The rains are moving in to the area. Cold, damp and dreary. Ah, the perfect time to curl up with an Irish writer.
Washington is giving eight Irish authors a taste of home this week as they arrive for the DC Irish Writers Festival. And the heavens are going to pour.
This is the work of Solas Nua. (The festival not the weather)
Solas Nua is the contemporary Irish arts organization that came to town a few years ago and has been keeping us entertained with it's edgy theater. It's also showing us that Ireland's arts community extends beyond Ulysses and U2.
Starting Thursday and continuing for five days, the festival will bring Irish authors to several venues in downtown. Liam Clancy, Philip O'Ceallaigh, Claire Kilroy, Christine Dwyer Hickey, Colum McCann, Glenn Patterson, Gerard Donovan, Nick Laird and Chis Agree will be reading from their works, talking about their writing process and exploring the influences that shape a writer in modern Ireland. It's not always about suffering. Except when it is.
The DC Irish Writers Festival kicks off Thursday night at 8 at the Goethe Institut on 7th street NW. Nick Laird and Glenn Patterson discuss new writing in Northern Ireland with Chris Agee.
Friday, Christine Dwyer Hickey appears at the Arts Club of Washington on I Street NW.
Claire Kilroy will be at Busboys and Poets on 14th Street NW Saturday at 4 p.m. That night, the Goethe Institute screens "The Yellow Bittern: The Life and Times of Liam Clancy."
Gerard Donovan wraps it up Sunday evening back at Busboys and Poets.
Ireland's contribution to world literature is unsurpassed. The harsh, rugged beauty of that island is expressed in their haunting poetry and gorgeous prose. Storytelling is deeply rooted in their history. In olden days, the shanachie would travel from village to village telling stories in exchange for a bed and some food. Maybe a little whiskey if you have some to spare.
The shanachies have now come to our town. Let's raise a glass and take a seat.