The visiting travel writers and explorers Jacki Hill-Murphy, Rosemary Mahoney, Michael Smith, Isambard Wilkinson and Bob Jackson will explore the theme of ‘Exploration’ at the 16th annual Lismore Immrama Festival of Travel Writing set to take place on the weekend of June 13th to 17th.
Opening the festival on Wednesday evening, author John Devoy will host an event with an introduction from his book Quondam, this will be followed by a screening of a documentary titled ‘Biafra – Forgotten Mission’ voiced by Waterford’s own Carrie Crowley and focussing on the Irish aid effort in 1968.
On Thursday, June 14th author and journalist Isambard Wilkinson will discuss his book “Travels in a Dervish Cloak” based on his time spent working in Pakistan as a foreign correspondent during the war on terror. Seeking the land behind the headlines Bard sets out to discover the essence of a country convulsed by Islamist violence. Isambard has worked in journalism all of this life and is presently based in Hong Kong as a correspondent.
On Friday evening author Rosemary Mahoney will discuss her travels; she is the author of Down the Nile; Alone in a Fisherman's Skiff. The author and adventurer bought a small Egyptian rowboat and row herself – a lone female – “along the 120-mile stretch of river between the cities of “Aswan and Qena” … it may all sound ill-advised, but Mahoney’s “quicksilver intelligence … sharp eyes … and slightly astringent voice” make her an excellent narrator and a worthy travel companion in this real-life adventure.
She has also written a New York Times Notable Book, A Likely Story: One Summer with Lillian Hellman, The Singular Pilgrim: Travels on Sacred Ground, Whoredom in Kimmage: The World of Irish Women, a National Book Critics Award Finalist and New York Times Notable Book, and The Early Arrival of Dreams; A Year in China, a New York Times Notable Book.
On Saturday at 3pm keynote speaker, author and Tom Crean expert Michael Smith will delve into “Discovering Ireland’s History and Ireland’s Antarctic Explorers” will take to the podium, and at 8pm the second keynote will be offered by explorer and author Jacki Hill-Murphy at 8 pm when she will continue the theme of exploration as she plans to discuss ‘Women adventuring off the beaten track’, Jacki has also travelled to some of the most inhospitable places on earth to re-create the journeys of daring women adventurers.
Also taking place on Saturday, June 16th is a travel-writing workshop with Dr Robyn Rowland. Historian Donald Brady will host a talk on Sir Richard Musgrave of Tourin 1746-1818. Adventurer and mountaineer Michael Whelan will host a talk on his journey by bicycle from Islamabad to the world’s highest border crossing on the Karakoram Highway and onto Shipton’s Lost Arch in Western China.
LITERARY BREAKFAST – SUNDAY 17th
Bob Jackson will host the famous literary breakfast at Immrama at 8.30am on June 17th. He will discuss the story of the incredible life of Dr Aidan MacCarthy the only person to have survived the two events that mark the beginning and end of World War II; being evacuated from the beaches of Dunkirk after three days of relentless attacks in May 1940, and he was trembling in a makeshift bomb shelter in the center of Nagasaki when the atomic bomb destroyed the city in August 1945.
On the final day of the festival, a host of fringe events will be on offer including a ‘Family Fun Sunday’ at the Millennium Park, the Lismore Farmers Market will be on the castle avenue and Gregorian Mass.
Full details of the festival programme and for event tickets for the Immrama Lismore Festival of Travel Writing 2018 see www.lismoreimmrama.com or call (058) 53803.