Upcoming Literary Events

Literary Events Archive

Irish Literary & Historical Society Speaker Series • April 23

The Irish Literary & Historical Society welcomes Irish Consul General Philip Grant on April 23rd.  He will speak on Ireland and Brexit and the looming challenges facing Ireland’s economic and political integration with Europe amidst her deep ties with the UK.  The range and depth of uncertainties posed by Brexit, and the basic questions of national identity, flows of people and commerce, not to mention security, are provoking deep levels of anxiety and soul-searching across Europe, but most acutely in Ireland.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny recently said that the situation at hand, “will define the history of Ireland for decades to come”, and poses “the biggest challenge in the history of the State”.  The Northern Ireland peace process and the economy are the “twin pillars” of the government’s consideration.  Consul Grant will address aspects of this situation and the official responses as it continues to evolve.

Sun. April 23, 5pm, St Patrick’s Ballroom UICC, 2700 45th Ave, San Francisco,

Bay Area Book Festival • June 3 & 4

Over the weekend of June 3rd and 4th, 2017, the third annual Bay Area Book Festival will fill downtown Berkeley with a literary extravaganza that offers pleasure to anyone who has ever loved a book. Irish writers featured this year on June 4th are: Colin Barrett, Paul Murray, and John Toomey

Colin Barrett was born in 1982 and grew up in County Mayo. ‘Young Skins’ won the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, the Guardian First Book Award, and the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature. His work has been published in the New Yorker, A Public Space, Granta, and the Stinging Fly. In 2015, Barrett was named a National Book Foundation “5 Under 35.”

John Toomey is a teacher at Clonkeen College in Dublin, where he teaches English and other things. He has written three novels to date, ‘Sleepwalker,’ ‘Huddelston Road,’ and the new ‘Slipping.’ He has also contributed a short story, “What the Dying Heart Says,” to Dalkey Archive’s Best European Fiction 2015.

Paul Murray was born in 1975. He studied English literature at Trinity College in Dublin and creative writing at the University of East Anglia. His debut, ‘An Evening of Long Goodbyes,’ was short-listed for the Whitbread First Novel Award in 2003 and was nominated for the Kerry Grove Irish Fiction Award. His second novel, ‘Skippy Dies,’ was short-listed for the 2010 Costa Novel Award, was long-listed for the 2010 Man Booker Prize, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and was ranked third in Times’ ten best books of 2010. Murray’s new novel is ‘The Mark and The Void.’




Remembering Tom Hayden • 1939 – 2016

Tom Hayden, who passed away October 23, 2016, was an iconic figure in America’s anti-war movement and a campaigner over many years for peace and justice in Northern Ireland. He led an extraordinary life of organizing, writing, and political reform. He put himself on the line during Mississippi Summer in 1964, was a principal opponent of the Vietnam War, a defendant in the Chicago Seven trial, and served nearly 20 years in the California legislature. He was the principal author in 1962 of the founding manifesto of Students for a Democratic Society. wiki

Writing Groups & Workshops •

Crossroads Writers’ Salon • Mar 26

The Crossroads Salon is a forum for writers and artists who have Irish or Irish-American heritages or are interested in exploring Irish-American themes, as well as for readers and viewers who want to participate in this exploration. Participants are invited to bring original work or the work of others (poetry, prose, visual or performance art). This relaxed and convivial event will be held in a private home in San Francisco RSVP for more information. 707-235-9858.

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.

Six-week program currently running Tuesday nights, and Wednesday mornings to Feb 22. For further info email eanlaicronin@gmail.com

Join Eanlai on Sunday, February 5, 2017, for a monthly writing group full of prompts, positive feedback and chatty tea breaks. Or on Saturday, February 18, 2017 for a One-Day Writing Retreat. No previous writing experience is required. Just book your place in advance and take the Amherst Writers and Artists Method for a test drive.

Have questions? Email Eanlai at eanlaicronin@gmail.com for more information or to save your spot .

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

2016: In Memory of Eddie Stack

eddiefrontIn Memoriam – Oct 27th – An evening of stories for Eddie Stack  (1950-2016)

(event has passed)

Eddie Stack, a beloved teacher and friend, admired writer, and talented musician, left us on July 4, 2016.  The Program in Celtic Studies at UC-Berkeley, together with the Irish Literary and Historical Society of San Francisco, propose to hold an evening of story-telling in his memory. Stories about Eddie, stories we heard Eddie tell, stories Eddie would have liked. Scheduled speakers will include Robert Tracy (Professor Emeritus, Department of English) and there will be an open mic after the scheduled speakers.  Refreshments will be served in 371 Dwinelle.   6-9 PM, October 27, 2016, 370 Dwinelle Hall, on the UC-Berkeley campus

See Irish Times obituary