The theme of this year’s Festival is The State of Us.
Through poetry, novels and non-fiction events, M2C 2020 brings you an entertaining programme of conversations, featuring some of our best-known and loved authors including all the way from the USA, Curtis Sittenfeld and Mary Cregan. James Shapiro joins us to explore Shakespeare in America and the Bard's enduring ability to shed light on human nature. We have rich pickings where novels are concerned with splendid new tales to explore from Anne Enright, Colum McCann, Louise Doughty, Christy Lefteri and Niall Williams.
Poetry as always, plays a starring role and this year's Lyric Note welcomes Lemn Sissay, the Octavia Poetry Collective, Peggy Seeger and Jackie Kay, along with Paul Muldoon and Enda Wyley. We'll also have readings from our shortlisted Shine Strong and Irish Times Poetry Now poets.
Our non-fiction strand Present Tense starts on March 6th with events celebrating International Women's Day with two exceptional voices, Darina Allen, one of Ireland's best-known food writers and the heroic Vicky Phelan, fearless advocate for women's health. Politics on both sides of the Atlantic continually feed news cycles with the same mixture of apprehension and disbelief, painting portraits of extremely polarised countries. This year, we explore the meaning of this polarisation and how it is reflected elsewhere, close to home in Northern Ireland and as far away as India and Pakistan as well as in Palestine and Israel. Expect to hear fascinating insights from Raja Shehadeh, Nikesh Shukla and Kavita Puri, Fintan O'Toole, Brigid Laffan, Malachi O'Doherty, Clare Daly MEP and Peadar King.
We are delighted to welcome Rebecca Solnit who writes with cerebral ferocity about everything from her knowledge of human culture, literature, politics, environment, myth and the act of writing.
Our Schools and Families Programme includes the legendary Michael Rosen who pays us a visit this year, as We're going on a Bear Hunt celebrates its 30th birthday. We welcome Shane Hegarty, Patricia Forde, dlr Writer in Residence, Sadhbh Devlin and Chris Judge who will visit schools, surprise and delight and encourage younger readers to craft tales of their own.
For more details on events and booking information, pick up the main Festival brochure in your local dlr Library or various venues around the County from the end of this week, or download a copy from the Festival website at www.mountainstosea.ie