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Poetry Festival 2013

FRIDAY 20 - SUNDAY 22 September 2013 Box Office: +44 (0)28 7963 1510

- Foreward -

Alan Clarke

Chief Executive Northern Ireland Tourist Board

ON HOME GROUND POETRY FESTIVAL This is undoubtedly a fantastic year for Derry~Londonderry as it embraces the mantle of the UK City of Culture 2013 and I am delighted that the On Home Ground Poetry Festival will contribute to a great portfolio of events and activity as part of this year’s celebrations. This festival plays an important part in enhancing our reputation as a must visit destination by giving visitors the opportunity to explore our rich cultural history and unique landscape through poetry. With an entertaining programme of performances, exhibitions and activities the weekend promises to be not only a joyous celebration of poets and poetry, but an opportunity to showcase the wonderful people, talent, arts and cultural scene of Northern Ireland. It will also create a platform to celebrate, share and experience the unique and hidden gems Northern Ireland has to offer. Visitors who come to enjoy events such as the On Home Ground Poetry Festival are of vital importance in stimulating growth and delivering economic value to many sectors of the local economy. On behalf of the Northern Ireland Tourist Board I would like to wish all the poets, artists and visitors a great weekend and hope they have a truly memorable experience.

festival patron

“There is something familial about the whole event. And nobody feels more at home than myself.�


The On Home Ground Poetry Festival is an act of faith in the art of poetry, in the poets who hail from this part of the world and in the audience for poetry in the area. It comes about through the constant and devoted work of Eugene and Gerardine Kielt and their helpers in the enterprise, each and every one of whom deserves our gratitude. There is something familial about the whole event. Different generations, different styles, but an at homeness among them all, poets, painters and prose writers. And nobody feels more at home than myself. It is an honour to be associated with such a public spirited effort to bring the artists and audiences together. It speaks of a country refreshing itself and trusting itself.

Seamus Heaney 1


- Welcome “In the names of fields and townlands, in their mixture of Scots and Irish and English etymologies, this side of the country was redolent of the history of its owners. Broagh, The Long Rigs, Bell’s Hill; Brian’s Field, the Round Meadow, the Demesne; each name was a kind of love made to each acre. And saying the names like this distances the places, turns them into what Wordsworth once called a prospect of the mind. They lie deep, like some script indelibly written into the nervous system.”

Seamus Heaney in Preoccupations: Selected Prose 1968 – 1978

a As part of Derry~Londonderry City of Culture 2013, the On Home Ground poetry festival will be held at Laurel Villa, Magherafelt. On Home Ground offers a literary feast to festival-goers. Laurel Villa has deservedly built up a reputation for hosting interesting poetry readings by international poets. This festival builds on that reputation. Its theme, on home ground, recognises the importance to writers, to everyone, of a connection to a place. This connection, a sense of rootedness, gives the security to go beyond boundaries, the confidence to dare. Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney, in the Nobel Lecture, 1995, while reflecting on his childhood, said, ‘Such an outcome (visiting Sweden) was not just beyond expectation; it was simply beyond conception’. Seamus Heaney was there because he had the security and the confidence to achieve the inconceivable, and because he knew where he came from. His comment about fellow poet, John Hewitt, is applicable to Heaney himself. ‘He is a local poet with a sense of standards and a fidelity to the home ground’. Lauding the local, the formative, the ‘script indelibly written into the nervous system’ does not necessarily confine a writer to the parochial nor narrow the vision. This is evidenced by the poets, writers and academics who feature in this festival and who, in their various ways, pay tribute to their home ground.

Maura Johnston Chairperson Magherafelt Arts Society




Poetry Festival 2013


Prequel programme




Festival Prequel event at Prehen House in Derry/Londonderry: an ‘outreach’ event featuring poetry & music

Maura Johnston, Joan Newmann and Kate Newmann with traditional musicians Brendan Hendry and Jonny Toman

Tickets: £10

Maura Johnston, Magherafelt Arts Society Chairperson writes poetry and short stories. She has had stories broadcast on BBC Radio Ulster and was shortlisted for the Brian Moore short story competition. She has published one collection of poetry Just Suppose and a memorial booklet To Patrick. She is currently completing her second collection of poetry and is Poet in Residence at the Navan Centre, Armagh.

Jonny Toman hails from Lurgan, Co. Armagh. From the age of twelve he was playing the five string banjo in the family folk and bluegrass band, Northern Exposure. He has featured on the album Banjo Influences, a compilation of some of the world’s finest five string banjo players. He was a founder member of Cat Malojian. He has recorded and toured in Europe and the USA with bluegrass act Carmel Sheerin and the Ravens. He takes an interest in music production and produced and performed on Baz McSherry’s The Lookin Drawer. He is currently working with fiddle player, Brendan Hendry, on an album of Irish traditional and Applachian tunes. The album will also contain tunes composed by the performers themselves.

