Irish Writers' Festival Los Gatos 2017

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THURSDAY 5 OCT 11.00am – 12.30pm, Montalvo Arts Center, $35/$50

OPENING RECEPTION Join Irish Culture Bay Area and the Irish Consulate at Montalvo Arts Center to launch a festival of cultural Irish riches, and greet our team of visiting writers and artists. Learn about the history of Montalvo and its founder in a short presentation by James P. Walsh, co-author of Legacy of a Native Son: James Duval Phelan and Villa Montalvo. A look at the Lucas Artists Residency Program is followed by a luncheon and short awards presentation. Ticket includes Seamus Heaney tribute event at the Carriage House Theater, 1.00pm – 3.00pm. Special Guest Poet TESS TAYLOR, a recently returned Fulbright scholar at Queen’s University Seamus Heaney Centre, Belfast, leads visiting poets and writers with tributes and readings.


1.00pm – 3.00pm, Carriage House Theater, Montalvo Arts Center, $15/$20 We kick off this year’s Irish Writers’ Festival with a tribute to Seamus Heaney, the 1995 Nobel laureate in literature, who is often referred to as the greatest Irish poet since W.B. Yeats. Heaney came to UC Berkeley in the early 1970s, during the Troubles in Northern Ireland, and was faced with a UC campus stirred by anti-war protest. Don’t miss this unique event featuring Seamus Heaney’s son, Michael, and UC Berkeley Professor Emeritus, Robert Tracy, who discuss Heaney’s work and influences during this pivotal time of his career. 2 2017 IRISH WRITERS’ FESTIVAL

Music by virtuoso violinist COLM O’RIAIN, and Irish traditional flute player, researcher and writer, FINTAN VALLELY.

Moderated by Conor Howard of Anna Livia Books.


RUTH GILLIGAN’S acclaimed novel Nine Folds to a Paper Swan spans three generations of Irish Jewish families in the 1900s. Hear how the writer came across and fictionalized stories of the little-known Jewish community in Ireland. POET SIMON LEWIS, reads from his Hennessy Award-winning poetry collection Jewtown and talks about the Jewish Quarter of the same name in Cork City.

VALERIE LAPIN, shows short clips of her film Shalom Ireland, that tells the untold story of how Irish Jews participated in the creation of both Ireland and Israel.

JEWS IN IRISH LIFE AND LITERATURE 7.00pm – 9.30pm, Los Gatos Lodge, $15/$20

Did you know that Irish Gothic writer Charles Maturin’s Melmoth the Wanderer was said to be the template for Irish author Bram Stoker’s Dracula? Or that after rabbinical stints in Belfast and Dublin, Rabbi Isaac Herzog became the first Chief Rabbi of Israel? Or that Irish National Land League founder, Michael Davitt wrote a bestselling book in 1903 on pogroms and anti-Semitic atrocities? There has been a constant Jewish presence in a millennium of Irish writing. Join Professor Pól Ó Dochartaigh, VP of Galway University, for a fascinating exhibit “Representation of Jews in Irish Literature” that has enjoyed a highly successful tour of Ireland this year.

STEVEN J. ZIPPERSTEIN, Professor in Jewish Culture and History at Stanford University, shares some of the Irish history he came across while researching his upcoming book,Pogrom: Kishinev and the Tilt of History. MODERATED BY MASHEY BERNSTEIN, who was raised in an orthodox Jewish family in Dublin, Ireland. Bernstein’s work on Jewish aspects of the media has been published extensively in academic and popular journals.


IRISH ART “It is our memory of space that allows us to understand volume in a two-dimensional photographic surface.”

ROSEANNE LYNCH ‘ELOQUENT PROOF’ EXHIBITION ON DISPLAY AT WHITNEY MODERN Roseanne Lynch is a Cork-based photography and installation artist who uses large format analogue cameras and a darkroom-based practice. Eloquent Proof is a body of work featuring French Modernist houses, including that of Irish architect Eileen Gray. Other Irish Works on Display

Connemara paintings by Bridget Ryan and Conor McGregor by Colette O’Beirne.

