Imagine Literature

For a long time now, Irish and American writers have been dreaming and delving their way into each other’s worlds. The influences go both ways.

Think of the young Seamus Heaney and the wide open spaces of America. Think of the young Paul Auster, tracing Leopold Bloom’s footsteps in 1960s Dublin. Poet Caitriona O’Reilly learned her trade not so much from the Irish tradition, but from the Americans; Robert Pinsky, meanwhile, kept a Yeats poem tacked to his dorm room wall. Richard Ford has talked of the importance to his fiction of Frank O’Connor; Claire Keegan has talked of the shadow of Flannery O’Connor; Joseph O’Connor’s epic novels have done for the story of 19th century Irish immigrants to the US what Colm Tóibín’s novel Brooklyn has done for the story of their 20th century successors. Colum McCann has set the great world spinning, Roddy Doyle has piped the sound of the Chicago jazz age, and John Connolly has plumbed the darkness of deepest Maine.

The rooms of Irish and American literature lead into one another.  As part of Imagine Ireland, these echoes and resonances will be celebrated and explored.

Past Events

Culture Ireland

  • Over 1,000 Irish theatre-makers, musicians, singers, writers, dancers, visual artists, film-makers and more, presented their work to audiences from Alabama to Wyoming, in venues from…

  • Location:
  • Dates: January 01 – December 31

Aspen Writers Foundation presents Paul Muldoon: Winter Words

  • “The most significant English language poet born since the second World War,” Paul Muldoon, will appear in the Aspen Writers’ Foundation’s 14th annual Winter Words…

  • Location: CO
  • Dates: January 27 – January 27

Colm Toíbín live from the NYPL

  • Curated by Director, Paul Holdengräber, LIVE IS Cognitive Theater with a mission to provoke, engage, enlighten, instigate and agitate the mind,  LIVE IS: provocative conversations,…

  • Location: NY
  • Dates: February 03 – February 03

The Cracked Looking-Glass: A Celebration of Irish Prose Writers at Princeton University

  • In a two-day symposium organized by poet Paul Muldoon, novelists and critics John Banville, Emma Donoghue, Roddy Doyle, Anne Enright, R.F. Foster, Hugo Hamilton, Patrick…

  • Location: NJ
  • Dates: February 05 – February 06

ArtsEmerson: The World on Stage presents a public reading of Marina Carr’s Marble

  • As part of ArtsEmerson’s Irish Festival, which includes productions of The Cripple of Inishmaan (Druid Theatre Company) and Terminus (Abbey Theatre), ArtsEmerson will present a…

  • Location: MA
  • Dates: February 07 – February 07

Irish Authors at Fordham University, New York

  • Irish writers Hugo Hamilton and Peter Murphy read at the Lincoln Center branch of Fordham University, invited by Fordham’s Institute of Irish Studies.  Audiences are…

  • Location: NY
  • Dates: February 07 – February 14

ArtsEmerson: The World on Stage presents Hugo Hamilton

  • As part of ArtsEmerson’s Irish Festival, which includes productions of The Cripple of Inishmaan (Druid Theatre Company) and Terminus (Abbey Theatre), ArtsEmerson presents a reading…

  • Location: MA
  • Dates: February 08 – February 08

ArtsEmerson: The World on Stage presents Peter Murphy

  • As part of ArtsEmerson’s Irish Festival, which includes productions of The Cripple of Inishmaan (Druid Theatre Company) and Terminus (Abbey Theatre), ArtsEmerson will presents Irish…

  • Location: MA
  • Dates: February 10 – February 10

Freaks and Monsters: Garrett Carr at the NYPL

  • Irish writer Garrett Carr visits with a young audience at NYPL’s Seward Park branch to read from his fiction about the adventures of Andrew, May…

  • Location: NY
  • Dates: February 16 – February 16

HoCoPoLitSo Evening of Irish Music and Literature

  • The HOward COunty POetry & LITerature SOciety will host Dublin novelist Colm Toibin at the 33rd Annual Evening of Irish Music & Literature. Twice shortlisted…

