The Manx Litfest 2016 celebrated Celtic literature in a night of storytelling, myths and fairy tales in the town of Peel (Manx: Purt ny h-Inshey) in the Isle of Man (Manx: Mannin) on Saturday, October 1. The event featured visiting Celtic authors Dr Sharon Blackie and Kevin MacNeil, in conversation with lecturer Dr Catriona Mackie. Readings of myths and poetry, along with live Celtic music entertained the audience. Sharon Blackie is a writer, psychologist and mythologist, specialising in Celtic Studies. Once a crofter on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides, Sharon now lives in Donegal. Kevin MacNeil, a novelist, poet, playwright, journalist and writing tutor, was born in the Outer Hebrides.
Manx Litfest 2016, took place between September 27 and October 2 at venues around the Island. It has sought to develop a Celtic theme within each of its festivals. This year's programme also included a discussion by Yvonne Cresswell, Manx National Heritage’s Curator of Social History, and Dr Breesha Maddrell, Director of Culture Vannin, on the life and career of Sophia Morrison (1859-1917), with readings of her written work. Sophia Morrison was a leading Manx cultural activist, folklore collector and author. She was a key figures in the Manx cultural revival, particularly through her work with the Manx Language Society and as editor of its journal, Mannin.
The annual Manx Litfest is now firmly established in the Manx calendar and continues to grow from strength to strength. It brings together readers, bestselling authors, renowned poets and illustrators. The organisers describe it as a colourful celebration of the written word – six days of readings, Q&A panels, talks, library events, schools’ involvement, workshops and performance pieces.