CONTESTS & WORKSHOPS
Acclaimed author Kevin Barry joins our panel of judges for our 2016 short story contest. $2000 total prize money will be awarded to short story, adult and youth poetry winners. Festival workshops include memoir, fiction and poetry, with Hugo Hamilton, Jane Clarke & Shirley McClure, Erica Goss, Lori Phillips, Bridget Ryan and Eanlai Cronin.
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.
THE SPECKLED PEOPLE
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 8th, 4.30pm. ‘The Speckled People’ is a profoundly moving story of the child of a German mother and Irish nationalist father growing up in 1950s Ireland. Hugo Hamilton reads from one of the most original memoirs to emerge in recent times in Ireland. The author will also read from latest works.
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.
FORD ON STEINBECK
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 7th, 8pm. Ford’s 1940 film version of John Steinbeck’s ‘The Grapes of Wrath’, about dispossessed Okies in the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, was influenced by his ethnic memories of the Irish Famine. Some have even suggested that it’s Ford’s most Irish film. Introduced by Tom McEnery, Joe McBride examines the dark side of The Quiet Man.
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, 3.30pm. 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.
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
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 8th, 1.30pm. Free Irish Dance class. Patricia’s Kennelly’s father was a champion dancer and teacher from Listowel. Patricia and her teachers will demonstrate and teach their unique North Kerry style of Irish dancing.
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 Shirley McClure and Caroline Bracken.
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.
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. Former trial attorney and mayor of Los Gatos Pat O’Laughlin was a regular at Listowel, and had a passion for writing and poetry. Pat passed away in 2008, and we honor him with a “Pat O’Laughlin Contribution to Literature Award.” Opening night reception,
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. Jo 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.
EMER MARTIN’S LUCIA
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 9th, 12pm. Meet the artist. Emer’s large paintings use excerpts from Finnegans Wake that address the tensions between Lucia Joyce and her father. Emer will be joined by UC Berkeley Professor and Joyce scholar, Catherine Flynn.
WORDS INTO ART
OCTOBER 9th, 4pm. Meet the artist with poet. Irish artist Bridget Ryan’s work is inspired by poetry and her native Connemara landscape. The often deserted farm buildings and surrounding landscape show traces of her ancestors work seen in the surviving marks on the landscape.
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
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.
Hugo’s first three novels were set in Central Europe, and then came his acclaimed memoir, The Speckled People, about his German-Irish childhood. His latest book is on the final days of writer Nuala O’Faolain.
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.
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.
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 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.
Film historian, biographer, screenwriter and professor in the Cinema Department at San Francisco State University, Joseph McBride has covered John Ford, JFK, Orson Welles, Capra and recently his own story.
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.
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.
A past winner of Listowel Writers’ Week Originals Poetry Competition, Shirley has published two books and won the Cork Literary Review’s Manuscript Competition and Penfro Poetry Competition Awards.
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’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.
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.
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.
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.
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’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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Byddi is currently writing her second novel, a science fiction story set in a future where the earth’s icecaps have melted and Armagh is the capital of Ireland. A former science teacher in Belfast, Byddi now resides in San Jose.