Arts Committee offers double bursary chance for the John Hewitt Summer School

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RESIDENTS of the Borough with an interest in arts and literature will be excited to know that thanks to Coleraine Borough Arts Committee, there are not one but TWO bursaries to be awarded to attend this year’s John Hewitt International Summer School in Armagh in late July.

The committee, reacting to a suggestion from local Alliance Councillor Yvonne Boyle (who is a member of the committee), decided to make a £300 bursary available to cover attendance at the Summer School.

And as part of a special offer from the school, a second bursary is also available. This means two people from the borough have a chance to enjoy one of Europe’s most exciting and highly-regarded festivals of art and literature.

Councillor Boyle, who attends the School regularly, expressed her joy at the committee’s decision: “I am delighted the Committee supported my proposal of sponsoring a Bursary. The John Hewitt Society pledged to add another Bursary if we did so, so we have a chance for two people from the Borough to attend this exciting and fast flowing event.”

The news was especially relevant, she said, following the recent exhibition in the Town Hall from the John Hewitt archive held at the University of Ulster: “At a time when the arts are under pressure this is a welcome good news opportunity for the local area.

I would encourage anyone who is interested to contact Flowerfield for more information.”

The John Hewitt International Summer School is an internationally-renowned festival of literature and the arts, held in honour of Northern Irish poet John Hewitt. The School takes place annually in the wonderful, modern surroundings of the Marketplace Theatre and Arts Centre in Armagh.

Each year the school attracts over 1,000 people from all over Ireland, Britain, Europe and the United States, to experience a wide range of distinct, though linked cultural events, including creative writing workshops, poetry study, discussion and readings, open debate, music, drama, film and visual arts.

The Society is very proud of this year’s programme in honour of this illustrious son of Belfast. Under the theme, The State of Hope, they have a week-long programme of readings, talks, debate and discussion, drama, music and exhibitions featuring more than 30 top writers, speakers and artists from across Ireland and beyond.

This year’s contributors include Mary Robinson (former President of Ireland and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights), John Banville, Aifric Campbell, Gillian Clarke, John F. Deane, Frieda Hughes, John McCarty, Roger McGough, Leanne O’Sullivan and Marcus Patton, among many others.

Nightly entertainment will include a Poetry Reading with Roger McGough, The Third Policeman narrated by Stephen Rea to music composed by Colin Reid, an interview with Bernard MacLaverty and a performance by the West Ocean String Quartet (to be confirmed).

Application forms for the Bursary are available from the reception desk at Flowerfield Arts Centre. You can also download a copy of the application form from the Flowerfield website at Please note application forms must go to the John Hewitt Summer School directly, and the deadline for entries is June 7

INSET: John Hewitt – one of the leading lights of Ulster literature, celebrated annually in Armagh..