festival events

OCTOBER 6-9, 2016. In the tradition of Ireland's famous Writers' Week in Listowel. Enjoy readings, speaker events, panel discussions and in-conversation events with some of today's top writers in the charming town of Los Gatos.

WORKSHOPS, COMPETITIONS

Festival workshops include memoir writing with Hugo Hamilton, crime fiction with Claire McGowan, poetry with Jane Clarke, writing and tech with Dr. Lori Phillips, youth poetry with Erica Goss, and more…Contest long and short lists are out – winners to be announced shortly!

OPENING NIGHT RECEPTION

Along with the Mayor of Los Gatos, Barbara Spector, Irish Consul, Philip Grant, and Jimmy Deenihan, joins us to greet our literary guests from Ireland and award our contest winners. We are delighted to announce that the Pat O’Laughlin Award 2016 goes to historian and author, Peggy Conaway.

MIKE McCORMACK

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 8th, 8.30pm. His profound much-heralded new work ‘Solar Bones’ has ranked Mike McCormack as one of Ireland’s most important contemporary novelists. Funny and strange, McCormack’s ambitious and other-worldly novel plays with form and defies convention. A beautiful and haunting story of order and chaos, and love and loss.

FORD’S IRISH TRAGICOMEDY

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 7th, 8pm. Joseph McBride, author of two books on John Ford and professor of Cinema at San Francisco State, explores the blend of comedy and tragedy in the films of the great Irish American director. Introduced by Tom McEnery.

WOMEN ON CRIME

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 8th, 6.30pm. New Island’s anthology of Irish crime fiction, Trouble Is Our Business, has a distinctive Irish flavor, but shows that Irish crime writing in the 21st Century is now playing in international leagues. Contributors Louise Phillips and Niamh O’Connor join us for readings and a discussion on women in crime fiction.

THING ABOUT WORK

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 7th, 3pm. Richard Moran reads from his new book, ‘The Thing About Work: Showing Up and Other Important Matters’. Richard is credited with starting the genre of “Business Bullet Books” and has authored several best-selling titles. Rich will be joined by David Nihill, author of ‘Do You Talk Funny?’

HEROES OF JADOTVILLE

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 8th, 3pm. Irish writer Rose Doyle blows the lid on the real story on how Irish peacekeeping soldiers in the Congo became pawns in an international struggle for control of Katanga and its mineral wealth. Doyle seeks to grant these soldiers the recognition their bravery deserves. This is their story. Reading and Q&A.

WEIGHT OF HIM

SAT & SUN OCTOBER 8/9th. Ethel Rohan’s ‘The Weight of Him’ (St. Martin’s Press early 2017). The story of loss and reliance moves from tragedy to recrimination to what can be achieved when we take the stand. Join Ethel for an in-conversation event on Oct. 8th and listen to her read from her new book as well as from her award-winning short story collection on Oct. 9th.

FLANN O’BRIEN TRIBUTE

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 9th, 6pm. Flann O’Brien was a novelist, playwright and columnist of singular distinction who flourished in the cold climate of a repressed mid-century Ireland. Join us for an homage to one of Ireland’s most neglected literary lions as we mark the 50th anniversary year of his death.

LETTERS OF THE LAW

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 6th, 6pm. Join the Irish American Bar Association for a Writers’ Festival event with a literary twist. From the challenges of writing about war crimes in Kosovo to documenting unusual cases of EU labor law, our speakers have put action into words.

CUTTING EDGE

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 9th, 3pm. Tramp Press is publishing exceptional literary talent in Ireland right now. Meet the folks behind Ireland’s leading independent publisher and find out how they go about promoting the best in new writing.

GRANDPA THE SNIPER

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 9th, 12.30pm. Writer, journalist and playwright Frank Shouldice’s new book tells the story of his grandfather’s part in the 1916 Easter Rising. A crack-shot “armed with a rusty rifle and a pair of binoculars” poised on the Jameson malthouse. Frank Jr. shares his grandpa’s story.

GOBLINS & GHOULS

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 8th, 12pm. Modern day Halloween is derived from an ancient Irish festival that was brought over to the U.S. by Irish immigrants. Emer Martin’s new book is a modern take on an ancient Irish folktale about ‘Pooka’ a shape-shifter that can take any form it chooses – a dog, rabbit, goat, goblin, or a sleek horse!

WORDS, SILLY & SERIOUS

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 8th, 1pm. Irish children’s poet Gabriel Fitzmaurice’s best-loved poems are for the young and the young at heart, the poems range from the silly to the serious, from the sad to the happy, from the naughty to the nice. S

KERRY STEPS

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 8th, 1.30pm. Free Irish Dance class with Patricia Kennelly, whose father was a champion dancer from Listowel. Dance class is followed by storytelling “Seanchaí” Donagh McKeown.

RISING GENERATION

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 7th, 5pm. A sign of the vigor of new Irish poetry, Poetry Ireland’s ‘The Rising Generation’ is dedicated entirely to the work of poets who have published their first pamphlets and books in the last five years. Listen to readings by contributor Jane Clarke who will be joined by Irish poet, Caroline Bracken.

STAGE IRISH

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 8th, 1pm. ‘Staging Intercultural Ireland’ is a collection that features eight plays and six interviews with migrant and Irish-born theater artists who are producing work at the intersection of interculturalism and inward-migration in Ireland during recent times. Matthew Spangler reads from his book and Q&A follows.

