Festivals, Residencies, Visits and Conferences
Since February 2022, life has gone back to normal, with many live visits to schools, libraries, arts centres, museums, and festivals. I continue telling stories live via the internet–public libraries in Ireland are especially keen to have storytellers and writers do zoom and teams visits with school groups too far from the library to attend live sessions. Most of my work is commissioned by schools and public libraries, or through Poetry Ireland’s Writers-in-Schools scheme, or via Authors Aloud (please feel free to contact me at any time by email for further information).
CURRENT WORK AND EVENTS:
- Champion of Reading–Sperrinview School, Dungannon. A residency consisting of a series of workshops linked to this school’s participation in the Robert Dunbar Memorial Library project run by Children’s Books Ireland
- School Visits. Storytelling sessions in various schools in Ireland and London, including St Thomas Senior National School (Jobstown) and Blue Gate Fields Junior School (Tower Hamlets), two of the schools I’ve visited almost every year since 1989.
- Branching Out–Stories of the Past. Archive work for a project I participated in last year, run by Loughborough University’s Storytelling Academy
- Sidmouth Folk Festival, 4-11 August. Loads of music, singing and dance events, and lots of storytelling, come join us in Devon.
- Whitby Folk Week, 19-26 August. More music, singing and dance events with plenty of storytelling, come join us in Yorkshire.
- Children’s Book Festival, Cavan County Libraries. 5-6 October
- Padraic Colum Gathering, Longford County Libraries, 7 October. A presentation on my research into Colum’s storytelling practices in American libraries.
- I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for Halloween! Spooky Tales, Funny Folk and Tall Tales for Ages 5 and up. Family Story Times at Fingal Libraries 31 Oct., 1-2 November (Blanchards Town Library 31 Oct, 2-3 pm, Donabate Library 1 Nov, 3-4 pm, Skerries Library 2 Nov. 11-12 am.
- Storytelling sessions in USA. Visits to schools in Chicago and central Illinois.
- 12 Night with the Lion’s part Theatre Company, Bankside, Globe Theatre and the George Pub in Borough. 7 Jan 2024
- The Shape of the Story. Arts Council funded research project, exploring the stories, story sources, and educational work of Seumas MacManus and Padraic Colum, both renowned storytellers, poets, writers and dramatists and major influences on storytelling in public libraries and schools in the USA during the early 20th Century.
- European Fairy Tale Route. Member of the Scientific Committee (their advisory board)
- IBBY Ireland. Board member and treasurer; director of our 2022 celebration of children’s books in Irish: Leabhair Go Leor! / Books Galore! (funded by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, and held at the Skainos Centre in East Belfast
- Creative Associate. Part of the of the Irish Arts Council’s Creative Schools programme, working with Bellurgan National School (Cooley Peninsula, Dundalk)
- Sailortown Stories–ongoing oral history project, gathering anecdotes, memories, stories, and histories of the Rotterdam Bar and Pat’s Bar, two important music venues in Belfast during the worst of the Troubles. Supported by a grant from Northern Ireland Arts Council
- Lancashire Storytelling Festival, 2022, 2023 with Heritage Learning Lancashire. I’ll be helping with the festival and championship, visiting in March 2022, and the second festival in 2023.
- ‘Interview with Elizabeth Laird’ by Patrick Ryan (in Book 2.0, 12:2, 2023)
- Review by Professor Michael Wilson (in Book 2.0, 12:2, 2023) of Story Listening and Experience in Early Childhood. Donna Schatt and Patrick Ryan