Hinterland 2019 is coming … 27-30 June

Hinterland 2019 tickets are now on sale

We're also looking for volunteers. If you have a few hours free over the weekend of 27-30 June and want to spend them wisely email heather@hinterland.ie 

Here’s what you can expect from Hinterland 2019.

Fifty years of Horslips, Abbey Roadand Woodstock …

Twelve years to sort out the planet …

The man who turned Che Guevara into an icon …

Snooping on the big beasts of the Celtic Tiger …

Brexit, Trump and how we got ourselves into this mess …

A look back at aspects of the pivotal year of 1969 …

A world première - well a world première reading anyway.

Irish Celtic rock band Horslips

Lined up so far for the last weekend in June are…

Irish novelists John Boyne (The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas), Hugo Hamilton (The Speckled People), both of whom have new work out, as well as crime novelists Olivia Kiernan (Too Close to Breathe) and Jane Casey (Cruel Acts) and Anne Griffin who’s debut in literary fiction is called When All is Said.

We will also feature two exciting new British talents in Christy Lefteri (The Beekeeper of Aleppo) and Stacy Halls (The Familiars) who have been attracting a lot of critical attention for their debuts.

Sinead Gleeson will talk to her good friend, novelist Liz Nugent, about her critically acclaimed book of essays Constellations.

Former British MP Chris Mullin returns to Hinterland to talk about The Friends of Harry Perkins, the long-awaited sequel to A Very British Coup.

The renowned TV and print journalist Paul Mason will decode Trump, Brexit, the financial crisis and the assault of neo-liberalism, all discussed in his latest book Clear Bright Future. He will also join Minister of State for European Affairs, Helen McEntee T.D., onstage for our (annual?) Brexit debate.

Luke Harding, the long-time Guardian Moscow correspondent will be tracing the golden thread that links Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump. Luke is the author of the New York Times #1 bestseller Collusion: Secret Meetings, Dirty Money and how Russia Helped Donald Trump Win.

Channel Four Countdown presenter and former BBC Apprentice sidekick Nick Heyer makes the trip to talk about his autobiography Alphabet: A Life from A to Z

Former Irish Times Environment Correspondent Frank McDonald will be talking about his autobiographical Truly Frank: A Dublin Memoir.

Former RTÉ Political Correspondent Martina Fitzgerald (Madam Politician) will celebrate women in public life. Fintan O'Toole of the Irish Times (Heroic Failure: Brexit and the Politics of Pain) will assess a political and economic mess/tragedy not of our own making.

RTÉ’s David McCullagh (De Valera: Rule 1932-1975) offers the second part of his biography of one of Ireland’s most controversial and enigmatic leaders.

Former British Army surveillance operative ‘Sean Hartnett’ (not his real name) will return to Kells to blow the lid off the paranoia of the latter years of the Celtic Tiger in his new book Corporate Confidential and tell us how he made his living spying on some of the big beasts of the 2008 ‘bust’.

Historian Diarmaid Ferriter, author of The Border: the Legacy of a Century of Anglo-Irish Politics, will look at the history of partition in Ireland, his most recent publication

We are honoured to host the legendary artist Jim Fitzpatrick, the man who produced that iconic portrait of the Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara and who, later in his career, launched a thousand album covers.

With twelve years left to get to grips with climate change we’ve asked the country’s best-loved scientist Luke O’Neill (2009 winner of the Boyle Medal – author of Humanology) to remind us why ‘we are in the middle of an extinction event’ and RTÉ’s Philip Boucher Hayes (Peak Oil, 2006) to explain why the media is so bad at handling the most important issue facing humanity.

Musically speaking Jim Lockhart and Barry Devlin of the great Irish Celtic rock band Horslips will reminisce about half a century of rocking and rolling, Today FMs Tom Dunne will reflect on two seminal musical events of 1969, the release of the great Beatles’ album Abbey Road and the joy and mayhem that was the Woodstock festival. Poet Peter Fallon will be joined by Saramai and Oisin Leech (The Lost Brothers) for the latest excursion by the Hinterland ‘house band’. Somewhere in between the worlds of music and graphic art, Tony Bucher will reveal some of the more interesting American album covers of 1969

Among the other historians (in addition to Diarmaid Ferriter and David McCullagh) speaking on our normal Thursday/Friday opening days will be Patricia Byrne, author of The Preacher and the Prelate, the story of the Evangelical Mission on Achill Island, Prof. Margaret Kelleher author of a new book on the 1882 Maamtrasna Massacres, and Gareth Russell, author of The Darksome Bounds of a Failing World, a book on the tragedy and the aftermath of the sinking of the Titanic. Lindie Naughton will also discuss her two books on the life and the letters of one of the most charismatic leaders of the revolutionary period Countess Markievicz and Cecelia Hartsell will share her enthusiasm for the great American abolitionist Frederick Douglass and Glen Gendzel will look at the dissident politics of the USA in 1969. Liam McNiffe will take us through the first three decades of the narrative of An Garda Síochána.

