Irish Literature

The Democracy of Storytelling



Irish countryside

This minor offers students the opportunity to concentrate on the literature of Ireland while gaining an understanding of its historical, cultural, and literary contexts. The program offers a variety of courses that give students an understanding of some of the trends and leading figures of Irish literature. Courses on Ireland’s Literary Revival, Contemporary Literature and Politics, and on major figures like William Butler Yeats explore key moments in Irish literary history, as well as the ways in which Irish literature impacted national identity and wider literary trends. 


"The Democracy of Story-telling"

Ireland’s literary history is filled with giants: James Joyce, Samuel Beckett, Bram Stoker, Seamus Heaney, Oscar Wilde, William Butler Yeats.

Le Moyne tries to engage and share that rich tradition through  the Irish Literature Program, which has brought famous Irish authors to campus in recent years. These include poet Paul Muldoon in 2006 (winner of the Pulitzer Prize), novelist Colm Toibin in 2010 (winner of the IMPAC Dublin ltierary award, among others), and novelist and essayist Anne Enright in 2013 (winner of the prestigious Booker Prize).

This year, the featured speaker was Colum McCann, celebrated Irish author and winner of the National Book Award.

“We are very excited to have Colum here. It is a rare opportunity and I think our students will really enjoy what he has to share,” said Dr. Kate Costello-Sullivan, director of the Irish Literature program at Le Moyne.

McCann discussed his latest novel, TransAtlantic, which tells the stories of the first transatlantic fliers and of Frederick Douglass’ visit to Ireland in the nineteenth century. McCann also sat down with students to talk about the craft of writing and about the power of story-telling.

“I believe in the democracy of story-telling,” McCann has said. “I love the fact that our stories can cross all sorts of borders and boundaries. I feel humbled by the notion that I’m even a small part of the literary experience. I grew up in a house, in a city, in a country shaped by books. I don’t know of a greater privilege than being allowed to tell a story, or to listen to a story. They’re the only thing we have that can trump life itself.”


2013- 2014


"Irish Vampire Movie Marathon" -10/29/2013

The Irish Program hosted a three - hour “Irish vampire Movie marathon on October 29. The showing of three vampire films corresponded to four readings of Carmilla, the text that arguably set the stage for Bram Stoker’s later novel Dracula.

"Intimate Dangers: Irish Vampires and the Woman Problem -10/30/2013

The Irish Program hosted a talk by Dr. Renee Fox of the University of Miami,entitled “Intimate Dangers: Irish Vampires and the Woman Problem

Irish author Colum McCann-11/13/2013

The Irish Program hosted a reading by celebrated internationally-known Irish author Colum McCann on November 13,2013. McCann met with the Creative Writing students for a craft talk and held a book signing after the reading from his latest novel, Trans Atlantic. Approximately 250 people attended the reading This was the Irish program’s eighth and final event of the semester.


Le Moyne College Irish Literature Program Recognized

The Irish Program was referenced this month in an interview in a Canadian Irish magazine.