The Literary Lounge will celebrate Mayo writing and the major successes of our writers in recent years when many have risen to international prominence. This year Mayo Day will celebrate these “Mayo Modernists” who are putting Mayo on the literary map around the world. From Castlebar’s Sally Rooney who won The Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year award, to Mike McCormack whose book Solar Bones was named Irish Novel of the Year, from Kilalla’s Kate Kerrigan whose bestselling novels have been translated into 25 languages, to Claremorris’s Elizabeth Reapey whose debut novel Red Dirt won the Rooney Prize for Literature. Mayo writers are at the forefront of writing in Ireland and on the international literary sphere.
Our worldwide diaspora is also part of this writing renaissance with huge successes for Anakana Schofield in the US, while Eimear McBride and Jess Kidd are equally garlanded in prizes and awards in the UK. The lyricism of our poets continues to be widely acclaimed: from the doyen Paul Durcan to other prize winners such as Martin Dyar, Geraldine Mitchell, Michelle O’Sullivan and Sean Lysaght.
Mayo Day will honour these and many more Mayo writers, the Mayo County Library will convert one of the buildings at the race course into a “Literary Lounge” which will tell the story of this unique success. It will feature pictures and biographies of each Mayo writer, a bookshop selling only Mayo books, and a host of book-related events; signings, readings, talks and of course, story-telling and a puppet show for the little writers of the future. The line-up includes Elizabeth Reapy, Terry MacDonagh, Helen Falconer, Faith Hogan, Ger Reidy, Bernard O Hara, Anthony Broderick, Eamon Henry and Michael Mullen with many more to follow.
To add to the celebration of our literary landscape, Mayo Library will display an exhibition of never-before seen photographs from the Liam Lyons collection. These will be accompanied by a display of old maps of the Ballinrobe area which the library has restored and will be on view for the first time. Made of Mayo’s Literary Lounge, a once-off opportunity to get a unique insight into Mayo’s past and vibrant literary present and future!
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