RENOWNED authors, Patricia Gibney and Helena Duggan, will join over 30 independent booksellers and the very best food and craft makers from three unmissable days of literature, storytelling, workshops and so much more from August 24 for this year’s Graiguenamanagh Town of Books Festival in the medieval, riverside town in Kilkenny.

The internationally-renowned Festival is now in its 15th year and is a must for anyone who wants to pick up a bargain in new, second hand, antiquarian, children’s and specialist books, the organiser say. This year’s programme has been extended to include an artisan food and craft element, live music and so much more.

Every available space in the picture postcard town is turned into a bookshop for the event which has drawn big names and renowned collectors to the Kilkenny town down through the years, Graiguenamanagh Town of Books Festival spokesperson, Mary Whelan, said. It started out as one of Ireland’s first book festivals in a town with very strong literary roots and 95% local library readership and membership and has grown beyond all their dreams.

“This has become a national festival and a fantastic opportunity for independent booksellers to showcase their stock to a captive audience. The physical size of Graiguenamanagh really lends itself to hosting a festival like this. Entire families can walk from one end of the town to the other in comfort and in safety and peruse the books on offer at the various hubs at their leisure.

“We’re delighted to have Patricia Gibney and Helena Duggan on board this year. Patricia has just signed her 5th book deal and it will be fantastic to have her and children’s author, Helena Duggan, in our library for the Festival.” Helena has just won the “Children’s Crime Book of the Year” 2018.

The festival opens with ‘Where Old Ghosts Meet’, an exploration of the life, times and works of Patrick Kavanagh through poetry, prose and song. Visitors will also delight in a local history tour which includes a fascinating look at the rich history and stories of Graiguenamanagh and its environs.

Free children’s activities run throughout the weekend and food and craft stalls will be dotted all over the town, boosting the carnival atmosphere throughout the weekend.

Graiguenamanagh Town of Books will be the final of four festival weekends in the town which has been basking in the sunshine of recent weeks as swimmers, kayakers and canoeists, boating enthusiasts, fishermen, cyclists, hillwalkers and more flocked to the river and surround walks as well as the new, purpose-built outdoor pursuits hub.

The town’s natural and built heritage is also showcased during the month of August at the Graiguenamanagh Regatta from August 3-5; the Music Festival from August 10-12 and the renowned Walking Festival August 17 -19.