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Literary Belfast

Belfast's literature is our finest export. In the 1960s, Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney, Whitbread Prize winner Michael Longley, Derek Mahon and Pulitzer Prize winner Paul Muldoon became known across the world as some of the finest poets writing in the English language.

Subsequent generations have produced other talents too, giving us authors like Marie Jones, Glenn Patterson, David Park and Owen McCafferty.

To celebrate Belfast's rich literary heritage, we have launched a series of tourism initiatives.

Literary Belfast iPhone app

There are few better ways to get to know Belfast than through the eyes and words of its writers.

The Literary Belfast iPhone app takes you on a journey through the city and the many shades of our history, from the splendour of Belfast City Hall and the notable lives commemorated in Writer's Square, to back alleys and quiet suburban streets where our finest writers lived, walked and worked.

Your video guides for the iPhone app are Seamus Heaney, Michael Longley, Paul Muldoon, Marie Jones, Patricia Craig, Glenn Patterson, Martin Lynch, David Park, Frank Ormsby, Sinead Morrissey, Leontia Flynn, Owen McCafferty, Bernard MacLaverty and Ciaran Carson. Walk with them as they take you to their favourite locations in Belfast, share their stories and read from their work.

Also included is a news and events section, keeping you up to date with readings and festivals, literary trails and tours and selected reading for you to enjoy.

Literary Belfast website

Literature fans in Belfast have now got the latest news and events at their fingertips with the launch of the new website.

The website provides events listings, as well as details of literary venues, writing workshops, festivals and an authors' hall of fame. You can find out about Belfast's literary heritage and writers past and present through comprehensive interactive exhibitions and exclusive audio and video material.

Visit for more information.

Belfast poets and writers exhibition and BBC literary archive

Get to know Belfast writers, past and present, in this exhibition at Belfast City Hall, developed in partnership with Queen's University and the BBC. The archive captures the genius of local writers and their extraordinary stories of life in Belfast. Listen to readings from writers such as Louis MacNeice, John Hewitt, Stewart Parker, CS Lewis, Marie Jones, Glenn Patterson, Michael Longley and Seamus Heaney. 

Literary tours and trails

Belfast literary walking tours

Literature enthusiasts Hugh Odling-Smee and Robbie Meredith have guided thousands of interested walkers on this tour, taking you through the streets of Belfast.

To book tickets, call Visit Belfast on 028 9024 6609 or contact Hugh Odling-Smee on 07850 813368 or 

CS Lewis tour

The Chronicles of Narnia have enchanted generations of readers since they were first published in the 1950s, yet many people are not aware of CS Lewis' Belfast roots. This tour follows in the footsteps of one of our most celebrated authors, visiting the main locations associated with Lewis and his family, so you can find out about the background to his life and work.

The coach tour is on Sunday afternoons from June to September. Group tours can also be arranged at other times.

For group bookings, email Sandy Smith at or call 028 9076 0320 or 07816 926186. You can also call Visit Belfast on 028 9024 6609.

Nearly true tales children's literary tour

Discover Belfast through the world of children's books on this 'nearly true' trip around the city. You might even become part of the story yourself!

The tour begins at Belfast Central Library. Tickets cost £5 each and the 60 minute tour is suitable for children aged seven or more (they must be accompanied by an adult).

To book tickets, call Visit Belfast on 028 9024 6609.

Belfast Literary Guide

Available from Visit Belfast




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