Ennis Book Club Festival - St Tola Goat Farm

Festival dates: Friday 4 – Sunday 6 March 2022

The full programme for the 16th Ennis Book Club Festival has been announced. This year’s festival will offer a vibrant programme of live events and activities for book lovers of all ages. As always, the Festival will offer opportunities to engage with your favourite authors and features an additional programme of events for younger readers.

On Friday 4th March, Ennis Book Club Festival kicks off with an event based on Look! It’s A Woman Writer! Irish Literary Feminisms by Éilís Ni Dhuibhne. Editor Ní Dhuibhne asked twenty-one Irish women who were born in and around the 1950s to write about their writing lives and in this volume, they tell it like it really was – and is. Panellists Lia Mills Catherine Dunne and Evelyn Conlon discuss what it means to be a woman writer, hosted by Arlen House publisher Alan Hayes.

At 4.30pm in The Temple Gate hotel, Local author Joe Queally chats about his book – Echoes from a Civil War. In this riveting book, Queally analyses the 1925 death in Fanore of Guard Thomas Dowling and the 1929 death in Tullycrine of CID detective, Tadhg O’Sullivan, placing them firmly in historical context.

At 6pm discussing her latest ‘Darkly funny’ novel, The Raptures, Belfast based writer and community arts facilitator Jan Carson will be in Conversation with writer, performer, and cultural consultant Chandrika Narayanan-Mohan.  Also on Friday evening, poet Frank Golden will launch his latest collection, If you Tolerate This.

Bringing the first day of the Festival to a close, celebrated author and playwright Michael Harding discusses his most recent title A Cloud Where the Birds Rise with Ennis Book Club Festival’s Artistic Director Dani Gill in glór at 8.30pm.

Designed for readers and book clubs looking for new titles to explore, festival favourite Ten Books You Should Read takes place on Saturday at 11.30am with author Mike McCormack and book seller Vincent Browne from the acclaimed Charlie Byrne’s Bookshop, Galway and is a great chance to add good suggestions to your reading list.

At 12pm in St. Columba’s Church, award-winning poet and novelist Paul Perry and journalist Audrey Magee will chat about their debut novels – The Garden and The Colony.

Fall in love with Irish Debuts from Elaine Feeney and Annie MacManus takes place at 2pm in glór. Elaine Feeney is a writer from the west of Ireland whose debut novel, As You Were, won the 2021 Kate O’Brien Award. Annie MacManus is an internationally renowned DJ and broadcaster and author of Mother Mother.

Motherhood, Destiny and Choices with debut novelists Edel Coffey and Donna Freitas takes place in The Temple Gate at 4pm and explores motherhood with all its challenges and rewards, and at 6pm, readers of crime writing, comedy and thrillers are in for a treat with John Banville and Kevin Power featuring together to talk about their novels White City (Power) and April in Spain (Banville).

Claire Keegan takes to the glór stage on Saturday evening to talk about her long awaited novel Small Things Like These, praised as ‘a haunting, hopeful masterpiece’ (Sinéad Gleeson). This new novel from the international bestselling author of Foster and Antarctica, delivers an unforgettable story of hope, quiet heroism, and tenderness.

The hugely popular Sunday Symposium opens the final day of the Festival. Reflections on Ireland will be the focus of the Symposium this year with special guests Fintan O’Toole, Declan O’Rourke, Sophie White, and Derek Scally. The panel discussion will be followed by an audience Q&A session.

On Sunday afternoon Ennis Book Club Festival moves to the goat shed on St. Tola Cheese Farm, Ennistimon for a unique event. Join Ballymaloe co-founder and author Rory O’Connell as he talks about his beautifully illustrated and personal book: The Joy of Food. This is an intimate event for foodies and book lovers to enjoy a chat and some demos with Rory and Kai Restaurant owner, Jess Murphy.

As always, there are lots of other terrific events taking place across the Festival weekend including the beloved Books n ‘ Buns event on Saturday morning; Beyond Borders Book Club, a celebration of great literature from countries beyond Ireland; Poetry Book Club Session, exploring some of the best recent Irish poetry collections with poet Jessica Traynor; Clare Youth Theatre presenting selections from literature; The Ennis Poet Trail starting from Clare Museum and aptly concluding at The Poet’s Corner bar in the Old Ground Hotel and in a new event for 2022, the Festival has initiated two online book clubs dealing with climate change.

In advance of National Gardening Day, Ennis Book Club Festival ventures to Kiltumper on April 9th for an intimate tour and talk with authors Niall Williams and Christine Breen in their beloved garden.

Ennis Book Club Festival, in association with Clare Library also features an extensive programme for younger readers, including the chance to participate in Fighting Words, a creative writing workshop for Secondary Schools. Other events in the Young Readers’ programme includes Writing for Wellbeing with E.R. Murray; Write Where you Come From with Tracey Fahey and an audience with author and lecturer Donna Freitas.

Commenting on the programme for the 2022 Ennis Book Club Festival, Artistic Director Dani Gill, says ‘’It’s great to be returning to live events where we can gather and celebrate books as a community. Ennis Book Club Festival is more than a book festival, it is about being present in the vibrant town of Ennis, enjoying the lively atmosphere of the town and experiencing interactions with writers against that backdrop. ‘’

Most events on sale now on www.ennisbookclubfestival.com with remaining events on sale from Friday February 4th. Please note that some events are limited capacity, early booking advised. See www.ennisbookclubfestival.com for full details on all events.

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