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Brighten up your summer with some culture!

That’s the message from the Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB) as a bumper season of arts events approaches in from July to September.

Helen Carey, NITB’s Product Marketing Officer, says that the summer is a great time for culture lovers to sample some of Northern Ireland’s rich cultural heritage.

“Northern Ireland has a rich cultural and literary heritage and the summer months are a great time for visitors and residents to sample that with a number of wonderful festivals and events taking place during July, August and September,” she said.

“From the John Hewitt Summer School in Armagh, the highly anticipated Deborah Warner Peace Camp on the North Coast and the Happy Days International Beckett Festival in Enniskillen there should be something on offer to satisfy the culture vulture in all of us, so we would encourage people to check out the calendar and see if there is something there to suit your literary tastes.”

Deborah Warner Peace Camp, North Coast, July 19 - 22

Celebrating our beautiful North Coast, this London 2012 Festival event is a major new living artwork that will take your breath away. As dusk begins to fall, the artwork will flicker to life as part of a series of glowing encampments that will simultaneously appear across the UK.

John Hewitt Summer School, Armagh, July 23 - 27

Held in honour of Northern Irish poet John Hewitt, this renowned annual festival of the arts includes creative writing workshops, poetry study, readings, open debate, music, drama, film and visual arts.

It takes place from July 23-27 in the modern Marketplace Theatre and Arts Centre in Armagh and attracts people from all over Britain, Europe and the United States.

William Carleton Summer School, Clogher, August 6 - 9

Since 1992, the annual William Carleton Summer School has celebrated the life and works of the famous County Tyrone novelist. The festival, which takes place at Corick House in Clogher offers lectures, debates and bus tours led by local historians and Carleton scholars. Evenings are filled with drama, music and storytelling.

Happy Days International Beckett Festival, Enniskillen, August 23-27

Rejoice in the works of one of Ireland’s artistic giants, Samuel Beckett, with special guests Robert Wilson, Edna O’Brien, Melvyn Bragg and more. Events include premieres of his major and lesser known works, his influence on other writers, directors, actors and more.

Benedict Kiely Weekend, Omagh, September 7 - 9

Dromore born Keily was a much celebrated journalist, novelist and short story writer. This year’s festival theme is ‘Drink to the Bird.’ Join in the debates with Glenn Patterson, Sinead Gleeson and Evelyn Conlon plus workshops from Malachi O’Doherty and Dr Leon Litvack.

Aspects Literary Festival, Bangor, September 26 – 30

A true celebration of Irish Literature, Aspects is set to return in September in its 21st year for a weeklong celebration of poetry and prose. Previous guests include Jennifer Johnston, Colin Bateman, Ian Rankin and Seamus Heaney with music from Duke Special and international contributions from Barry Norman and memoirist Blake Morrison.

Look out for the new NITB Literary Guide which is coming soon!

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