Upcoming Literary Events

Literary Events Archive

Paige Reynolds, UC Berkeley • April 16


Co-sponsored by the Department of English and the Institute of European Studies – Irish Studies Program, join the Irish Studies Program at UC Berkeley for an engaging conversation with Paige Reynolds on Eimear McBride’s recent novel, A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing (2013)

Paige Reynolds, Professor of English at College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA, has published widely on the subjects of modernism, drama and performance, and modern and contemporary Irish literature.  She is the author of Modernism, Drama, and the Audience for Irish Spectacle (Cambridge University Press, 2007), and editor of Modernist Afterlives in Irish Literature and Culture (Anthem Press, 2016), as well as special issues of Éire-Ireland on Irish material culture (2011) and Irish University Review on Kate O’Brien (2018). Currently completing a monograph on contemporary Irish women’s fiction, she is also editing two forthcoming collections for Cambridge University Press, The New Irish Studies: Twenty-First Century Critical Revisions and Irish Literature in Transition, Volume 6, 1980-2020 (with Eric Falci).  The 2013 Neenan Fellow at Boston College Ireland, she currently serves as co-chair of the Modernism Seminar at the Mahindra Humanities Center, Harvard University.

April 16, 5-6:30 pm, 300 Wheeler Hall, UC Berkeley campus more

Irish Writers at Bay Area Book Festival • April 28

Breaking Literary Ground: Ambitious Young Writers from Ireland features Eimear McBride, David Hayden, and Liz Nugent, April 28, 10am

For the third year in a row, the festival showcases some of today’s most powerful writers who come from our land of literary pioneers. Surrealist feminist author Eimear McBride creates a literary mosaic with her disjointed, artful syntax; NPR called her “one of the most exciting young talents in fiction.” Of David Hayden’s debut short story collection, the Guardian wrote, “Once in a blue moon, a book comes along that really is like nothing you’ve ever read before.” Liz Nugent is a rising star who has written a dark thriller that Publisher’s Weekly, in a starred review, called “an intense character study” that plays with truth.

10am. Berkeley City College – Auditorium more

Fierce Originality: Eimear McBride interviewed by Sylvia Brownrigg, April 28, 1.30pm

With her first published novel, “A Girl Is a Half-Formed Thing,” Eimear McBride was compared to a feminist James Joyce in how she broke language to capture fleeting consciousness itself, in this case in the mind of a young girl struggling to remain intact amidst trauma. The New York Times called it “a future classic.” NPR said, “Shattering…Be prepared to be blown away by this raw, visceral, brutally intense neomodernist first novel.” In her second, even more sophisticated novel, “The Lesser Bohemians,” she also aimed “to write truthfully about female experience,” this time about a consuming love affair with an older man. “Writing is painful,” she told the Guardian, “but it’s the closest you can get to joy.” McBride talks about writing, life, feminism and more with novelist Sylvia Brownrigg. Berkeley City College – Auditorium  more

The Nature of Evil: Stories on Darkness, April 28, 3.15pm

Karo Hämäläinen, Steffen Jacobsen, Liz Nugent, Yrsa Sigurdardóttir, moderated by Brian Cliff

Villains allow readers to explore the darkest depths of the human psyche, from the overtly malicious to the insidiously hateful. Evil is more than a plot device—it’s a universal truth. These authors harness this powerful truth in their captivating novels: Karo Hämäläinen’s “Cruel is the Night,” a dark locked-room mystery comedy; Steffen Jacobsen’s thriller “Trophy,” in which the dark, murderous pleasures of powerful men are unveiled; Liz Nugent’s “Unraveling Oliver,” which explores the darkness that drives lovers to violence; and Yrsa Sigurdardóttir’s “The Legacy,” complete with a taunting murderer and a child who witnesses murder. You won’t want to miss the writers on this diverse panel as they discuss how they capture the worst of humanity between the pages of a book. The Marsh – Cabaret  more

Knots of Wonder: Stunning Short Fiction, April 28, 3.15pm

Gunnhild Oyehaug, David Hayden, Masatsugu Ono. Short stories and novellas are like knots: compact on the surface, but containing intricately woven ideas that, when unraveled, point to something much larger. How do writers do it? These three authors are world-class exemplars of the form: Norwegian short story writer Gunnhild Oyehaug, who can “produce stabs of emotion, unexpected ghost notes of feeling, from pieces so short and offbeat that they seem at first like aborted arias” (in a profile of her by The New Yorker); Irish writer David Hayden, whose short stories The Guardian calls “brilliantly disturbing and unclassifiable”; and, coming to us from Japan, Masatsugu Ono, whose jewel-like novella mixes the surreal with the profound in a story of a shy, traumatized boy overcoming the shame, anger, and sadness that silence him. Hotel Shattuck Plaza – White Cotton Room  more


Irish Writers’ Festival, Los Gatos • Mark Calendars Oct 12-14, 2018

The Irish Arts & Writers’ Festival is a four-day festival featuring Irish writers, artists, and musicians. Watch this space for 2018 festival schedule. Volunteers neededemail for information.

See 2017 program here


Eanlaí Cronin Workshops


Alameda-based Irish writer Eanlaí Cronin‘s workshops are based on the Amherst Writers and Artists Method, which believes that every person is a writer, and every writer deserves a safe environment in which to experiment, learn, and develop craft. Each workshop drops writers easily and instantly into the core content asking to be written through them, whether it is poetry, fiction, memoir or journal and process writing. Participants write to carefully prepared prompts designed to prime the creative pump, read their work aloud (though not required), and give and receive positive feedback using a simple and skillful AWA format. Open to writers of all ability levels.

Workshops start every few months so email Eanlai at eanlaicronin@gmail.com for more information or to register for the next session.

No previous writing experience is required. Just book your place in advance and take the Amherst Writers and Artists Method for a test drive.

“The time spent in Eanlai’s writing workshop has been a profound healing experience for me. Eanlai creates a space for creativity with the freedom to express yourself without inhibition.  The healing is not just from my own writing, but from hearing the words and wisdom of the other writers in the group.  It is mystical.” – Sharon Kuhn, Fremont, CA