  • Location: MD
  • Dates: February 18 – February 18

Ghost Light: Joseph O’Connor

  • The Times (London) called Joseph O’Connor’s Ghost Light a “spellbinding read”. He will read from his new novel at the Free Library of Philadelphia, in…

  • Location: PA, NY
  • Dates: February 22 – February 24

Aspen Writers Foundation presents Emma Donoghue

  • Emma Donoghue, the fiction writer and literary historian whose 10th novel, ROOM, has stormed the Best Books lists, appears on February 23 (5.30pm, doors at…

  • Location: CO
  • Dates: February 23 – February 23

The DC Irish Writers Festival

  • The DC Irish Writers Festival is a five-day series of readings from creative and innovative Irish writers who break the mould. This eclectic mix of performance…

  • Location: DC
  • Dates: March 03 – March 07

Leanne O’Sullivan and Leontia Flynn at the NYPL

  • Leanne O’Sullivan and Leontia Flynn are two of the most exciting younger poets coming out of Ireland. For the first time, come and hear them…

  • Location: NY
  • Dates: March 06 – March 06

A Reading with Julian Gough, Moderated by Yiyun Li

  • In his West Coast premiere, Julian Gough, born in London, raised in Ireland, and living in Berlin, will read from his most recent book, Jude:…

  • Location: CA
  • Dates: March 08 – March 08

An evening with Julian Gough

  • New York Public Library brings the Irish novelist, essayist and poet Julian Gough to a Manhattan audience to read from his work and discuss the…

  • Location: NY
  • Dates: March 10 – March 10

Framing the Past: Contemporary Irish Writers and America

  • Paul Muldoon, specially commissioned by the Poetry Society of America, will write lyrics for material in the collections of the NYPL for Performing Arts. A…

  • Location: NY
  • Dates: March 17 – March 17

Irish Book Day, NYC

  • In partnership with Speaker Christine Quinn and the New York City Council, Irish Arts Center will celebrate the inaugural Irish Arts Center Book Day on…

  • Location: NY
  • Dates: March 17 – March 17

Irish Book Day, DC

  • Every St. Patrick’s Day since 2006 we have sent our volunteers throughout the city of Washington, DC to give away thousands and thousands of books…

  • Location: DC
  • Dates: March 17 – March 17

Virginia Festival of the Book presents Imagine Ireland

  • Celebrate Irish and Irish-American culture and literature With Colm Toibin (Brooklyn, The Empty Family: Stories), Kathleen Hill (Who Occupies This House), Anne Enright (Yesterday’s Weather:…

  • Location: VA
  • Dates: March 19 – March 19

John Connolly at the NYPL

  • John Connolly, Irish crime writer, will read from and discuss his work.

  • Location: NY
  • Dates: March 22 – March 22

Kevin Holohan presented by NYPL

  • New York Public Library Young Adult Programmes brings the Irish novelist Kevin Holohan to the High School of Art & Design, New York, to read…

  • Location: NY
  • Dates: March 23 – March 23

Readings with Richard Tillinghast

  • As an American poet living in Ireland, Richard Tillinghast’s poetry explores questions of homeland and cultural transplantation in this series of readings…

  • Location: CA, MS, OR
  • Dates: March 24 – April 13

The Lure of the Irish: Crime and More Crime

  • As part of a program with Imagine Ireland, the 25th annual Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival is proud to present a panel of bestselling Irish…

  • Location: LA
  • Dates: March 26 – March 26

Gerard O’Donovan at the NYPL

  • Irish crime writer Gerard O’Donovan, the author of the acclaimed new Dublin thriller The Priest, will give his first reading to New York City audiences…

  • Location: NY
  • Dates: March 31 – March 31

BRAINWAVE 2011- Irish Dreams:  Frank McGuinness in conversation with Ernest Hartmann