Joan Newmann has six poetry publications, including Coming of Age (Blackstaff, 1995) and Thin Ice (Abbey Press, 1998). She has been writerin-residence for the Verbal Arts Centre, the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and in Belfast City Hospital. She was the recipient of the Samhain International Poetry Festival’s Craobh Na hÉigse Award in 2004. Her most recent collection, Prone, was launched in May 2007. Brendan Hendry is from Bellaghy, Co. Derry. His two albums, Tuned Up and Stringtones, have won plaudits throughout the music world. He has been the recipient of the Bill Margeson Instrumental Album of the Year Award in 2009 and Live Ireland’s Musician of the Year Award 2012. Bill Margeson said of him: “This Northern Ireland fiddle player defines what it means to be an Irish musician. His style and taste are impeccable. A stunningly gifted musician. When you hear this artist playing the fiddle you hear Ireland. A master.”


Kate Newmann has collaborated with composers, artists, dancers and musicians, and was Director of Belmullet Literary Festival in County Mayo. In 2008 she was short-listed for the UK National Poetry Competition, and has won the Allingham Poetry Prize, the James Prize, the Swansea Roundyhouse Poetry Competition and the Listowel Poetry Prize. I Am a Horse is her third collection of poetry, and she has produced a CD of poems set to music by contemporary composers, and thirteen books for community arts projects.


Exhibition of Paintings and Drawings by artist Michael McGuinness in The Wee Tent at Laurel Villa

Exhibition by Artist Michael McGuinness


Tickets: £10

Michael McGuinness was born in Limavady in 1955. He attended Art College in Coventry and Belfast before finishing his studies at the Slade School of Fine Art in London. He has lectured in Dublin, Belfast and at the Tate Gallery. Michael has established himself as one of the finest Irish artists of his generation, his main interests being landscapes, still life and portrait painting. He exhibits extensively throughout Ireland, UK and abroad and many of his images are held by private collectors of Irish art around the world. In 2012 a major retrospective of his work was held in his home town. Michael lives and works as an artist in London but he returns each summer to paint the landscapes of his native county.





Opening of Celebrating Ulster’s Townlands: An Exhibition by The Ulster Place-Name Society in The Wee Tent at Laurel Villa Free of Charge



Seamus Heaney Event:

The Poetry Festival opens with Connections a unique blend of poetry and traditional music featuring poet Maura Johnston with musicians Brendan Hendry and Jonny Toman in The Poetry Tent at Laurel Villa




Seamus Heaney formally opens On Home Ground Poetry Festival with ‘Important Places: A Reading with Commentary’ in The Poetry Tent at Laurel Villa Seamus Heaney makes a welcome return to his home ground of South Derry. He was born in the townland of Tamniaran near Castledawson. His first collection of poems, Death of a Naturalist, appeared in 1966. He has produced a further twelve collections since then. He has also published criticism and translations - including Beowulf (1999) – which have helped secure his reputation as a giant of the literary world. In 1995 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. Stepping Stones, a book of interviews with Dennis O’Driscoll, was published in 2008. His most recent book of poems Human Chain (2010) was awarded the Forward Poetry Prize. Seamus Heaney is Patron of the festival.

Tickets: £30


Day 2 programme




Michael McGuinness Art Exhibition continues in The Wee Tent Free of Charge

Townlands Exhibition continues in The Wee Tent Free of Charge



Heaney Country: its Townlands and Parishes a talk by Dr Pat McKay on the place-names of Heaney Country in The Poetry Tent at Laurel Villa Tickets: £8 Dr Pat McKay is a native of Creggan outside Randalstown in Co. Antrim. Growing up close to the north shore of Lough Neagh he was inspired by the rich cultural heritage of the area, in particular the local place-names and the ancient mythology associated with the lough. In 1991 he completed his Ph. D. at Coleraine University on the Place-Names of the Baronies of Toome and he went on to spend eighteen years as a Research Fellow in the Northern Ireland Place-Name Project in Queen’s University Belfast. He is the author of two volumes in the Place-Names of Northern Ireland series, as well as A Dictionary of Ulster Place-Names (1999; 2nd. ed. 2007) and is joint author of Lough Neagh Places: their Names and Origins (2007). From 2005 until 2009 Pat was academic director of the O’Neill Summer School at Shane’s Castle and from 1995 until 2012 he was honorary secretary of the Ulster Place-Name Society.



