Two years ago the University of Limerick organised a summer school in Creative Writing in honour of the late Frank McCourt. Based in New York, the school was a resounding success and quickly sold out. It has come back home to the University of Limerick and took place over the May Bank Holiday Weekend.
What began in New York in the summer of 2016 has now been expanded to become a much larger literary festival featuring a host of international, national and local writers and performers. The UL festival welcomed two major names to its line-up. Bob Geldof and Marian Keyes had the audience riveted over two consective nights at UCH as they joined in lively conversation with the renowned novelist and UL Professor of Creative Writing Joseph O’Connor.
Marian Keyes was born in Limerick in 1963 and began writing in 1993. Her first novel, Watermelon, was published in Ireland in 1995 where it was an immediate success. Twelve novels and four non-fiction books have followed, most recently, The Break. The books deal variously with modern ailments, including addiction, depression, domestic violence, the glass ceiling and serious illness, but always written with compassion, humour and hope. This was Marian’s first appearance at the University of Limerick.
The highlight of The UL/Frank McCourt Creative Writing Festival in association with Shannon Airport, was Bob Geldof’s appearance on May 5th. Humanitarian, bestselling memoirist, multiple award-winning songwriter, front-man of The Boomtown Rats, activist, philanthropist, producer/presenter of his recent internationally acclaimed and award-winning documentary on Yeats, Bob Geldof's conversation with Prof Joseph O’Connor covered everything from music, creativity, activism to prose and poetry.
The UL/Frank McCourt Creative Writing Festival was supported by Shannon Airport and featured BOB GELDOF, MARIAN KEYES, KEVIN BARRY, JOSEPH O’CONNOR, DONAL RYAN, JULIAN GOUGH, MARY O’MALLEY, ANNA CAREY, MARTIN DYAR, SARAH MOORE FITZGERALD, EOIN DEVEREUX, ALAN HAYES of ARLEN HOUSE publishers, and music by SECTION 17.