BookFest opens eyes and hearts

The Kerryman (Tralee Edition) - - NEWS -

WRIT­ERS’ Week’s first foray into a time zone be­yond its usual early sum­mer slot proved a great suc­cess on Thurs­day as up to 1,000 sec­ondary stu­dents de­scended on Lis­towel for a day of of­ten pro­found lessons at Young Adult BookFest.

Poet Bren­dan Ken­nelly, Can’t Cope, Won’t Cope writer Stephanie Preiss­ner, the BBC’s Fer­gal Keane, co­me­dian Kather­ine Lynch and Tom Crean in­ter­preter Ai­den Doo­ley all fea­tured on the day. Mak­ing per­haps the big­gest im­pact was Holo­caust sur­vivor Tomi Re­ichen­tal. “He was just in­cred­i­ble and made some im­pact on the stu­dents,” Billy Keane - who in­ter­viewed Tomi live on the stage at the Com­mu­nity Cen­tre where the event was held – told The Ker­ry­man. “His in­cred­i­ble story has never been so im­por­tant at a time when it seems Holo­caust de­nial is some­how on the in­crease.”

Writ­ers’ Week’s Máire Logue said the fes­ti­val was de­lighted with the event. “This was our first time hold­ing BookFest out­side of the fes­ti­val and we did so as it seemed a bet­ter time for stu­dents. It was a de­ci­sion that paid off with 850 sec­ondary stu­dents from 15 schools across Kerry, Lim­er­ick and Cork at­tended and the feed­back was brilliant,” Máire said.

“We be­gan with a film we spe­cially com­mis­sioned of Bren­dan Ken­nelly talk­ing about his po­etry, given that he is now in­cluded on the Leav­ing Cert English syl­labus for the first time. Stephanie Preiss­ner was also a huge hit, speak­ing at length about her writ­ing life and im­part­ing great ad­vice,” Máire said.

Stu­dents from St Josephs Sec­ondary School Bally­bunion Mia Fitz­patrick, Rachel Stack, An­na­may Wall, Lily Belle, Karis Kun­wor and Katie Barry meet­ing Holo­caust sur­vivor Tomi Re­ichen­tal at the Young Adult Book Fest in Lis­towel Com­mu­nity Cen­tre on Thurs­day.

Tomi Re­ichen­thal at the Holo­caust Me­mo­rial in the Gar­den of Europe; with Cause­way stu­dents and Billy Keane who in­ter­viewed Tomi on stage in a deeply mov­ing event and, left, with CBS The Green Tralee stu­dents Ja­son Helistrom,Oran Mullins-Moynihan, Gra­ham Hud­son, Josh O’Ke­effe, Lau­rence Guardiano and David Kap­kowski.

Mill­town Sec­ondary Stu­dents Kerry Richard­son, Sarah McGrath and Ni­cola Flynn meet­ing ris­ing star Stephanie Preiss­ner at the Young Adult BookFest in Kerry’s lit­er­ary cap­i­tal of Lis­towel on Thurs­day.

Pre­sen­ta­tion Sec­ondary School,Tralee stu­dents Katie Laucher and Re­becca Walsh with Stephanie Preiss­ner on Thurs­day in Lis­towel.

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