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Joseph O’Neill headlines HoCoPoLitSo’s First Virtual Irish Evening

Click here to view the evening’s program.

HoCoPoLitSo’s 43rd annual Irish Evening on February 19, 2021 is a creatively conceived virtual event. Featuring award-winning author Joseph O’Neill, the evening includes an introduction by Daniel Mulhall, Ireland’s Ambassador to the U.S., author Belinda McKeon serving as emcee, an Irish dance lesson with Maureen Berry of the Teelin School and musical performances by Jared Denhard, former MD. Governor Martin O’Malley, Laura Byrne and Sean McComiskey. Tickets, books, signature cocktail box available www.howardcc.edu/IrishEvening. If you need help with your order, the Horowitz Center Box Office has limited phone hours to answer your questions.

Joseph O’Neill has written four novels, most recently The Dog (longlisted for the 2014 Booker Prize) and Netherland, which received the 2009 PEN/Faulkner Prize for Fiction and the Kerry Fiction Prize. Born in Cork to an Irish father and a Turkish mother, O’Neill was raised in Mozambique, Turkey, Iran, and Holland before studying law at Cambridge. He emigrated to New York City more than twenty years ago. He is also the author of a book of short stories, Good Trouble (2016), and of a family history, Blood-Dark Track (2001). O’Neill’s stories have appeared in the New Yorker and Harper’s. He writes political essays for the New York Review of Books. “I’ve moved around so much and lived in so many different places that I don’t really belong to a particular place, and so I have little option but to seek out dramatic situations that I might have a chance of understanding,” he told the Paris Review.

The evening program, hosted on Zoom, begins with a pre-show at 7:20 p.m. Presented in a pub-like variety show format, the readings will be interspersed with music, Irish art, a dance lesson, an audience question and answer session, and a rousing sing-along. A link to the online event is $20 and several options are available. A signature cocktail kit, An Irishman in Istanbul (Jameson, cardamom, apricot and citrus), is available for pick up. Cocktail kits provide the ingredients for two drinks and must be ordered by 6 p.m. February 12 and will be available for pickup at The Wine Bin, 8390 Main Street, Ellicott City between noon February 18th through noon February 19th. Limited quantities of three of O’Neill’s books (The Dog, Netherland, and Good Trouble) are also available for purchase.

O’Neill joins the long list of illustrious Irish authors HoCoPoLitSo has brought to Howard County audiences, including Frank McCourt, Colm Tóibín, Anne Enright, Colum McCann, and Emma Donoghue. For more than 40 years, HoCoPoLitSo’s Irish Evening has celebrated the substantial impact of Irish-born writers on the world of contemporary literature.

HoCoPoLitSo’s The Writing Life: A Number of Additional Episodes Now Online.

You’ll find a number of new episodes have recently been posted onto the HoCoPoLitSo YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/user/hocopolitso.

In part, you’ll find:

  • Novelist Carrie Brown speaks with short story writer Edith Pearlman. (2012)
  • Michael Dirda speaks with Marie Arana about her memoir Marie Arana speaks with writer and editor Michael Dirda about her memoir, “American Chica: Two Worlds, One Childhood,” and the ghost of culture. (2001)
  • Sue Ellen Thompson in conversation with Mark Doty about on memory, mackerel and verse. (2010)
  • Claire Keegan talks of the art of subtraction with Terence Winch. (2010)

Look also for episodes featuring Colm Tóibin, Manil Suri, Mary Gordan, Li-Young Lee, Alice McDermott and Joy Harjo. And here is Michael Harper talking about the poetry of Sterling Brown with Roland Flint:





If you are logged into YouTube through your own account, you can follow the HoCoPoLitSo channel and get updates every time there are new posts.

HoCoPoLitSo’s The Writing Life archives, featuring contemporary writers in conversation with other writers, are being digitized and put online as a resource for the world over. As with any such project, this effort can use your support. If you are willing and able, please make a donation to HoCoPoLitSo to ensure the continued success of this project and its contribution to the world’s literary heritage. Thank you.

Now online: Belinda McKeon in Conversation with Colm Tóibín on HoCoPoLitSo’s The Writing Life.

The episode of HoCoPoLitSo’s TV show The Writing Life, featuring Belinda McKeon hosting Colm Tóibín, is available through February for online viewing at http://www.howardcc.edu/Visitors/hcctv/programming/writinglife.html. In town for the 33rd annual Evening of Irish Music & Writing this time last year, the two sat down to have a literary conversation in Howard Community College’s TV studio. Through the half hour, they discuss Tóibín’s books and shed light on his work as a writer.

Tóibín’s list of achievements is long, his talent, vast. He is known and awarded for his novels and short stories and for his journalism and literary criticism, as well. This was his second appearance for HoCoPoLitSo’s Irish Evening.

Belinda McKeon reading the Form and Structure issue of Little Patuxent Review.

Playwright and novelist Belinda McKeon’s debut novel Solace, published last year, has won the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book of the Year (2011) and Ireland’s Sunday Independent recognized her with its Best Newcomer Award.

The annual Irish Evening is a perennial favorite and a highpoint to each HoCoPoLitSo season. This year a reading by memoirist and novelist Hugo Hamilton will be followed by the Irish music of the Narrowbacks accompanied by traditional Irish step dancers on Friday, February 17th at Smith Theater on the campus of Howard Community College in Columbia. Click here for more information and to purchase tickets online.

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Watch the episode: http://www.howardcc.edu/Visitors/hcctv/programming/writinglife.html

Note: this episode aired on the Howard Community Website for the month of February 2012. Episodes are featured on that site for a month at time, each new month brings a new episode or encore performance. To visit a growing and permanent archive of The Writing Life episodes online, visit the HoCoPoLitSo YouTube Channel.

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