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Thursday, October 30, 2014

New England Poet Galway Kinnell (1927-2014)

The poet Galway Kinnell passed away at his home in Sheffield, Vt, on Tuesday, October 28, 2014, at age 87.   His poetry over the past 50 years sought to bear witness to the richness of being he discovered in all living things, the beauty of language and art, and the social and political events, conditions and struggles he observed during his lifetime.

He was born in Providence, RI, the youngest son of four children born to immigrant parents.  His father. James Kinnell, was a carpenter from Scotland, and his mother, Elizabeth Miles, came from Ireland.

Kinnell published ten books of poetry, and his collection of Selected Poems, published in 1982 won the Pulitzer Prize in 1983 and also shared the National Book Award that year.  He was also recipient of the MacArthur Foundation Award and was Vermont's poet laureate.

The Poetry Foundation has a full biography of his work, including essays, interviews and translations of European poets like Francois Villon and Ranier Maria Rilke. 

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Boston's Irish Heritage Trail - 20 Stops from the Waterfront to Fenway Park

If you're walking around Boston this fall, keep an eye out for stops along the city's Irish Heritage Trail, which covers 300 years of Boston Irish history.

The trail starts at the Rose Kennedy Garden & Greenway along the waterfront, winds its way through downtown, past the State House, and into Back Bay.  The Trail ends at Fenway Park.

You can find information on all of the stops along the way be visiting the Irish Boston History & Heritage Blog and searching for any of the landmarks.

First launched in 1994, the Boston Irish Heritage Trail has been developed by Boston Irish Tourism Association as a way of celebrating the positive contributions that Irish-Americans have made to the city.

For information on ongoing Irish cultural activities in the area, visit

Friday, October 24, 2014

iFest Debut in Boston is Deemed a Success by Irish Producer Rachel Kelly

The inaugural iFesta three-day Irish festival that debuted in Boston at the Seaport World Trade Center in September 2014, received "very lovely feedback" from those who attended, says producer Rachel Kelly, who describes the three day event as a "premium social and cultural showcase" of Ireland.

"What iFest really wanted to do was show the Ireland of now, what we as a people are capable of now, in this century, and we're the first festival that really is bringing a modern, contemporary Ireland out there," Kelly said. 

Follow iFest on facebook and twitter for updates on the 2015 festival.

For year round details on Irish cultural activities in Boston, visit

Win Tix to See Irish Singer Mary Black at Berklee Center on November 8

Irish singer Mary Black returns to Boston with a concert at the Berklee Performance Center on Saturday, November 8, 2014 at 8:00 p.m.   The concert is presented by World Music/CRASHarts.

The Boston Irish Tourism Association has a pair of tickets to give away for this show.  Enter the contest here.

You can also purchase tickets directly to the show.

Regarded as one of Ireland's best interpretive singers, Mary Black brings a wealth of understanding to Irish traditional music, while also exploring the new compositions of her generation.  Read more about Mary here.

You can find year round details on Irish cultural activities  in New England by

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Mayor Walsh Leads a Video Tour of the Mayor's Office at City Hall for Boston Herald

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh gave a video tour of the Mayor's Office on the 5th floor of City Hall, to Erica Corsano of the Boston Herald.

Among the treasures of his office:

. The desk of James Michael Curley, a handcrafted masterpiece made without nails.  "The woodwork is incredible," Walsh says, adding, "It's all hand-carved."

. The view, overlooking Faneuil Hall and beyond that, Boston Harbor.

. His Expresso coffee machine in the anteroom.

. A digital dashboard, which shows the metrics of the City at any given time, including social media traffic, data about senior services, and the Mayor's Hotline.

Other items spotted in the tour include a license plate with the word Walsh, and an Irish road sign that reads Ros muc, 3 1/2.

The coolest part of the Mayor's job?  "Just being able to help people," Walsh says.

To learn more about Boston's Irish history, visit

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

US State Department Names former Senator Gary Hart as US Envoy to Northern Ireland

US Secretary of State John Kerry named former Colorado Senator Gary Hart as the new representative for Northern Ireland issues.   Kerry said Hart will play a "direct, on-the-ground diplomatic role."

In a statement released on October 21, 2014, Secretary Kerry said, "I've asked Senator Hart to support the parties in Northern Ireland as they enter a new round of talks to achieve a lasting peace. We welcome these new talks, supported by the United Kingdom and Ireland. I am confident Senator Hart will help the parties strengthen the institutions and economy of Northern Ireland, as well as reinvigorate efforts to promote a shared society. Our Consul General in Belfast Greg Burton will serve as Senator Hart’s deputy for his Northern Ireland work. Senator Hart expects to visit Belfast before the end of the month."  

Here is the full statement

Ray Flynn, former Mayor of Boston, U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican and long time supporter of peace and justice in a united Ireland, said, "Gary Hart is a long time friend. He is an idealist. When he believes in a cause, he fights to get it done. Great call John." 

Father Sean McManus, founder of the Irish National Caucus and long-time authority on Northern Ireland, applauded the appointment, saying, “I hope he can nudge all the parties in Northern Ireland along a progressive path. Most of all,  I hope  he can convince the two sovereign governments of London and Dublin to do their duty and keep the promises they have signed  in the international treaty of the Good Friday Agreement."

Follow Irish Americans for Obama on twitter @Obama_IrishUSA

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Boston Irish Reporter Honors Mayor Marty Walsh, Burke Family and Katherine Craven on October 24

Mayor Marty Walsh

The Boston Irish Reporter is presenting three special awards that recognize Irish-American achievements in business and public service at its annual luncheon on Friday, October 24, 2014 at the Seaport Boston Hotel.

This year's recipients include the Burke Family of South Boston, Mayor Marty Walsh, and Katherine Craven, long-time public official.  Read full details of the awardees here.

“We are especially pleased that this year’s honorees have agreed to share their stories with us,” said BIR publisher Ed Forry.

Tickets to the event are $150, and a table of ten $1,500.  For more information contact or call 617 436-1222.