  • The third annual BRAINWAVE brought thinkers from multiple disciplines to sit down with scientists to wrap our minds around the things that matter. BRAINWAVE 2011…

  • Location: NY
  • Dates: April 09 – April 09

Danis Rose on the new Finnegans Wake

  • Danis Rose, critically acclaimed textual scholar and co-editor of the new edition of Finnegans Wake, presents a talk entitled, ‘God is in the Details: a…

  • Location: MA
  • Dates: April 16 – April 16

Ireland and America: A Poetic Exchange

  • Irish poets Nuala Ni Dhomhnaill, Dennis O’Driscoll, and Greg Delanty, and American poets Galway Kinnell, Heather McHugh, and Jean Valentine explore the relationship between the…

  • Location: NY
  • Dates: April 18 – April 18

Cultural Cross-Currents: A Trans-Atlantic Conversation in Verse

  • A celebration of Irish culture through poetry, music and song, featuring the world premiere of Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Paul Muldoon’s LET ME BE, a work…

  • Location: NY
  • Dates: April 18 – April 18

The Glór Sessions at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe

  • The Glór Sessions, Dublin’s weekly music and spoken word night, presents an evening at New York’s premiere performance poetry venue, the legendary Nuyorican Poets Cafe.…

  • Location: NY
  • Dates: April 20 – April 20

PEN World Voices presents Irish writers including Fintan O’Toole and Richard Kearney

  • Cultural commentators Fintan O’Toole and Richard Kearney will be among the Irish authors taking part in the 2011 PEN World Voices festival, which celebrates the…

  • Location: NY
  • Dates: April 25 – May 01

LA Times Festival of Books: Irish Authors in the Discover the World Pavilion

  • Writers Sara Berkeley, Peter Sirr (Sat 11am), Mary O’Donghue, Kevin Power (Sat 2.45pm), Thomas McCarthy, Joe Woods (Sun 11am), Nuala Ní Chonchúir and Kevin Power…

  • Location: CA
  • Dates: April 30 – May 01

Among The Deepening Shades: American Poets and Yeats

  • An event curated by noted Irish poet Eamon Grennan, who invites the American poets Timothy Donnelly, Philip Levine and Rosanna Warren to read and respond…

  • Location: NY
  • Dates: May 14 – May 14

Whole World Round with Joseph O’Connor and Philip King

  • In this unique afternoon Joseph O’Connor talks to Philip King and explores the influence of Irish-American ballads in his recent fiction. Look forward to lots…

  • Location: NY
  • Dates: May 21 – May 21

Book Expo America

  • Book Expo America is the largest annual book fair in the United States and attracts exhibitors and attendees from all over the world. This three…

  • Location: NY
  • Dates: May 24 – May 26

WRITING LIVES at the Half King

  • The inaugural Pen, Paper and Palate evening at the Half King will feature four leading Irish and Irish-American writers in Writing Lives, a panel which…

  • Location: NY
  • Dates: May 24 – May 24

Fighting Words at NYPL

  • Fighting Words, the creative writing school based in Dublin, comes to New York Public Library to work with young adults and adult literacy students in…

  • Location: NY
  • Dates: May 24 – May 25

Edna O’Brien: Selected Shorts with Cynthia Nixon and Eilin O’Dea

  • The great Irish writer Edna O’Brien presents passionate tales of love, longing and family from her first new collection in 10 years. Performers include Cynthia…

  • Location: NY
  • Dates: May 25 – May 25

Edna O’Brien and Gabriel Byrne

  • Legendary writer Edna O’Brien and Gabriel Byrne, actor and cultural ambassador for Ireland, will read from Saints and Sinnersand discuss Edna’s work. Alice Munro says…

  • Location:
  • Dates: May 30 – May 30

On the Road with House of Bees by Stephen Murray

  • To promote his debut poetry collection ‘House of Bees’, Galway poet Stephen Murray will cycle 8,000km around the USA. He will read from his work…

