Since it was first held in 1997 this festival has grown from small beginnings to become one of Ireland’s foremost literary events.
The programme is both broad and deep, with international writers as well as Irish ones, emerging writers and well established ones all finding a welcome at Bantry.
Readings are a continuing and popular feature, held each day in Bantry Bookshop and Bantry Library, with free admission. They start in the morning and continue though the day and into the evening. There are master classes in various genre, question and answer sessions, interview with authors, book launches and a myriad of other events.
The writer in residence is available throughout the week to give one to one support on every aspect of being a writer.
Music events are included too, both as part of the programme and in a less formal way in local pubs. Late at night the post festival action moves to the Festival Club where a range of light hearted events take place.
The Children’s Programme is always very good, with workshops and readings aimed at ages from 4 to14, thoughtfully timed so that parents can attend other events while they are on.
The festival is centered around Bantry, which is in easy reach of both West Cork and Kerry for those combining the festival with some local touring.