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First Ennis Book Festival Announced

Clare Champion, Friday, 1st December 2006

Details of the inaugural Ennis Book Club Festival have been announced this week. The festival, which will take place on March 2 next, will be open to book lovers all over Ireland the the UK.

The event is being supported by Clare County Library, and will be a social and literary gathering to bring together some of the 150 Library Book Clubs and 300 private Book Clubs that exist nationwide. The festival programme will also feature author visits, readings, lectures, music, workshops, exhibitions and cookery demonstrations in various venues around Ennis.

It is hoped that the event will provide a welcome boost to tourism in Ennis and will be a unique opportunity for Book Club members to meet and exchange ideas about literature. "Those who make the trip to county Clare will enjoy poetry in the cosy cafés, readings in the many restaurants and shops and drama on street corners as they wander through the narrow streets and lanes of Ennis", Mayor of Ennis Joe Reidy said.

Throughout the three-day festival, events will be held in such venues as Glór Irish Music Centre and the de Valera Library as well as in the town's hotels, cafés, bookshops and restaurants around Ennis. "The festival programme has a very broad brief as it is not confined to any one form of literature. It will include poetry, drama, food, travel and political writing as well as fiction. We are keen to give the Book Clubs an eclectic mix that won't be found at any other literary festival and that reflects the reading passions of many in the country. There will also be a section for Irish Language Book Clubs", said Frances O'Gorman, Festival Chairperson explained.

Over 20 writers and a number of Book Clubs have already agreed to take part. "Book Clubs from Ireland and the UK are invited to get together in Ennis to share their joy of reading, to meet authors, to discuss books and to have a weekend break with friends. The festival offers an ideal opportunity for comparing notes and chatting with other Book Club members from all over the country. Non Book Club readers are also invited to come along and to find out how to go about setting up a club in their own area", Ciana Campbell of the Ennis Book Club Festival Committee said.

Meanwhile, an official website providing information on various festival events has been launched at www.ennisbookclubfestival.com. It also provides links to other county Clare sites.

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