there's no better way to celebrate...
16 Irish writers flock to Los Gatos for four days of events with Bay Area writers and presenters
Early Bird registration for festival passes opens August 16th and closes August 30th.
Writing Contests Open
Shortlist judge 2016 festival headliner and Booker Prize contender, Mike McCormack.
Registration August 20. Travel Writing, Fiction, Young Adult, Public Speaking for Writers.
October 5, 11am-12.30pm
Opening Reception at Montalvo Arts Center
October 5, 1-3.30pm
“Seamus Heaney: The Berkeley Years” visiting writers pay tribute at Montalvo
October 5, 7-9pm
Stories, film, poetry and representation of Jews in Irish Literature
October 6, 2-3.30pm
Attorney and Professor Mark Hull on “Masquerade: Treason, Holocaust, and an Irish Impostor”
October 6, 7-8.30pm
Northern Irish Women Writers in conversation with editor Sinéad Gleeson.
October 6, 9-10.30pm
Maureen Langan’s comic life as Daughter of a Garbageman
October 7, 9.30-11.30am
Walking tour of Los Gatos, followed by history presentation
October 7, 10.30-11.30am
Evelyn Conlon’s account of Irish orphans in Australia
October 7, 12pm-1.30pm
A tribute to forgotten Irish writer, and New Yorker columnist, Maeve Brennan.
October 7, 2-2.45pm
Paul McVeigh reads from his award-winning novel “The Good Son”
October 7, 3-5pm
New Irish Poetry with Stephen Sexton, Stephen Connolly, Caroline Bracken, Simon Lewis. Moderated by Raina Leon
October 7, 3.30-4.45pm
“Prairie Man” author Norm Matteoni in conversation with Irish historian Myles Dungan
October 7, 7-8.30pm
Paisanos: Forgotten Irish of Latin America – reading, discussion and music
October 7, 9-10.30
“A Mother, A Son, A City”. The Irish Mammy and other stories with comedian David Nihill
October 8. 9.30-11.30am
New documentary on book “John Hume in America” and Q&A with filmmaker and Tom McEnery
October 8, 12-2pm
Children’s Event with Irish dancing lessons, storytelling and book readings.
October 8, 11am-1pm
Irish Women Not Lost: Sarah Maria Griffin, Ethel Rohan, Jan Carson, Caroline Bracken
October 8, 2-4pm
Music on Plaza – Irish musicians and dancers take to the stage.
October 8, 2.30-3.30pm
Writing the Resistance with Emer Martin
October 8, 1pm-3pm
“Two Cheers for Hollywood” reading by Joseph McBride, followed by screenwriting presentation with Batman screenwriter Sam Hamm
October 8, 4-5.30pm
Leading BBC journalist Martin Dillon reads from and discusses new memoir
October 8, 7-8.30pm
Historian and author Myles Dungan on how the Irish toiled and dreamed of big things in the Wild West
October 8, 8.30-9.30
Special guest and Irish fiddler extraordinaire Martin Hayes joins us as an Irish Musician Who Won The West
Art On View
Photography by Roseanne Lynch, paintings by Bridie Ryan, sculpture by Colette O’Beirne on view all weekend at Whitney Modern.
Speakers & Presenters
Sinéad Gleeson is a writer, editor, journalist and presenter of The Book Show on RTE. She will moderate a panel on “The Glass Shore: Short Stories by Women from the North of Ireland,” a recent anthology she edited, as well as a Maeve Brennan tribute event.
With several highly acclaimed books to his name, including “The Dirty War,” “God and the Gun” and “The Shankill Butchers,” Martin Dillon’s investigative and fiction works take on the Ireland conflict. Martin will read from his new memoir, which includes an extensive account of his journalistic career with the BBC.
Jan Carson is a writer and community arts development officer based in Belfast. Her short stories have been published in literary journals both sides of the Atlantic. Jan is featured in “The Glass Shore: Short Stories by Women from the North of Ireland.” She joins Sinéad Gleeson and Evelyn Conlon for a reading and discussion about her work.
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 based around the Jewish community in Ireland.
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: The Forgotten Irish Who Changed the Face of Latin America.”
Historian, playwright, novelist, and presenter of the History Show on RTE, Myles is the author of several books on Irish and American history. His newly revised “How The Irish Won The West” has recently been published by New Island Press.
Evelyn is a novelist and short story writer from Monaghan. Her work appears in “The Glass Shore: Short Stories by Women from the North of Ireland,” and her most recent novel is an account of the plight of orphaned Irish girls shipped to Australia in 1847.
Belfast native Stephen Sexton’s poems have appeared in Granta, Poetry London, Best British Poetry, Poetry Ireland Review and The Lifeboat reading series. Stephen’s poem “The Curfew” recently scooped the UK National Poetry Society Competition Award.
