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Carlow County Library Local Studies and Archives Department opens from Monday to Wednesdays (9:45-1 & 2-5PM). There will be no service outside of these hours. Carlow Central Library will maintain only one late opening on Tuesday nights until further notice. Our apologies for the invonvenience caused.

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Pen Fest for Emerging Writers

September 12th-14th, Carlow Central Library.

Pen Fest 2014

Now in its 4th year preparations are almost finalised for Pen Fest 2014, the annual Carlow County Library literary festival. The focus of the festival is on emerging writers and will feature workshops and talks by experts in the literary field. This year also sees the introduction of workshops specifically for Teenagers and young people interested in writing. Stay tuned this page, Facebook, Twitter and our Blog for news on workshops, lectures, participants and booking.

Download Pen Fest Brochure here

Pen Fest Launch - The Bookshop Band

Friday, September 12th at 7:30pm

The Bookshop Band

We are delighted to welcome The Bookshop Band to open this year's festival. The Bookshop Band are unique. They write songs exclusively inspired by books. They formed as part of the author events at local muti-award winning independent bookshop, Mr Bs Emporium Of Reading Delights. When an author comes in to do an author event, the band read their book before hand and write two songs inspired by it, to be performed in front of the author and audience at the start of the event.

The events at Mr Bs remain the core of the bandís songwriting, but the songs and their performances have taken the band all over the UK, playing in many of the nationís bookshops, as well as overseas to Ireland and mainland Europe. They are regularly featured on the BBC, and their songs are starting to grace the airwaves Europe, Canada, Australia, the US and Mexico!

Click here for more on the Bookshop Band

Creative Writing for Teenagers with Dave Lordan

Saturday, September 13th from 10:30am-4pm

Dave Lordan

Explore and enjoy creative writing with Dave Lordan, author of one of 2013Ďs most talked about and inventive books of short fiction, The First Book of Frags. Drawing on his own markedly innovative writing practice, and on his long and varied teaching experience, Dave will set stimulating and unusual writing prompts intended to generate a wide variety of unique creative responses from participants. This workshop will be intense but very engaging, and Daveís feedback will be friendly but rigorous. Dave has won many awards for his writing and he recently ran the New Planet Cabaret series of creative writing workshops for RT… and New Island Press. He is a contributing editor for The Stinging Fly.

Dave Lordan has been shaking up the Irish writing scene with his passionate, risk-taking writing for a decade. He has published two prize-winning collections of poetry and the recent and 'preposterously original' book of short fictions First Book of Frags. His play Jo Bangles, starring Mary Mcevoy, was produced in 2010. He has been in continuos demand at festivals at home and abroad in recent years due to the popularity of his readings and his workshop leading and editing skills. He blogs at www.davelordanwriter.com @davelordanpoet on Twitter.

Creative Writing for Beginners with Karl Parkinson

Saturday, September 13th from 10:30am-4pm.

Karl Parkinson

Karl Parkinson is a writer from Dublin. His debut poetry collection Is Litany of the City and other poems (Wurmpress 2013). His work has been published in If Ever You Go (One city, one book Dublin 2014), New planet Cabaret anthology, The Stinging Fly, Wordlegs, The Incubator, Can Can, The Pickled Body, The Poetry Bus and many more. He has been broadcast on RTE Arena arts show a Number of times. He is spoken word editor at Colony arts webzine. He is an acclaimed performer of his work and has read at events and festivals in Ireland, the UK, New York and Canada. Next stop Carlow.

Karl will give writing exercises and feedback and advice in a fun and relaxed way and will give examples of His own work and other writers work, it will be an informative and fun day for those beginning to write.

Get Writing with Jessica Traynor

Sunday, September 14th from 10:30am-4pm

Jessica Traynor

In this fun and inspiring course, writer Jessica Traynor will set a number of enjoyable exercises to unlock your creativity. Whether you want to write prose, poetry, or plays, there'll be something here to get you started. We'll share work and also discuss the practicalities of writing: how to make room in your life for creativity, how to edit your work and what to do with it once it's ready.

Jessica Traynor is a poet, dramaturg and creative writing teacher from Dublin. Her first book of poems, Liffey Swim, is forthcoming from Dedalus Press in autumn 2014. She holds the 2014 Ireland Chair of Poetry Bursary and was winner of the Hennessy New Irish Writer of the Year Award in 2013. Her work has recently been featured in If Ever You Go (2014 One City One Book), The Irish Times, New Planet Cabaret and is forthcoming in The Raving Beauties Anthology from Bloodaxe Books. Jessica teaches creative writing through Big Smoke Writing Factory, the Irish Writers Centre and IADT. She also works as Literary Reader for the Abbey Theatre.

Pen Fest Exhibition by Tony Oakey

Tony Oakey Art

Artist Tony Oakey will bring colour and vibrancy to the Shaw Room in Carlow Central Library for Pen Fest 2014 with an exhibition of his paintings. Tony lives just outside the small village of Piltown in County Kilkenny and is painting since 1992. Self taught, Tony is a full time artist since 2000. In his own words: "For me painting is a mental voyage, a journey full of coulour and surprise. There are no rules, reasons or explanations. I treat each day as a new canvas, my thoughts and dreams subconciously contribute to the painting in progress. This way of painting opens up my mind to a world of discovery, a less serious place where there are no boundaries between imagination and reality."

Click here for more on the Tony's Art

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