Rita Kelly is an award-winning poet and writer in both English and Irish; who holds an MA in Creative Writing. She brings a wealth of experience to any occasion as she has worked closely with and mentored emerging writers, developed writers and young writers; established writers groups, writers in prisons and schools for more than forty years. She has spent her formative years in East Galway, close to and in Ballinasloe. She lived for a number of years in the early 60s in Shannonbridge. That landscape and the plains of South Roscommon have shaped her writing.

1972 she married the writer and poet, Eugene Watters/Eoghan Ó Tuairisc.

2015 she married her long-time partner, Edel Connolly

She was chosen by the Arts Council to participate in the National Writers’ Workshops in UCG, firstly with Anthony Cronin as moderator and again with John McGahern as moderator. These were invaluable experiences; she was the youngest participant at the time.

Eoghan Ó Tuairisc (1919-1982)

Rugadh Eoghan Ó Tuairisc ar Chnoc Dhún Lú, i mBéal Átha na Sluaighe i 1919. Ritheann abhainn an tSuca trín bhaile sin sul má théann sí isteach sa tSionann i nDeisceart Ros Comáin taca 8 míle ón mbaile. Cuirfidh Rita Kelly (baintreach Eoghain) in iúl cé chomh tábhachtach is a bhíodh an abhainn sin ina shamhlaíocht is ina shaothar aige.

Cuirfidh Rita in iúl freisin blas a chuid luath-fhilíochta, is an chaoi ina raibh suíomh an bhaile mhóir sin – ‘oileán aolchloiche i lár na bportach’, mar a dúirt sé fhéin – lárnach dá shaothar. Mar an gcéanna leis “An Lomnochtán” (1978) a chuireann samhailtí is imléargais ar fáil don áit sin ina dtagann Oirthear na Gaillimhe agus Deisceart Ros Comáin le chéile cois abhann. Déanann sé cur síos ar an saol a bhí aige le linn a óige sa taobh sin tíre.

As it is 100 years since his birth in Ballinasloe on the River Suck, Rita will look at the world in which he was born into in 1919. The factors which influenced him, his imagination and his work. How the river influenced his work; how Garbally Demesne loomed large as a link with a more sophisticated world of Palladian architecture. How his early poetry in Irish gives a flavour of the limestone outcrop in the peat bogs. She will draw on ‘An Lomnochtán’ which he published 1978 – with vivid and colourful insights into his life as a young child, at home and at school in that corner where East Galway meets South Roscommon.