Iron Mountain Literature Festival – Special Offer for Leitrim PPN Members

posted in: Events, News | 0

Special offer to Leitrim PPN Member Groups. 

Leitrim Arts Office are doing a great ‘2 for 1’  ticket offer for Leitrim Writing/Reading groups and PPN member groups for the Iron Mountain Literature Festival this weekend coming.

It’s a cracking line-up and features among others – writers Mike McCormack, John Connell, Tess Gallagher and Kathleen Hill, musicians Danny Diamond, Mary McPartlan and Seamie O’Dowd as well forestry expert Thomas Pakenham and journalists and broadcasters Bryan Dobson, Carole Coleman and Susan McKay.

Full price weekend tickets are €60 or €40 for seniors, students or unwaged so with the ‘2 for 1’ offer the weekend ticket is just €30 and if you’re a senior, student or unwaged the tickets works out at €20.

To avail of the offer, all your group members need to do is to phone the dock on 071 96 50828 and say that they’re looking for the ‘2 for 1’ offer.

Poster for Iron Mountain Festival 2018


Bitter Freedom and Solar Bones – History and New Writing at the Iron Mountain Literature Festival 2018

Migration, displacement, farming, forestry and the power of language in translation are themes at the heart of this year’s Iron Mountain Literature Festival in Co. Leitrim which features the 2018 Dublin Literary prize winner Mike McCormack (‘Solar Bones’), renowned U.S. poet Tess Gallagher, the Irish language publishing sensation Darach Ó Séaghdha, ‘The Cow Book’ author John Connell, acclaimed New York writer Kathleen Hill, Enniskillen-born actor and novelist Ciaran McMenamin and Irish-Nigerian author Melatu Uche Okorie.  A new performance piece ‘Open Room’ with composer and fiddle player Danny Diamond, dancer Edwina Guckian and writer Vincent Woods will get its first production at the Dock Arts Centre as part of the weekend festival.

The 220th anniversary of the 1798 Rebellion (‘The Year of Liberty’) and its particular Leitrim connections in history and literature will be explored by writer and historian Thomas Pakenham, who will also discuss the sometimes contentious Leitrim issue of trees and afforestation. Enniskillen-born actor and novelist Ciaran McMenamin  (‘Silent Witness’, ‘David Copperfield’) will read from his novel ‘Skintown’ which has been compared to Irvine Welsh’s ‘Trainspotting’; and writer and journalist Susan McKay will launch ‘Borderlines’, a new book by Henry Glassie and Vincent Woods. The writer, journalist and historian Maurice Walsh will read from his book ‘Bitter Freedom: Ireland in a Revolutionary World 1918-1923’ and with panellists Carole Coleman, Bryan Dobson and Susan McKay will discuss journalism, truth and ethics in the era of Donald Trump,

The festival reading by Kathleen Hill will mark something of a homecoming for the New York author, whose great grandmother emigrated to the U.S. from Hillstreet, near Carrick-on-Shannon shortly after the Great Famine. Kathleen has written about this family history and the deep bonds and painful separations of Irish-American experience in her novel ‘Who Occupies This House’. Another of her novels ‘Still Waters in Niger’ considers links between famine experience in West Africa and Ireland. Kathleen’s most recent book ‘She Read to Us in the Late Afternoons:  A life in Novels’  has been praised by Colm Tóibín as ‘a multi-faceted gem of a book’, and by the Paris Review as ‘spellbinding…Hill writes with great elegance, clarity and soul.’

Kathleen will read from her work at the Dock Arts Centre on Friday October 5th with acclaimed American poet Tess Gallagher. Widely acknowledged as one of America’s leading contemporary poets, with collections such as ‘Moon Crossing Bridge’ and ‘Dear Ghosts’ praised for their clarity and originality, Tess Gallagher has also published three collections of short stories, a form she was inspired to take up after her marriage to Raymond Carver. Tess is a part-time resident of County Sligo and with her companion, the late Josie Gray she published ‘Barnacle Soup and Other Stories from the West of Ireland. Tess Gallagher is a powerful reader of her own work and this is a rare opportunity to hear one of the finest English language contemporary poets.