“I have always been intrigued by the many and varied abandoned houses in Connemara that have survived since famine times due to their thick stone walls and solid structures” 4 2017 IRISH WRITERS’ FESTIVAL

WRITING WORKSHOPS Writing up Ireland & Beyond: Travel Writing Workshop - Elgy Gillespie 11.30am – 1.30pm

Learn what constitutes good travel writing, while developing research skills and effective writing that will resonate with your audience. Society of American Travel Writers (SATW) travel writer, Irish Times contributor and Rough Guides author, Elgy Gillespie’s workshop covers the elements of travel writing, including pre-trip research, using on-location experience to find an angle, telling the story, and engaging an audience.

WORKSHOP TICKETS: $30 Early Bird/$40 Regular/ $20 Students, Seniors Los Gatos Chamber of Commerce The A to Z of Getting Published Caroline Bracken 9.00am – 11.00am

What is the number one thing you need to get published? What are editors and competition judges looking for? How do you win writing competitions? How do you get published in journals/magazines newspapers? Does getting published in journals/ magazines or winning writing competitions really matter? Is online publication as good as print publication? Why is your writing rejected? What is the most important element in a short story/poem/ novel? Irish writer Caroline Bracken shares her knowledge and expertise at this unique workshop, which dispels some of the myths and mysteries facing aspiring authors.

Speaking to Engage: The Only Workshop on Public Speaking You’ll Ever Need to Take - David Nihill 1.30pm – 3.30pm

Irish-born author David Nihill is one of the world’s leading voices on the usually not-so-exciting topic of public speaking. His program, shared with more than 23,000 students, has been named one of the best training courses for presenters, and his book remains one of the highest rated in the world on the subject. Take this class and you’ll enjoy presenting to people, they’ll enjoy listening to you, and they’ll happily retain your message. David is the author of the best-selling book Do You Talk Funny?


The Los Gatos Irish Writers’ Festival is proud to partner with Ireland’s national airline, Aer Lingus, to offer you a chance to win two round-trip tickets to Ireland. You are automatically entered in the drawing when you either purchase a Festival Pass, or make a donation of $20 or more. Winner will be announced on festival closing night, Sunday, October 8th, at 9pm. Entrants do not need to be present to win. Restrictions and regulations apply. 2017 IRISH WRITERS’ FESTIVAL 5


Dubliner BRIAN O’BEIRNE’S acclaimed 12-minute play is about two strangers who meet in a bar in the Castro, on the eve of the Apocalypse. “In The End” opens a theatrical evening at Charley’s LG at 8pm.

8.00pm – 10pm, Charley’s LG, $15/$20

MAUREEN LANGAN’S ONE-WOMAN SHOW, “DAUGHTER OF A GARBAGEMAN” Maureen Langan’s one-woman show is a funny and moving tale of the journalist and broadcaster’s 1970s upbringing in New Jersey. Raised by an Irish immigrant mother and Bronxborn sanitation worker father, Maureen was told that an education was the road to success. But is that true? How do you tell your daughter to read and write when sex tapes lead to book deals? When The Apprentice becomes the president? Who is to blame? Our mothers? Our fathers? America? Yes, Yes & Yes! MARK HULL: MASQUERADE: TREASON, THE HOLOCAUST, AND AN IRISH IMPOSTOR 2.00pm – 3.30pm, C.B. Hannegan’s, $10/$20. Irish American Bar Association

Phyllis Ursula James. Nora Ó Mara. Róisín Ni Mheara. Like her name, the life of Rosaleen James changed many times as she followed a convoluted path from abandoned child, to foster daughter of an aristocratic British family, to traitor during World War II, to her emergence as an Irish citizen. Learn how this Irish imposter’s years in Nazi Germany led to a great deal of controversy. Co-author Mark M. Hull is an attorney and Professor of Military History at ºthe U.S Army Command and General Staff College. WOMEN WRITERS FROM THE NORTH OF IRELAND 6.00pm – 8.00pm, Whitney Modern, $10

