Music creativity, history and debate

Duke Special, John Hewitt Society Hilary Copeland and Chairman, Tony Kennedy, taken at the recent Summer School launch at the John Hewitt Bar in Belfast.
Duke Special, John Hewitt Society Hilary Copeland and Chairman, Tony Kennedy, taken at the recent Summer School launch at the John Hewitt Bar in Belfast.

Creativity, music, history and debate are just some of the exciting aspects of this year’s John Hewitt International Summer School in Armagh.

Talented musicians Martin Hayes and Duke Special, writers such as Paul Durcan and Carlo Gébler and commentators such as Ruth Dudley Edwards and Geoffry Donaldson MP are just some of the highlights.

This is just a taste of the broad mix in this year’s programme which runs at the Market Place in Armagh from July 25-30.

Creativity in the digital age, reflections on the national commemoration of centenaries and the role of women in the creation of history books are topics explored being explored.

Chairman Tony Kennedy said: “We will explore how historical narrative, media, culture, literature and the arts have kept the record straight, or been harnessed to politically and culturally divisive roles.”

There will be a wide range of readings, talks, discussions, workshops, performances and exhibitions Creative Writing Workshops with eight separate workshop courses on offer this year including Poetry, The Short Story with Carlo Gébler, Crime Fiction, Memoir, Writing for Stage and Screen, Writing for Young People and a new one for beginners, Getting Started.

Duke Special will be having a literary homages to Paul Auster, and Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels. Martin Hayes will be joined by top uilleann piper David Power to entertain. “Percy French: Memories of Unforgotten Years”, a celebrated one-man show with music, written and performed by Sam McCready, will be performed.

The centenary of the Somme will be addressed through celebrated storyteller Liz Weir’s collaboration with fiddle player Ciaran Mulholland, in a dramatic musical interpretation All For The Dead Man’s Penny. Jeffrey Donaldson MP will be joined by political commentator Ruth Dudley Edwards on a panel reflecting on the success and failures of the commemorations of WW1 across the country.

A series of events will look at the lesser known role of women in the 1916 Easter Rising as part of national events marking the centenary of the event. Dr Linda Connolly will look at the historical legacy of the Irish Women’s Movement, and journalist Martina Devlin will be joined by women’s rights advocates Dawn Purvis and Bernadette McAliskey to look at where women were written out of the history books.

See the full programme: www.johnhewittsociety.org For more information contact 028 3752 1821 or book online www.marketplacearmagh.com