Listowel International Storytelling Festival

MEET OUR 2022 GUEST ARTISTS

Maria Gillen

Maria Gillen

Artistic Director

Kerry Writers’ Museum i delighted to welcome Maria back as Artistic Director of our 2022 Festival.

In 2018 and 2019 Maria featured as an emerging storyteller in the annual Cape Clear Storytelling festival with ‘ Maria headlined our festival in 2020 and has been a Featured Teller in the States, Oloumouc, The UK, Scotland and at a number of festivals in Ireland. Maria has brought the famous Listowel Rambling House online during the Covid Pandemic, founding an expanding play list of excellent Rambling House nights which you can find on https://tinyurl.com/KWM-Playlists.

Maria has been exploring the Medicinal Story through her work as a Dramatherapist and Storyteller with the Cork Yarnspinners. She has collected many delightful tales and wisdoms from Cork based Community work.ba

Liz Weir MBE

Liz Weir MBE

Liz Weir MBE is a professional storyteller based in Cushendall, Co. Antrim. Liz works with all age groups promoting the traditional art for which Ireland is world famous. A children’s librarian by training, she now travels the world telling stories to adults and children, organising workshops on storytelling, and speaking at courses for parents, teachers and librarians. Her wealth of stories is drawn from both the oral and written traditions. She was the first winner of the International Story Bridge Award from the National Storytelling Network, USA, which cited her “exemplary work promoting the art of storytelling. She was awarded an MBE for her services to the Arts and Education in January 2019.
Joe Brennan

Joe Brennan

Joe grew up immersed in stories of his home town of Wexford. He is the author of Donegal Folk Tales which was the featured book for Read DL in 2014. He is a children’s playwright with a number of productions, including the highly successful ‘The Wichin’ Well’ which toured nationally twice and was performed in Bucharest. He is the creator and performer of the magical ‘Star Boy’, a theatre show without words for early years, which continues to tour. He facilitates workshops in storytelling, creative writing and drama with all ages. He was the Children’s Curator at Kilkenny Arts Festival and Director of Ramelton Storytelling Festival.
Ger Wolfe

Ger Wolfe

Ger Wolfe is an established Irish singer songwriter, a multi-instrumentalist and a poet who, sparkling with life, composes and performs ”carefully-crafted vignettes of song” (Irish Times).

Releasing nine full albums of his highly original work on indie label ‘Raggedy Records’ “Word & Rhyme” (1998), followed by ‘Ragged Ground’ (2000), ‘Heaven Paints Her Holy Mantle Blue’ (2002) and ‘The Velvet Earth’ (2005). ‘No Bird Sang’ (2009), ‘Fréamh ; Root’ (2011) and ‘I Have Been Loved’ (2014), ‘Melody Bright and The Favourite Sparrow’ (a compilation) (2019) and “The Morning Star” (2020) Ger has toured extensively both solo and with his band ‘The New Skylarks’, mainly featuring Paul Frost (double bass), Edel Sullivan (violin) and Martin Leahy (Drums) over the last 20 years.

Frances Kennedy

Frances Kennedy

Even though Frances now lives in Listowel, Co. Kerry she is quick to point out that she is very much a Cork woman. The youngest of a family of eleven, songs and stories were always part of her home life. Neighbours called at night and her father would fill them up with all sorts of stories. Her mother, a great believer in ghosts would tell of strange lights seen and things going bump in the night, so it was easy for Frances to fall into singing and telling the odd story. But it was in Listowel that Frances first started singing in public and everyone in Kerry had a story to tell, so she just joined in.

It was in Listowel, of course, that Frances met John B. Keane, one of her idols and there were many great singing nights in his pub. John B. encouraged Frances to tell a recitation or a yarn and before she knew it she was entertaining often.

Mickey MacConnell

Mickey MacConnell

Mickey is the youngest member of a musical family from Bellanaleck, Co. Fermanagh. He spent most of his working life as a journalist in Dublin with the Irish Press Group and later The Irish Times. Despite the fact that he has been writing songs all his life – Only Our Rivers Run Free’ was written in 1965 – it was only when he moved to Kerry about 30 years ago that he seriously devoted himself to his music.

His first album ‘Peter Pan and Me’ was released in 1992 to critical acclaim and since then many of his songs have been recorded internationally by such artists as Christy Moore, The Wolfe Tones, Mary Black and The James Last Orchestra. His album ‘Joined Up Writing’ features many new songs and takes a wry look at life and politics, not just in Ireland but worldwide.

Gabriel Fitzmaurice

Gabriel Fitzmaurice

Deeply rooted in the literary tradition of North Kerry, Gabriel Fitzmaurice is a poet, broadcaster, writer, translator, singer and raconteur. He was born in 1952, in the village of Moyvane, Co Kerry where he still lives. For more than three decades, he taught and later served as principal at his local national school but is now happily retired. He has been called “poetry’s answer to John B Keane” (Books Ireland) and his poems have been described as “comparable to Burns for their insight and lyricism” (The Irish Times ). He is the author of more than forty books, including collections of poetry in English and Irish as well as several collections of verse for children.
Godfrey Coppinger

Godfrey Coppinger

Godfrey is a five-year-old cleverly disguised as a little old lady! She is a life-long doodler, scribbler, and storyteller. She loves to sing songs. make music, and dance. Godfrey looks funny when she dances, but she doesn’t care.

