WATCH | #AtHomeWithBackstage: Longford's Dani Gill discusses National Literature Network

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Backstage Theatre is part of newly launched LIVE Network, a literary network in Ireland that supports writers, publishers and literary producers to share work.

The venture has emerged from the Literary Audience Development Scheme run in association with Words Ireland that has been operational in the venues since August 2018.

Currently the LIVE Network comprises six partners: The Backstage Theatre (Longford) The Roscommon Arts Centre (Roscommon), The Ramor Theatre (Cavan), The Sources Arts Centre (Tipperary) The Droichead Arts Centre (Louth) and The Riverbank Arts Centre (Kildare). Each venue runs a literary programme in consultation with Literary Audience Development Officer Dani Gill. Liteary offerings from the Network include One Book projects, author events, Poetry Day celebrations and creative writing workshops.

The LIVE Network has created a digital series during the lockdown featuring six Irish writers. Each writer speaks to Audience Development Officer Dani Gill about their latest book over a cup of tea, coffee or a glass of wine! Intimate and insightful, the series will give readers a chance to hear an extract from the book, get a sense of the story and meet the writer virtually, in their home. 

At this critical time of restrictions, the arts have been front and centre of people’s lives as thousands stream home concerts and facilities such as BorrowBox quadruple in sign ups. Audience Dvelopment Officer Dani Gill comments on the programme and what it seeks to do: 

‘The LIVE Network have come together at this time to offer something for audiences and to support writers. We are looking at a landscape of uncertainty and great worry, now more than ever engagement with the arts is so important for our communities. This series offers a break and a window into a writer’s life and process. Readers will be able to get a sense of something they may not have read yet, and it’s an opportunity to sit down and have a cup of tea and listen to a nice conversation.’ 

On Thursday Apil 30th the LIVE Network partnered with  Passion for Poetry, a platform for poets to connect with audiences, curated by Dani Gill. The Poetry Day series consists of six poets, four Irish and two international, reading a poem of their own and one by a poet they admire. Filmmaker Laura Sheeran created soundscapes and visuals for some of the poems, and they will all be released as a playlist on YouTube for people to watch on National Poetry Day: https://www.youtube.com/ channel/ UC6IGup9H0Lxt73zcXfw9uzA 

The first episode of the LIVE series will go on You Tube Friday 8th May and new episodes will air each Friday for six weeks. Writers featured in the series include: Liz Nugent, Kevin Barry, Jane Clarke, Elaine Feeney, Alan McMonagle and Hilary Fannin. To subscribe to the channel and watch the series just follow this link: https://youtu.be/DCHJ52VduDw