October 5-8, 2017

This year's festival planning is underway, so mark your calendars for October 5-8, 2017 and get ready for a full weekend of stimulating events.

Sinéad Gleeson

Sinéad Gleeson, writer, editor, broadcaster and journalist presents The Book Show on RTE Radio One. She edited The Glass Shore: Short Stories by Women from the North of Ireland

Stephen Sexton

Winner of the recent UK National Poetry Competition, Stephen Sexton lives in Belfast. His poems have appeared in Granta, Poetry London, and Best British Poetry.

Jan Carson

Jan is a writer and community arts development officer currently based in Belfast. Her short stories have been published in literary journals on both sides of the Atlantic.

Emmet Kirwan

Actor, playwright and poet, Emmet has been a feature of Irish theatre, film and tv for over 15 years. Graduate of the Samuel Beckett Centre, Trinity College Dublin.

Ruth Gilligan

Dubliner Ruth Gilligan is a lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Birmingham. Her latest book, Nine Folds Make a Paper Swan, is historic fiction of the Jewish community in Ireland.

Myles Dungan

Myles Dungan is an Irish historian, broadcaster, playwright and novelist. He is the author of a number of books on Irish and American history. He presents the weekly History Show on Irish National Radio (RTE).

Stephen Connolly

Stephen Connolly is a Belfast-based poet and a postgraduate student in the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry at Queen’s University.

Evelyn Conlon

Evelyn Conlon is an Irish novelist and short story writer, and an elected member of Aosdána. She joins our “Glass Shore” panel.

Simon Lewis

Simon Lewis’s Hennessy Award winning poetry collection Jewtown chronicles the experiences of Lithuanian Jews who in the late 1880s-90s settled in Cork’s ‘Jewtown’.


Ethel Rohan is an Irish writer living in San Francisco. Ethel’s 2017 novel ‘The Weight of Him’ (is a story of loss and reliance moving from tragedy to recrimination.

Heaney Tribute

Members of the Heaney family, along with UC Berkeley’s Bob Tracy pay tribute to Heaney at our opening reception. Bellaghy HomePlace presentation.

Paul McVeigh

Belfast-born McVeigh is an award-winning playwright and writer. He received The McCrea Literary Award in 2015.

Caroline Bracken

Caroline Bracken’s poems have been published in The Irish Times Hennessy New Irish Writing, Skylight 47, The Clare Champion, The WOW Anthology and The Gathering Poems.

Tim Fanning

Tim Fanning is an author and researcher based in Dublin. Tim has worked on a number of Irish and Spanish titles including the recent “Paisanos” about the Irish in Latin America

Dan McFadden

Dan McFadden’s part two of his story about growing up in Pittsburgh with a father who believed that if you were fortunate enough to be Irish, then you were fortunate enough.

Maurice Fitzpatrick


Free Irish Dance class with Patricia Kennelly, whose father was a champion dancer from Listowel, Co. Kerry. Dance class is followed by children’s storytelling session.


Guest Speaker Biographies

Welcome visiting Irish and local writers, and all contributing artists to the First Annual Los Gatos - Listowel Writers' Week


Sara has had six collections of poetry published and will read from her new collection ‘What Just Happened.’ Her poetry has been widely anthologized, and nominated for a Pushcart Prize and the Irish Times Poetry Now award.


Cara Black is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of 14 books in the Private Investigator Aimée Leduc series, which is set in Paris. With more than 400,000 books in print, the Aimée Leduc series has been translated into seven languages.


Caroline’s poems have been widely published and she has won several awards including the iYeats International Poetry Competition, Writing.ie/Anam Cara International Poetry Competition, and she has been shortlisted for Bridport (UK) and Listowel contests.


David Brundage is Professor of History at UC Santa Cruz where he focuses on immigration and working-class history, and the Irish experience in America. His new book explores full-scale history of Irish nationalists in the U.S.


Jane recently won the Hennessy Literary Awards 2016 with three poems from her new book, ‘The River’. In 2014, she won the Listowel Writers’ Week Poetry Collection Prize and the Trocaire/Poetry Ireland Competition.


Writer, researcher and community historian with the Irish American Crossroads Festival, Elizabeth’s work has been featured in journals such as New California Writing, The Fourth River, The Mississippi Review and The New Hibernia Review. Her latest work investigates the future and fate of the bay’s tidal marshes.


Eanlai Cronin is a teacher, memoirist, and certified facilitator in the Amherst Method. As a sexual abuse survivor, she has designed her workshops based on three tenets: permission to break long silence, permission to claim lost voices, and permission to speak Soul Truths.


Rose Doyle is a writer and journalist living in Dublin. Her novels, nineteen in all, include Fate and Tomorrow, set in the African Congo of 1902. She has written for children, and for young adults, and her long-running series in The Irish Times. Comdt. Patrick Quinlan, who led the Irish U.N. troops at Jadotville, was her uncle.


