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ARTS Dermot Healy to share literary insights

Going Out
Dermot Healy
WORDSMITH Celebrated Irish author Dermot Healy is conducting a workshop in Westport this weekend.

Dermot Healy to share literary insights

Ciara Moynihan

Multi-award-winning novelist, playwright and poet Dermot Healy is hosting a workshop on short-story writing in Westport this Saturday, October 6, as part of Westport Arts Festival. The workshop is an opportunity to meet a master and to explore the techniques he uses to pen his works.
Healy was born in Westmeath, grew up in Cavan, and now lives in Sligo. As well as nine plays and five collections of poetry, the prolific Healy has published five novels, the most-famous of which are probably ‘A Goat’s Song’ (1994) and ‘Sudden Times’ (1999). He has also written a collection of short stories, ‘Banished Misfortune’ (1982), and a memoir, ‘The Bend in the Road’.
The non-linear, almost plotless nature of his last novel, ‘Long Time, No See’ (2011), confounded some reviewers, but was also recognised for capturing ‘Ireland talking for Ireland’. “Ireland seeps out of the small silences. If you listen, you’ll find a lot to love,” wrote Arminta Wallace in The Irish Times, while an Irish Independent reviewer urged “Allow it to become part of your life. Read it, hear it, breathe it and you will be rewarded.”
Of the author, Seán O’Hagan in The Observer, noted “there is something of the eternally mischievous child about Healy, though he approaches the art of writing with all the seriousness of a religious vocation.”
Dermot Healy is also co-judging in the Westport Arts Festival poetry competition, along with Westport poet Ger Reidy. The results of the competition will be announced at 7.30pm this Friday, October 5, at The Creel restaurant at Westport Quay. Healy will also give a recital of his work on the night.  
Other literary events on the Westport Arts Festival calendar include an open mic and poetry night at The Creel on Thusrday, October 11, and the launch of crime novel ‘El Niño’, by Ballinrobe writer Mick Donnellan, in McCarthy’s Pub on Monday, October 8. Donnellan will give a reading from the book at the launch.

Dermot Healy’s workshop on short-story writing takes place in the Wyatt Hotel, Westport, from 10.30am to 1.30pm this Saturday, October 6. For more information on all Westport Arts Festival events, visit westportartsfestival.com. Tickets are available from the website, and from the festival box office on Brewery Lane, off Bridge Street (10am-7pm).