KGB present "The Art of Conversation"

Mount Stewart Conversations 2019 The Art of Image

A new local writing collective brought together by Karen, Gaynor and Biddi capture local writing talent for prestigious Mount Stewart Conversations Festival where they will read work on the theme of The Art of Conversation reflecting issues that provoke and stimulate conversation in today’s society.

Saturday 7th September 2019

1 – 2pm: The Art of Conversation - Book Tickets

Featuring: David Braziel, Maureen Boyle, Kerry Buchanan, Sue Divin, Ray Givans, Doreen McBride, Paul Rafferty, Conor Shields, Liz Weir MBE, Jo Zebedee

Sunday 8th September 2019                                                                                  

1 – 2pm: The Art of Conversation - Book Tickets

Featuring: Trish Bennett, Cathy Carson, Colin Dardis, Moyra Donaldson, Malachi Kelly, Byddi Lee, Réaltán Ní Leannáin, Anesu Mtowa, Maria McManus, Roy Uprichard

The Art of Conversation 7th & 8th September at Mount Stewart Conversations Festival

In keeping with the ethos of Edith,Lady Londonderry, two local Saboteur Award shortlisted event organisers, Karen Mooney and Byddi Lee, together with local poet Gaynor Kane, whose poetry pamphlet was highly commended in the Saboteur Awards,  present a programme of readings by local writers within the theme of ‘The Art of Conversation’ reflecting conversations and the issues that provoke and stimulate conversation in today’s society.

Twenty acclaimed, award winning and emerging writers will perform their own work. 

Included are poets, fiction and creative non-fiction writers many of whom are involved in providing and co-ordinating opportunities for other artists.

Meet the writers:

Karen Mooney has had work published in journals and anthologies in the UK, Ireland, and USA.  She is a presenter with NVTV and she organised ‘Faces of Change: Votes for Women with Voices of Women Aloud NI’, shortlisted for Best Collaborative Work in the Saboteur Awards.

Karen has collaborated with colleagues Gaynor Kane and Byddi Lee to present twenty writers performing their work on the theme of ‘The Art of Conversation’ for Mount Stewart Conversations Festival.

Tweets @1KarenMooney FB @observationsbykaren

Gaynor Kane's writing has been published in journals and anthologies in the UK, Ireland and America. In 2018, Hedgehog Poetry Press launched their Stickleback series with her micro pamphlet ‘Circling the Sun’. The same press will be publishing her chapbook ‘Memory Forest’ later this year. Gaynor is currently working towards her debut full-length poetry collection with the generous support of a SIAP grant from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.

Gaynor is a Vice Chairperson of Holywood Writers’ Group and a member of Women Aloud NI. Since 2016 she has been organising, curating and managing literary events for various festivals including Eastside Arts, CS Lewis Festival, Aspects and the Belfast Book Festival.

Byddi Lee, a native of Armagh, has published flash fiction, short stories and her novel, March to November. Byddi co-founded and manages Flash Fiction Armagh, shortlisted as Best Regular Spoken Word Night in the Saboteur Awards. She co-edits The Bramley – An Anthology of Flash Fiction Armagh. Along with two other members of the Armagh Theatre Group, Byddi wrote IMPACT – Armagh’s Train Disaster which was staged for the anniversary of the tragedy in June 2019 in the Abbey Lane Theatre in Armagh. She is currently writing a speculative fiction trilogy set in a near-future Ireland.

Trish Bennett is a border bandit from County Leitrim who's settled herself into a bee loud glade in Fermanagh. She writes about the shenanigans of her family, and other creatures.  Sometimes she rants. Bennett has won or been placed in over a dozen poetry competitions in the past few years.

 Twitter:  @baabennett

 Bennett’s Babblings

Maureen Boyle is a teacher and writer who lives in Belfast.  Her debut poetry collection, ‘The Work of a Winter’ is in its second edition with Arlen House Press and was shortlisted for the Strong Shine Award in Dublin in the spring of 2019.  A pamphlet, ‘Strabane’ is forthcoming.

David Braziel is a writer, poet and spoken word performer. Three times winner of the Belfast Book Festival poetry slam, a finalist in the all-Ireland slam and long-listed for the Seamus Heaney award for New Writing. His first collection “I am not a Poet (and other poems)” was published by Pen Points Press in 2015.

