The Festival of Writing & Ideas was once again one of stimulating dialogue and discussion, gathering together intriguing international minds – historians, novelists, journalists, film-makers, poets, theatre directors, war correspondents, biographers, artists and political commentators.
This year our curiosity was lead to so many places – the Syrian frontlines, a rare encounter with the songwriters of Pink Floyd, the sinister world of phone hacking. We found ourselves in the company of Booker Prize royalty, trying to come to terms with ISIS tactics of kidnap and execution, and quizzing the real decision-makers in book publishing, getting to know an encyclopedic Grafton Street balladeer, and simply spending time at a picnic table in the company of the speakers at this intimate event.
The Festival of Writing & Ideas has become known for its casual, friendly atmosphere, and for its extraordinary line up of speakers. It takes place within the magical surroundings of Borris House, the seat of the High Kings of Leinster, situated at the foot of the Blackstairs Mountains with the River Barrow meandering by. Spilling out into pubs and halls of this idyllic village, Borris is an event that the curious find inspiring.
This year we welcomed Ian McEwan, David Gilmour, Antony Beevor, Anne Enright, Kevin Barry, Rob Doyle, Polly Samson, Roy Foster, Lisa Hannigan, Dylan Haskins, Michael Cunningham, Andrew O’Hagan, Michael Harding, AC Grayling, Colin Barrett, Mary Costello, Tommy Tiernan, Belinda McKeon, Joanne O’Riordan
In addition!: Eight architects took up the challenge to design and build a standalone accommodation space with a microscopic materials budget and just two days to be assembled. These ‘Mobile Motels’ will be located in the Walled Garden, and were open to visitors from 2pm to 5pm each day, after which they become the private and salubrious residences of several of this year’s speakers!