John Hewitt International Summer School

Armagh's flagship literary festival extends to six days with talks, readings, workshops and more from leading writers, performers and speakers

Festival Details


Monday, 25 July 2016 to Sunday, 31 July 2016



The 29th John Hewitt International Summer School is making a welcome return to the Market Place Theatre in Armagh from Monday 25 until Saturday July 29, extended for the first time to six days.

This year’s celebration of culture and creativity will feature talks, readings, theatre, performances, discussions and workshops from well-known writers, performers and esteemed speakers from across the UK, Ireland and beyond. The theme is ‘A Role in History: the Rising, the Great War and a Shared Past’, and will look at the influences – cultural, political, economic and historical which led both men and women, Nationalist and Unionist, to choose various ‘roles’ in 1912, 1914, 1916 and consider the factors old and new on those who have enlisted in numerous conflicts since then. The Summer School aims to explore how historical narrative, media, culture, literature and the arts have kept the record straight, or have been harnessed to politically and culturally divisive ends.

Key events in the Summer School programme include a poetry reading with Sinead Morrissey who is a central figure in contemporary Irish poetry, music from Duke Special, one of our most significant musical talents, a First World War musical story from celebrated storyteller Liz Weir and acclaimed fiddle player Ciaran Mulholland, a performance with one of the most important Irish traditional musicians of the last fifty years, Martin Hayes, as well as a rare opportunity to hear one of Ireland's finest and most cherished poets, Paul Durcan.