Aspects Festival 2023 Starts 27 Sept

Aspects Festival 2023 Starts 27 Sept

Aspects, Bangor’s festival of reading, writing and words starts next week with a full programme of events celebrating the written word. This year’s festival features a packed line-up, with something for everyone on offer, from top authors to poetry, exhibitions, history and politics.

Opening the festival on Wednesday 27 September is the Galicia Exchange and Concert with poets Keith Payneand Xavier Quiepo at North Down Museum. Galician Xavier is visiting Northern Ireland on a Cultural Exchange and will spend a month at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre as part of the experience. The evening will also feature music from award-winning Galician musician Su Garrido Pombo.

North Down Museum is also hosting some fantastic book events with Judith Mok presenting her memoir The State of Dark there on Saturday 30 September. Judith Mok is a Dublin-based classical soprano, a leading voice coach, novelist and poet. She was born in the Netherlands to Jewish survivors of the Holocaust trying to rebuild their shattered lives. The State of Dark is a memoir and a detective story which delves into her family’s past. Join authors Fionola Meredith and Olivia Fitzsimons also in North Down Museum, on Thursday 5 October, as they discuss their new books The Stamp of Beauty and The Quiet Whispers Never Stop with Nuala McKeever.

The stunning Chamber room in Bangor Castle is the location for many of the festival’s events. Award-winning composer of Riverdance Bill Whelan will join Neil Martin in conversation in this beautiful venue on Sunday 1 October. Bill’s new book The Road to Riverdance charts his life from his childhood right up to that spectacular Eurovision performance which went on to become a global phenomenon. Glenn Patterson takes to the stage in The Chamber on Friday 6 October to discuss his latest book Two Summers, a pair of novellas, set over two pivotal summers in the lives of two young men from Belfast, as they recall the constraints of the place where they were born and the times in which they are living.


For those who want to enjoy literature in the great outdoors, author Maggie Doyle will lead a creative walk along Bangor’s beautiful Coastal Path on Saturday 30 September. Using her new book Mountain Notes, A Nature Diary for inspiration, the walk will include readings and sketching.

Poetry lovers are also in for a treat at this year’s Aspects; the popular Poetry Slam returns on Saturday 30 September at Studio 1A, Bangor. This dynamic competition pits poets against poet, working against the clock and their peers to showcase original work. The outright winner will be crowned Aspects Poetry Champion and the winner and runner-up will go forward to the Ulster Poetry Slam Final in Derry~Londonderry in early November.

Aspiring writers will enjoy the Festival Club which returns to the Imperial Bar, Bangor on Monday 2 October. Writers are invited to take part by reading a short passage of their own original work in a relaxed atmosphere at this special event.

Aspects Festival runs from 27 September to 7 October at various locations around Bangor. For more information on the full programme and to book tickets, visit 

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