World Book Night at VAC: when literature and talent merge

The Verbal Arts Centre hosted the Reading Agency’s Northern Irish flagship event for World Book Night 2014

Picture for blog story World Book Night at VAC: when literature and talent merge

On Wednesday 23 April the Verbal Arts Centre celebrated all things literary, organising an evening to share their passion for reading with people who, for whatever reason, don’t read for pleasure or have ready access to books. 

Coinciding with the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare's birth, hundreds of books were given away free of charge to motivate people to read, as the Verbal Arts Centre's Chief Executive James Kerr said: "World Book Night is about giving books freely and encouraging those who may have lost the love of reading – or are yet to discover it – to pick up a book and read. Line by line, paragraph by paragraph until they too have discovered the power of reading and the opportunities in life that reading can open up.”

The very best of the Northern Irish writing was showcased with readings by standing authors. The evening was highlined by multi-award winning writer and local resident Jennifer Johnston, who read from her latest works and firm favourites, alongside Bernie McGill, Carlo Gebler, Brian McGilloway and Kenneth Gregory.

The gathered audience could enjoy, not only the best of these authors’ work, but also the opportunity to meet the writers in conversation, making the evening a dynamic meeting point between both writers and readers. 

One of the attendees, Clíona Evans, commented: "I especially enjoyed local renowned author Brian McGilloway's segment. He read with such passion, and I quite simply adore his use of imagery and 'Derry-isms' which I've been able to relate to in quite a few of his books. I also thoroughly enjoyed hearing literary legend Jennifer Johnston quote from one of her books. Jennifer's intense use of dialogue was quirky and realistic and I found myself chuckling quite a few times whilst she was quoting from her book." 

Clíona also added: "I was thrilled to be offered an array of books upon my arrival, and all for free. My children and I are avid readers and we frequent our local library so I intend to pass on the free books I have received to other mums at my children's school once finished. Everyone has the right to learn to read and enjoy a varied selection of stories. I can't wait until World Book Night 2015".

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