Book into culture festivals this summer

THE NORTHERN Ireland Tourist Board (NITB) has urged people to take advantage of the many different events celebrating the province’s rich and varied literary legends this summer.

Helen Carey from the NITB said that the summer is a great time for culture lovers to sample some of Northern Ireland’s cultural heritage.

“Northern Ireland has a rich cultural and literary heritage and the summer months are a great time for visitors and residents to sample that with a number of wonderful festivals and events taking place during July, August and September,” she said.

“From the John Hewitt Summer School in Armagh, the highly anticipated Deborah Warner Peace Camp on the north coast and the Happy Days International Beckett Festival in Enniskillen there should be something on offer to satisfy the culture vulture in all of us, so we would encourage people to check out the calendar and see if there is something there to suit your literary tastes.”

The Deborah Warner Peace Camp on the north coast, takes place between July 19 and 22.

This London 2012 Festival event will celebrate the beautiful north coast area, as a major new living artwork. As dusk begins to fall, the artwork will flicker to life as part of a series of glowing encampments that will simultaneously appear across the UK.

The John Hewitt Summer School in Armagh takes place on July 23 and 27.

Held in honour of Northern Irish poet John Hewitt, this renowned annual festival of the arts includes creative writing workshops, poetry study, readings, open debate, music, drama, film and visual arts.

The William Carleton Summer School in Clogher (August 6 to 9) celebrates the life and works of the famous County Tyrone novelist.

The festival, which takes place at Corick House in Clogher offers lectures, debates and bus tours led by local historians and Carleton scholars. Evenings are filled with drama, music and storytelling.

Happy Days International Beckett Festival, Enniskillen, on August 23 and 27 celebrates the works of one of Ireland’s artistic giants, Samuel Beckett, with special guests Robert Wilson, Edna O’Brien, Melvyn Bragg and more. Events include premieres of his major and lesser known works, his influence on other writers, directors, actors and more.

The Benedict Kiely Weekend in Omagh takes place on September 7 to 9.

Dromore born Keily was a much celebrated journalist, novelist and short story writer. This year’s festival theme is ‘Drink to the Bird.’ Join in the debates with Glenn Patterson, Sinead Gleeson and Evelyn Conlon plus workshops from Malachi O’Doherty and Dr Leon Litvack.

Aspects Literary Festival in Bangor (September 26 – 30) is a celebration of Irish literature. Aspects is set to return in September in its 21st year for a weeklong celebration of poetry and prose. Previous guests include Jennifer Johnston, Colin Bateman, Ian Rankin and Seamus Heaney with music from Duke Special and international contributions from Barry Norman and memoirist Blake Morrison.

For all events in NI 2012 got to the Discover Northern Ireland website or on Facebook.