RENOWNED authors Patricia Gibney and Helena Duggan joined over 30 independent booksellers and the very best food and craftspeople for three unmissable days of literature, storytelling and workshops at this year’s Graignamanagh Town of Books Festival.
The internationally-renowned festival is now in its 15th year and was a must for anyone who wanted to pick up a bargain in new, secondhand, antiquarian or children’s and specialist books. This year’s programme was extended to include an artisan food and craft element, live music and so much more.
Every available space in the picture-postcard town was turned into a bookshop for the event, which drew big names and renowned collectors to the locality.
The festival opened with ‘Where old ghosts meet’, an exploration of the life, times and works of Patrick Kavanagh through poetry, prose and song.
Another popular item was a local history tour, which included a fascinating look at the rich history and stories of Graignamanagh and its environs.
Free children’s activities ran throughout the weekend and food and craft stalls were dotted throughout the town, boosting the carnival atmosphere at this idyllic location.
Graignamanagh Town of Books was the final of four festival weekends in the town, which has been basking in the sunshine of recent weeks as swimmers, kayakers and canoeists, boating enthusiasts, fishermen, cyclists, hillwalkers and more flocked to the river and surrounding walks as well as the new, purpose-built outdoor pursuits hub.
A literary-themed fancy dress and busking competition brightened up the dullness on Sunday evening.
The festival has now become a national event and a fantastic opportunity for independent booksellers to showcase their stock to a captive audience. The layout of Graignamanagh really lends itself to hosting a festival like this, when entire families walked from one end of the town to the other in comfort and safety to peruse the books on offer at various venues.
A tour of the 800 centuries-old Cushendale Woollen Mills was a great success with visitors travelling from all over the country.
Graignamanagh Historical Society also took great interest in the heritage trail of the town.
All visitors soaked up the atmosphere and enjoyed the books food stalls, pubs, restaurants and literary event.