“In the Name of Peace: John Hume in America,” is the latest work of Derry-born writer and filmmaker Maurice Fitzpatrick. The former Trinity College literature and philosophy graduate lives and works in Ireland and Germany.
Sarah Maria Griffin
Sarah Maria Griffin’s nonfiction has appeared in The Irish Times and on Buzzfeed. Her collection of essays about emigration, “Not Lost” was published by New Island Press in 2013, and her first novel, “Spare & Found Parts” was recently published.
Pól Ó Dochartaigh
Professor Ó Dochartaigh developed the exhibit “Representation of Jews in Irish Literature,” a collaboration between NUI Galway and Ulster University. The exhibit charts the representations of Jewish identity, culture and life in Ireland from medieval through to modern times.
Representing a new generation of voices in Irish literature, Stephen Connolly is a Belfast-based poet and a postgraduate student at the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry at Queen’s University.
Dubliner Emer Martin is an internationally recognized artist and writer of fiction and children’s books. She is currently living in Redwood City.
Maureen Langan is a writer, broadcaster and performer. Her one-woman show “Daughter of a Garbageman” is an account of her growing up in the Bronx, a child of a sanitation worker father and Irish mother.
Simon Lewis’s Hennessy Award-winning poetry collection, “Jewtown,” chronicles the experiences of Lithuanian Jewish settlers in Cork’s Jewish quarter in the 1880s and 1890s.
Film historian, biographer, screenwriter and professor in the Cinema Department at San Francisco State University, Joseph McBride will read from his new work “Two Cheers For Hollywood: Joseph McBride on Movies”
Ethel Rohan is an Irish novelist and short story writer living in San Francisco. Her much-acclaimed first novel “The Weight of Him” won the inaugural Plumeri Fellowship and was named an Amazon Best Book.
David is a Moth Storyslam and bestselling author whose work has been featured in Huffington Post, Forbes, The Irish Times, and on NPR. Recent gigs include Kings of Comedy Tour, SF Sketchfest, Ventura Comedy Festival and the Kansas City Irish Festival.
Belfast-born McVeigh is an award-winning playwright and writer. He received The McCrea Literary Award, and won The Polari Prize for his novel “The Good Son,” an account of a pre-adolescent boy living in 1980’s Belfast.
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 collection. She was recently awarded in Poetry Ireland/Trócaire’s annual competition.
Tom McEnery, former San Jose mayor and owner of the Irish Innovation Center and Silicon Valley Global. A writer and historian, Tom wrote the introduction to John Hume’s 1997 book “A New Ireland.” Tom joins writer and filmmaker Maurice Fitzpatrick for a discussion on Fitzpatrick’s new work, “In the Name of Peace: John Hume in America.”
Writer, journalist and teacher, Elgy Gillespie is currently based in San Francisco where she works as an ESL teacher. Elgy is an accredited travel writer and contributes regularly to The Irish Times column, “An Irishwoman’s Diary.”
University of California, Berkeley scholar Robert Tracy joins us for the festival’s Seamus Heaney tribute event. Bob and Seamus developed a lifelong friendship when they met in 1970, the year Seamus Heaney spent an academic year as a visiting professor at UC Berkeley.
Raina Leon’s fellowships and residencies have included Cave Canem and the Tyrone Guthrie Center in Ireland. She is Associate Professor of Education at St. Mary’s College of California. Raina’s focus is on the power of poetry in connection with freedom struggles and anti-oppression movements.
Armagh native Fintan Vallely is a musician, writer and researcher on Irish traditional music. Fintan has taught flute at the prestigious Willie Clancy Summer School in Ireland since 1986.
Roseanne’s visual arts practice includes photography and installation, and explores the medium of photography and 20th century architecture. Her current photographic work, Eloquent Proof, explores 20th century modernist houses and the medium itself as a structure of understanding.
Mashey Bernstein is an Irish Jewish writer and teacher at the Writing Program at the University of California Santa Barbara. Mashey chairs the annual Santa Barbara Jewish Film Festival.
Mark Hull, Associate Professor of Military History, U.S Army Command and General Staff College, Kansas, is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, an attorney, and author of “Irish Secrets: German Espionage in Wartime Ireland, 1939–1945” and the recent release, “Masquerade: Treason, the Holocaust, and an Irish Impostor.”
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), her first full-length poetry collection, Night Court, recently won the 2016 Lyrebird Award.
Valerie Lapin is a Bay Area filmmaker whose 2002 documentary “Shalom Ireland” explores the Irish Jewish communities of 20th Century Ireland. Valerie joins our “Representation of Jews in Irish Literature” panel discussion.