Friday, March 9, 2012

St. Patrick's Day: A Celebration of Word and Music

Celebrate St. Patrick's Day at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 17, with a special program uniting the spoken literary word and music. Traditional Irish folk music on the Celtic harp and penny whistle will be performed by Mary Hagen and Linda Crumpton. Following the musical prelude, avant-garde writer Séamas Cain will read from his recently published novel, "The Dangerous Islands." A Cloquet native, Mr. Cain has lived in and traveled extensively in Ireland since the late 1960s, when he began writing about the Irish experience during the conflict between Northern Ireland and Great Britain. Cain has described the Irish Civil Rights Movement as the struggle to create a non-violent humanist movement against the tyranny of the British establishment. As early as 1968 while living in Northern Ireland, he nevertheless decried the "mindless violence" of the paramilitaries, in reference to the Irish Republican Army (IRA). Ireland's Troubles form the backdrop to "The Dangerous Islands," an unconventional work that melds a poetic sensibility with a coming-of-age story. The novel depicts the moral and political education of a generation of activists, focusing in particular on a young Irish-American man. Cain also draws on his experience as a playwright and theater director, which is reflected in aspects of the novel's form. Copies of the novel, which was published in Ireland last fall, will be available for purchase following the reading. All proceeds from the sale of "The Dangerous Islands" at this event will go to support event programming at the library. (Photo credit: Mary Cain)

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