Kerry Buchanan has been a vet, a research scientist, an IT teacher and a small business owner, but now cares full-time for her father. With numerous short stories published online and in print, she is currently seeking representation for two novels.

Kerry writes Fantasy, Science Fiction, Spoken Word, and Crime.

Links:  Facebook

Cathy Carson is a cancer nurse and a counsellor. She writes flash fiction and poetry and has read at Flash Fiction Armagh. She performs at open mic events and is a member of Words for Castleward writing group.

Colin Dardis is a poet, editor, and arts coordinator. His work has been published widely throughout Ireland, the UK and USA. His latest collection is The Dogs of Humanity (Fly on the Wall Press, 2019). He co-runs Poetry NI, a multimedia platform for poets in Northern Ireland.

Website:   Twitter:

Sue Diven is a Derry based writer but, hailing originally from Armagh, can’t quite classify herself a ‘Derry Girl.’ Peace worker, knackered mammy, musician and juggler of life, she remains clueless how she finds time to write.

She tweets @absolutelywrite

Moyra Donaldson is a poet and creative writing facilitator from Co Down. She has published eight collections of poetry, most recently Carnivorous, from Doire Press, 2019. Other projects include a collaboration with Wexford artist Paddy Lennon, Blood Horses, culminating in a limited edition publication of artworks and poems.

Doreen McBride is an International, award winning storyteller who has featured in many television and radio broadcasts, including The Late Late Show. She is the author of numerous books, had plays produced by BBC Radio Ulster, Centre Theatre and a play directed by James Grieve from Paines Plough, London.

Ray Givans has been published in five poetry pamphlets. His first full poetry collection, Tolstoy in Love, was published in 2009 by Dedalus Press, and was shortlisted for the Strong award for best first collection by an Irish poet for that year. His latest published work is a pamphlet with Poetry Salzburg, at the University of Salzburg, 2017.

Malachi Kelly has 3 children,  is an unknown poet and for thirty five years has acted with Armagh Theatre Group.  His writing features in Armagh's Flash Fiction 'Bramley' and most recently the play 'Impact' on the 1889 Rail Disaster.  He hosts Armagh's Abbey Lane Theatre's Open Mic each month.

Originally from Belfast, Réaltán Ní Leannáin is Irish Language Writer-in-Residence in Dublin City University (DCU). Her publications are listed on her blog - Her newest novel, Cití na gCártaí, follows a young Maltese woman's arranged marriage to a Belfast soldier just after the First World War.

Anesu Mtowa is a 16 year old poet born in Northern Ireland to a South African mother. Her poetry focuses heavily on the complex identity and unique perspective of someone born to a different nationality and culture to their parent. Femininity, race and heritage are topics that she explores through writing.

Maria McManus was born in Enniskillen and  lives in Belfast. She is the author of Available Light (Arlen House, 2018), We are Bone (2013), The Cello Suites(2009) and Reading the Dog (2006) (Lagan Press). She has collaborated extensively with others to put literature into public spaces. She is Artistic Director and curator of Poetry Jukebox, an on-street audio installation of contemporary poetry.

Paul Daniel Rafferty is a Bangor poet, photographer, curator and Editor of The Bangor Literary Journal. He is published in Irish and international journals. Paul was a winner of the 2016 Woodland Trust Poetry Competition.He has read at festivals throughout Ireland. His first interactive poetry exhibition was in 2014. 

Conor Shields is chief executive of the Community Arts Partnership.  A multi-instrumentalist sometime poet and film maker he has worked with theatre companies, broadcast media and film, development education and community development agencies, and has facilitated workshops through a range of disciplines in theatres, community settings, schools and prisons.

Roy Uprichard retired from teaching in April 2014 then developed a benign addiction to the Camino de Santiago. The writing came later. He has published two books on the Caminos Frances and Portugues: ‘Restless Hearts’ and, ‘Stone and Water.’ He lives in North Down and is a member of Holywood Writers.

Instagram: @royuprichard Twitter: roy_uprichard FB: Roy Uprichard

Liz Weir is a County Antrim based storyteller with an international reputation having shared her tales on five continents to people of all ages and abilities.  She is the author of 27 books for children and was this year awarded and MBE for her services to the arts and to education.

Listed in the Guardian as one of Ireland's Top 10 science fiction writers, Jo Zebedee has been writing sci fi and fantasy for 10 years and has 5 books published. She's passionate about proving her genre isn't just for geeks and writes much of her work using Northern Irish settings.