Short fiction is having a remarkable moment in Northern Ireland, with a boom in women’s writing. Sinéad Gleeson edited the successful collection of Irish women writers, The Long Gaze Back, and then turned her editorial attention to Northern women, after observing that little existed in terms of all-female anthologies in the North. Gleeson, a writer, journalist and presenter of “The Book Show” on Ireland’s Radio Telefís Eireann (RTE), is joined by Jan Carson and Evelyn Conlon. 6 2017 IRISH WRITERS’ FESTIVAL


Los Gatos: Then and Now, Peggy Conaway Bergtold


10.30am, Los Gatos Library, Tech Room, Floor 2, Free

9.00am – 11.00am, Town Plaza Park to Forbes Mill Historic Site, Free Back by popular demand! Alan Feinberg and the creators of the “Discover LOST Gatos” smartphone app lead a special Los Gatos history walking tour. Learn about some of the remarkable Irish and Scottish settlers who helped to shape the town over the past two centuries: Charles Henry McKiernan, John Weldon Lyndon and Mary Barry Coggeshall, among others. Be prepared for a surprise or two along the way. Tour ends at Forbes Mill, and all welcome at the Library for a talk by historian Peggy Conaway Bergtold.

Local historian Peggy Conaway Bergtold talks about researching and writing her work Los Gatos: Then and Now. Peggy will bejoined by Valerie Archer Wainwright, writer, and producer of Los Gatos: Then and Now documentary.

EVELYN CONLON: NOT THE SAME SKY 10.30am – 11.45am, Los Gatos Friends of the Library, $10, suggested donation In 1848 famine has ravaged Ireland, and a shortage of female labor in Australia results in the passage of 4000 Irish girls who are shipped across vast oceans to the new colony. In October 1849, one of these ships sets sail from Plymouth with a cargo of girls. Not the Same Sky tells the story of Honora, Julia, Bridget and Anne on the voyage, and follows them as they negotiate their new lives. Evelyn Conlon is an Irish novelist, short-story writer and radio essayist.


SATURDAY 7 OCT GIRL IN IRISH: EANLAÍ CRONIN 12.15pm – 1.00pm, Los Gatos Friends of the Library, $10, suggested donation Eanlaí Cronin is a memoirist, and certified facilitator in the Amherst Writers and Artists Method. Eanlaí claims her Irish catholic background was doused in the trifecta of lies, denial and silence, and is dedicated to helping all writers, particularly women, to awaken the soul within. Eanlaí’s work has appeared in Sinister Wisdom, Sonoma Women’s Voices, Peregrine, String Poet, Courage to Heal, and The Kerryman. Eanlaí has completed her first memoir, Girl in Irish.

NORMAN MATTEONI: PRAIRIE MAN: THE STRUGGLE BETWEEN SITTING BULL AND INDIAN AGENT JAMES MCLAUGHLIN 1.30pm – 2.45pm, Friends of the Los Gatos Library, $10, suggested donation After the 1876 Battle of the Little Big Horn, Sitting Bull protested intrusions into Lakota prairie land, refused to sign treaties, and epitomized resistance. Los Gatos writer Norm Matteoni’s story is about the conflict between Sitting Bull and Indian Agent James McLaughlin, son of Ulster Irish emigrants. Matteoni is in conversation with Irish historian and broadcaster, Myles Dungan.

NEW IRISH POETRY: DARING US TO ACT 1.00pm-3.00pm, Whitney Modern, $10 suggested donation Raina Leon, Associate Professor of Education at St. Mary’s College of California moderates a panel of new Irish poets - a new generation of voices in Irish literature – who talk about the dynamic and diasporic experiences of nostalgia, resistance, and home connectedness. Stephen Connolly is a postgrad student at the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry at Queen’s University. Simon Lewis’s Hennessy Award-winning poetry collection, “Jewtown,” chronicles the experiences of Jewish settlers in Cork. Belfast native Stephen Sexton’s poem “The Curfew” recently scooped the UK National Poetry Society Competition Award. Caroline Bracken’s poems have been published in The Irish Times, Hennessy New Irish Writing among several other publications. 8 2017 IRISH WRITERS’ FESTIVAL

– a new generation of voices in Irish literature – who talk about the dynamic and diasporic experiences of nostalgia, resistance, and home connectedness.

