The annual Leaves Writing and Music Festival will return to Laois in the coming weeks, with a programme incorporating both live and virtual events.

Taking place in the Dunamaise Arts Centre in Portlaosie, the festival will run from 2 to 7 November.

The programme of events includes conversations, music, fiction, non-fiction, poetry, film, theatre, essays and workshops.

This year’s guest curator is Clíodhna Ní Anluain, an RTÉ arts and culture producer.

Speaking before the festival, Ní Anluain said writers and artists involved in Leaves 2021 are connected by a sense of place in their work.

“Their common grounds are the geographies of the places where they live, with which they associate themselves or which figure in their writing, and which they so imaginatively share with us,” she said.


Across the week highlights include:

A celebratory evening led by Flor MacCarthy on the art of letter writing through correspondence between former President the late Douglas Hyde and President Michael D Higgins.

Short story writer Philip Ó Ceallaigh will read from his 2021 collection Troubles, followed by a conversation between himself and writer Enda Wyley.

Selina Guinness will be in conversation with two young writers, Louise Nealon and Sheila Armstrong, whose careers as published authors are just beginning.

On screen, four short documentary films will feature artists Gary Coyle, Natalia Beyliss, Laura FitzGerald and Sara Baume, who consider their passions, rituals and what gives meaning to their days.

In theatre, the Collapsing Horse Theatre Company will bring the highly acclaimed A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings - adapted from Gabriel García Márquez’s classic darkly comic tale – to younger book and theatre enthusiasts.

Leaves virtual events include Bernard MacLaverty in conversation with Martina Devlin.

More information and full programme of events are available here.

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