STORIES OF 1916

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 9th, 1.30pm Screening of 1916 docudrama ‘A Terrible Beauty’ and a discussion on stories that have emerged during this 1916 centenary year, with former Minister for the Diaspora, Jimmy Deenihan and the creators of the film. ‘Stories of 1916’ shows archive footage about ordinary people doing extraordinary things.

SCREENWRITING TODAY

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 9th, 1.45pm. Author, screenwriter, and San Francisco State Cinema Professor Joseph McBride will discuss the basic elements of the screenwriting craft and how an aspiring writer can break into that field. McBride is the author of the ‘Writing in Pictures: Screenwriting Made (Mostly) Painless’.

Pat O’Laughlin Award

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 7th, 6pm at Opening Night Reception. Former trial attorney and mayor of Los Gatos, Pat O’Laughlin, who passed away in 2008, was a regular at Listowel, and had a passion for writing and poetry. We honor him with a “Pat O’Laughlin Contribution to Literature Award.”

POETRY & SCIENCE

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 9th, 12.30pm. Are science and poetry inherently at odds with one another? Poet and cognitive scientist Pireeni Sundaralingam and Irish poet Jane Clarke explore the nature of interactions between these two disciplines, sharing poems about their respective landscapes, and discussing the inspiration for their work and particular aspects of their craft.

THE BROKEN PLACES

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 8th, 3pm. Joseph McBride memoir reading. At 17 years old, a sexually repressed McBride concocted a fruitless plan to save the world. He would meet with Lyndon B. Johnson, bring about nuclear disarmament with the Russians and integrate racially divided Southern colleges. There was something wrong with his mind.

DETECTIVE AS MUSE

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 9th, 4.30pm. Irish crime writer Louise Phillips and a local Bay Area crime novelist are joined by two Irish detectives – one based in Ireland and one in San Francisco – for a discussion on the ins and outs of covering crime, real and fictionalized.

A KITCHEN STORY

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 9th, 3pm. Dan McFadden’s one-hour presentation piece is on growing up in Pittsburgh with a father who believed that if you were fortunate enough to be Irish, then you were fortunate enough. Race, ethnic conflict, family, and The Church all illustrated with a wonderful slideshow of spot drawings.

NATIONALISTS IN U.S.

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 8th, 2pm. David Brundage’s new book gives us the first full-scale history of Irish nationalists in the United States. He challenges us to rethink the history of Irish nationalism and its far-flung supporters, and to ponder its present and future. Q&A.

TRIBUTE TO DERMOT HEALY

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 9th, 11am. Writing the Sky: Observations and Essays on Dermot Healy is a new comprehensive collection of critical essays, memoirs, poetry, devoted to the life and work of the late Dermot Healy. Join us for a reading at Village Books.

2013-16 POET LAUREATE

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 8th, 11.30am. Erica Goss served as Poet Laureate of Los Gatos from 2013-2016. Born in Germany and raised in California, she has been writing poetry since she was a child. She is the author of ‘Wild Place’ and ‘Vibrant Words: Ideas and Inspirations for Poets’.

LEGENDS OF LISTOWEL

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 8th, 12.30pm. Listowel Writers’ Week was founded in 1970 and the internationally acclaimed festival has become a leading event in Ireland’s literary calendar. Learn about the town and its famous writers. Presented by Jimmy Deenihan and Listowel Director, tba.

DISCOVER LOST GATOS

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 8th, 9.30am. Discover the fascinating but often forgotten people, places, and events that have shaped Los Gatos over the past two centuries. On this special festival tour you can learn about the Irish folks who contributed to its history.

JAMES PHELAN & MONTALVO

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 6th, 8pm. “Writing Up The Irish: James Duval Phelan & Villa Montalvo” Los Gatos Writer & Professor Emeritus of History James P. Walsh in Conversation with Tony Bucher, President of the Irish Literary and Historical Society

WORDS INTO ART

OCTOBER 6th – 9th. Irish artists Bridget Ryan and Emer Martin exhibit their work at Gallery 24. Two talented Irish artists exploring very different themes from Connemara landscape to the mind of Lucia Joyce.

Flash Fiction Crawl

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 9th, 3pm. Where else would you get fighting robots, severed tongues, the art of Dressage, flying Vespas, unlikely friendships, magic mushrooms, Jennifer Lawrence’s leg cramp, a tweeker mom’s guide to laundry, back seat sex, and red leather pumps, all in one day?

Guest Speaker Biographies

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

MIKE McCORMACK

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.

JANE CLARKE

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.

JOSEPH McBRIDE

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.

ETHEL ROHAN

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.

CLAIRE McGOWAN

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.

RICHARD MORAN

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.

ROSE DOYLE

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.

LOUISE PHILLIPS

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.

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.

ERICA GOSS

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.

FRANK SHOULDICE

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.

CARA BLACK

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.

DAVID BRUNDAGE

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.

CAROLINE BRACKEN

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.

JAMES WALSH

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.

ELIZABETH CREELY

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.

MATTHEW SPANGLER

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.

DAN McFADDEN

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.

BRIDIE RYAN ARTIST

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.

EMER MARTIN

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.

PIREENI SUNDARALINGAM

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.

DAVID NIHILL

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.

EANLAI CRONIN

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.

NIAMH O’CONNOR

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.

ARTIST JERRY SMITH

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.

MAGDALENA ZULJEVIC

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.

LORI PHILLIPS

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.

SARA BERKELEY

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.

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