THE LONG-WINDED LADY: MAEVE BRENNAN, FORGOTTEN IRISH WRITER Sinéad Gleeson examines the life and work of Irish writer and journalist, Maeve Brennan. Born in Dublin in 1917, Brennan moved to the U.S. with her family in 1934. She worked at Harper’s Bazaar, and in the 1950s and 1960s at The New Yorker where she wrote under the pseudonym “The Long-Winded Lady.” Brennan’s short stories and New Yorker collections have been unearthed in recent years, with2017 editions published by The Stinging Fly in Ireland.

“Brennan is, for a new generation of Irish women writers, a casualty of old wars not yet won.” – Anne Enright

3.15pm – 4.45pm, Whitney Modern, $10

PAISANOS: THE FORGOTTEN IRISH OF LATIN AMERICA 5.00pm – 6.15pm, Whitney Modern, $10 A look at the epic story of the Irish in Latin America, the subject of Irish writer Tim Fanning’s book Paisanos: The Forgotten Irish of Latin America. In the early 1800s, thousands of volunteers left Ireland to join the fight for South American independence, lured by the promise of fortune and the opportunity to take a stand against colonialism. They joined the ranks of the Liberator, Símon Bolívar, and became instrumental in helping oust the Spanish from Colombia, Panama, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia. Who knew? And there’s more....

DAVID NIHILL: “A MOTHER, A SON, A CITY” 8.00pm – 9.30pm, C.B. Hannegan’s, $10

At the heart of many an Irish story is an Irish mammy, who is often doing something pretty entertaining. Join us for an evening of comedic storytelling with David Nihill, one of the funniest storytellers around. Born and raised in Dublin, David is a bestselling author, whose work has been featured on NPR, and in the Huffington Post, Forbes, and The Irish Times. He was recently part of the Irish Kings of Comedy Tour, San Francisco Sketchfest, the Ventura Comedy Festival and the Kansas City Irish Festival. A multiple Moth Storyslam winner, Grandslam finalist and occasional host, David has also told tales at Porchlight, The Naked Truth, The Marsh, Fireside and LitQuake. This show is not to be missed! 2017 IRISH WRITERS’ FESTIVAL 9


IN THE NAME OF PEACE: JOHN HUME IN AMERICA 10.00am – 11.30am, Los Gatos Theater, $10/$15

Maurice Fitzpatrick, author and filmmaker joins us for a screening of his new documentary about John Hume, and how the Irish politician and Nobel Laureate created the framework for peace in Northern Ireland. Narrated by Liam Neeson, the film contains exclusive interviews with former U.S. Presidents Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, and UK Prime Ministers John Major and Tony Blair - and of course, Bono is in there as well. The screening will be followed by a Q&A about the new book and film, moderated by historian and San Jose former mayor, Tom McEnery. Please note: The post-screening event takes place across the street at the Whitney Modern, 11.30am – 12.15pm.

Little Lit & Dance: Children’s Program

12.00pm – 2.00pm, Los Gatos Youth Rec Center, Free

Irish Women, New Writing: Jan Carson, Ethel Rohan, Caroline Bracken

Join local Irish writer and performer Emer Martin as she launches her new children’s book, The Dancing Pig. The Kennelly School of Irish Dance demonstrates and offers free instruction for children and adults. Irish storytelling session for Hallowe’en follows with Master Story Man, Donagh McKeown, and costumes are encouraged!

Each day of 2015, Jan Carson wrote a short story on the back of a postcard and mailed it to a friend. Join us for a “Tiny Stories” session with Jan who reads and discusses her recent collection, Postcard Stories. San Francisco-based Irish writer Ethel Rohan will read and discuss her 2017 acclaimed novel, The Weight of Him. The story about loss and reliance is set against a backdrop of rural, contemporary Ireland, lauded as “…a brave and moving book” by John Banville. Caroline Bracken reads a selection of her poems, including recent award winners.

