Friday 3rd Nov - John O'Connor Writing School
john oconnor, armagh, writing school, masterclass, november, literary events, tutor, writing, events, paul muldoon, muldoon
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Literary Arts Festival – Friday 3rd

Throughout the Festival

Exhibition: The Life and Times of John O’Connor

Venue: Armagh County Museum.

Primary School Children’s Story Exhibition

Venue: Armagh City Library

Children write about welcoming strangers and valuing difference. Actor and writer, Karl O’Neill, worked with and encouraged the children with his delightful story, The Arrival of Percy Bloo.

Blackwell’s Bookstall Service (with book signings)

Venue: Charlemont Arms Hotel, Friday and Saturday, 3rd and 4th November

Roving Arts

Mick Conway, a cross platform artist, will be picking up images and sounds from the city and the Writing School events and creating an inspiring exhibition for Armagh 2018

A Song for Armagh

Facilitated by Armagh Guitar School, young people from the area write a new ‘Song for Armagh’ which will be sung in a number of events during the Festival weekend

Panel Discussion with Q&A. Facilitated by Jo Egan. ‘The Play’s the Thing – What Makes Good Theatre?’

Venue: Irish and Local Studies Library, 39c Abbey Street

Price: £6

Panel Talk with Q&A

Friday 3rd Nov | 3.30pm – 4.30pm

In a conversation peppered with insider tips, wisdom and humour a panel of top playwrights, critics and directors discuss the making of good theatre. They will give the inside track on how to write and produce for the stage, how to get a play noticed and produced and how to stay sane in the process!.

Jo Egan


An experienced writer, producer and director. She holds an MFA in Playwriting and was Creative Producer with KABOSH. She is now co-founder and Artistic Director with Macha Productions in Belfast and works as a dramaturg and writing tutor at the Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast.

Paul Bosco McEneaney


From Armagh and is the founder and Artistic Director of Cahoots NI Theatre Company. The winner of many prestigious awards, he has worked on productions ranging from Shakespeare in the open air to West End musicals. He is director of the recent Broadway hit, Nivelli’s War.

Conall Morrison


Dublin-based director and writer, originally from Armagh. He has worked extensively for companies such as the Abbey Theatre, the Lyric Theatre (Belfast), Storytellers Theatre Company (Dublin), and Bickerstaff (Kilkenny). He has also worked at the Royal National Theatre, London.

Jane Coyle


An established arts journalist and critic, who has worked extensively in newspapers, television and radio in Ireland, the UK and France. She has written many scripts for radio and television, as well as three full-length screenplays.

Rosemary Jenkinson

Currently Artist-in-Residence at the Lyric and her plays include The Bonefire (Stewart Parker BBC Radio Award), Here Comes the Night and Lives in Translation. Her work has been performed in London, Dublin, Belfast, Edinburgh, Washington DC and New York.

Geoff Hill: ‘Falling off Motorcycles – A Beginner’s Guide’

Venue: Abbey Lane Theatre

Price: £6

Talk & Slide Show Presentation

Friday 3rd Nov | 5.00pm – 6.00pm

Stand by for an hour of fun and games as Geoff Hill takes you through a lifetime on the road in words and pictures.


In his 45-minute slide show, Geoff reveals the highs and lows of the epic motorbike trips he’s turned into a succession of best-selling books, like Delhi to Belfast, Route 66, Chile to Alaska, and In Clancy’s Boots in which he retraced the journey of Carl Stearns Clancy, the first to take a motorbike around the world a century ago.


There’ll be time afterwards for questions like, ‘How did you get so tall?’ and ‘Are you mad?’ The answer, to save you the time, is ‘Yes’.


Geoff Hill is an award-winning journalist, feature and travel writer. He has written for The Sunday Times, The Daily Mirror, The Metro, and The Irish Times. In a previous life he was Ireland’s most capped volleyball player and a much younger man.


He is editor of Microlight Flying magazine and has written eleven critically acclaimed books including The Butler’s Son.


He’s either won or been shortlisted for a UK Travel Writer of the Year award nine times.


Let’s Talk Beckett and Patrick Magee

Venue: Abbey Lane Theatre

Price: £7


Friday 3rd Nov | 7.00pm – 8.00pm

When Samuel Beckett heard the voice of Patrick Magee bringing one of his novels to life on radio in the late 1950s, he was immediately struck by its strange, distinctive qualities. He went on to write a play specifically for Magee, and the actor became well known, on British radio particularly, for his performances of Beckett’s work. Indeed the two men became close friends. Conor Carville’s talk will concentrate on that personal and professional relationship and its consequences.


Using recordings of Magee’s radio work and clips from TV and film, it will look at the way Beckett transformed Magee’s career, but also how Magee moulded the way we see Beckett.


Lumen in Coeli – a Light in the Dark

Venue: Armagh Planetarium, College Hill

Price: £15

Music & Writing

Friday 3rd Nov | 8.30pm – 10.30pm

With the moon and stars as our stage we present an unforgettable evening of music and contemporary writing in the beautiful domed theatre of the Armagh Planetarium.


Join us as we celebrate Armagh’s contribution to astronomical and scientific heritage, and pay tribute to the Armagh Astronomer, Eric Lindsey.


Guests include the poets Lemn Sissay, Nandi Jola, Kate Newmann, and Joan Newmann, writers Daragh Carville and Jo Baker, The Sing for Life Choir with music specially composed for the occasion by the librettist and conductor, Keith Acheson.


The evening will be presented by the poet, Maria McManus.

Lemn Sissay


Maria McManus


Daragh Carville


Jo Baker


Kate Newmann


Joan Newmann


Nandi Jola


Keith Acheson & The Sing for Life Choir