Irish festival features writers, music and movies


Alan Feinberg, creator and developer of the Discover Lost Gatos app, leads
an “Irish in Lost Gatos” tour Oct. 13 as part of the third annual Irish
Arts and Writers Festival. (Photo by George Sakkestad)

Los Gatos will be getting its Irish up this weekend when 25 featured writers and poets hit town for the third annual Irish Arts and Writers Festival takes place Oct. 12-14 in Los Gatos.

Headliners include Irish poet Paul Muldoon and Irish Times journalist and critic Fintan O’Toole, both making rare West Coast appearances.

Muldoon and O’Toole headline opening night Friday at Saratoga’s Montalvo Arts Center. A reception, co-sponsored by the Irish Consulate, starts at 4:45 p.m. at Montalvo’s historic villa featuring a classical recital, an exhibit centered upon O’Toole’s 2017 work “Judging Shaw,” and hosted food and wine.

Back by popular demand is “Irish in Lost Gatos” a guided tour of historic Los Gatos with host Alan Feinberg, the creator and developer of the Discover Lost Gatos app. Walkers can meet at Town Plaza Saturday at 9:30 a.m. to learn about the Irish and Scottish settlers who helped to shape Los Gatos over the past two centuries.

Other Saturday highlights include historian Christine Kinealy and poet Nathan Richardson’s presentation on “Frederick Douglass in Ireland” at the Los Gatos Library at noon, and novelist Emer Martin discussing her new book, “The Cruelty Men,” at Friends of the Los Gatos Library bookstore at 11 a.m. Shana Morrison, daughter of Van Morrison, and her band Caledonia hit the Civic Center Stage at 4 p.m., and historian and genealogy buff Kieran Cronin presents “Paws for Thought: New Leads on Genealogy Resources” at the Los Gatos Chamber of Commerce at 10 a.m.

A program based on “Bullets, Bells and Blues,” a collection of poetry and prose addressing gun violence in the U.S. will be hosted by poet Tess Taylor, along with visiting Northern Ireland poets for readings and discussion. The program takes place Saturday at Los Gatos Civic Center from 1-6 p.m.

Works addressed will include “Trouble Songs” by Belfast author Stuart Bailie and “In Another World: Van Morrison’s Belfast” by poet Gerald Dawe.

Sunday’s program includes a screening of Emmy-nominated “The Great Hunger and The Irish Diaspora” at the Los Gatos Theater at 10 a.m. and “Who Belongs? Immigrants, Refugees, Asylum Seekers in the 21st Century,” examining how Ireland and America treat new arrivals and existing immigrant communities, at Charley’s LG at 4 p.m.

For a full schedule of events, visit irishartsfestival.com.

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