19th Aspects Irish Literature Festival

Bangor prepares for the literary spotlight.

The 19th Aspects Irish Literature Festival was launched this week in fancy eatery Nick's Warehouse in the Cathedral Quarter, Belfast. It is the first time the festival has launched outside of its native Bangor and reflects a series of firsts for the festival programme.

Aspects returns to Bangor this September with new venues and new features, but the same ethos of presenting Irish writing at its very finest. This year, festival goers will enjoy readings, panel discussions and more in the inaugural Festival Marquee, which will bring visitors out into the grounds of the picturesque Bangor Museum.

AspectsIt will also be the first time that the festival has embraced music and comedy, with Northern Irish singer-songwriters Juliet Turner and Silhouette bringing their laidback acoustic sounds to the festival, and Father Ted actor, novelist and comedian Ardal O'Hanlon adding a touch of humour to proceedings.

From September 22-26 authors including Nobel-Prize winning poet Seamus Heaney, the BBC’s Fergal Keane, Chris Binchy and explorer Jonathan Shackleton will inform, entertain, and stimulate the minds of all who come to North Down to hear their readings.

Other notable names in the programme include Dublin-born journalist and television presenter Peter Snow, who will be talking about his latest book To War with Wellington; crime writers Alex Barclay and Declan Hughes; chef Danny Millar from the BBC’s Great British Menu; and award-winning blogger Michael Faulkner.

For those interested in the process of writing, pitching and publishing a book, Northern Ireland’s only full-time literary agency, The Feldstein Literary Agency, will present a session on how to get into print. It will feature novelist Tara West, Tony Macaulay, author of the memoir Paperboy, and CultureNorthernIreland's Lee Henry, who will read from his forthcoming non-fiction book about Belfast taxi drivers.

There will also be poetry from Siobhan Campbell, Katie Donovan, Ciaran Carson and Matthew Sweeney amongst others, and 1500 school children in North Down will be visited over September by authors who will be presenting writing classes on everything from fiction to blogging.

Tickets will be available from Thursday, July 1 from the Aspects website. For general ticket enquires contact the Box Office on 02891 271200.