be in conversation with Riverdance composer Bill Whelan.

In partnership with the French Embassy in Ireland, we have French writer and film director Philippe Claudel ( il y a longtemps que je t’aime starring Kristin Scott Thomas). Limerick poets Jo Slade and Ciaran O’Driscoll will read in the Granary Library on Friday morning. Adam Wyeth will talk about the legacy of Limerick poet Desmond O’Grady. A special highlight this year for the Festival, The National Library of Ireland in partnership with Limerick Literary Festival will present The Blank Page featuring Martin Dyar, Clodagh Beresford Dunne, and Niall MacMonagle who will explore the making of a poem.

Dolans is where edgy entertainment meets irreverent comedy at 8pm on Saturday, February 23rd in the shape of International award-winning play The Morning After The Life Before, fresh from runs in Montreal, London and New York. The show will be followed by a panel discussion with playwright/performer Ann Blake, Emilie Pine, Niall MacMonagle, Mary Coll and RTÉ producer Paula Shields.

Irish novelist and academic Éilis Ní Dhuibhne will talk about Kate O’Brien and her work.

Desert Island Books is a very popular event on the programme and this year it will be presented by David Park and Eileen Battersby’s daughter Nadia. Nadia Whiston Battersby has offered to step in as a tribute to her late mother who died just before Christmas. It's always wonderful to hear about the books that both inspire and console.

The 4th annual Kate O’Brien Award for a debut novel from an Irish female author will be announced on Sunday, February 24th from the following shortlist :

  • Teethmarks on my Tongue by Eileen Battersby
  • He is Mine and I Have No Other by Rebecca O’Connor
  • Promising Young Women by Caroline O’Donoghue
  • The Ruin by Dervla McTiernan
  • Follow Me To Ground by Sue Rainsford
  • The Limerick Literary Festival in honour of Kate O’Brien is kindly supported by the Arts Council Festivals Investment Scheme and Limerick City and County Council Festival and Events Grant Scheme.

    We gratefully acknowledge our sponsors, supporters and friends.

    Finally, we hope you will enjoy the 2019 festival, which celebrates writers, artists, books and readers.

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