12.45pm – 2.15pm, Whitney Modern, $10 suggested donation


Music at Civic Center Plaza Stage

2.00pm – 4.00pm, Los Gatos Civic Center Plaza, Free, donations welcomed 2.00pm – 2.45pm Erin Ruth Thompson and David Chadwick. Thompson delivers Irish songs

with a towering, emotional and powerful voice. She is accompanied by Santa Cruz guitarist and mandolinist, David Chadwick. 2.50pm The Mild Colonial Boys and dancers from the Kennelly School of Irish Dance take to the stage. Prepare to be entertained with a performance by Bay Area musicians Rory McNamara, Kyle Alden and John Caulfield. Dance along to Americana, Irish traditional dance tunes and songs peppered with old time story-telling and Vaudevillian ballads. RAGE, RESISTANCE AND A REJECTION OF RESIGNATION. EMER MARTIN 2.45pm – 3.45pm, Whitney Modern, $10 donation “In the dark times / Will there also be singing? / Yes, there will also be singing. / About the dark times.” – Brecht Ireland has long had a tradition of rebellion, resistance, and a refusal to accept given conditions. Irish writer Emer Martin reads from her darkly comic work and opens up a conversation about what role artists can play in the new culture of rage and resistance in these darkly turbulent times. Can writers and artists dream new worlds into existence? Let’s find out.

Night Court, Erica Goss 3.15pm – 4.00pm, Charley’s LG, $10 suggested donation

CROSSING THE LINE: MY LIFE ON THE EDGE, MARTIN DILLON 4.15pm – 5.30pm, Charley’s LG, $10/$15

Acclaimed BBC journalist Martin Dillon’s compelling new memoir charts the extraordinary personal and professional journey of one of the leading journalists in Northern Ireland during the Troubles. The true stories behind macabre sectarian murders, turf wars, and death threats are told alongside his encounters and meetings with a roll-call of major political figures, paramilitaries, and Irish literary greats. Erica Goss served as Poet Laureate of Los Gatos from 2013-2016. She is author of collections Wild Place (2012 and Vibrant Words: Ideas and Inspirations for Poets (2014). Join Erica today as she reads from her first full-length poetry collection, Night Court. The book recently won the 2016 Lyrebird Award. 2017 IRISH WRITERS’ FESTIVAL 11

SUNDAY 8 OCT How The Irish Won The West, Myles Dungan

7.00pm – 8.30pm, Charley’s LG, $15/$25 (includes admissions to Martin Hayes)

The historical focus on the Irish diaspora in the U.S. has always been on the east coast. Often ignored is the legion of ‘two boat Irish’ who made their way into the vast American West. These included fur trappers, miners, soldiers, gangsters, and prostitutes. A fair sprinkling made vast fortunes, and a good proportion found their way to California. In his book How the Irish Won the West, Myles Dungan has disinterred many of these narratives. If they weren’t verifiably true, you probably wouldn’t believe most of them. Myles Dungan is an Irish historian, broadcaster, playwright and novelist. He is the author of a number of books on Irish and American history, holds a PhD from Trinity College, Dublin, has taught in U.C. Berkeley as a Fulbright scholar, and presents the weekly History Show on Irish National Radio (RTE). Myles will be introduced by Tony Bucher, President of the Irish Literary & Historical Society.

“You’re about to watch one of the best fiddlers on the planet. Martin Hayes plays his fiddle with an exquisite touch and tone, as well as a magnificent sense of melody and rhythm that never ceases to astonish.” – NPR


Martin Hayes is one of the most extraordinary talents to emerge in the world of Irish music. His unique sound, mastery of the fiddle, acknowledgement of the past, and shaping of the future of the music combine to create a formidable artistic intelligence. Winner of six All-Ireland fiddle championships before the age of nineteen, Martin is the recipient of major awards including Folk Instrumentalist of the Year from BBC Radio and Man of the Year from the American Irish Historical Society. He is Artistic Director of the Masters of Tradition Festival in Bantry House, West Cork. Martin is currently touring with international supergroup The Gloaming, as well as playing Bay Area concerts with his long-time partner Dennis Cahill. Thank You To Our Sponsors IRISH CULTURE BAY AREA

Community Partners: Irish Network Bay Area, Irish Literary & Historical Society, Irish-American Crossroads, Irish American Bar Association, Irish Immigration Pastoral Center, San Jose-Dublin Sister City Program.

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