Meath Chronicle APRIL 22, 2015 - by Ann Casey


Following a very successful second event last year, the Hay Festival Kells returns with an exciting programme this summer.

The line-up will include musician Brian Eno talking about his life and work, authors Roddy Doyle, Rosie Boycott, Anne Enright, Ben Okri, Michael Harding, Derek Landy and poet Paul Durcan.

The festival runs from June 25 to 28 and will feature an extensive programme that will feature literature, poetry, debate, discussion, drama, art, music, film, journalism, cookery and food, gardening, workshops, children's events, animation and illustration, as well as pop-up shops and much more.

Musicians Brian Eno, Tom Dunne, Terry Woods and Matthew Gilsenan will join authors Roddy Doyle, Anne Enright, Ben Okri, Michael Harding, Colin Barrett, Paul Murray, Sara Baume and Martina Devlin at the festival. Poets Paul Durcan and Peter Fallon will also be among the participants, as will young adult and children's writers Derek Landy, Erika McGann, Ann Carroll, Deirdre Sullivan and Matt Griffin.

Journalists Fintan O'Toole, Rosie Boycott, Natasha Fennell and Róisín Ingle, as well as investigative writers Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan, will also be in the line-up.

Historians Roy Foster, Diarmaid Ferriter, Anne Chambers and Myles Dungan will participate, as will broadcasters Sean Rocks and Sinead Gleeson.

"We are delighted to be back - after two thrilling years - and we are looking forward to another wonderful opportunity to celebrate language, share stories and ideas with authors, poets, playwrights and journalists in the historic town of Kells," said Lyndy Cooke of the Hay Festival. Hay produces festivals across five continents celebrating great writing around the world from Wales to Bangladesh, Ireland to Lebanon, Kenya to Mexico and India to Colombia.

A host of Irish and International writers are set to participate in the Kells 2015 programme. English musician, composer, record producer, singer and visual artist Brian Eno is considered one of the principal innovators of ambient music and he will participate in two events - discussing his music and being a panellist in an environmental debate.

Author and Booker Prize-winner Roddy Doyle will discuss his latest work, Dead Man Talking, and Anne Enright - winner of the 2007 Man Booker Prize for The Gathering and newly appointed Irish Fiction Laureate - will introduce and read from her latest novel, The Green Road.

Booker Prize winner, Ben Okri, OBE, is a Nigerian poet and novelist who is considered one of the foremost African authors and has published eight novels, including The Famished Road and Starbook.

Colin Barrett penned a sensational debut book of short stories, Young Skins, that won the 2014 Rooney Prize, Frank O'Connor Prize and Guardian First Fiction Award.

One of Ireland's most loved poets, and a member of Aosdána, Paul Durcan, will read from his award-winning work, while author and journalist, Martina Devlin, will reveal the true story behind her latest novel The House Where It Happened.

Journalists Natasha Fennell and Róisín Ingle will discuss their book, The Daughterhood - a funny, poignant, and occasionally heartbreaking story that will strike a chord with daughters (and their mothers) everywhere.

The first day of the festival will be entirely given over to lectures and musical events related to the American Civil War, marking the one-hundred-and-fiftieth anniversary of that cataclysmic event. Up to two hundred thousand Irish-born soldiers participated in this divisive conflict, on both sides.