Diana Gleadhill

Diana GleadhillAt school, it was the enthusiasm of my geography teacher, which made the world seem a magical and exciting place, and it was without a doubt, under her tutelage, that the seeds were sown for my wanderlust and curiosity about other peoples and places.

I didn’t get seriously travelling until my children were grown up. Apart from Europe my travels have taken me many times to Uganda and Kenya where my son lived for 20 years.

In 1992 I sailed in a 48 ft yacht with four other friends from Phuket, Thailand, via Sri Lanka, Djibouti, Port Sudan, Port Suez, Alexandria and Malta to Gibraltar. A life-changing experience.

I have also travelled in Russia, Mongolia and China via the Trans-Mongolian Railway in 1994. In Papua New Guinea in 1996 I explored the Middle Sepik River by canoe, staying with the local people in their long houses and learning how to do without most Western “essentials”.

I have been several times to South America, including a river odyssey in Guyana.

Journeying in Kamchatka in 2000 and 2006 gave me the material for my book – “Kamchatka – A Journal and Guide to Russia’s Land of Ice and Fire, and in March 2008, I had the honour of being invited by the Royal Geographical Society to be a member of a panel of “experts” on Kamchatka, after which I was made a Fellow.

Central Asia’s scenery of mountains, deserts, fantastic ancient buildings, and embarrassingly generous hospitality made it one of the most fascinating of my travels. The result of these wanderings was my second book, “Our Fiery Hearts”.

My friend Elise and I travel independently, and will continue our travels as long as we can cope with the strictures of today’s airports!

Details of this year’s festival programme can be found elsewhere on this website.

Anthony Sattin

Anthony Sattin is a specialist on North Africa and the Arab world and the author of several highly acclaimed books of history and travel. Giles Foden identified him as one of ten key influences on travel writing today.

He began writing fiction and was a graduate of Malcolm Bradbury’s University of East Anglia Creative Writing programme. His fiction appeared in several magazines and was published by Jonathan Cape.

His non-fiction has included a travel book, The Pharaoh’s Shadow, an account of his search for Egypt’s surviving ancient culture, and a history, The Gates of Africa, which tells of the creation of the world’s first geographical society and the search for Timbuktu. Anthony discovered and edited Florence Nightingale’s letters from Egypt, which provided the inspiration for his most recent A Winter on the Nile, an account of parallel journeys to Egypt made by Florence Nightingale and Gustave Flaubert. He has also edited and contributed stories to many anthologies, including to the forthcoming Ox-Travels, a fund-raising collection of the best contemporary writers.

His award-winning journalism on travel and books has appeared regularly in the Sunday Times, Conde Nast Traveller and publications around the world. For 8 years, Anthony contributed a weekly book column to the Sunday Times.

A fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, editorial advisor on Geographical Magazine, founder-member of Travel Intelligence and ASTENE (the Association for the Study of Travel in Egypt and the Near East), Anthony has also written and presented on television and radio, including several high-profile documentaries for BBC Radio 3 and 4. Anthony is a regular speaker at literary festivals and societies and has taught place-based writing in the UK, Morocco, Kyrgyzstan and elsewhere.

Twitter: @anthonysattin

Details of this year’s festival programme can be found elsewhere on this website.

Mary Russell

Dubliner Mary Russell spent the last ten years travelling round Syria – by local bus, by bike and on foot. She knows enough Arabic to ask the way, buy some bread and complain, as tactfully as she can, about lumpy beds. My Home is Your Home, a celebration of an intriguing and complex country and of its many and diverse peoples, is a welcome antidote to the horrors of the current situation. Her numerous survival strategies, the mainstay of the solo traveller, will be on offer during her lunchtime talk on Saturday June 9th. But bring your own as well – you never know when you might need them.

Web Site: www.maryrussell.info

Mary Russell

Tony Wheeler

Tony WheelerFollowing the ‘hippy trail’ from England to Australia in the 1970s led to the creation of Lonely Planet Publications. From a single self-published title the business grew to more than 500 staff, offices on three continents and 100 million books sold before BBC-Worldwide’s takeover was completed in 2011. Despite which Tony’s interest in travel is still very active. In recent years that has included riding a stage in the Tour d’Afrique bicycle ride, driving from London to Gambia in West Africa in an old car and then driving around Switzerland in a Tesla electric sports car or travelling to Baikonur in Kazakhstan to see a ‘space tourist’ ride a Soyuz rocket up to the international space station.

Tony claims that each year he spends six months at his home in London, six months at his home in Melbourne, and six months everywhere else. With a wife, Maureen, who is not only ‘handsome’ and ‘pretty,’ but also a ‘belle from Belfast City’ he also has a keen interest in Ireland and co-authored the first Lonely Planet Ireland guide and wrote their first Dublin guide. He’s currently working on a follow up to Bad Lands, his book on travelling through George W Bush’s ‘Axis of Evil’ trio and assorted other misguided countries.

