Monday 24 April 2017

Birth of a Nation: the literary men and women of 1916

On the 101st anniversary of Ireland's Easter Rising of 1916, the flowering of Irish literary talent in the late 19th and early 20th century (often referred to as the Irish Literary Revival) is considered for the influence that it exerted upon a generation of Irishmen and women who helped to forge the destiny of a nation.

Sunday 23 April 2017

World Book and Copyright Day 2017

23 April marks World Book and Copyright Day, an event which has been celebrated annually since it was designated by UNESCO in 1995.
It was a natural choice for UNESCO's General Conference, held in Paris in 1995, to pay a world-wide tribute to books and authors on this date, encouraging everyone, and in particular young people, to discover the pleasure of reading and gain a renewed respect for the irreplaceable contributions of those, who have furthered the social and cultural progress of humanity. – United Nations

The association with this date was first muted as far back as 1923, by booksellers in the Catalonia region of Spain, as a way to honour the author Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616), who died on this date. It is also on this date that William Shakespeare (1564-1616) and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega (1539-1616) died, as well as marking the date of birth of numerous prominent authors, whose respective careers span many languages, countries, centuries. Although Shakespeare and Cervantes died on the same date, they did not die on the same day. At the time, Spain used the Gregorian calendar and England used the Julian calendar; Cervantes actually died 10 days before Shakespeare did.

The association with the death (and possible birth – his exact date of birth is unknown but there is good reason to believe that he breathed his first and last on the same date) of William Shakespeare has led to the additional designation of 23 April as English Language Day at the UN: the result of a 2010 initiative to establish language days for each of the organisation's six official languages.

As previously noted, due to the potential for clashes with other celebrations and events surrounding this date (23 April is also the celebrated as the feast day of St. George, patron saint of England), in the United Kingdom, the main events surrounding World Book Day take place on the first Thursday in March.

Each year, UNESCO and the international organisations representing the three major sectors of the book industry – publishers, booksellers and libraries, select the World Book Capital for a one-year period, effective 23 April each year. In 2017, Conakry, capital of Guinea, has been chosen, singled out "on account of the quality and diversity of its programme, in particular its focus on community involvement" as well as "for its well-structured budget and clear development goals with a strong emphasis on youth and literacy."

Further information, including activities and resources surrounding World Book and Copyright Day, is available from UNESCO.

Thursday 20 April 2017

Poetry Day Ireland – 27th April

27 April is Poetry Day Ireland. This year's theme is Poetry Connects and Poetry Ireland is inviting everyone to "join-in, link-up, and connect through the power of poetry. Find an event near you in our What's On guide or browse our brochure" both of which are available from Poetry Ireland website.
From Kerry to Derry, there will be more than 100 creative, inspiring and thought-provoking events taking place on Thursday 27 April. The many wonderful events that are planned are a testament to the dedication and commitment of our partners, and to poetry lovers and event promoters around the country, who do so much to keep Ireland’s poetry landscape vibrant all year round. Have a look at what's in store at or browse our brochure to find an event near you.Poetry Ireland

Tuesday 18 April 2017

Literary Festivals in April (Dates for your Diary)

Cambridge Literary Festival starts today and runs until 23 April.

Other literary festivals across Ireland and Britain in the coming weeks, for which details are available include:
Cúirt International Festival of Literature (Galway, Ireland): 23-30 April 2017
Stratford Upon Avon Literary Festival (Spring Festival): 23-30 April 2017
Scarborough Literature Festival: 26 April to 1 May 2017
Strokestown International Poetry Festival: 27th to 30th April 2017
Hexham Book Festival: 2017 Festival dates are 28 April to 7 May
Wrexham Carnival of Words: Saturday 29th April to Saturday 6th May 2017
Colonsay Book Festival: 29-30 April, 2017
Chiddingstone Castle Literary Festival (West Kent): 30 April to 2 May 2017

For full details, follow the links to the festival websites. For information about other festivals running throughout the year – including events happening near you – visit the websites of Literary Festivals (covers Great Britain and Ireland) and Culture Fox (Irish events).

If you would like to see your festival, event or anything literary related featured here, send us an e-mail with all the relevant details (times, dates, venues, programme of events, etc). You can also notify us using the online form that we provide for this purpose.

Sunday 2 April 2017

Twin Tales by Ray J.F. Moore for International Children's Book Day 2017

International Children's Book Day 2017 poster
Today is International Children's Book Day, a celebration that has been observed since 1967, on or around Hans Christian Andersen's birthday of 2 April. Its purpose is to inspire a love of reading and to call attention to children's books.

The event is organised by the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY), a not-for-profit network of people from all over the world, committed to bringing books and children together. Each year a different national section of IBBY has the opportunity to be the international sponsor of ICBD. It decides upon a theme and invites a prominent author from the host country to write a message to the children of the world and a well-known illustrator to design a poster. IBBY Russia is the sponsor for International Children's Book Day in 2017.

Among the very many events being held to mark the occasion, there is publication of two tales by a debut author, Ray J.F. Moore, vividly describing the world as it appears to those who are taking their first steps on the journey of discovery – where everything is a new adventure, a mystery waiting to be uncovered.

Ray J.F. Moore was born in Coventry, England to an Irish family that hails from Galway. He has worked as a stonemason while his travels and adventures have taken him to places as far-flung as Casablanca and Cuba. He has written over a dozen childhood tales, told in his friendly, inimitable free-verse style.

MacDaddy Spider by Ray Moore (illustrations by Michelle Hopkins)
He says that he "just started to write children's stories one boring Sunday morning", at the prompting of his friend, Michelle Hopkins, who asked him to write a story for her little girl, Amber. The same Michelle provides the illustrations that accompany these volumes. MacDaddy Spider and Twins 'n' Things are the first in what the author promises to be an "enthralling series, exulting in the joy of childhood experience."

MacDaddy Spider lives in a tree. He as eight very long black legs and a wee Tam o' Shanter on his head. "All day long, he clambers about, fixing his web inside and out." His work keeps him busy and provides for his needs but, "there was something he did have not but couldn’t remember, 'cos he forgot."
Twins 'n' Things by Ray Moore (illustrations by Michelle Hopkins)

Twins 'n' Things "can do very strange things: one can cause trouble; the other makes it double" in a story that charts the mayhem and mischief that abound when young minds unleash their natural inquisitiveness – to the torment of those who must look after them! A story to remind us that, while curiosity creates a world of possibilities and fuels our thirst for knowledge, we must use that knowledge to learn how keep ourselves safe.

Both books are published by The Manuscript Publisher and are on sale now (RRP €9.99 plus P&P), available to buy online from the publisher's website and other retail outlets. The Manuscript Publisher is an Irish-based provider of professional and affordable services for authors, writers, independent publishers, film producers.

International Children's Book Day is followed by an International Children’s Book Fair, another annual event that brings together organisations and professionals involved in all aspects of the children's books industry. This year it takes place in Bologna, Italy from 3-6 April.

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