Aussie Laureates visit City of Culture

Authors Boori Monty Pryor and Alison Lester, the Australian Children's Laureates who will visit Derry next week. (280313JC1)
Authors Boori Monty Pryor and Alison Lester, the Australian Children's Laureates who will visit Derry next week. (280313JC1)

Derry will play host to two very special visitors next Tuesday, April 2, when Australia’s two inaugural Children’s Laureates stop off at Verbal Arts Centre on Bishop Street during their first visit to Ireland.

Boori Monty Pryor and Alison Lester will be reading their work and partaking in a Q&A session hosted by Joe Mahon of ‘Lesser Spotted Culture’ fame.

The event, which begins at 10.30am, is part of ‘Disobey Gravity’, the Verbal Arts Centre’s programme of events for City of Culture 2013.

Catherine McGrotty explains: “Disobey Gravity aims to saturate the city in great books, brilliant stories, exciting literary events, and, most importantly, promote reading for pleasure in 2013 and beyond. This particular event focuses on the important role reading has in the lives of children.”

The award-winning Australian authors were invited to Ireland by Arts Council Northern Ireland Chief Executive Roisin McDonough, who believes there is a lot to be learned from the Laureates about how they use literature to connect with young people.

Both Laureates have expressed their delight at visiting Ireland. Boori writes: “Ireland. I know you get a wee bit colder in the winter and not much warmer in the summer time. But summer time is always ready to shine from inside the hearts of your people.”

Alison says: “I can’t wait to come to Ireland. I’ve been wanting to visit for as long as I’ve been able to read, I guess, because so many of the books I love are set in Ireland.’”

Verbal Arts Centre will also host two free children’s workshops in the afternoon. Boori Monty Pryor will be holding a participation based, storytelling workshop for children aged 6-10 years-old and Alison Lester will be hosting a book-making workshop for children aged 11-14 years old. Both workshops take place between 1:30–2:30pm. E-mail: communications@verbalartscentre.co.uk to book a place.