  • Location: WA, OR, CA, TN, IL
  • Dates: June 03 – August 30

27th Annual Chicago Tribune Printers Row Lit Fest

  • The 27th annual Chicago Tribune Printers Row Lit Fest is the largest literary festival in the Midwest, and one of the largest book celebrations in…

  • Location: IL
  • Dates: June 04 – June 05

Richard Kearney in conversation at the Rubin Museum of Art

  • Every Wednesday at the Rubin Museum this summer, writers and thinkers will explore questions of the sacred and the secular, of belief systems and pilgrimage.…

  • Location: NY
  • Dates: June 08 – June 08

In Joyce’s Shadow: Jamie O’Neill at the Rosenbach Library, Philadelphia

  • In Joyce’s Shadow: An Evening with Jamie O’Neill on Monday June 13 at 6pm.

    Jamie O’Neill is the author of the critically-acclaimed novel, At Swim,…

  • Location: PA
  • Dates: June 13 – June 13

A Californian Bloomsday

  • On Monday June 13 at 7pm at The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens:  Irish writers Eavan Boland, Paul Muldoon, Sinead Morrissey

  • Location: CA
  • Dates: June 13 – June 14

International Festival of Arts & Ideas

  • Two generations of writers share their stories and discuss writing for the 21st century. With novelists Colm Toibin (Brooklyn) and Belinda McKeon (Solace).

  • Location: CT
  • Dates: June 14 – June 14

Adapting Ulysses (1922) into other Media: A Bloomsday Eve Artists’ Talk

  • To celebrate the release of the Ulysses Seen “Calypso” episode and coinciding with the run of “Gibraltar” at Plays and Players Theatre, Mr. Fitzgerald…

  • Location: PA
  • Dates: June 15 – June 15

Difference Engine

  • Difference Engine is an evening of readings in the Clemente Soto Velez Cultural & Education Center to complement the visual art exhibition which is part…

  • Location: NY
  • Dates: June 15 – June 15

IABANY Bloomsday Celebration

  • James Joyce did not just give us one of the greatest works of world literature.  He also gave us a landmark ruling in U.S. First…

  • Location: NY
  • Dates: June 16 – June 16

International Festival of Arts & Ideas

  • Join Fintan O’Toole, Ireland’s foremost cultural commentator, for a discussion about the country’s robust cultural landscape, which continue to flourish amidst tough economic times. What…

  • Location: CT
  • Dates: June 18 – June 18

Mark Patrick Hederman

  • Mark Patrick Hederman will take part in an evening conversation series exploring the nature of faith and pilgrimage between two people from different walks of…

  • Location: NY
  • Dates: June 22 – June 22

SUMMER SALON at New York Public Library for the Performing Arts

  • In a collaboration between the National Library of Ireland and the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts in Lincoln Center, writers and musicians…

  • Location: NY
  • Dates: July 13 – July 27

Dermot Bolger

  • A reading from “The Journey Home,” followed by a discussion.

  • Location: PA
  • Dates: July 16 – July 16

Contemporary Irish Writing at the Catharine Clark Gallery

  • The three contemporary Irish authors, Kevin Barry, Philip O Ceallaigh, and Julian Gough, will read from their work at this public event on August 27…

  • Location: CA
  • Dates: August 27 – August 27

Bumbershoot 2011 – Seattle’s Music and Art Festival

  • In an event celebrating Dublin’s designation as a UNESCO City of Literature, Dublin novelists Chris Binchy, Kevin Holohan and Claire Kilroy read from their fiction…

  • Location: WA
  • Dates: September 03 – September 06

Jessie Lendennie

  • Jessie will conduct a series of poetry readings in the US to launch her new work,  ‘Walking Here’ ; ‘Mad for Meat’ by Kevin Simmonds…

  • Location: CA,
  • Dates: September 10 – September 16

Eoin Colfer

  • The New York Times bestselling author of Artemis Fowl, Eoin Colfer, visits the Brooklyn Book Festival, one of the top book festivals in the US.…

  • Location: NY
  • Dates: September 18 – September 18

Contemporary Poetry from Ireland: Theo Dorgan and Paula Meehan

  • The poets will be introduced by author Joseph Hassett. One will read, following the other for approximately 20-25 minutes. After the reading, Mr. Hassett will…

  • Location: DC
  • Dates: September 19 – September 19

Down These Green Streets

  • Crime Wave!

