Tickets are still available for Tuesday night’s Literary Belfast celebration at 8pm in the Ulster Hall. Poetry, plays and prose from the pens for Belfast writers such as Colin Bateman, Ciaran Carson, Patricia Craig, Leontia Flynn, Marie Jones, Michael Longley, Martin Lynch, Bernard MacLaverty, Owen McCafferty, Sinead Morrissey, Frank Ormsby, David Park, Glenn Patterson and Paul Muldoon. Cost £5.
Literary Belfast is a new tourism initiative “to promote the rich literary heritage and vibrant contemporary scene”. Northern Ireland Tourist Board’s Tourism Innovation Fund has been tapped to capitalise on the “massive” literary tourism market.
According to Alderman Chris Stalford (chair of Belfast City Council’s Development Committee):
"The United Kingdom currently features as number one in a list, compiled by TripAdvisor, of the top ten literary destinations in the world, and literary tourism contributes up to £2.6 billion a year to the British economy."
As well as putting 14 local wordsmiths on the same stage, the evening will also launch a number of other literary resources.
- a new Literary Belfast iPhone app by Filmtrip (link to iTunes);
- the www.literarybelfast.org website with searchable listings of bookish events and festivals, competitions, and a handy map of Belfast bookshops;
- a revamped C S Lewis exhibition, which will take place at both the Belmont Tower and the Linenhall Library;
- the Belfast Poets and Writers Exhibition and the opening of the BBC Literary Archive, at the City Hall which “will give local people and visitors alike an insight into the influences of both native and visiting writers, from CS Lewis and Brian Moore to John Keats and Anthony Trollope”;
- new and enhanced literary tours and trails including the ‘Belfast Literary Walking Tours’ (by Robbie Meredith and Hugh Odling-Smee), the ‘CS Lewis Tour’ (by Sandy Smyth) and the ‘Nearly True Tales Tour’ (by Young at Art, for children 7 years and over).