Laois Leaves Literacy Festival 2017 launched at Emo Court

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Leaves 2017

At the launch of the Leaves Literary Festival 2017 in Emo Court. Photo: Michael Scully

The annual Leaves Festival of Writing and Music is just around the corner, celebrating the diversity and richness in today’s literary, music, theatre and film scene.

Leaves aims to excite and engage with audiences young and old and this year the weekend-long programme will be held in Emo Court.

Opening the weekend in the Drawing Room, Emo Court, on Friday night, November 10 at 8pm are poets Jean Ó Brien, Martin Figura, and Helen Ivory. They will be joined by musician, Úna Keane and the event will be chaired by Arthur Broomfield.

The Tea Rooms in Emo Court is the venue for Saturday mornings writing workshop, to be led by Helen Ivory. It runs from 10am-12.30pm.

Returning to the Drawing Room for the rest of Saturday’s events, are poets Denise Curtin, Paddy Moran, Karen J Mc Donnell, joined by Portlaoise born musician, Gary Dunne. This event will be chaired by Séamus Hosey and commences at 3pm.

To celebrate National Harp Day, Scottish Harpist, Catriona McKay together with Swedish nyckelharpa player Olov Johansson, will perform a special concert. They will be accompanied by the Music Generation Laois Harpists and it commences at 5pm.

Saturday evening will see Lisa Harding and Kevin Barry reading from and discussing their novels with Sean Rocks, presenter of Arena, on Radio 1 and it commences at 8pm.

On Sunday at noon, the Drawing Room will be the setting for the premiere of Thresholds.

This new music commission celebrating the theme of pollination, by Ian Wilson will be performed by saxophonist, Cathal Roche. It was funded through the Creative Ireland Laois programme. The winning poems on the theme of pollination, will be read by the prizewinners at this event. The new Laois Spoken Word artist, who will commence their ten month residency during the Leaves Festival will be introduced to the public at this gathering also.

The Dunamaise Arts Centre, Portlaoise has scheduled events for Leaves, including My Cousin Rebecca and the live broadcast from the Harold Pinter Theatre, London of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf.  Dubliners’ Women, by Katie O'Kelly, featuring female characters from James Joyce's Dubliners, will be performed.

For more information please contact the Arts Office, Laois County Council Portlaoise, Co Laois. Email artsoff@laoiscoco.ie,  www.laois.ie