Poetry reading with Colette Bryce and Bob Morrow Tickets: £10 Colette Bryce is a critically acclaimed poet from Derry, currently based in the North East of England. She has published three collections with Picador: The Heel of Bernadette (2000), The Full Indian Rope Trick (2004) and Self-Portrait in the Dark (2008), and has received several awards for her work, including first prize in the UK National Poetry Competition and the Cholmondeley Award in 2010. From 2009 to 2013 she was Poetry Editor at Poetry London magazine. In March 2013 she was shortlisted for the prestigious Ted Hughes Award for new poetry presented in the UK during 2012, for Ballasting the Ark a sequence of poem-films and an accompanying short book of poems. She is currently working on a new collection. 6

Bob Morrow is an Australian poet. He spent his childhood and youth in Sydney, worked and studied in south-east Asia and the United States for many years, and now lives in Melbourne. After a career as a teacher of English as a second language, he fell into writing poetry while in Ireland searching for his great-grandfather’s origins in Co. Tyrone. His poems, which have been widely published in Australian literary journals, often explore themes of family, belonging and a sense of place. His chapbook, Moving On, was recently released by Mark Time Books of Castlemaine, Victoria. A keen body-surfer, Bob divides his time between Melbourne, the bush and a Bass Strait beach.



The Magic of the Ordinary a talk on Patrick Kavanagh by Professor Pat Loughrey in The Poetry Tent at Laurel Villa Pat Loughrey was born and grew up in Donegal. He is Warden of Goldsmiths College of the University of London. From 1978-84 he taught in St Colm’s High School, Draperstown. He was a founder member of Ballinascreen Historical Society and edited the historical journal, Ulster Local Studies. He worked as a freelance broadcaster for UTV, BBC and RTÉ before joining the BBC as an education producer in 1984. He went on to become Controller and Head of Programmes BBC Northern Ireland and in 2000 he was appointed Director of BBC Nations and Regions, a post he held until 2010. Pat is a Visiting Professor at University of Ulster, Department of Journalism.


Tickets: £10

a 7.00pm: Writer Bernard MacLaverty in conversation with broadcaster William Crawley in The Poetry Tent at Laurel Villa Tickets: £12 Bernard MacLaverty was born in Belfast and lived there until 1975 when he moved to Scotland. He now lives in Glasgow and is a member of Aosdana in Ireland. He has written five collections of short stories, four novels and versions of his fiction for other media - radio plays, television plays, screenplays. Recently he has written a number of libretti for short operas. His work has won many prizes – The Evening Standard Award for the Best Screenplay for ‘Cal’, his novel ‘Grace Notes’ being shortlisted for the Booker Prize and his short film ‘Bye-Child’ being nominated for a BAFTA. His ‘Collected Short Stories’ is to be published later this year.

William Crawley is a journalist and broadcaster with the BBC, presenting TV and radio programmes on subjects as varied as news and politics, arts and science, religion and ethics. He presents Sunday Sequence, The Book Programme and Talk Back on Radio Ulster; The Sunday Programme on Radio 4; art documentaries for Radio 3; Heart and Soul for BBC World Service. TV work for the BBC includes a natural history series, Blueprint, an interview series, William Crawley Meets and two documentaries, The Covenant and An Independent People. In 2012 William Crawley was the recipient of the Eisenhower Fellowship. He has been awarded an honorary Doctor of Literature degree by Queen’s University for services to broadcasting.


8.30pm: Poetry reading with Michael Longley in The Poetry Tent at Laurel Villa

Tickets: £15

Michael Longley is a leading figure in contemporary Irish poetry. He has published nine poetry collections, among them Gorse Fires (1991), winner of the Whitbread Poetry Award, and The Weather in Japan (2000) which won the Hawthorn Prize, the T S Eliot Prize and the Irish Times Poetry Prize. His Collected Poems was published by Jonathan Cape in 2006. His most recent collection A Hundred Doors won the 2011 Irish Times Poetry Now Award. In 2001 he received the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry. He was Ireland Professor of Poetry from 2007 to 2010. He is at present working on a new collection and a memoir. His selection of Robert Graves’s poems will be published by Faber in June 2013.