Originally from California, Godfrey now lives in Listowel, with a leprechaun, a fancy dog, and a retired pirate. She tells stories regularly at the Kerry County Library and works with Fighting Words, a creative writing program that helps students of all ages develop their writing skills and explore their love of writing.

Paddy Regan

Paddy Regan

Paddy Regan, raconteur and seanchai, has been entertaining audiences for over 30 years or so. He tells stories about the “foibles idiosyncrasies and peccadillos” of the human condition. With a gift for accent, characterisation and a keen eye for social behaviour, no one is safe from his energetic, fast paced, irreverent, uproarious style which often involves the audience .So watch out. Paddy has appeared at all the major venues over the years and, more recently, is well known at the Willie Clancy, Courtmacsherry, Sneem and Writers Week festivals. His favourite venue is John B Keanes. He has established close links with Listowel and has helped with our festival this year .
A Corkman, his only outstanding ambition is a Kerry passport. Some hope.!!
Sonny Egan

Sonny Egan

Sonny Egan is a storyteller, singer, musician and impromptu dancer who hails from North Kerry. He is a two time winner of All-Ireland Scéalaíocht competition at Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann. For years, Sonny’s home in Abbeydorney was open to locals and strangers dropping in for tea and a chat and soon developed into a rambling house. Sonny comes to us as All-Ireland storytelling competition winner at Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann in Mullingar and the Mick McCarthy storytelling competition champion in Finuge. He is also the proud recipient of a Kerry’s Eye/Radio Kerry Local Hero Award.
Cormac O'Caoimh

Cormac O'Caoimh

Cormac launched his 6th album (swim crawl walk run ) on May 15th 2020. The first 7 singles including “I’m in need” , ‘When my kids grow too old to hold hands’ and ‘Swim Crawl Walk Run Ride Drive Fly’ all were playlisted by Ireland’s biggest national station – RTE Radio 1. His most recent single ‘There Must Be A Catch’ (May 2022) was number 8 in the most played tracks on Irish radio and no. 2 in the RTE Radio 1 monthly charts. His most recent album was Album of the the Week on RTE Radio 1, BBC Ulster, Lyric FM, KCRL FM, Play Irish , 8 Radio , Le Village Pop and 8 Radio. It was the 8th biggest selling album of 2020 and reached no.1 in the official IRMA indie charts on the week of its release.

Cormac’s intimate vocals, magical melodies and exquisite guitar playing has always attracted very favourable appeal to critics quick to point to his unique style as well as comparisons to acts varying from the dreamy pop of The Go Betweens, Badly Drawn Boy, Elliott Smith and Prefab Sprout to the introspective and more folk-oriented Nick Drake, Leonard Cohen and Paul Simon.

Hank Wedel

Hank Wedel

Singer-songwriter Hank Wedel was born in New York City in the 1960s, grew up in Mallow, Co. Cork in the 1970’s, returned to his birthplace in NYC during the ’80s and ’90s and is now based in Cork. Hank’s passion for music and songwriting is evident in his delivery of a song. A consummate performer, he has shared the stage with Irish music legends Bono, Shane McGowan, Declan Sinnott and Kila.

Irish folk-singer legend Christy Moore recorded Hank’s song “Listen” and made it the title track of his best-selling 2009 album on Sony records. In 2012, Hank released a single entitled “Mighty Fine”. The track was his first ever digital release and it reached No. 4 on the Irish iTunes Singles Chart within two weeks of release. In the past, he has been involved with bands “Princes Street” and “Open Kitchen” and a long-standing Monday night residency at Charlie’s Bar with mandolinist Ray Barron attracts a large weekly loyal following.

Lorraine Nash

Lorraine Nash

The independent release of her debut EP Wildflower in 2020 saw stunning newcomer and multi-instrumentalist, Lorraine Nash, quickly become one of the most played female artists on Irish radio. Lorraine has spent the last year working with long-time collaborator Pat Herring Ahern on her debut album due out later in 2022.

Lorraine’s vocal emanates from a soulful place, somewhere between Tracy Chapman and Gillian Welch, and is perfectly suited to a musical palate that evokes Americana and folk tones.

Over the past year Lorraine has performed at high profile events such as Indiependence Presents: Autumn Air, The Ruby Sessions, and Breaking Sound UK. She has also performed in renowned venues such Cork Opera House, Triskel Arts Centre and St. Luke’s.

Maria Credali

Maria Credali

Maria is an artist, zoologist and storyteller of growing renown. She is even, on occasion, a belly dancer….but that’s a whole other story….

Having discovered and immersed herself in the world of storytelling several years ago, Maria now takes traditional tales and makes them her own, breathing life into characters and taking the listener on journeys of magic and myth. She has told at clubs across the Uk, including Word of Mouth, Matlock Storytellers and Stafford Knot, and she also tells as part of Lichfield Storytellers. Prior to Covid, Maria was invited to tell as up and coming artist to watch on the main stage artist at the East Anglian Storytelling Festival 2020.

Maria has a warm and engaging, humorous style which is well suited to sharing story secrets with her audiences. Her favourite stories are those that leave you feeling that all is well in the world…..perhaps those are just the sort of stories we need at the moment…

Supported by:
Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport & Media under the Small Scale Festivals Scheme 2022
Kerry County Council