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Teen Week 2019

Clare County Library partnered with Ennis Book Club Festival for Teen Week 2019. This provided a diverse and stimulating programme of cultural and art events for secondary school students in Ennis and Kilrush libraries during the coming weeks.

This year’s Library Teen Week programme included travel, mythology, history, and music delivered by authors and presenters with a special interest in and focus on creativity for young adult audiences.

On Monday, 25 February writer and independent producer Ann Dalton presented ‘Pakistan – A Peep into the Melting Pot’ in Kilrush Library at 10.00am and in deValera Library Ennis at 2.00pm.

Ann has travelled regularly with her family to Pakistan over the last 15 years. She travels throughout the country during her visits, from Islamabad the capital city, to Lahore, Faisalabad and to Karachi, a bustling city of approximately 15 million situated on the Arabian Sea. In 2013, she researched and produced a radio documentary ‘From the Punjab to Pana’ in which the Pakistani women of Cork shared their stories of life in Cork at that time. In this audio/visual presentation, Ann will look at the themes of hospitality and tolerance and she will share her experience as an Irish woman travelling in Pakistan.

Peadar Ó Guilín author of the YA novel, The Call, visited deValera Library, Ennis on the morning of Tuesday, 26 February and Kilrush Library in the afternoon. His writing workshop based on Irish mythology and inspired by the beautiful northwest of Ireland where he grew up certainly engaged his teenage audiences.

A joint event by authors Nessa O’Mahony and Sheena Wilkinson took place in deValera Library Ennis from 10.00am to 11.30am on Thursday, 28 February and in Kilrush Library later that afternoon at 2.00pm. In their talk, entitled ‘Every Family has its Own History’, the writers discussed exploring family histories and their passion for history as demonstrated in their writing.

Nessa O’Mahony was introduced to history at a young age with the stories that her mother told her in the kitchen of their family home in Dublin including accounts of her childhood in Ballinasloe. As she became older the stories her mother now told were about her grandfather and grandmother’s experiences during the War of Independence and the Civil War. Her first novel, The Branchman, is based on her grandfather's real-life experiences in the period of most political and historical change in Ireland’s history. In this workshop she will examine how every family’s history can be used as the trigger for a piece of creative writing. Students are encouraged to find out about their own family histories in advance of the workshop.

Sheena Wilkinson has established herself as one of the most acclaimed Irish writers for young people. At her presentations in Ennis and Kilrush Library she will concentrate on both her first and most recent, widely acclaimed historical novels, Name Upon Name and Star by Star. Growing up in Belfast during the Troubles, with family on both ‘sides’, Sheena was confused about Irish history prompting her to seek out untold stories. Her books look at the events of World War One, The Easter Rising, The Spanish Flu and women’s fight for the vote. Name Upon Name was Waterford’s One Community, One Book choice in 2016. Star by Star won the Honour Award for Fiction at the CBI Book of the Year Awards 2018 and was shortlisted for the Irish Book Awards 2017 Children’s Book of the Year.

Both authors demonstrated how our places of birth shape and influence our lives and in this case create a background for some of the best historical fiction available to readers in Ireland today.

John Bowker’s African Drumming Workshop was on offer once again to students at deValera Library Ennis on 27 February at 11.15am and in Kilrush Library on Friday, 1 March at 11.00am. For the past 25 years Tribal Spirit Drumming has captured the hearts of thousands of people across Ireland, the UK and beyond. John invited teenagers and their teachers from post-primary schools to join him for an unforgettable musical experience. In the library workshops students were encouraged to learn the basic techniques of playing the hand drum and to contribute to an arrangement that may be typically based on a traditional piece of music from a village in Ghana or the Congo!

The Ireland Professor of Poetry Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin read from her acclaimed work to teenagers in Clare at her visit to glór at 11.30am on 1 March during the Ennis Book Club Festival 2019. Eiléan is the author of many collections including The Girl Who Married a Reindeer (2001), to The Sun-fish (2010). Senior Cycle Students are invited to experience the wonderful poetry of Eiléan first hand and to acknowledge the power of poetry in appreciating the world around us.

All Teen Week events are free of charge.

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