Diving into a world of imagination at Letterkenny Literary Festival

LETTERKENNY is buzzing with literary excitement as the town gears up to celebrate Brendan Behan’s 100th birthday at the Letterkenny Cathedral Quarter Literary Festival.

From Wednesday, October 18 to Sunday, October 22, prepare to be enchanted by a vibrant celebration of words, poetry, film, music, talks, and drama inviting everyone to dive into a world of creativity and imagination.

A standout feature of this festivity is the fantastic collaboration between local bookstore, The Bookmark at the Courtyard Shopping Centre, and poet Mary Turley-McGrath.


Mary has carefully curated an array of poetry books for the shop, giving everyone a taste of the enchanting world of poetry.

She is also the judge of the inaugural Festival Poetry Competition.

For Mary, poetry is like a painting crafted with words—a fascination that began in her early years.

She strongly believes that poetry is intertwined with our lives right from the beginning.

We start with rhymes and songs as kids, and it remains a part of us.

Mary has handpicked some astounding poetry books for The Bookmark.

These literary gems include works by beloved poets like Yeats, Kavanagh, and Heaney, alongside talented Donegal poets.


If you’ve ever wanted to explore the world of poetry, this is your golden ticket.

“There’s something special about holding a book in your hands,” Mary said.

“The feeling of browsing through shelves and discovering new adventures is something you can’t get from a screen.”

While the Letterkenny Cathedral Quarter Literary Festival pays homage to Brendan Behan, it’s also a heartfelt celebration of the close-knit literary community in Letterkenny. If you’re toying with the idea of trying your hand at poetry, Mary has some words of wisdom for you:

“Just start writing. Pen down what you know, read poems by others, and see where your words take you. Your unique path in writing might just be waiting to be discovered.”

The festival is the culmination of months of work by the committee members, Donnan Harvey (organiser), Mary Turley-McGrath (festival director), Teresa Ryder (poetry competition co-ordinator), Pauric Havlin (web designer), and Shane Toolan (adviser).

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