Ethel Rohan Book Reading • Feb 23
Join Ethel Rohan for a reading and signing of her debut novel, The Weight of Him, at Bookshop West Portal, San Francisco.
The Weight of Him tells the story of Billy Brennan. At four hundred pounds, Billy can always count on food. From his earliest memories, he has loved food’s colors, textures and tastes. The way flavors go off in his mouth. How food keeps his mind still and his bad feelings quiet. Food has always made everything better, until the day Billy’s beloved son Michael takes his own life. Billy determines to make a difference in Michael’s memory and undertakes a public weight-loss campaign, to raise money for suicide prevention—his first step in an ambitious plan to save himself, and to save others. However, Billy’s dramatic crusade appalls his family, who want to simply try to go on.
“The Weight of Him conjures all the grief and regret of a family who has suffered an insurmountable loss. Out of this burning sorrow rises Billy Brennan, a father who attempts the seemingly impossible – to change the world. Ethel Rohan captures a blend of humor and tragedy that is entirely true to family, hometown, and our own private struggles. Poignant and inspiring.”–Eowyn Ivey, author of The Snow Child
Judy Wells/Dale Jensen Poetry Reading • Feb 17
Dale Jensen and Judy Wells will read their poetry at 7 pm on Friday, February 17th, at Expressions Gallery, 2035 Ashby Avenue in Berkeley.
Judy Wells, educated at Stanford and UC Berkeley, has published eleven poetry books. Her latest poetry collection, The Glass Ship (Sugartown, 2014), completes her trilogy of Irish-themed works, including Everything Irish and Call Home (Scarlet Tanager Books). She has three works-in-progress: her New England-to-California Dickinson ancestor project, “The Old People Monologues from A-Z,” and “Night at the Musée d’Orsay: Poems of Paris and other Great European Cities.”
Dale Jensen’s poetry is heavily influenced by the Surrealists and such cut-up writers as William Burroughs and Brion Gysin. He published and edited the experimental poetry magazine Malthus from 1986 through 1989 and has published several books through Malthus Press.
Judy Wells website
Expressions Gallery, Berkeley website
ILHS Speaker Series 2017
Matt Spangler, Feb 26. The Irish Literary & Historical Society is planning two very special events for the months of February and March. In February they present a talk by ILHS Vice President, playwright and academic Matthew Spangler. Spangler, a Professor of Performance Studies at San Jose State University, will present a talk titled “Walking in the City: A Kurdish Asylum-Seeker’s Arrival in Dublin”.
Over the last ten years, Spangler has conducted a number of ethnographic interviews with a Kurdish asylum-seeker and now refugee living in Dublin, Ireland. A former member of the PKK – the Kurdish separatist organization, labeled a terrorist group by the U.S. and many Western European countries – he left Iran because, as he put it, he was too “old to be fighting and living in the mountains anymore.” Eventually he ended up alone and wandering the streets of Dublin, which he initially took to be Toronto. In Ireland he requested asylum and, after five years of hearings, rejections, threatened deportations, and appeals, was awarded refugee status. This presentation will focus on his first morning in Dublin, and subsequent application for refugee status. The talk will take place on Sunday, February 26 at 5pm at the United Irish Cultural Center, 45th Avenue and Sloat Blvd., San Francisco.
Annual Banquet, March 19. The ILHS presents their annual St. Patrick’s Banquet on Sunday, March 19 at the Saint Patrick’s Ballroom in the United Irish Cultural Center. This year’s event features harpist and storyteller Patrick Ball, with song and dramatic reading by Esther Mulligan, and music by fiddler, Anne Goess.
Contact Eileen Kivlehan at (415) 681-2078, or Brian Whitty at (925) 925-9015 with inquiries.