Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, the University of Missouri-Rolla’s Irish Festival will begin this March with a performance of Irish music by Leahy at 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 6, in Leach Theatre of Castleman Hall, 10th and Main streets in Rolla. The festival will continue through March and April with readings by Irish poets and a screening of an Irish film.
Leahy, a group of eight musical siblings, perform Irish music as part of the UMR Campus Performing Arts Series. Tickets are $28 for adults and $18 for youth age 18 and under.
All other events to be held during the 2007 Irish Festival are free and open to the public. They include:
- Poetry reading by Ciaran Carson, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 7. A traditional musician and a scholar of the Irish oral traditional, Carson previously served as the traditional arts officer of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. Carson, a flutist, tinwhistler and singer, shares black humor and satire through his poetry.
- “Michael Collins” screening, 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 13, in Leach Theatre of Castleman Hall. Directed by Neil Jordan in 1996, the film follows the life of Irish patriot and revolutionary Michael Collins.
- Poetry reading by Irish poets Conor O’Callaghan and Vona Groarke, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 21, in the Ozark Room of the Havener Center.
- Lecture by Dr. Dillon Johnston, 4:30 p.m., Thursday, April 5, in the Meramec/Gasconade Room of the Havener Center. Johnston, coordinator of the festival and the 2007 Maxwell C. Weiner Distinguished Professor of Humanities at UMR, will speak on Irish poet Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, who will present her poetry the following evening.
- Poetry reading by Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, 7:30 p.m., Friday, April 6, in the Meramec/Gasconade Room of the Havener Center. Ní Chuilleanáin is considered the foremost female poet now writing in Ireland and Great Britain. In 1992, she was awarded the O’Shaughnessy Poetry Award by the Irish American Cultural Institute.
The Irish Festival is sponsored by the UMR department of English and technical communication, the UMR College of Arts and Sciences, and the Maxwell C. Weiner Fund. For more information about the festival, contact Johnston at firstname.lastname@example.org or Linda Sands at email@example.com or call 573-341-4681.