    Join us as we celebrate the remarkable achievements of Irish crime fiction writers in a day of talks and readings featuring…

  • Location: NY
  • Dates: September 24 – September 24

Seamus Heaney

  • In a very special evening to open the 92nd Street Y Unterberg Poetry Center’s 2011-2012 season, Ireland’s Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney reads from his poetry. …

  • Location: NY
  • Dates: September 26 – September 26

Beckett: A Conversation with Paul Auster and Barry McGovern

  • As young men in Paris, Irish actor Barry McGovern and Brooklyn-based novelist Paul Auster both knew Samuel Beckett. In advance of the Gate Theatre Dublin’s…

  • Location: NY
  • Dates: September 30 – September 30

Anne Enright

  • Irish novelist Anne Enright is joined by her fellow Booker Prize-winning author, the Canadian novelist and poet Michael Ondaatje for a reading and conversation at…

  • Location: NY
  • Dates: October 03 – October 03

Anne Enright

  • To mark the US publication of her superb new novel The Forgotten Waltz, Anne Enright, winner of the 2007 Man Booker Prize, reads from and…

  • Location: OR
  • Dates: October 09 – October 09

Young Ireland: A Generation of Irish Writers at San Francisco’s Litquake Festival

  • A reading and conversation with five young Irish novelists. Chris Binchy, John Butler, Lucy Caldwell, Claire Kilroy and Belinda McKeon will read from their work…

  • Location: CA
  • Dates: October 11 – October 11

Women’s Voices From Ireland: The Wake Forest Women’s Anthology Tour 2011

  • Wake Forest University Press will present an American reading tour by some of Ireland’s leading poets, featuring Eiléan Ní Chuilleanain, Caitríona O’Reilly, Rita Ann Higgins…

  • Location: NC, IL, PA, NY, CA
  • Dates: October 24 – November 03

The Stinging Fly in New York

  • Three events on three consecutive nights to celebrate a special New York-themed issue of The Stinging Fly.

    Oct 25 – 7pm: Writing…

  • Location: NY,
  • Dates: October 25 – October 27

IAC PoetryFest 2011

  • Irish Arts Center’s third annual showcase of the best of Irish poetry from around the world features readings from poets Sara Berkeley, Nick Laird, Michael…

  • Location: NY
  • Dates: November 04 – November 06

PEN/Faulkner Reading | Emma Donoghue

  • Emma Donoghue will read from her fiction with the US writer Chris Adrian, as part of the PEN/Faulkner Reading Series.

  • Location: DC
  • Dates: November 07 – November 07

American tour of the Cork Literary Review Volume XIV

  • Autumn 2011 sees the launch of Cork Literary Review Volume XIV in the United States, showcasing poetry from writers on both sides of the Atlantic.…

  • Location: CA, IL, NY
  • Dates: November 08 – November 18

Nick Laird and Kevin Barry

  • Readings and conversation with the Northern Irish poet and novelist, Nick Laird, and the Limerick born novelist, Kevin Barry.

  • Location: NY,
  • Dates: November 10 – November 10

Siobhán Parkinson, Laureate na nÓg / Children’s Literature Laureate

  • Children’s writer Siobhán Parkinson is Ireland’s first Laureate na nÓg, or Children’s Literature Laureate. The author of some 20 novels for children, young people and…

  • Location: NY
  • Dates: December 10 – December 10

An Irish Holiday Festival

  • An Irish Holiday Festival at as part of the Bowers Museum Arts and Culture events. As part of the Festival there will be a…

  • Location: FL
  • Dates: December 11 – December 11