WRITERS BIOGRAPHIES

Laurence McKeown Laurence McKeown entered the Maze Prison at the age of 19 and spent most of his adult life in prison. In 1981, he volunteered for the hunger strike and lasted 70 days before being taken off when he went into a coma. He emerged from prison in 1992 and has been working as a writer and Development Worker in Belfast. He is Co-founder of the West Belfast Film Festival and is now the Chair of the new Belfast Film Festival. Currently he is employed as a development worker with Coiste na n-Iarchini, an umbrella group for ex-prisoners on both sides of the border.

The group is funded by the European Peace and Reconciliation Fund and is seen as one of the most important building blocks in the peace process. Education Ph.D. Sociology, Queen's University, Belfast, 1998. Thesis: "Unrepentant Fenian Bastards: The Social Construction of an Irish Republican Prisoner Community." Diploma in Prison Studies through the Open University (1993). BA (hons.), Social Science, The Open University,1992. Employment and Work Experience Development worker, Coiste na n-IarchimÌ (Committee for Ex-prisoners), 1998-present Voluntary community worker, West Belfast, 1992-1998 Columnist, Republican News, 1996-1998 Publications "Unrepentant Fenian Bastards": The Social Construction of An Irish Republican Prisoner Community. Ph.D. diss. Queens University, Belfast, 1998.

"From Farinflough to Queen's," In A Degree at Last, a collection of twelve different stories of adult's experiences as mature students. Dublin: The National Association of Adult Education, 1996. "Jailtacht/Gaeltacht" In Cascando literary magazine, Irish double issue, Spring 1996. "Racconti Ireland '96: Short Stories from Ireland, Italy, France" (co-editor), Belfast: 1996. "What about political prisoners?" International Policy Review, Volume 5, Number 1, Spring 1995.

"Nor Meekly Serve My Time:" The History of the H-Block Struggle 1976-1981 (co-edited with Brian Campbell and Felim O'Hagan), Belfast: Beyond the Pale Publications, 1994. "The Experience of Long-Term Imprisonment: A Lifer in the H-Blocks of Long Kesh." Submitted as a project for Course D803, Doing Prison Research, Milton Keynes: The Open University, 1994.

"Women's Studies in the H-Blocks 1989-1991: An Evaluation." Submitted as a research project for Course E355, Education for Adults, Milton Keynes: The Open University, 1992. "Building the Party," Iris Bheag, Dublin: Sinn Fein Education Department, 1989. "Directions" (with Mickey McMullan, and Kevin Lynch), Iris Bheag, Dublin: Sinn Fein Education Department, 1988. Social & Creative Projects Author, Out of Time, Republican Prisoners, Long Kesh 1972-2000 published in May 2001 by Beyond The Pale Publications Author of a short story, The Visit which was published in An Glor Gafa/The Captive Voice and later adapted for film (Director Orla Walsh, Dublin, 1992). The film was subsequently screened on Channel 4 and RTE. Co-author (with Brian Campbell) H3, a screenplay based on the 1981 hunger strike in the H-Blocks of Long Kesh due for release in 2001.

Co-writer (with Brian Campbell) of The Laughter of our Children, a play set in a rural community during the time of the 1981 hunger strike. The play has just completed its first tour in Ireland and London. Chair, the Belfast Film Festival, 1999-present. Co-founder, An Glor Gafa/The Captive Voice, a magazine produced in its entirety by republican prisoners and published three times a year, 1989-1999. Co-founder & chairperson, the West Belfast Film Festival, 1995-1999. Co-producer, I gCillÌn an Bh·is, a documentary based on the 1981 hunger strike in Long Kesh, 1997.

(The programme was commissioned by TeilifÌs na Gaeilge and has already been broadcast several times on the channel. In 1998 the documentary was selected by Amnesty International as one of just 15 films from throughout the world to celebrate Amnesty's 50th Anniversary.) Director, documentary film, We Won't be Kept Down Easy - FÈile an Phobail, Deich mBliana ag F·s, a film about the West Belfast festival, 1997. Brian Campbell Born in Coleraine (1960) Campbell received a B Eng from the University of Liverpool and a BA, Open University, and worked as a Journalist and Editor before launching a career as a full-time writer.

Campbell was Ireland Correspondent for the New York Guardian (1984-86), and his poetry has been published in the Sunday Tribune's New Irish Writing page. He spent seven years in the Maze Prison where he helped set up poetry workshops in the H-Blocks and compiled and co-edited 'Nor Meekly Serve My Time', a book on the history of the Blanket Protest and hunger strikes in Long Kesh. He co-wrote H3, which was selected for Moonstone which Brian attended in 1998.and a "gripping evening. His current play, co-written with Laurence McKeown, 'The Laughter of our Children' will begin a run at the Hackney Empire, London, in August/September 2001, while BBC Radio 4 has bought up the rights to his latest play 'Tiger Leaping Gorge,' set in a remote area of western China.