2012 John
McGahern seminar looks at landscape

Landscape and the historical and environmental aspects of John McGahern’s work will be the focus of this year’s annual John McGahern Seminar (May 24 to 26). Contributors include writers, critics and academics including renowned Chinese-American writer and recipient of the Frank O’Connor International, Short Story Award, Yiyun Li. Ms Li was also named one of the New Yorker’s 20 Under 40 Writers and is a 2010 MacArthur Fellow. At the seminar Li will talk about McGahern’s work and will discuss and read from her own fiction.

Landscape and the historical and environmental aspects of John McGahern’s work will be the focus of this year’s annual John McGahern Seminar (May 24 to 26). Contributors include writers, critics and academics including renowned Chinese-American writer and recipient of the Frank O’Connor International, Short Story Award, Yiyun Li. Ms Li was also named one of the New Yorker’s 20 Under 40 Writers and is a 2010 MacArthur Fellow. At the seminar Li will talk about McGahern’s work and will discuss and read from her own fiction.

The keynote lecture on the opening night will be given by Diarmaid Ferriter, Professor of Modern Irish History at University College Dublin.

The rich and acute observation of landscape and sense of place which permeates all McGahern’s works provide this year’s central theme. Also speaking at the event are Professor Joe Cleary of NUI Maynooth and Yale University; Professor Eamonn Wall of the University of Missouri St. Louis; and author and former Irish Times journalist, Paddy Woodworth, who will give a talk about McGahern and the relationship between landscape and literature.

The preeminent scholar of McGahern’s work, Denis Sampson, will be giving a public interview about his new book, ‘Young John McGahern: Becoming a Novelist’, recently published by Oxford University Press.

The Seminar will also include guided tours to places around Aughawillan, Ballinamore and Mohill important to the author’s life and works, and also a boat trip to Cootehall, County Roscommon where writers and readers groups from the region will give public readings from McGahern’s autobiography, ‘Memoir’.

The seminar takes place in Leitrim from May 24 to May 26. Fee for the three days is €50 or €30 for students and unwaged and includes all talks, readings, field trips, boat tours, receptions and transport to and from the various locations. Booking and further information from 071 9621694, arts@leitrimcoco.ie or www.leitrimarts.ie.