2019-2020 Library Lecture Series: Irish Identity

For the cultural season of the 20th anniversary of our organization’s founding, the Irish Cultural Center and McClelland Library will be exploring the notion of Irish identity. Join us as we explore how, and whom, identifies as Irish: how Irish identity has changed over time and by location, how being Irish interacts with and can sometimes find conflict in additional ways in which we identify, how Irish identity is expressed, and the notion of Irish identity in an ever globalizing modern world.

Photo of Ciaran Carson by – Malachi O’ Doherty

Let Us Know You are Coming

Irish Cultural Center Remembers Belfast Poet Ciaran Carson

Postponed until further notice

The Irish Cultural Center will host an evening of remembrance for Belfast poet Ciaran Carson, who died in October 2019.  Beginning at 7PM, the program will include a lecture on Carson’s life and poetry, readings of his poems, and traditional Irish music.

Carson’s poetry provides witness to the conflict in Northern Ireland in the 1970s, known as “The Troubles.” He grew up in a bilingual household and attended Queen’s University, where one of his tutors was Seamus Heaney (Nobel Prize for Literature in 1995).  From 2003 to 2015, he directed the Seamus Heaney Center for Poetry at Queen’s. Best known for his poetry, Carson also translated literature, played traditional Irish music, and served as arts officer on the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.

Collections of Carson’s poetry will be for sale, as well as raffle drawing for a basket of books and other gifts.  There is no entry fee, but donations are appreciated.  Co-sponsors include McClelland Library, Changing Hands Bookstore, ASU-New College, Kennys Bookstore-Galway, Wake Forest University Press, Reading Ireland, and the Irish Culture Center Book Discussions.

About the McClelland Library


  • Book Discussion Group 10:30AM – Norton Room
  • February A Special Evening of Readings from Personal Memoirs
  • February 22nd Workshop by James Silas Rogers

Roots into Word Workshop

February, 22nd 2020

Speaker: James Silas Rogers
1PM – 6PM

Roots into Words:  Your Irish Memoir / Your Irish Family Story

Join us for a lively and informative workshop on writing the Irish-American memoir! This workshop is for you if:

-You want to put shape on telling your own story

-You want to ensure a family story will be told and preserved

-You want to write a broader genealogical memoir that includes putting your family history into a larger historical narrative

Taught by the leading authority on Irish-American memoir, “Roots into Words” starts from two premises:

  1. Everyone (including you) has a story to tell.
  2. Telling your story under the aspect of Irish-ness will add texture and meaning. 

Bring a pen and paper, as there will be some in-class writing and sharing.


  • $20 member
  • $25 non-member

James Silas Rogers is editor of New Hibernia Review and the director of the Center for Irish Studies at the University of St. Thomas. He was president of the American Conference for Irish Studies from 2009 to 2011. Rogers’s publications focus on Irish-American literature, chiefly memoir. His Irish books are Irish-American Autobiography: The Divided Hearts of Athletes, Priests, Pilgrims, and More (Catholic University of America Press, 2017); Extended Family: Essays on Being Irish American from New Hibernia Review (Dufour Editions, 2013), which he edited and introduced; and After the Flood: Irish America, 1945-1960 (Irish Academic Press, 2009), which he co-edited with Matthew J. O’Brien.


A Special Evening of Readings from Personal Memoirs with Jim Rogers and Guests

February 22nd 7:30PM – 9PM

Jim will host a very special evening of readings from his and other local author’s memoirs with a focus on the Irish American family experience.

Admission is FREE.  More details to come.