Michael McGuinness Art Exhibition continues in The Wee Tent Free of Charge

Townlands Exhibition continues in The Wee Tent Free of Charge



Coach Tour of Heaney Country with Tour Guide Eugene Kielt

Tickets: £8

Eugene Kielt is a native of Magherafelt. He is a Blue Badge-trained guide who specializes in bespoke tours of Heaney Country. He and Gerardine run Laurel Villa, an award-winning guesthouse which is also the venue for the festival. Its Seamus Heaney Exhibition, poetry-themed bedrooms and regular poetry evenings attract poetry lovers from all over the world. Eugene’s knowledge of – and passion for – South Derry combine with Seamus Heaney’s writings to make these tours an authentic, rewarding experience. Laurel Villa is a Poetry Society Landmark. Eugene’s tours of Heaney Country are recommended by the Guardian, the Irish Times, National Geographic and other travel guides.





Schools’ Poetry Workshops Anthology Readers introduced by Kate Newmann and Maura Johnston in The Wee Tent

Poetry reading by Nick Laird and Sinéad Morrissey in The Poetry Tent at Laurel Villa

Free of Charge

Tickets: £12

Nick Laird was born in County Tyrone in 1975 and educated at Cookstown High School and Cambridge University. He worked as a litigator for several years before leaving to write full-time. He has published three poetry collections, To a Fault (2005), On Purpose (2007), and Go Giants (2013) and two novels, Utterly Monkey (2005) and Glover’s Mistake (2009). His awards include the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature, the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, the Betty Trask Prize and a Somerset Maugham award. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and teaches at Princeton University. Sinéad Morrissey was born in Portadown. She started writing poetry at an early


age and was the youngest ever winner of The Patrick Kavanagh Award in 1990. She has produced five collections: There Was Fire in Vancouver (1996), Between Here and There (2002), The State of the Prisons (2005), Through the Square Window (2009) and Parallax (2013), all of which are published by Carcanet Press. She has won numerous awards including an Eric Gregory Award, the Michael Hartnett Poetry Prize and the Irish Times Poetry Prize. Sinéad has been shortlisted for the prestigious TS Eliot prize a number of times and Parallax has been shortlisted for the 2013 Forward Prize. She has lived in Germany, Japan and New Zealand and now lectures in creative writing at the Seamus Heaney Centre f or Poetry at Queen’s.



Poetry Reading with Gillian Clarke in The Poetry Tent at Laurel Villa

Gillian Clarke, the National Poet of Wales, was born in Cardiff in 1937. Since her first collection Snow on the Mountain came out in 1971 she has emerged as a central figure in contemporary Welsh poetry. Her sensitive and insightful poems have achieved widespread critical and popular acclaim and have been studied by GCSE and A Level students throughout the UK. She is also a playwright, editor and translator (from Welsh). In 2010 she won the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry. Her last three books have all been Poetry Book Society Recommendations and her most recent collection, Ice (Carcanet, 2012), was shortlisted for the 2012 T. S. Eliot Prize. Gillian lives with her family on a small organic farm, in Ceredigion mid-west Wales, raising sheep.


Tickets: ÂŁ15

a CLOSE OF FESTIVAL All events take place at Laurel Villa, 60 Church Street, Magherafelt BT45 6AW with the exception of the Festival Prequel at Prehen House, Prehen Road Derry/Londonderry BT47 2PB




ON HOME GROUND Exhibition of Paintings and Drawings by artist Michael McGuinness.

Celebrating Ulster’s Townlands: An Exhibition by The Ulster Place-Name Society The Ulster Place-Name Society was set up by members of Queen’s University Department of Celtic and others in 1952. Its aims were ‘to promote the study of, appreciation of, knowledge of and awareness of place-names in the area of benefit and to publish a series of publications devoted to the field of name studies, including a journal and a bi-annual newsletter.’ It also aimed to carry out research into place-names, promote and support the work of a survey of place-names in the area of benefit and to make the results of the survey available to as wide an audience as possible. One of the finest achievements of the Society has been the Celebrating Ulster’s Townlands Exhibition. In 1999, under the direction of its Chairperson, Dr Kay Muir, the Society created a travelling exhibition consisting


of twenty panels to celebrate the history and promote the future of Ulster’s place-name heritage. It was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. There is a special emphasis on the names of townlands, a land division which exists all over Ireland, but nowhere else. The exhibition concentrates on the province of Ulster, and particularly that part of it in Northern Ireland, the area covered by the Northern Ireland PlaceName Project database in Queen’s University Belfast. As part of the festival, Dr Pat McKay, honorary secretary of the Ulster Place-Name Society from 1995 until 2012 will give a talk titled Heaney Country: its Townlands and Parishes on the place-names of Heaney Country, on Saturday 21 September at 2.00pm.

