>In 2012 as part of the Strawberry Festival Anne Gilpin and Maria Nolan created, Words in Wexford. It was so successful they decided to form a Committee to focus solely on literature and the Focal Festival, with Focal in Irish meaning “Word”, was established in 2013 under the Chair, Niall Wall. In 2012 and 2013, the late Denis Collins worked with us to showcase the first art exhibitions in the renovated Nunnery Chapel that has become The Presentation Centre. The festival was rebranded as the Wexford Literary Festival in 2014 under the Chair of Carmel Harrington. The Festival commenced its literary Awards programme sponsored by Ger Mackey. Community Development, Wexford County Council, to include the Colm Tóibín International Short Story Award, Anthony Cronin International Poetry Award, Billy Roche International Short Play Award, Eileen Gray Window Display Award and in 2019, the Denis Collins Visual Arts Award and the Cursed Murphy Spoken Word Award.
We were delighted to expand in 2019 to include Wexford Town in the Festival with Wexford Arts Centre’s The Diary Of Maynard Perdu by Billy Roche and the bookstores literature themed window displays.
Always evolving, under the 2020 - 2021 CoVid-19 pandemic, the Festival continued to offer literature: internationally, with on-line events. In 2021, the Eoin Colfer International Childrens’ Short Story was established.
To reflect the dynamism of the Festival, the Committee adopted a suggestion made in 2021 by Ger Mackey, the Enniscorthy Municipal Council Manager, and have re-branded the festival to the Wexford Literary Arts Festival!
The festival continues to grow each year with participation of established as well as emerging writers across many genres who inspire and entertain attendees of all ages in a casual friendly way.
The committee is open to any person who is passionate about literature in any genre, with the enthusiasm to work as a team member to achieve our goals.
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