Highlights Coming Up

Oscar Wilde in San FranciscoFeb 28

Northern Irish Oscar Wilde scholar Deaglan O’Donghaile will give a talk on the famed poet, author, and aesthete’s momentous 1882 visit to San Francisco.Oscar Wilde visited San Francisco in 1882 making a sensation everywhere and lecturing on the English Renaissance, Art Decoration and Irish Poets and Poetry. San Franciscans were fascinated with his clothes, his mannerisms and his sense of humor.

Hear more about this incredible encounter with the famous poet, playwright and professional aesthete from Wilde expert Deaglan O Donghaile. The paper will concentrate on the lecture that he gave in the city, in which he supported the cause of Irish independence, his enthusiasm for the local Chinese community, and his love for his favorite city in the United States. more

Ruairí McKiernan book reading at UICC • Feb 28

Ruairí McKiernan’s debut book Hitching for Hope Described as a ‘powerful manifesto for hope and healing in troubled times’, Hitching for Hope is part personal pilgrimage, and part political quest that captures the power of human resilience’. The book is a reflection of a hitchhiking listening tour McKiernan undertook around Ireland during the bleak 2013 recession, while he was contemplating the prospect of emigration. The book is also a memoir reflecting on his 20 years’ work as a trailblazing social leader in Ireland and it is very much a timely celebration of the value of community spirit, kindness and collective action in today’s troubled world. more

Yeats and His Time • March 10

W.B. Yeats lived through some of the most consequential years in modern Irish history. This talk by Daniel Mulhall, Ambassador of Ireland to the United States, will explore the interaction between Yeats, his poetry and the set of developments that transformed Ireland in the first quarter of the 20th century. It will seek to assess Yeats’s historical significance and the extent to which its Irish backdrop enhanced the power and impact of his poetry.
Moderated by Catherine Flynn, Director of the Irish Studies Program and Associate Professor of English, UC Berkeley. more

Shane Magowan: Crock of Gold – Now Streaming

As the lead singer and songwriter of The Pogues, Shane MacGowan fused punk rock with Irish folk music to create timeless songs such as “Streams of Whiskey” and “Fairytale of New York,” while championing an unabashedly Irish identity. Filmmaker Julien Temple, who began his career making films with the Sex Pistols, is a perfect match to let MacGowan tell his own story, in revealing conversations with the likes of Gerry Adams and Johnny Depp. For any MacGowan fan, this is an essential portrait for understanding his complexity. Available on Apple TV, Google Play, Fandango and Amazon Prime Video.

Liz Carroll Fiddle Workshop • March 20

The Fiddler Mercantile launches its inaugural series of online workshops, featuring 7 fiddlers from across North America who have become masters of their respective styles.  

Liz Carroll is an Irish fiddler, composer, and recording artist. She is the first Irish-American musician to be nominated for a Grammy, and the first American-born composer honored with the Cumadóir TG4, Ireland’s most significant traditional music prize. more

Hyde Street Pier Chantey Sing • Online Third Saturday @ Noon

Continuing on Saturday, February 20 and taking place the third Saturday of every month, one of the Bay Area’s most beloved musical traditions is live from your own home.

Recently retired Park Ranger Peter Kasin will be trading his fiddle and folding chair for a microphone and wi-fi to assume the role of chantey V-Empresario: introducing singers and setting up the songs. Singing participants from throughout the globe, who have signed up for performing slots in advance, will share their favorite songs, either accompanying themselves on traditional instruments, or a capella. 

More details, including instructions for lead singers: an online signup sheet and some suggested virtual backgrounds (just in case your bunk isn’t completely ship-shape).

Outdoor Dine and Support the UICC

The United Irish Cultural Center has reopened outdoors under the Wawona Gates Big Top. Visit the UICC website for more information

Support the Plough & Stars

The Plough and Stars has been the heart of live Irish and Americana music in the San Francisco area for more than 40 years. COVID-19 and its impact are threatening the Plough’s existence. Local and international musicians have rallied to play tunes in support of the Plough. Show your support here
Join in the fun by recording yourself playing a tune or singing a song and tagging @ThePloughandStars and #playingfortheplough. more