The writers of Kerry have penned their own lasting impression on Ireland’s literary & cultural landscape. The nest of writers in Listowel & North Kerry, along with writers in the Irish language from the Great Blasket Island have become international best sellers.

But why has North Kerry produced so many great writers? The answer from one of its most famous sons, John B. Keane, is that it’s probably easier to write in this part of the world than not to do so.

Beautiful Listowel, serenaded night and day by the gentle waters of the River Feale.
Listowel where it is easier to write than not to write,
Where first love never dies, and the tall streets hide the loveliness,
the heartbreak and the moods, great and small,
of all the gentle souls of a great and good community.
Sweet, incomparable hometown that shaped and made me.

The Master Bryan MacMahon described how his literary talent was influenced by his hometown.

I come from a small country town in the South West of Ireland.
I’m a local schoolteacher. The place is only a speck on the map. We cherish our characters, our heroes, our people of significance. Would you care to hear about them?……….

Or perhaps it is something in the water as described by Brendan Kennelly:

When a Listowel man takes a drink from any tap in this lovely town
‘Tis not only water thats going down, but the purified secrets of the dead
Flowing into his belly and through his head
No town here or in any land will do this for your body and mind
Inspiration flows through the graveyard sod
Turn a tap in Listowel, out flows God!

To find out more about the writers featured in our museum follow the links below or even better, come and visit us.