Skip to main content
Festival News

Clifden Arts Festival Literary Line Up 2018

By August 27, 2018No Comments

Poet Paul Durcan leads line-up of world- renowned literary legends set to illuminate Clifden Arts Festival 2018

One of Ireland’s most distinctive poets Paul Durcan is among the host of literary heavyweights set to take to the stage and share their internationally acclaimed work as part of Clifden Arts Festival 2018.

Paul Durcan will join the eclectic line up of authors, artists, historians and poets set to illuminate Ireland’s longest running festival with their most celebrated works.

Nestled in the stunning surroundings of the West of Ireland, a reading with Paul Durcan will captivate visitors as the Dublin born poet shares his self-mocking poems of underachievement and tender verses commemorating the dead.

Having won the Whitebread Poetry Award for his collection Daddy, Daddy (1990), Durcan is highly regarded as a respected critical commentator on Irish history and society. Dr Eve Patton attributed his continued popularity both nationally and internationally to his “combined characteristics of conscience, humour, iconoclasm and lyricism.”

Celebrating Ireland’s rich literary heritage, this diverse festival brings together some of Ireland’s literary giants as they participate in a series of invigorating talks, readings and workshops guaranteed to enthral and inspire.

Touching on a vast array of engaging themes and genres, the 41st Clifden Arts festival is packed with fascinating readings and talks from the gold standard poets and authors of our time. Amongst some of the top writers set to bring their work to the stage is multi-award winner John O’Donnell, renowned Belfast poet Fred Johnston and acclaimed bilingual writer Doireann Ní Ghríofa.

A host of exciting collaborations between some of Ireland’s most respected literary talents will take place, with an accompanying musical background offering visitors a truly unique experience. Dublin-based Irish language poet Aifric Mac Aodha will join four time Oireachtas winner Louis De Paor for an intimate reading of their incredible works. Aifric Mac Aodha is a former UCD lecturer in old and modern Irish and now works for publishing house An Gúm. Louis De Paor has been involved in the contemporary renaissance of Irish Poetry since 1980 and has worked as editor of poetry journal Innti.

This is one of a host of innovative literary events that will take place in schools across Clifden during the community festival, in which writers will visit students and share their all important expertise through fun workshops and engaging readings and talks.

Amongst the major events taking place as part of Clifden Arts Festival 2018 is the launch of an exciting new book about The Gate Theatre called The Gate Theatre, Dublin- Inspiration and Craft. The renowned theatre has produced important new plays by incredible literary legends such as Brian Friel, Conor McPherson, and Denis Johnston.

The publication, which is edited by academics David Clare, Des Lally, and Patrick Lonergan, is the very first scholarly essay collection devoted entirely to the theatre. It gathers together leading academics and critics who explore the Gate’s achievements in new Irish writing and new Irish theatre practices. In addition to the launch of the book, a host of key literary commentators and figures will take part in a panel discussion on the phenomenal legacy of a much loved Irish institution.

Dozens of magnificent literary spectacles will take place within the majestic surroundings of Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way as artists engage and inspire the creative minds of both young and old during this once off arts festival launching on September 12th 2018.

For more information about Clifden Arts Festival and ticket sales, please visit

About Clifden Arts Festival

The longest running community arts festival in Ireland, Clifden Community Arts Week, now in its 41st year will take place from September 12th – 23rd and yet again promises to have something to excite everyone in this years programme. Audiences can expect a very high quality artistic programme with a superb literary, musical and visual art content which again will have the community arts of Clifden and the surrounding hinterland as a central focus with creative writing, music, theatre, graphic design and film workshops and performances taking place in the local schools for the duration of the festival.

2023 Festival Programme