Mayor of Lismore - Jan Rotte
It is Ireland's only Festival of Travel Writing and as far as I am aware the only one of its kind in the world. I notice there is a Traveller's Tales Festival in the UK but it seems a more commercial venture organised by a training agency for travel writers and photographers, whereas Immrama is a community festival with origins in the Lismore Mochuda Development Group, a voluntary body that serves to promote and support Lismore's artistic, cultural and business development.
Immrama began in 2003 after a diverse group of interested locals got together to brainstorm for ideas for an iconic festival to celebrate
There will be creative writing workshops from sometime-Lismore dweller Annie Rogers (whose memoir writing courses I enjoyed over a few summers in the early Noughties), and poet Mary Branley. There are a number of well-established fringe events over the weekend and a family fun afternoon in the Millenium Park on the Sunday afternoon. Poetry open mic sessions and a Literary Breakfast are part of the weekend, and Fortwilliam House will be the setting for Dervla's interview. The booking office opened the morning after the launch and already some sessions are nearly booked out!
The Launch was hosted as usual by Lismore Castle who are great supporters of Immrama, and we enjoyed cheese and wine while the Mayors of town (hubby) and county spoke, the head of Tourism South East launched the festival, and there was a climactic slide presentation culminating in the announcement of the keynote speakers by the manager of Lismore Heritage Company. I took some photos and as I was wielding hubby's SLR as well as my little camera I was nearly mistaken for one of the local press photographers!