Friday 19th August 2022

9.30 a.m. -12.30 P.M.
the Hedge School (Day 1)
Venue: Preston House

Day 1 of 3 day workshop with John MacKenna & Angela Keogh

Full Info here

 3 day Ticket: €150 inc booking fee

10.30 -12.30
 Guided biodiversity walk at abbeyleix bog

A guided walk around Abbeyleix Bog to observe the wide range of biodiversity present in August including plants, insects, butterflies and birds. 
More info here

11.00 A.M -12.00 P.M.
venue: abbeyleix library
Children & Family Event
A reading by Author Eleanor Merriman and Stephen Merriman. 

A fun filled adventure story that captures the relationship of Tommy and his grandparents on their quest to support their county team to Croke Park.

Filled with facts and knowledge about Ireland and the sport of GAA.

How will they get there? Who will they play?How will they get on?What will Tommy Make of it?

Come along & find out!

3.00 p.m. - 4.00 p.m. 
tea and a talk with hilliard press 
Venue: abbeyleix heritage house 
We are delighted to welcome (virtually) Dr. J Mark Hilliard and Professor Jessa R Sexton to Abbeyleix to facilitate this event. More  info here

7.00 p.m. - 8.00 p.m. 
Festival Launch
Venue: preston house

Come join us as we launch our 2022 festival!

Special guests Abbeyleix singer/songwriter Brian Killeen and Portlaoise Poet, Laura Murphy. Music will be provided by Erin and Colleen Lalor and Spink Comhaltas.

Wine and Cheese Reception.  


8.45 p.m. 
songs and stories by candlelight
venue: preston house 

You are invited once more, to come share a story, poem, joke or song!

BYOB: Please feel free to bring your own refreshments.  


Saturday 20th August 

9.30 a.m. -12.30 P.M.
the Hedge School (Day 2)
Venue: Preston House

Day 2 of 3 day workshop with John MacKenna & Angela Keogh

Full Info here

3 day Ticket: €150 inc booking fee

9:30 A.m. - 12.30p.m.
poetry workshop 
with arthur broomfield 
venue: Mc Evoy's (Mac's) Abbeyleix

What is this thing called inspiration, from where or when does it originate? How do you recognize it when it hits you? Then to translate inspiration to language: this we can loosely call the craft of writing, though it will also interact with,and draw from the inspiration that started the process.
The craft of writing poetry
We will discuss use, choice and mis- or overuse of language, economy of language, creating the concrete image, setting the poem in the moment, form and content, rhyme and rhythm and whatever else may arise in discussion.

Tickets €50.00 inc. booking fee

9:30 A.m. - 12.30p.m.
'On page for stage' 
Playwriting workshop
with frances harney
venue: Mc Evoy's (Mac's) Abbeyleix

Playwright Frances Harney will guide you through the various elements required to produce a written piece for on stage performance. The workshop will cover all areas including:

-building on an initial idea

-creating an outline of the plot

-establishing a context/setting/time
-choosing a genre
-considering a theme
-character development/analysis
-working on dialogue and tone
-deciding on structure
-making directional notes
-questions and answers.

Tickets €50.00 inc. booking fee

10.30 a.m. - 11.30 a.m. 
scones & stories
VENUE: Preston House 
Come share a poem, story or song over a cuppa and a scone!
10.30a.m. - 11.30 a.m
the power of meadows for pollinators - abbeyleix tidy towns 
VENUe: grounds of st michaels and all angels church of ireland, abbeyleix 

Abbeyleix Tidy Towns will host an outdoor event for Heritage Week on the grounds of St Michael and All Angels to tell the story behind this project. Dr Fiona MacGowan, our resident botanist, will be on hand to set the scene and to identify some of the key species in the grassland swards.
More info here 

12.00 p.m. - 
the evolution of words
with mairead connell
VENUE: heritage house, abbeyleix

Join Mairead Connell on a fascinating journey through time!

Learn about the history of words - how they came to be, why they look the way they do and how language specifically shaped people, tribes and cultures; right through to how language, forming the way it did, affects the way the world functions today.
Tickets €5.00

12.30 p.m. - 
"the last beekeeper"
a reading by author johnny renko (john whelan) 
VENUE: abbeyleix library

Sponsored by Laois Libraries

Join us in the library to hear this tale of two best friends, one great journey, the adventure of a lifetime. Their quest, to find The Last Beekeeper, and save the world. They learn so much along the way. 

