Friday, July 18, 2008

A little summer learning

Just over a week before the 21st John International Summer School begins in the Market Place Arts Centre in Armagh with the theme “Let there be no wall”. The opening night’s pairing of poets Seamus Heaney and Billy Collins (Monday, 28th July) has been so popular that organisers have added a second reading for Tuesday 29. Heaney needs no introduction and his achievements speak for themselves. Collins is an American poet and is regarded as one of the best of his generation. Not sure how many tickets are still available but it could be a good night.

Apart from that event, there are lunch-time readings, poetry workshops, lectures and musical events. Do not be a cultural couch potato. If you are free between Monday 28th July and Friday 1st August, get along to Armagh. The Market Place is a wonderful venue and there is always something cultural for everyone. Full programme and contact details are available from

There will be an inaugural McCluskey Civil Rights Summer School between Saturday 23th August and Sunday 24th August this year in Carlingford, Co Louth. The school is being held in honour of Con and Patricia McCluskey who played a leading role in the Civil Rights Movement and the theme is “40 years on: the Civil Rights Challenges in Ireland Today – Tackling Poverty, Sectarianism, Racism and Inequality”

Among the confirmed speakers are former President of Ireland, Mary Robinson; Bríd Rodgers of the SDLP and Bernadette McAliskey. Further information and a full programme is available from

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