Thank you - Mark calendars for October 5-8, 2017

Thank you to our guest Irish and local writers and artists, sponsors and supporters, and all who attended readings, speaker events, panel discussions and in-conversation events with leading writers at the first annual Los Gatos - Listowel Writers' Festival. A very special thanks goes to Mayor Barbara Spector, C.B. Hannegan's, and the Town of Los Gatos. Come join us October 5th-8th, 2017

2016 Contest Winners

We are delighted to announce Louise Kennedy as the winner of the first annual Los Gatos-Listowel Short Story Contest. Kathleen McClung won the Adult Poetry contest, while Karen Chen and Maggie Gray scooped up Youth Poetry prizes.

Multi-Award Winner

Mike McCormack’s Solar Bones has won the UK Goldsmith Prize, as well as Irish Book of the Year 2016. We were honored to host Mike at this year’s festival where we enjoyed wonderful readings and discussion.

Poem of the Year

Hot on the heels of Jane Clarke’s recent visit to Los Gatos, the Irish Book Awards announced her poem “In Glasnevin” to be the Listowel Writers’ Week Poem of the Year 2016 winner.

Over The Edge Nominee

Irish poet Caroline Bracken, who also joined us earlier this month in Los Gatos, was nominated for Galway City’s 2016 Over The Edge New Writer of The Year poetry category.


Join us for the inaugural Los Gatos – Listowel Writers’ Festival featuring 40 events over four days. More than 15 Irish writers and poets will travel to Los Gatos to join their local literary counterparts for what promises to be a unique celebration of Irish Culture and world class literature in Listowel, Ireland’s Sister City.


Workshops include crime fiction with Claire McGowan, poetry with Jane Clarke, writing and tech with Dr. Lori Phillips, youth poetry with Erica Goss, and fiction with Caroline Bracken and Eanlaí Cronin. CONTEST WINNERS ANNOUNCED!


THURSDAY, OCTOBER 6th, 5.30pm. 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.


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


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.


FRIDAY, OCTOBER 6th – SUNDAY, OCTOBER 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.


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?’


FRIDAY, OCTOBER 7th, 6pm Join us to ring in the inaugural Los Gatos – Listowel Writers’ Festival with a celebration at NUMU, and together with Mayor Barbara Spector, Irish Consul General Philip Grant, and former Irish Parliament Minister, Jimmy Deenihan, help greet our literary guests from Ireland and present our awards.


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.


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.


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’.


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 Sean Lyons


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!


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.


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


SATURDAY, OCTOBER 8th, 1.30pm. 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 with “Seanchaí” Donagh McKeown.


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.


SAT OCTOBER 8th, 2pm. 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 SUN, OCT. 9th


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.


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.


SATURDAY, OCTOBER 8th, 4.30pm. Two workmen find themselves with a monumental task standing atop a scaffold, against the backdrop of a Dublin skyline in this absurdist play about Ireland and the Irish psyche. In due course, obstacles become insurmountable, in this work by Brian O’Beirne.


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.


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.


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.


SUNDAY, OCTOBER 9th, 11.00am. Elizabeth Creely reads her essay on examining the Bay and local environment. Poet and cognitive scientist Pireeni Sundaralingam and Irish poet Jane Clarke explore the nature of interactions between poetry and science, sharing poems about their respective landscapes, and discussing the inspiration for their work and particular aspects of their craft.


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.


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.

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?


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’.


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.


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.


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.


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.

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, 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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