The Bridewell Tourist Information Centre 6 Church Street Magherafelt N. Ireland BT45 6AN

a Email:

a Opening Hours: Monday & Thursday: 9.30am - 8.00pm

Tuesday /Wednesday/ Friday & Saturday: 9.30 - 5.00pm

a How to Book Tickets: a By Phone:

Call the Box Office during opening hours, tel: +44 (0)28 7963 1510

a In Person:

a Discounts: A bulk purchase discount of 20% is available for tickets bought for 5 or more events.

a People with Access Difficulties:

We welcome people with access difficulties to our events. The Festival aims to be as accessible as possible. Please let us know in advance if you have any special requirements.

a Refund Policy: Tickets cannot be exchanged or refunded except in the case of a cancelled event.

a Seat Allocation: Please note that at all seating is unallocated.

Call in person at the Box Office (at the above address).

a Free Events:

a Postage:

For free events, just turn up. All exhibitions are free!

60p within UK.

a Credit/Debit Card Charge: 40 pence

a Please arrive at events in sufficient time:

box office

Box Office & Booking Information

a Small Print: The Festival reserves the right to change or amend all or any events. The Festival reserves the right to refuse admission and not to admit late arrivals.

late comers may only be admitted to events where there is an interval.



- Directons The Festival venue is: Laurel Villa Guest House 60 Church Street, Magherafelt, Co. Derry/Londonderry BT45 6AW (028) 7930 1459 Located in Magherafelt Town Centre on the approach road from Belfast and 200 yards from The Bridewell Tourist Information Centre.

How to Get Here: Magherafelt town is centrally located in the heart of N. Ireland. There is easy access from all parts of N. Ireland, for example Belfast (45 mins.), Derry/Londonderry (55 mins.), Giant’s Causeway (45mins), International Airport (25 mins.), George Best Belfast City Airport (60 mins.), Larne/Belfast Ports (45 mins.).

Travelling from Belfast, Ports, Airports: Proceed along M2 and M22 and join A6 At Castledawson Roundabout (approx. 4 miles from Toome Bridge) take the 1st exit and travel along the A31 into Magherafelt town, passing St Mary’s Grammar School. Go through the first mini-roundabout and Laurel Villa is 50 yards along on right side, next door to Floors For Living and opposite St Swithin’s Church of Ireland.

Travelling from Derry / Londonderry: Proceed along A6 and go through Dungiven At Castledawson Roundabout take the third exit and travel along the A31 into Magherafelt town. Go through the first mini-roundabout and Laurel Villa is 50 yards along on right hand side.

Travelling from Cookstown / Moneymore, Desertmartin, Tobermore, Draperstown or the A29: Proceed into Magherafelt Town centre.

At bottom of Broad Street (beside the Bridewell building) follow the signs for Belfast/M2. Go through a mini-roundabout and Laurel Villa is about 100 yards further along on left side, opposite Street Swithin’s Church of Ireland and before you come to Floors For Living.


maps & parking

- Maps & Parking -

Laurel Villa Festival Location

Station Road


sley We

Floors for Living Carpark



Methodist Carpark












w da



St.Swithin’s Church of Ireland Carpark

n Ki g St t

e re

Laurel Villa - Festival Location (A) Car Parking spaces will be available at St Swithin’s Church of Ireland Car Park (B), Methodist Car Park (C), Flooring for Living Car Park (D) and Restricted Parking on Church Street (south side). 13


- Funders -

The Festival Committee would like to acknowledge the following businesses/individuals for their generous support for the festival:

Anahorish Preserves

McAleer & Rushe


McLean Fuels

Anzac Wines & Spirits

McGrogan Kitchens

Bohemian Tree Design

MFF Services

Coca Cola

Oliveen’s Hair Salon/Systems

Colin Francis Motors Christies Printing Floors for Living Four Dee Heron Bros

Pound Lighting Centre Premier Electrics Randalstown Pharmacies Ltd SDC Trailers

Laurel Villa

St. Swithin’s Church of Ireland

Methodist Church Magherafelt

The Pizza Shop

Youngs Motors


Festival Co-ordinator: Eugene Kielt Festival Bookstall courtesy of Sheehy’s Bookshop Cookstown Patron Seamus Heaney


- Notes -


notes 16

- Notes -

Eugene Kielt

View of Sliebh Gallen from Church Island


Booking Information The Bridewell Tourist Information Centre 6 Church Street Magherafelt N. Ireland BT45 6AN

a Email:

a Opening Hours: Monday & Thursday: 9.30am - 8.00pm

Tuesday /Wednesday/ Friday & Saturday: 9.30 - 5.00pm

a How to Book Tickets: a By Phone:

Call the Box Office during opening hours, tel: +44 (0)28 7963 1510

On Home Ground Programme 2013  
On Home Ground Programme 2013