29 April – Ciaran Carson

Gavin Clarke

The poet Ciaran Carson visits the Society to deliver our joint annual Noel O’Connell memorial talk with the Irish Texts Society. Carson’s title for this talk ‘From There to Here: Some Reflections on Translation’ references his retrospective collection ‘From There to Here’ which opens “slender-beaked, my pen jets forth/a stream of beetle-coloured ink”. That ink has flowed prodigiously over the …

25 March – Working Class Irish Literature

Gavin Clarke

In the recent years of political and social turbulence in the UK, state of the nation debates have become commonplace and discussion on the representation of working class lives in literature has become a hot topic. A clearer recognition is emerging that publishers must overcome barriers of class and social mobility with the same level of commitment that has developed …

25 Feb – The North, Irish poetry special

Gavin Clarke

The ILS is working with The North poetry journal for this event to launch their special Irish issue. Editors and poets Jane Clarke and Nessa O’Mahony lead a rich evening of readings and discussion of contemporary Irish poetry. From an issue bursting with ideas and innovation (120 poems by 107 poets) we are gathering some fascinating poets to illustrate the …

28 Jan – AI, Sci-Fi and the future of humanity

Gavin Clarke

The second half of our season kicks off with a timely look at how the rapid advance of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is shaping our conceptions of the future of humanity. Three sparkling thinkers – Professor Rachel Armstrong, Julian Gough, and Mark O’Connell – join us to reflect on the mutual influence of science fiction and scientific development. At a moment when …

Astral Weeks at 50, a Van Morrison celebration – 26 Nov

Gavin Clarke

  Van Morrison’s great album turns 50 this November: to celebrate the Irish Literary Society is bringing together three writers (Lucy Caldwell, Gerald Dawe, Ryan H. Walsh)  to reflect on its social and cultural influences and the profound musical impact of the album. Dawe’s book In Another World reflects on how post-war Belfast, where Morrison grew up and formed Them, …

On the Pavement Grey: WB Yeats in Utopian Bedford Park – 19 Nov

Gavin Clarke

Lecture by Cahal Dallat with guests Ciarán Hinds and Anne-Marie Fyfe & launch of the WB Yeats Bedford Park Artwork Project   Nobel-prizewinning poet, WB Yeats, though much inspired by Irish legend, landscape and longing, spent two-thirds of his youth in London, the majority of that time in Chiswick’s Bedford Park, the Utopian/aesthetic garden-suburb/artists’-colony whose diverse inhabitants fostered his literary talent and endeavours. Irish poet and literary critic, Cahal Dallat, has …

Troubling the Classics – 29 Oct

Gavin Clarke

For our October event we’re bringing together a poet, a novelist and a dramatist to reflect on their work and its place in a rich seam of Irish literature inspired by the Greeks. The continuing interest of Irish writers in Greek and Latin classical literature as a model and source for inspiration is somewhat surprising given the almost complete disappearance of …

Archive of the Irish in Britain visit – 16 Oct

Gavin Clarke

We are delighted to announce a special members-only visit to the Archive of the Irish in Britain. The Archive consists of collections of documents, audio and video recordings, books, photographs and ephemera cataloguing the history of the Irish in Britain from the late nineteenth century to the present day.  Dr Tony Murray, the curator of the archive, will give an …

The Irish Way of Death – 24 Sept

Gavin Clarke

The Irish Literary Society opens its 2018-19 season with a meditation on death, dying and our attitudes to mortality. In his book, The Way We Die Now, Dr. O’Mahony gives us a rare glimpse into the world of death and dying from the vantage point of a medical doctor. In My Father’s Wake Toolis writes of his coming-to-terms with the death …

AGM – 11 June

Gavin Clarke

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING, 11 June 2018, 7.30pm Location: Irish Cultural Centre, Hammersmith All current members of the Society are invited to attend and participate at the ILS AGM. The meeting is an opportunity for the Committee to report and be questioned on the performance of the Society, its plans and its financial situation. It is also an opportunity for members to …