Fifth annual CS Lewis Festival coming to Belfast

Festival director Rachel Kennedy, writer and festival curator Jan Carson and Vincent Higgins aka CS Lewis help to launch the CS Lewis festival programme at St Martin's Church

THE fifth annual CS Lewis Festival in Belfast this month will celebrate the impact and legacy of this homegrown literary great.

From November 18 to 22, a series of events and activities will showcase the author's diverse works, his legacy and his strong connections to his childhood home in east Belfast.

This year's festival theme is ‘Surprised by Joy,' taken from CS Lewis's works of the same name.

Pop into the Narnia-themed Fine and Dandy market at Crescent Arts Centre, take part in a special book club discussion at EastSide Visitor Centre on Lewis's autobiography, Surprised by Joy, where writer Jan Carson and poet Sarah Hesketh will also be reading and discussing their work on people with dementia.

The Squat Pen welcomes everyone to their evening of words and music at St Martin's Church and you can learn to write your own poem with Andy Eaton at Strand Presbyterian Church.

Hops and Glory brings an evening of beer and hymns to the Maple Leaf Social Club in support of The Larder food bank at St. Christopher's Church Ballymacarrett, while there will be more music with the ‘Surprised By' series of mini gigs showcasing Belfast musicians Anthony Toner, Ursula Burns and Alana Henderson.

Discover CS Lewis's Belfast connections via a series of walks and tours including the CS Lewis Bus Tour, a tour of Belfast City Cemetery where many of his family are buried and an exploration of his childhood landscapes.

Enjoy a programme of theatre, dance and visual arts including a Ceili night at Strand Presbyterian Church, Searchlight Theatre Company's award-winning production of CS Lewis's The Screwtape Letters at Willowfield Presbyterian Church or the haunting tales of the festive season in Christmas Gothic at St Martin's Church.

Throughout the festival, visitors can enjoy exhibitions by Colin McGookin at EastSide Gallery and Ciaran Harper at ArtisAnn Gallery.

There's also a poetry competition open to those who can pen a verse based on the festival theme ‘Surprised by Joy' about what surprises them about east Belfast in less than 140 characters.

:: Tickets and full festival programme available via

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