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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 IrishBoston.org.



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 IrishBoston.org.




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 visitingIrishMassachusetts.com.

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 IrishHeritageTrail.com.


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 honors@bostonirish.com or call 617 436-1222.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Irish Cultural Centre Hosts Halloween Family Day in Canton on Sunday,October 19


The Irish Cultural Centre is hosting Halloween Family Day from 2:00-5:00 p.m. on Sunday, October 19, 2014, at its 46 acre campus in Canton.

Among the activities: storytelling and songs in the Irish Cottage; step dancing displays by the Harney Academy of Irish Dance; face painting and scavenger hunts; and prizes for best costumes.

Formed in 1989, the Irish Cultural Centre is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2014 as one of the premier Irish-American venues in the United States.

Find year round information on Irish activities in Massachusetts and the New England region by visiting IrishMassachusetts.com.







Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Burren Pub Presents April Verch Band and Ashley Davis & Cormac DeBarra on October 15


The Burren Pub in Davis Square, Somerville, is presenting two great acts - the April Verch Band and traditional duo Ashley Davis and Cormac DeBarra, on Wednesday, October 15 2014 at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets to the show are $23 and can be purchased online or at the door.

The show  is part of the Burren Back Room Series hosted by Brian O'Donovan of WGBH's Celtic Sojourn radio program.

Read more about the Burren Pub, founded in 1996 by musicians Tommy McCarthy and Louise Costello.

For year round information on Irish cultural activities visit IrishMassachusetts.com.

Find visitor information at MassVacation.com and BostonUSA.com.



Saturday, October 11, 2014

Derry Singer/Songwriter Phil Coulter Performs at Benefit for Boston Irish Pastoral Centre on October 14


Phil Coulter, famed singer and songwriter from Derry in Northern Ireland, is performing at St. Ignatius Church at Boston College on Tuesday, October 14, 2014 at 7:30 p.m.

The concert benefits the Boston Irish Pastoral Centre , which does important work for immigrants since it was founded in 1987.  Tickets to the concert are $125 and can be purchased online or at the venue the night of the concert.

Best known for hit songs like "The Town I  Loved So Well" and "Puppet on a String," Coulter is also widely acclaimed as a recording artist, impresario, mentor and scholar of Irish culture.  In 1998 Coulter was a visiting scholar at Boston College, invited by fiddle champion Seamus Connolly, founder of BC's Gaelic Roots program.  Coulter gave a lecture entitled "A Musical Life" at the Gaelic Roots Festival & Summer School that year.

Steve Morse, music critic of The Boston Globe, called Coulter "a true character, a versatile, vaudeville-influenced performer who has left an indelible...mark on the pop world."

The Irish Pastoral Centre is holding its annual fundraising banquet on November 15, 2014.

Find out about year round Irish and Celtic cultural activities in the New England region at IrishMassachusetts.com.







Friday, October 10, 2014

Irish Drum Master Mance Grady Gives Workshop at Irish Cultural Centre on October 11


Mance Grady, a master of the bodhran, an Irish traditional  drum, is giving an Introduction to the Bodhran workshop at the Irish Cultural Centre in Canton, from 2:00 -3:30 on Saturday, October 11, 2014.  Cost of the workshop is $50.00

Long considered one of the premier Irish drummers of his generation, the Rhode Island native has been performing in New England for nearly four decades, playing with some of the region's finest musicians such as Seamus Connolly, Paddy Keenan, Roger Burridge and Jimmy Devine.

For more information call 781 821-8291 or email info@irishculture.org

The Irish Cultural Centre is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2014 as New England's headquarters for year-round Irish culture, sports, education and social gatherings.

Find year round details on Irish activities in the region by visiting IrishMassachusetts.com.






Christmas, Celtic and Holiday Concerts in Greater Boston & New England, December 2014


Check out the Boston Irish Tourism Association's new schedule of Christmas and Holiday concerts taking place in December 2014 in greater Boston and throughout New England.

Concert series this year - including the Boston Pops Holiday Season, A Christmas Celtic Sojourn with Brian O'Donovan, and Tomas Foley's A Celtic Christmas - are presenting multiple shows in various locations around the region.

And there are great individual shows, including Tony Kenny's Christmas Time In Ireland at the Rogers Center, Christmas Time at Reagle Music Theatre, Handel's Messiah and Holiday Pops concerts at Mechanics Hall, several Christmas music and dance shows at Blackstone River Theatre, and the Gaelic Roots Christmas Concert at Boston College.

Here is a full schedule of cultural activities during December - including live theater, museum exhibits, lectures, children's shows and Irish celebrations.