Web Site: www.tonywheeler.com.au

Details of this year’s festival programme can be found elsewhere on this website.

Colin Thubron

Colin ThubronColin Thubron is a well-known travel writer and novelist. His first books were about the Middle East – Damascus, Lebanon and Cyprus. In 1982 he travelled by car into the Soviet Union, a journey recorded in Among the Russians. From these early experiences developed his classic travel books on the landmass that makes up Russia and Asia: Behind the Wall: a Journey through China; The Lost Heart of Asia; In Siberia; Shadow of the Silk Road; and now To a Mountain in Tibet. He has won many prizes and awards. He is also a distinguished novelist, whose A Cruel Madness won the 1985 Silver Pen Award. In 2010 he became President of the Royal Society of Literature.

Details of this year’s festival programme can be found elsewhere on this website.

Artemis Cooper

Artemis Cooper’s previous books include Cairo in the War: 1939-1945, Writing at the Kitchen Table: The Authorized biography of Elizabeth David, and Paris After the Liberation: 1945-1949, which she wrote with her husband Antony Beevor. Her biography of Patrick Leigh Fermor is based on unrestricted access to his private papers, and interviews with him in England and Greece over several years.

Web Site: www.artemiscooper.com

Details of this year’s festival programme can be found elsewhere on this website.

Eoin Bourke

Eoin BourkeBorn in Dublin, 1939. Professor emeritus of German Studies at National University of Ireland, Galway. Undertook his undergraduate studies of German literary history and Dr. phil. at Munich University. Authored books on Stilbruch als Stilmittel – Studien zur Literatur der Spät – und Nachromantik (1980) and The Austrian Anschluss in History and Literature (2000) as well as many articles in several research areas including “Vormärz”, intercultural studies, travel and expedition literature, the critical “Volksstück”, literature as testimony and German-Jewish studies.

Details of this year’s festival programme can be found elsewhere on this website.

Paul Clements

Paul ClementsPaul Clements is the author of four travel books about Ireland, as well as works of biography and criticism, and is a contributing writer to three guidebooks to Ireland. His latest book, Wandering Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way: From Banba’s Crown to World’s End (2016) is based on a journey along the west coast by car and bike, on horseback and on foot. Burren Country: Travels through an Irish limestone landscape is a collection of essays described as a love letter to the Burren published in 2011 by the Collins Press. The Height of Nonsense: The Ultimate Irish Road Trip (2005) and Irish Shores, A Journey Round the Rim of Ireland (1993) have both been reprinted in 2016. Paul’s acclaimed biography on the travel writer, actor and singer Richard Hayward, Romancing Ireland, was published in 2014 by Lilliput Press and adapted for BBC television. He has written and edited two books about the travel writer and historian Jan Morris. In 2012, he edited an anthology The Blue Sky Bends Overall, a celebration of ten years of the Immrama Festival of Travel Writing. A regular contributor to The Irish Times, he has written many ‘Irishman’s Diaries’ on cultural life and heritage, and reviews Irish local history books.

Join Paul Clements on a meandering journey through a quarter century of travelling and writing about the changing face of modern Ireland. For his latest book, Wandering Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way, Paul retraced the footsteps of his first travel book of 1991 based on a coastal hitchhike. In an illustrated talk, he reflects on the social, cultural and physical changes that have taken place in that time: the new landscape of wind turbines and phone masts, the fact that extreme weather is the new normal, and that coffee is the new wine. We learn about the Celtic seagod who was a swashbuckling companion on his journey, hear about the Power of Three, and his trip through LSD; and just who uses phone boxes these days? Looking back from the second decade of this century, the past – even the recent past – seems a foreign country where things were done differently.

Twitter: @clementswriting

Details of this year’s festival programme can be found elsewhere on this website.

Donald Brady

Donald BradyDonald Brady was born in Cavan and obtained his B.A. in History and English at Maynooth. He was County Librarian for County Waterford from 1982 until 2010. He served as director of the West Waterford Heritage Week in 1991 and 1992. He was the co-ordinator of Waterford County Council’s Famine Commemoration Programme and served on the National Committee charged with the protection of the Woodstown Viking Settlement.

He has edited major Waterford histories including, Hansard’s History of Waterford and Smith’s History of Waterford. In May this year his work, Mary Anne Sadlier, his 9th book, was published. His presentation on Sir Richard Musgrave marks his 14th consecutive appearance on the Immrama Programme. He has just recommenced serious research on Regina Maria Roche, renowned and ground-breaking Waterford author.

Details of this year’s festival programme can be found elsewhere on this website.

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About Lismore Immrama

Immrama is held in Lismore, County Waterford, Ireland, on a weekend in June each year since 2003. Immrama has been dedicated to the art of Travel Writing, Good Music, and Fine Entertainment since its inception. Over the centuries many people have made journeys to and from Lismore and we hope that you will enjoy your lmmram in Lismore.

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