Frances Browne (1816 - 1879), the Blind Poetess of Ulster, is the most important writer ever to emerge from Donegal's Finn Valley, in the North West of Ireland.
The Annual Frances Browne Literary Festival celebrates the legacy and spirit of Frances Browne. We work to bring not only Frances's writing and astonishing life story to new generations but to celebrate the works of contemporary and modern writers who continue in her tradition.
The festival is held in October of each year and is unique in featuring all three of Ireland's traditional languages, Irish, English, and Ulster-Scots. These are widely spoken today in the Finn Valley as they would have been during Frances's lifetime. This situation is unique in Ireland.
Frances Browne's most famous poem, "Songs of our land," is a reflection on language, and how the soul of a nation is encapsulated in its literary outputs. She wrote prolifically in all formats. She was as much at home with an essay, an article, or a novel as she was with her great fortes, poetry and childrens' writing. Her masterpiece, the children’s storybook "Granny's Wonderful Chair" was a bestseller all over the world, but she also deserves to be remembered for her unswerving opposition to slavery and all sorts of injustice.
So come and join us as we celebrate with music, poetry, debate, drama, stories and art. A warm Irish welcome waits for you in the Finn Valley.