Find year round details of the region's Irish-American community by visiting IrishMassachusetts.com.






Thursday, October 9, 2014

Kevin O'Malley, new US Ambassador to Ireland, Greets the Irish People




Kevin F. O'Malley, the new US Ambassador to the Ireland appointed by President Barack Obama, issued a video this week to the Irish people.

The St. Louis native said he shared the president's commitment to Ireland, "and look forward to building on the family, cultural and business ties we share between our two countries."

O'Malley was nominated by President Obama on June 5, 2014 and was confirmed by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on September 18, 2014.

Here is a background on Ambassador O'Malley.

The US Embassy to Ireland is located at 42 Elgin Road in Ballsbridge, Dublin.

Golden Bridges Conference Connects Boston and Northwest Ireland


The 6th annual Golden Bridges Conference is underway in Boston this week, taking place through Thursday, October 9, 2014 at the Seaport Boston Hotel and World Trade Center.

The two day conference brings together public officials, business leaders and tourism experts from Donegal and Northern Ireland with their counterparts in Boston and Massachusetts, for a discussion on ways to collaborate across the Atlantic and spur economic development in the two places.

Among the invited speakers are mayors Martin J. Walsh of Boston, Brenda Stevenson of Derry, and John Campbell of Donegal, along with Mairtin O Muileoir, former lord mayor of Belfast; Massachusetts Senate President Therese Murray; State Senator Linda Dorcena-Forry; Ireland's Minister for Employment and Learning Dr. Stephen Farry; Joe McHugh, Ireland's Minister of Arts, Heritage and Gaeltach Affairs; Norman Houston, Director of the Northern Ireland Bureau; and Alison Metcalf, director of Tourism Ireland in North America.

Several awards are being presented, to Joseph E. Finn, Commission of the Boston Fire Department, Billy Higgins, South Boston resident and founder of the Southhill Children's Fund, and Billy Sullivan, president of the AOH, Division Eight in Lawrence, Massachusetts.

Here is the full agenda and schedule of the conference.

The conference is hosted by the Irish Echo Newspaper.

For more information about Boston's Irish community, visit IrishMassachusetts.com





Monday, October 6, 2014

Boston Unveils Statue of Edgar Allan Poe


Boston honored native son Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) with a life-size statue this week, situated in a small square at the corner of Boylston and Charles Street across from Boston Common. The statue is not far from where Poe was born at 62 Carver Street (now Charles Street) on January 19, 1809.

The effort to build the statue was engineered by Paul Lewis, a Boston College English professor, and "a fine collaboration of several Poe scholars and aficionados," notes Poe authority Rob Valella.  They created the Edgar Allan Poe Foundation of Boston, which raised funds, worked with the City of Boston Arts Commission, and generated interest in the project. 

Poe's family originated in County Cavan, Ireland, and his great-grandfather John Poe and great-grandmother Jane McBride moved with their son David (Edgar's grandfather) to Baltimore around 1742-43, according to genealogist Mark Redfield.  His son, David, Jr, was Edgar's father.

An 1899 Boston Globe story on Poe reported that "The poet's ancestors were of the same Scotch-Irish stock that produced Andrew Jackson, Henry Clay and Zachary Taylor."

Edgar's parents, David and Elisa,were actors at the Old Boston Theatre on Federal Street, and were performing there when Edgar was born in 1809.  Three years later, his father died of consumption and his mother died a month later, and Poe was adopted by the Allan family in Richmond, VA.

Poe returned to Boston as a young man and it was here he had his first book of poems, Tamerlane, published.  He also enlisted in the the U.S. Army in Boston, according to Boston Magazine.

For more information about Boston's history, visit IrishHeritageTrail.com.



Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Irish Novelist Donal Ryan Reading for CCAE in Harvard Square on Thursday, October 2


Irish novelist Donal Ryan is headlining a fundraising event for the Cambridge Center for Adult Education in Harvard Square on Thursday, October 2, 2014 at 7:00 p.m.

Admission is $30 and all proceeds go to support programming at the CCAE, a community treasure that has been offering a variety of adult education courses in Cambridge since 1938.

The reading takes place at the Spiegel Auditorium at 56 Brattle Street in Cambridge.

Born and raised in North Tipperary and now living in Limerick, Ryan is already recognized as an authentic and important new voice in Irish literature.  His first novel, The Spinning Heart, was published in 2012 and won numerous Irish Book awards and the Guardian First Book award.

Ryan's second novel, The Thing About December, was published in the spring and the American edition is being released this week by Steerforth Press in Hanover, NH.