With the end in sight the outcome remains in the balance.

It falls to you to make the difference, to determine what happens next…

(suitable for 9 years upwards)


1.30 p.m. - 2.00 p.m.
Lunchtime theatre -
'The winter dress'
 By angela keogh
VENUE: Preston House

Following on from the hugely enjoyable reading of her novel ‘The Winter Dress’ at our 2021 Festival, we are delighted to welcome Angela back with the adaptation of ‘The Winter Dress’ for stage.

 This is a story of a dress maker and a scribe. A story of life, love and laughter in the face of the Black Death.

 Performed by Angela Keogh & John MacKenna

Tickets: €5.00 euro (available on the door)

2.45 p.m. - 3.45 p.m.
book launch 'THe branded'
by martina murphy 
A.k.a. martina reilly
VENUE: Preston House

We are delighted to officially launch Martina Murphy’s latest novel ‘The Branded’ at our festival this year. The book will be launched by Noelle O’Connell, who will faciliate a short questions and answers session with Martina, following the launch. All welcome.


4.00 p.m. - 5.30 p.m.
in conversation...
danielle mcLaughlin chats with andrea carter
venue: preston house
**Low Availability**

Come listen to author, Danielle McLaughlin in conversation with fellow author, Andrea Carter.
Danielle will read from her novel ‘The Art of Falling’, which was shortlisted for the Dublin Literary Award 2022, after which she and Andrea will chat about the book, writing life, and lots more! A short Questions and Answers session will follow.
Tickets €15.00 plus booking fee 

6.00 p.m. - 6.45 p.m.
tea-time theatre
"where old ghosts meet"
venue: Mooney's Pub
**Low Availability**

A short play on the life of Patrick Kavanagh - Man and Poet. 

Performed by Jimmy Rhatigan

Tickets €5.00 inc booking fee

8.30 p.m. - 
open Mic
venue: preston house

Come share a song, story, poem, joke or anything you’d like at our Open Mic!

BYOB: Please feel free to bring your own refreshments.  


11.00 p.m.-11.45 p.m.
Come and look upwards and outwards, into the great unknown amid the natural dark sky setting of Abbeyleix Bog in County Laois.
Your guide will show you how to explore the heavens without the need for expensive equipment or undergoing Astronaut training!
Learn about how to spot stars, planets, galaxies, nebulae plus other objects in the night sky over the course of this two-and-a-half hour workshop.
More info here

Sunday 21st August 

9.30 a.m. -12.30 P.M.
the Hedge School (Day 3)
Venue: Preston House

Day 3 of 3 day workshop with John MacKenna & Angela Keogh

Full Info here

 3 day Ticket: €150 inc booking fee

10.00 a.m. - 12.00 p.m 
embodied creativity
VENUE: heritage house, abbeyleix
**Low Availability**
In this workshop, embodiment coach David Delaney will explore a whole body approach to the creative process, helping you to create your own embodied toolkit for your work.
If you struggle with creative anxiety, procrastination, imposter syndrome, overwhelm or you're just looking to approach your work in new and creative ways, this workshop is for you. 

10.00 a.m. - 
'sunday papers'
venue: lobby - abbeyleix manor 

Come read something you’ve written based on a headline you’ve read in a newspaper. 

Can be any style or genre, real or imagined, funny or sad, happy or mad, or anywhere in between!


1.30 p.m. - 2.30 p.m.
Lunchtime theatre:
'flirting with the surreal: an encounter with pat ingoldsby' 
venue: preston house 
**Low Availability**

A performance of a selection of Pat Ingoldsby’s poems.

In 2019, actors Claire Blennerhassett and Mary Pat Moloney were invited to perform Pat’s poems in The Living Poets Society event at The Power of Words Festival. The actors were keen to develop the work further and are grateful to Kildare County Council for awarding them developmental funding through an Arts Act grant in 2021.

They are delighted to bring back this expanded version to the Power of Words Festival.

This is a Random Things Production.
Tickets €10.00 inc booking fee

3.00 p.m.-  4.00p.m.
the living poets society
venue: abbeyleix community gardens - Weather Permitting (Morrisey's if not!) 

The recipient of the 2022 Living Poet's Society Award will be announced soon!