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BBC Presenter Simon King headlines Steinbeck Celebration

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BBC presenter, writer and wildlife advocate Simon King will headline this year’s Steinbeck Celebration at Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council’s Roe Valley Arts & Cultural Centre in Limavady. The event, entitled ‘Steinbeck Celebration: The Human Heart and the Land, will run from October 7th – October 19th. Simon’s passion for the natural world is well known to television viewers worldwide through his work as a presenter and award-winning cameraman.

He has played an instrumental role in some of the best known award-winning natural history television programmes of recent years, including Springwatch, Big Cat Diary, Planet Earth, Blue Planet and the Life series. More recently he has worked on the Disney production, African Cats.

Having recently published his first book entitled NatureWatch, Simon will delight audience members of all ages by providing an intimate evening of stories and insights into the natural world on Saturday, October 8th at 6pm. Prior to this, the world renowned musician and producer Donal Lunny promises a night to remember. He takes to the stage with two other virtuoso musicians Padraig Rynne and Sylvain Barou, all the way from Brittany, on Friday October 7th at 8pm. Known as the Donal Lunny Triad, their breath-taking live sets dive into Irish traditional music via Brittany, Eastern Europe and world folk music.

As well as founding legendary bands including The Bothy Band and Planxty, Donal has also produced records for artists including Kate Bush, Elvis Costello and Paul Brady to name a few. Poet Jean Bleakney reads from her newly launched Selected Poems on Saturday, October 8th at 3pm. Wicklow-based poet Jane Clarke, who recently published her first collection The River, and won the 2016 Hennessy Literary Award, hosts a reading on Wednesday, October 19th at 6.30pm. Historian Alister McReynolds provides a fascinating free talk, “John Steinbeck: Homeward Bound” on Thursday, October 13th at 7.30pm.

It explores the famous writer’s local family roots and this influence on his writing. Two award-winning cinematic adaptations of Steinbeck novels, Of Mice and Men, starring John Malkovich and Gary Sinise, and the acclaimed East of Eden, starring James Dean in his first major film role, screen on Thursday, October 13th at 2pm and Saturday, October 15th at 2pm respectively. Limavady Writers’ Group host a Causeway Writers’ Evening on Tuesday, October 11th from 7pm. All are welcome to attend as members read selected works. A range of workshops also feature in this year’s celebration. North Coast based writer Bernie McGill hosts a two-part creative writing workshop on Monday, October 10th and 17th from 7-9pm.

Former environmental campaigner and published poet Emma Must hosts From Leaf to Line, a nature walk and poetry writing workshop at Roe Valley Country Park on Saturday, October 8th from 10am-2pm. Artist Gail Mahon teaches a two-part Environmental Ceramic and Drawing workshop exploring our local natural and urban landscape on Saturday, October 8th and October 15th from 2pm – 4.30pm.

Local photographer Rachel Cassidy hosts a Parent and Child photography workshop exploring local scenic locations on Saturday, October 15th from 10am-2pm. To book, contact the Arts Centre team on 028 7776 0650.

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