Arts

In Conversation with Polly Devlin at Belfast's Grand Opera House

Polly Devlin pictured in her London home

TYRONE-born writer, broadcaster and film-maker Polly Devlin will talk in depth about her life and career during an exclusive personal appearance at Belfast's Grand Opera House on November 5.

In Conversation with Polly Devlin will be hosted by journalist Suzanne Lowry and has been organised to raise funds for the Linen Hall Library.

Devlin has interviewed some of the most iconic figures of our times, including Bob Dylan, John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Mick Jagger, Peggy Guggenheim, Jean Shrimpton and Andy Warhol. She was also a professor at Barnard College, Columbia University, New York and was married to trailblazing industrialist Adrian Garnett. She is a sister of Horslips musician and screenwriter Barry Devlin and sister-in-law of the late Seamus Heaney.

Her long-time editor and friend Lowry will ask probing questions about many aspects of Devlin's life; her early beginnings in Northern Ireland, winning a writing contest in the 1960s that landed her a job with fashion bible Vogue, her career as a writer for some of the world's most popular newspapers and magazines, her books, including The Far Side of The Lough and the recently published Writing Home.

"I'd rather be boiled in oil now than do another interview," she writes of her days quizzing celebrities for newspapers and magazines in the 2013 article Portrait of the Artist as a Young Interviewer, one of 41 essays collated in Writing Home.

"The very idea of earnestly questioning celebs, finding out their thoughts and feelings leaves me aghast. And although most of what the famous told me then wasn't worth a hill of beans, their thoughts seem Socratic wisdom compared to what I read now."

She adds: "I am so much looking forward to an evening to help the Linen Hall Library at the Grand Opera House, two cultural jewels in Belfast's history."

Linen Hall director Julie Andrews described Devlin as being "part of the literary landscape of Northern Ireland", adding: "I'm sure has a few fascinating tales to tell about her spectacular career."

There will also be a Q&A with the audience.

:: In Conversation With Polly Devlin, Baby Grand Studio, Grand Opera House, Belfast, Tuesday November 5, 7.45pm-9pm. Tickets £15 via Goh.co.uk. Copies of Writing Home will be available to purchase on the night.

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