Over 30 events will be hosted by Cúirt later this month combining a mix of live and pre-recorded events – with some taking place entirely online and some broadcast live from Galway.
In the lead up to the exciting and diverse programme which starts on 21 April, several businesses across Galway City have transformed their window displays to offer their support to the literature festival.
Tigh Neachtain’s famous windows have fantastic displays of Cúirt photographs, designed by Matty Hynes who may be better known locally as ‘Matt the Hat’.
One window contains photographs that have been captured through the decades by the local photographer Joe O’Shaughnessy.
The photos feature prestigious visitors to the festival in years gone by including Anne Enright, Seamus Heeney and Carlos Fuentes.
On another window is a modern take on this years’ programme featuring the writers, moderators and Cúirt team participating in a digital format of screens, mobiles and laptops.
Bernadette Lynch and David Morgan O’Connor are the winners of the 2021 Cúírt New Writing Prize, sponsored by Tigh Neachtain, in the poetry and short story categories respectively.
Local bookshops have also got involved, with Easons, Dubrays and Charlie Byrne’s Bookshop all creating reading guides for the festival.
Their window displays feature artwork from this year’s festival programme illustrator Fatti Burke, alongside the books on sale by Cúirt 2021’s programmed artists.
The first event to kick off Cúirt 2021’s programme is Inland Radius, a self-guided walking tour and zine, guided by writer Sarah Maria Griffin, immersive theatre maker Máiréad Ní Chróinín and visual artist Shane O’Malley.
Inland Radius takes people on a path featuring an audio tour, a bespoke zine and street art pieces, that maps a route from the Town Hall Theatre, Woodquay, to Mutton Island Lighthouse.
Shane O’Malley is an Irish Artist exploring colour through geometric paintings and murals. His colourful mural for ‘Inland Radius’ can be found along the Long Walk.
The piece is called ‘Routes’ and explores pathways and the different routes we can take when moving through a space.
Sasha de Buyl, Festival Director, said that it is “hard to overstate how much has changed in the past twelve months, but what has been heartening for many, through isolation and immeasurable loss, is how much literature has endured as a source of comfort, joy, solace and celebration.”