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Book lovers are set to descend on Co Clare this weekend for the Ennis Book Club Festival (EBCF).

Several online events were held in March for the EBCF in its traditional time slot, this weekend in-person events will be held

Saturday kicks with the Beyond Borders Book Club at Ennis Museum from 11.30am with guests from Mexico and Africa, hosted by poet Sarah Clancy. The launch of the Salmon Poetry Memory Book by Jessie Lendennie will take place in the afternoon, at Ennis Bookshop. Jessie Lendennie is celebrating 40 years of publishing with this publication, specially commissioned by Ennis Book Club Festival.

Little John Nee will perform music and storytelling on O’Connell Square, entertaining passers-by with his original songs and writings, and creating fun, colour and a festival atmosphere.

Canadian author Patrick DeWitt, acclaimed author of Ablutions, The Sisters Brothers Under Major Domo Minor, and his most recent novel, French Exit will talk with Ennis Book Club Fest’s Artistic Director Dani Gill in the afternoon. French Exit has been made into a film by Sony Pictures directed by Azazel Jacobs and starring Michelle Pfeiffer as Frances Price.

Writer and Artist, Sara Baume will be part of The Alphabet of Birds, her spellbinding audio-visual essay, covering the multitude of rituals that fill our daily lives with meaning. Baume’s new essay is inspired by four short documentaries depicting artists at work on land and sea. These films will be screened accompanied by a live soundtrack of Sara’s words and live music.

Douglas Stewart will join Elaine Feeney in conversation on the glór stage in the evening. Douglas Stuart’s debut novel, Shuggie Bain, won the 2020 Booker Prize and has been published in over 30 territories. Douglas will be joined by writer and lecturer, Elaine Feeney whose debut novel, As You Were was shortlisted for Irish Novel of the Year among other accolades such as the recent win at the Dalkey Book Awards, Winner of the McKitterick Prize 2020, and the Kate O’Brien Award.

In celebration of the Book Club Festival, The Old Ground Hotel has put pen to paper and created the perfect ‘book lovers break’. The hotel of course has a lot of literary connections of its own, as it features a cosy library area for residents to luxuriate in and it celebrates many of the great Irish Poets throughout the hotel, particularly in the bar area where painted portraits hang of writers like Seamus Heaney and Oscar Wilde.

Fittingly then they have titled their Book Club Festival offer The ‘Poet’s Package’ which includes a one night stay in a luxurious and spacious room or suite, dinner in the acclaimed Poet’s Corner bar which features delicious fresh local Ennis produce. Guests availing of the ‘Poet’s Package’ will also receive a signed copy of the Man Booker nominated novel ‘This is Happiness’ by Niall Williams in their room upon arrival along with tickets to a book festival headline event of your choice.

Commenting on the upcoming Book Festival and Poet’s Package offer Proprietor of the Hotel and avid supporter of the arts Allen Flynn said: “We want to wish the Ennis Book Club Festival the very best of luck with all their events and are looking forward to welcoming both locals and visitors to Ennis where they will not find a better place to curl up with a book, be it in our well-appointed bedrooms, welcoming foyer areas, with a pint or cocktail at the bar or in our mature garden outdoors. We can all appreciate the great pleasure of getting away from it all and a staycation with a good book is certainly what I would think of as one of the best ways to have a bit of a digital detox and indulge in some self-care”. The 1 night ‘Poet’s Package’ at the Old Ground costs from €200 pps and includes bed and breakfast, with dinner in the Poet’s Corner, the gifted novel and tickets to an Ennis Book Club Festival headline event of your choice.

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