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Writers Festival Celebrates Working Class Literary Heroes

27 April 2017


The Linen Hall Library’s popular Writers on Writers Festival is back for its fourth year with the focus on local working class writers and the Irish working class as a literary theme. Guests include playwright Gerry McCullough, and writers Gary Mitchell and Glenn Patterson. The Festival runs from 10 – 12 May with talks, conversations, workshops and a screening of a BBC NI production.

The Writers on Writers May schedule is as follows:

Thomas Carnduff 1886 – 1956: The ‘yearning for expression’ of an independent working man, by John Gray

Wednesday 10 May at 1pm / Lecture / Free
Former Linen Hall Librarian John Gray examines the life and works of Thomas Carnduff, whose writings reflected his politics and his love of the people of Belfast.

Glenn Patterson’s Belfast

Wednesday 10 May at 6.00pm/ reading/ £5
Glenn’s works such as The Mill for Grinding Old People Young are linked to his home city of Belfast. Here he discusses the titles that shape his understanding of his city with selected readings.

Working Class Women

Thursday 11 May at 1030am/ lecture/ £5
Presented by poets Ruth Carr and Natasha Cuddington. Drawing on inspiration from the work of some of Belfast’s less visible poets, focusing on the very practical business of writing.

Writing Ireland’s Working Class

Thursday 11 May at 1.00pm/ discussion/ free
Dr Michael Pierse examines how working-class identity is depicted by authors like Brendan Behan and Roddy Doyle, and discusses how this hidden, urban Ireland has appeared in literature.

An Afternoon with Gerry McCullogh

Thursday 11 May at 3.00pm/ reading/ free
Best-selling local author Gerry McCullough reads from her popular novels, including Belfast Girls, with a sprinkling of poetry; and will take questions from the floor.

Groundbreakers: In the Shadow of the Shipyard

Friday 12 May at 2.00pm/ screening/ free
A DoubleBand Films production for BBC Northern Ireland in conjunction with the Ulster-Scots Broadcast Fund/Northern Ireland Screen, featuring the works of Sam Thompson, Thomas Carnduff, Stewart Parker and St John Ervine. Presented by NI actor Dan Gordon.

An Evening with Gary Mitchell

Friday 12 May at 6.00pm/ performance/ £5
Marking the 20th anniversary of the first production of In A Little World of Our Own, Gary Mitchell’s gripping and unflinching portrayal of loyalist culture, which won The Irish Times Theatre Award for Best New Play in 1997. With discussion and excerpts performed by PintSized Productions.

For more information about the Linen Hall Library, please visit our website at

Pictures and interviews are available on request. Contact Linen Hall Library Digital and Marketing Comms Specialist Rachel Wetherall at or Tel: 028 9032 1707.

The Linen Hall Library, one of Belfast’s oldest charities, is open free to the public. Our opening hours are Monday – Friday 9.30am – 5.30pm, and Saturday 9.30am – 4.00pm.