Erica Goss served as Poet Laureate of Los Gatos, 2013-2016. Author of Wild Place (2012) and Vibrant Words: Ideas and Inspirations for Poets (2014), Erica recently launched The Poetry Kitchen, a poetry reading series at the Los Gatos Library.


Film historian, biographer, screenwriter and professor in the Cinema Department at San Francisco State University, Joseph McBride has written extensively on John Ford, JFK, Orson Welles and Capra. He will also read from his new memoir.


Despite Mike McCormack’s award-winning short stories collections and novels, he has been described as “a disgracefully neglected writer.” No longer, as Solar Bones, released recently is receiving rave reviews worldwide.


Since retirement from a university and government background, Dan has been exhibiting his artwork around the Bay Area. Dan’s latest project is a new narrative on growing up Irish Catholic in Pittsburgh.


Born in Northern Ireland, Claire McGowan lives in London where she now runs the UK’s first MA in Crime Writing, at City University. She’s the author of the Paula Maguire crime series, which was optioned by the BBC, and also writes women’s fiction as Eva Woods.

Donagh McKeown

Donagh McKeown grew up in Co. Armagh where storytelling came as second nature, recalling and recounting the stories of Cú Chullain and the Ulster Cycle or the of Tír Na Nóg and other Irish legends and fables. Join Donagh for a children’s storytelling hour, October 8th


Emer’s first novel, Breakfast in Babylon won Book of the Year at the 1996 Listowel Writers’ Week and since then Emer has published several novels, recently adding children’s books to the collection. Emer is an established painter and her work will be exhibited at this festival.


Richard A. Moran is a venture capitalist, social scientist, evangelist for organization effectiveness and author of a series of business books and is credited with starting the genre of “Business Bullet Books.” He is President of Menlo College, CA.


David is a business graduate of UCD, and the Founder of FunnyBizz, a community, writer platform, and conference series. He is author of the bestselling book, Do You Talk Funny? and has won multiple Moth Storyslam competitions.

Brian O’Beirne

Dubliner Brian O’Beirne studied in Trinity, Oxford and Berkeley and now works as an attorney in Silicon Valley. Brian has written numerous plays and short stories, as well as a screenplay and a radio play. He recently had his short story, “Once a Home” long listed for the Moth Short Story Prize.


Niamh O’Connor is a best-selling crime novelist, true crime writer and journalist for more than 20 years. Former True Crime editor with the Sunday World, O’Connor has produced several best-selling books of high profile crimes as well as detective fiction with the central character of DI Jo Birmingham.


Dr. Lori Phillips is Director of the Pacific Center for Arts and Humanities in Education in Hawaii. Her ‘Image to Word’ workshop is a scientifically research-based model of teaching that allows teachers to integrate art, writing, and technology.


Louise Phillips is an author of four psychological crime thrillers. Her debut novel Red RIbbons was nominated for the Best Irish Crime Novel of the Year 2012, and her second novel, The Doll’s House, won the award in 2013.


Ethel Rohan’s work has appeared in The New York Times, World Literature Today, and The Irish Times, among others. Her first novel, The Weight of Him, will publish from St. Martin’s Press in early 2017.


Bridie was born and raised in a Connemara village on the shores of Lough Corrib. She graduated with an honors degree in Fine Art in 2004 and has been working at her art since. Her work is on display in galleries in Dublin, Cork, Belfast and has been acquired privately by collectors in Bermuda and New York.


Dubliner Frank Shouldice is a writer, playwright and award-winning investigative journalist. His new book tells the story of his grandfather, a crack-shot “armed with a rusty rifle and a pair of binoculars” poised on the Jameson malthouse during Ireland’s 1916 Rising.


Jerry Smith is the sculptor behind our Pat O’Laughlin award plaque and medallions. Before devoting his time to art, Jerry served as a state senator, representing Santa Clara County, and subsequently as a Justice of the California Court of Appeals. While a senator, he was the author of the California Coastal Act.


Matt Spangler is a playwright, director, and professor of performance studies at San Jose State University. His “Staging Intercultural Ireland” examines the changes in theater during the Celtic Tiger era in Ireland.


Pireeni has received national fellowships in both cognitive science and poetry. She has spoken on the intersections between poetry and the brain at MOMA, New York, the Exploratorium, the deYoung Fine Arts Museum, and the “Life in Space” symposium at Studio Olafur Eliasson in Berlin.


James P Walsh, a resident Los Gatos writer, is a historian of the American Irish. Locally, he has co-hosted Irish Studies conferences and has enjoyed multiple career appointments as visiting professor at campuses in Ireland.


Born and raised in Croatia, Magdalena studied at The Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb. She now lives in Sunnyvale, CA and specializes in illustrating for the children’s market, with her work in digital media.

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