Aspects Festival returns to Bangor

Crime in The Castle will find 'Ulster noir' writer Gerard Brennan discussing his work. Picture by Mal McCann
Crime in The Castle will find 'Ulster noir' writer Gerard Brennan discussing his work. Picture by Mal McCann Crime in The Castle will find 'Ulster noir' writer Gerard Brennan discussing his work. Picture by Mal McCann

THE Aspects Festival in Bangor gets under way this weekend, bringing a month-long programme of literary events to various venues around the Co Down town.

At Clandeboye Estate on September 1 and 2, The Clandeboye Reading Party and Lady Dufferin will be discussing issues around the environment and biodiversity. This year’s theme Learning Without Walls is inspired by Lady Dufferin’s life as a landscape painter.

Sir Bob Salisbury will also be at Clandeboye discussing his book Field of Dreams, then on Thursday September 6 at 7pm, Bangor Carnegie Library will host the exhibition Blood Horses, a collaboration between local poet Moyra Donaldson and equine artist Paddy Lennon telling the stories of three famous stallions; The Byerley Turk, The Darley Arabian and The Godolphin Barb.

The exhibition and an accompanying limited-edition book look at the relationship between humans and horses, the effect they have on our lives and our love for these magnificent creatures. Entry is free.

The Festival Yurt is returning to Bangor’s beautiful Walled Garden from September 14 to 16 and will host a series of poetry and mindfulness events.

Fired! is a celebration of women writers from both the past and the present and will include readings followed by a panel discussion featuring poet Katie Donovan, Chris Murray of Poethead and academic Alex Pryce.

Women Aloud return to Aspects for their Not So Secret Garden event in the Yurt on Saturday September 15, while The Power of Poetry on Sunday September 16 welcomes poets Pádraig Ó Tuama, Stephen Sexton and Erin Halliday to the Yurt for recitals.

Bangor Castle's Chamber Room will host Rise Above! The Letters of Tyrone Guthrie with Christopher Fitzsimon on Saturday September 22, offering an intimate insight into the theatre director’s life and the world he inhabited.

Also on Saturday 22, Crime in The Castle will find 'Ulster noir' writers Brian McGilloway, Simon Maltman and Gerard Brennan discussing their work and how important location is to crime fiction. This event will feature authors.

On Sunday September 23, Reporting The Troubles with Ivan Little and Deric Henderson will showcase the pair's book which covers the Troubles from the perspective of the journalists who were 'on the ground' at that time.

The festival also caters for 'little readers' with a full Young Aspects programme from September 25 to 30 at North Down Museum, Bangor Carnegie Library and Boom Studios – events include readings, book-inspired yoga and a comic workshop.

And, for the first time ever, there will be an Autism-friendly event with a relaxed story-telling morning specifically designed for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder on Sunday September 30 at North Down Museum.

:: Full programme information and tickets via Aspectsfestival.com or by phone on 028 9127 1200