Fergal Keane and Susan McKay to launch new Sligo writing and research programme

Join us in Sligo Central Library, Wednesday 30th March, for a special edition of The Word with war correspondent Fergal Keane and Writer in Residence for Sligo Libraries, Susan McKay.

With live music from Steve Wickham.

This is a FREE, unticketed event and seats will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

The renowned war correspondent Fergal Keane will launch a programme of writing and research workshops in Sligo on 30 March 22 at 6.30pm, when he appears in conversation with writer and journalist Susan McKay for a special event at Sligo Central Library.

Keane, who is currently in Ukraine, will talk about his award-winning book “Wounds – A Memoir of War and Love” which explores his own family’s involvement in the war for Irish independence, and the legacy of those events for succeeding generations. Keane’s book raises questions about how we deal with the past, how we tell its stories, and how the ghosts of war may continue to haunt us. The event will be a special edition of The Word, a monthly literary event that is co-organised by Sligo Libraries and Sligo IT’s BA in Writing and Literature.

McKay has just been appointed as Sligo County Library’s writer in residence for two years. She will introduce plans for an exciting programme of workshops on the history and legacies of Partition in Sligo and its surrounding area, including the Border region.

This will begin with an 8-week course for writers and researchers with an interest in local and family stories connected with themes of identity and transformation in the years since Partition, including stories arising from the more recent conflict in the North. McKay has explored these themes extensively in her own work, particularly in her book “Bear In Mind These Dead” which maps the northern Troubles in the words of people who were bereaved in the violence.

The course is free, and is open to experienced and inexperienced writers (in all genres) historians and researchers, including those who have never published anything but would like to try. Our aim is to be inclusive of people from all of Sligo’s many communities. Participants will be introduced to the skills involved in writing, research, interviewing, using a tape recorder, podcasting, archiving, editing and publishing. The course will include contributions from some of the brilliant poets, novelists, actors, journalists and historians who are from or who live in Sligo and its surrounding counties. There will be an emphasis on places with strong historical connections to the struggle for Irish independence. The Writer in Residence is part of Sligo County Council’s Decade of Centenaries programme.

“Wounds – writing about war, its aftermath and its legacies – Fergal Keane in conversation with Susan McKay, a special edition of The Word, will take place in Sligo Central Library, Stephen Street from 6.30pm. This is a free unticketed event with limited seating, doors close at 6.30pm. With live music from Steve Wickham. Plus, Open Mic.

“Legacies – a course for writers” will begin on Saturday 7 April from 2.30pm to 3.30pm in Sligo Central Library and will run for 8 weeks excluding Saturdays prior to public holidays. Places are free but limited so booking is essential. Please apply for a place by sending us an email explaining why you would like to take part in the course. Strict maximum of 300 words.

Email Lou McGrath: [email protected] or call 0719111675.

Steve Wickham, electric violinist, songwriter and composer is an award winning Irish artist. He made his recording debut with U2 on “Sunday Bloody Sunday’ in 1982. His distinctive playing has been a contribution to the Waterboys sound for over 30 years and he has performed with Mike Scott on some of the worlds great stages like the Carnegie Hall in New York, Sydney Opera House and The Royal Albert Hall.

Writing songs and music has been his life since his early days. He continues to explore new musical territory. Whether it’s on film or theatre or live. From composing and performing a crossover with Sligo baroque orchestra and Congolese soukous band Tropicana Musica to his work with world music group NoCrows which incorporates gypsy jazz, classical and traditional Irish music, he’s always moving forward. His solo work is a unique trip with a musician undefined and unfettered. Two solo albums “Geronimo’ in 2006 and ‘Beekeeper’ 2017. Beekeeper shows an artist in full flow. His live show is full of incandescent playing, sensitivity and wit.

Open Mic.

This event will be Streamed on Facebook on the night.

The Word is a collaboration between Sligo Central Library and the BA in Writing & Literature at IT Sligo.

There is no charge for this event.

[email protected]/ 0719111675