Oh yes … the World Première! That will be a reading of our Writer in Residence, Matt Spangler’s (The Kite Runner) adaptation of Mary Manning’s account of the 1984 Dunne’s Stores Anti-Apartheid boycott Striking Back. We put Matt and Mary together for an event last year and now look what’s happened!

When it comes to Children’s events, after last year’s spectacularly successful Harry Potter Treasure Hunt we will be maintaining the tradition (how long before a ‘tradition’ becomes established?) with a Roald Dahl Treasure Hunt, and Kelly Gartland will host a ‘Marvellous Medicines’ session at which anything (within the bounds of health and safety) could happen. Comedian Jason Byrne and illustrator Oisín McGann will celebrate their collaboration on The Accidental adventures of Onion O'Brien: The Great Ape Escape. Oisín, author of the wonderful Mad Grandad series, will host his own event and there will be lots of activity for under tens, with a map-making workshop from Jennifer Farley, plenty of acting and colouring with Seámus O'Conaill, and sessions from authors Juanita Browne, Gerry Daly, Sadhbh Devlin and Owen O'Doherty.

Matthew Spangler to be 2019 Hinterland 'Writer in Residence'

Matt Spangler

Hinterland heads to Silicon Valley, via the Golden Gate Bridge!

Award winning playwright Matthew Spangler (The Kite Runner) has become Hinterland’s first ‘Writer in Residence’. Matt has become a regular visitor to the Kells Festival. Each year he has turned his skills to the innovative task of mentoring festival authors on templates for adapting their books for the stage. He has hosted, among others, Zlata Filipovic (Zlata’s Diary) and Kevin Barry (Beatlebone). His most significant session came in 2018 when he worked with Mary Manning and Sinead O’Brien on their Striking Back collaboration – the story of Mary’s experience of the 1984 Dunne’s Stores anti-apartheid strike. As a result of this session Matt set about adapting Striking Back for an Irish stage and, thanks to the assistance of the Pavilion Theatre, Dun Laoghaire, a rehearsed reading of the ‘work in progress’ will take place at this year’s festival.

The Hinterland Festival’s connections to the city of San Francisco (already evident in our association with the Litquake Festival through Lit Crawl) have been taken to a new level with Hinterland: West (8-10 November, 2019) – with substantial and pivotal support from Culture Ireland.

Hinterland: West is a collaboration between Hinterland / Kells and two of the leaders in the promotion of Irish-American cultural heritage in the Bay Area, Tony Bucher (former President of the Irish Literary and Historical Society of the San Francisco Bay Area) and Dr. Matthew Spangler (Professor of Theatre Arts at San José State University and playwright – author of the globally successful stage adaptation of The Kite Runner and the book Staging Intercultural Ireland). Tony and Matt feature prominently in this year’s Hinterland programme.

We’ll be running a bijou, eclectic festival of 12-15 events, encompassing Irish and Irish-American fiction and non-fiction elements between 8-10 November, 2019 in San Francisco. Support from Culture Ireland means that three of the participants in Hinterland / Kells 2019, novelist Liz Nugent, musician Jim Lockhart and artist Mark Smith, will travel to San Francisco to participate in our new sister festival.

Hinterland: West will be hosted by the Mechanics’ Institute Library in downtown San Francisco, a superb, centrally located venue with a long tradition of staging cultural events. Taryn Edwards, Strategic Partnerships Manager at the Mechanics Institute will be attending this year’s Hinterland Festival in Kells, from 27-30 June.

We’ll have more information after we recover from Hinterland / Kells in June!

Che Guevara meets the Type Trail

Che Guevara meets the Type Trail

Paul Mason – A radical defence of the human being

Paul Mason Clear Bright Future

World renowned Irish graphic artist Jim Fitzpatrick will meet Type Trail creator Mark Smith on stage during this year’s Hinterland Festival. Fitzpatrick, whose 1967 image of Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara has acquired iconic status, will talk about his life and work with the Kells artist, whose creative brainchild, the Type Trail, will celebrate its tenth incarnation around the streets of the town this year.

Fitzpatrick, as a sixteen year old, actually met the Argentinian-born communist icon, and produced the famous red and black poster after Guevara’s killing in Bolivia in 1967. ‘I thought he was one of the greatest men who ever lived, and I still do in many ways. And when he was murdered, I decided I wanted to do something about it, so I created the poster.’

As a TV journalist, author, and public intellectual Paul Mason’s voice has offered both rigorous analysis, and hope for a more equitable future. His 2015 work Postcapitalism was hailed by Naomi Klein as ‘an original, engaging, and bracingly-articulated vision of real alternatives’. His latest work, the forward-thinking  Clear bright future: A radical defence of the human being recognises the multiple threats of the rise of authoritarian politics; the destruction of verifiable truth; the onset of Artificial  Intelligence; and the sense of fatalism which has left millions susceptible to the mythologies of the new right. Paul decodes Donald Trump’s rise to power, assesses the exploitation by the Kremlin and the new ‘alt.right’ of Western societal weaknesses, and demonstrates how today’s fundamental conflicts are attributable to the successful neo-liberal ‘project’ launched in the 1980s.  Paul will be familiar to TV viewers for his work as Economics Editor on BBC2’s Newsnight and Channel Four News since 2001.

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