Windfall of arts at Leaves 2018

Festival: Spoken word, music, theatre, literature and film

Windfall of arts at Leaves 2018

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

This year the weekend-long programme will be held in the Dunamaise Arts Centre and St Peter’s Church of Ireland.

At the recent launch of the Leaves Festival Festival Curator, Muireann Ní Chonaill said: “Celebrating its tenth anniversary, the Leaves Festival is a great opportunity to enjoy hearing contemporary writers and musicians, the art of conversation, film and theatre.”

Opening the weekend in the Dunamaise Arts Centre, on Friday, November 9, at 8pm, is spoken word artist Stephen James Smith and features musician, Enda Reilly.

A Dublin poet and playwright central to the rise of the vibrant Spoken Word scene in Ireland today, Stephen’s poetry videos have amassed over 2.5 million views, including 2017’s ‘My Ireland’.

London based writer, Helen Cullen, who grew up in Portlaoise, has had great success with her debut novel, ‘The Lost Letters of William Woolf’. She will share her wisdom and experience at a special workshop for adult writers in the Dunamaise Arts Centre on Saturday November 10.

The Dunamaise Art Gallery is also the venue for the launch of Growing Pains and Growing Up, an anthology of essays and articles by John Whelan representing a journalistic memoir to mark 40 years of his working in media.

Saturday evening’s programme will take place in the beautiful surroundings of St Peter’s Church of Ireland, Portlaoise, featuring a wonderful combination of conversation, music and readings by Helen Cullen, Brian Keenan, Dermot Bolger, music by Seán Ryan and Kathleen Loughnane.

There will be a spoken word evening of remembrance for those who lost their lives and fought from the Mountmellick area in World War One on Sunday November 11 in Mountmellick Library at 7.30pm.

Schools events include an Irish event at the Laois Shopping Centre, and Barry Keegan, the creator of the graphic novel The Bog Road, and children’s writer Caroline Busher will visit a number of schools. And Simone Schuemmelfeder, an international storyteller, will host a workshop on storytelling in Portlaoise Library on Thursday, November 8.