Island Voices lecture series returns online

Derry City and Strabane District Council’s popular autumn lecture series - Island Voices – returns later this month with a virtual programme of talks which explore storytelling within the Irish and Ulster-Scots traditions. This year’s theme ‘The Story of Us’ – reflects on storytelling in its broadest sense and explores a range of subjects, including; the literary legacy of Seamus Heaney; the stories of the Great Irish Famine which endure in folk memory; and a personal account of the Ulster-Scots language and its power to evoke a unique sense of home and place.

Thursday, 23rd September 2021, 11:25 am

The first talk in the series ‘Seamus Heaney: Ulster Storyteller’ premiered on Thursday September 23 and featured the Heaney scholar Dr Shea Atchison who explored the fusion of English, Irish and Ulster-Scots in the work of Seamus Heaney.

The second talk in the series, ‘Learnin’ frae th’lan’ premieres on Thursday October 21 and features poet and playwright Anne McMaster, who will explore identity and creative writing in Ulster Scots focusing on the power of the Ulster-Scots oral tradition to evoke a unique sense of home and place.

The third and final talk in the series ‘Oral Lore: Humanising the History of the Famine’ premieres on Thursday November 25 and features writer and broadcaster Cathal Póirtéir who will present excerpts from the personal accounts of those who lived through the Great Famine, reflecting on the importance of oral history and what it can add to our understanding of the events of our shared past.

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Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Alderman Graham Warke, said: “Island Voices remains one of our most popular offerings and represents a great opportunity for us all to reflect on our shared heritage and on the value of our Irish and Ulster-Scots traditions to shaping us as a people and as a place. This year’s virtual programme of talks, allows people to access the content of the lectures as and when they choose, and I would encourage everyone with an interest in our unique shared traditions to explore the programme.”

All talks in the series are free but registration is required. Register at