Weekend music will feature Mary McPartlan and Seamie O’Dowd, and Mohill singer Alan Woods.

The Iron Mountain Literature Festival was established in 2016 and has been described by American writer Annie Proulx as “one of the most interesting and varied literary festivals I have seen… every minute was filled with memorable and engaging people – a genuinely remarkable literary experience.”

The Iron Mountain Literature Festival takes place in Carrick-on-Shannon from Friday October 5th to Sunday October 7th 2018. Weekend tickets are €60/€40 conc. For further information and booking go to or phone 071 96 50828.


IRON MOUNTAIN 2018 Friday October 5th
18.00 Registration
19.30 Reception
20.00 Welcome
20.20 Reading: Homelands in the World
Kathleen Hill and Tess Gallagher
21.00 Reading: A Harvest of Words
Remembering writers Eoin Bourke, Tom Murphy, Macdara Woods. Matthew Sweeney  and singer-songwriter Thom Moore – with Vincent Woods, Maelíosa Stafford, Eva Bourke, Mary McPartlan and Seamie O’Dowd.
22.45 End
Saturday October 6th
10.30 Reading: Melatu Uche Okorie, author of ‘This Hostel Life’
Reading: Eva Bourke
11.10 Tea/Coffee
11.30 Discussion: Harbour, Hostel, Home: New Voices in Irish Writing
Melatu Uche Okorie, Gráinne O’Toole, founder of Skein Press, Eva Bourke, co-editor of Landing Places
12.00 Reading: Darach Ó Séaghdha: Dispatches from a Changing Language
Reading: John Woods: ‘L’Attaque’: Gaelic Ireland and revolutionary France – Eoghan Ó Tuairisc’s 1798 Leitrim novel remembered.
12.40 LUNCH
14.00 Reading: John Connell
Reading: Thomas Pakenham
14.40 Discussion: Digging and Planting: Land, farming and forestry – words and reality
John Connell, Thomas Pakenham, Edwina Guckian
15.10 Discussion: Lost and Found in Translation:
Darach Ó Séaghdha, Eva Bourke, Melatu Uche Okorie, Kathleen Hill
15.40 Discussion: Truth is not Truth: Journalism, Truth and Ethics in the Era of Trump
Maurice Walsh, Bryan Dobson, Carole Colemen, Susan McKay
16.10 Tea/Coffee
16.30 Reading: Beyond borders: New writing from Northern Ireland
Ciaran McMenamin reads from his novel ‘Skintown’.
17.00 Discussion: Border writing
Susan McKay discusses the work of Anna Burns (‘Milkman’, ‘No Bones’) and talks to Ciaran McMenamin about his writing. (Includes booklaunch by Susan McKay of Borderlines by Henry Glassie and Vincent Woods)
17.40 John McGahern Award
18.00 BREAK
20.00 Reading: Bitter Freedoms, Solar Bones: Maurice Walsh, Mike McCormack
Maurice Walsh reads from ‘Bitter Freedom’ and considers the essential role of journalistic and literary witness in history and politics. Mike McCormack reads from his work, including ‘Solar Bones’, winner of the 2018 Dublin Literary Prize.
21.00 Performance: Open Room
Composer and fiddle player Danny Diamond, dancer Edwina Guckian and writer Vincent Woods explore themes of memory, migration, inspiration and creative connection. An open room is made for words, dance, music and unexpected links between their individual art forms. Syrian Kurdish musician and Leitrim resident Mohammad Saif will join this open room to play music from his cultural tradition.
22.30 End
Sunday October 7th
11.00 Reading: Liberty, Memory, Miley of the Spear:
Thomas Pakenham reads from his book ‘The Year of Liberty: The Great Irish Rebellion of 1798’ and considers ‘the year of the French’ in Leitrim and Longford. Alan Woods sings local ballads associated with the 1798 rebellion and Napoleon Bonaparte.
12.00 Field Trip: Excursion to Kilronan Cemetery followed the Iron Mountain Session and readings in Mulvey’s bar, Ballinaglera, at the foot of Sliabh an Iarainn.
15.30 Bus returns to The Dock Carrick on Shannon


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *