Festival of Writing & Ideas (in-person event)

16th June to 18th June 2023 

Event description.

2023 will be the eleventh edition of Borris House Festival of Writing & Ideas, and we are proud to have weathered the last few years to bring you another intimate and invigorating weekend, in a place as beautiful as Borris, Co Carlow.

Our aspiration is simply that ideas captured in writing of all kinds are exchanged. In this era of anger and misinformation, our speakers – celebrated historians, activists, musicians, journalists, environmentalists and literary minds – will help us navigate these uncertain times throughout the day.

And as always at Borris, a convivial atmosphere with good conversation and engaging company is all around you.

The Borris House Festival of Writing & Ideas  – when we meet again in June – promises a weekend of stimulating dialogue and discourse, gathering together intriguing international minds from all over the world and inviting them to Borris Village for a few days. Prize-winning novelists, poet laureates, genre-changing musicians, mind-expanding academics, journalists from far reaches of the globe, but also artists, film-makers, political commentators, musicians, architects – and regular people who have experienced the extraordinary – grace the stages across the weekend.

Curiosity might lead a festival-goer from the Middle Eastern front-lines, to first-hand accounts behind the lyrics and music of Florence and the Machine or Pink Floyd or Led Zeppelin, to the latest research in neuroscience, to a forgotten novel penned 50 years ago, or to a local uileann piper’s call.

The Festival of Writing & Ideas has become known for its casual, friendly atmosphere, and for its extraordinary line-up of speakers, carefully curated by a small team led by Vivienne Guinness and Hugo Jellett. It takes place each year in the magnificent surroundings of Borris House, the seat of the High Kings of Leinster, situated at the foot of the Blackstairs Mountains with the River Barrow meandering by. Spilling out into the pubs and halls of this idyllic village, the festival is a place that the curious find inspiring.

In the past years this small village in Carlow has welcomed Donna Tartt, Fiona Shaw, Michael Morpurgo, Simon Schama, Chrissie Hynde, Dominic West, Kate Tempest, Don McCullin, John Paul Jones, Michael Chabon, Sebastian Barry, PJ Harvey, Antony Beevor, Anne Enright, Martin Amis, Roy Foster, Michael Cunningham, Tommy Tiernan, Michael Harding, Louis De Bernieres, Philomena Lee, Joseph O’Connor, Bob Geldof, Michael Craig Martin, Colm Toibin, Florence Welch, David Simon, Mary Robinson, Michael D/ Higgins, Zadie Smith and many many others.

Across the weekend, over 75 speakers will participate in 60 events over the first weekend in June. In the meantime, we urge you to visit our digital sisterhood: a portal for online conversations, running throughout the year with alarming regularity: simply click on the Borris Broadcasts on the main page (click here).

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