The students and faculty of the English Department at Mercyhurst pride themselves on the literary festivals they put on each year. Sponsored by “Lumen,” the fine arts and literary journal, the annual literary festival begins in the spring semester around March.
It generally consists of three or four events that lead up to the unveiling of “Lumen,” which is entirely student-run.
The events usually feature speakers that are published authors or poets who come to Mercyhurst to share and present their work with the student body.
Past speakers have included such renowned writers and poets like Peter Coyote, Robert Bly, Sonia Sanchez and Karen Joy Fowler.
This year, more specifically on Thursday, the literary festival will be welcoming Eibhear Walshe, Ph.D., an Irish novelist and professor of English at University College Cork (UCC) in County Cork, Ireland.
In addition to the numerous academic essays he has written over the years, Walshe has also published several edited collections including “Ordinary People Dancing: Essays on Kate O’Brien,” “Sex, Nation and Dissent” and “Elizabeth Bowen Remembered.”
In 2009, his memoir “Cissie’s Abbatoir,” which carefully crafts the experiences of his childhood spent in his hometown and around his spunky grandmother Cissie and her abbatoir, was published by Collins Press.
Later in 2014, his first novel, a work of historical fiction, “The Diary of Mary Travers,” was published and shortlisted for the 2015 Kerry Fiction Prize and longlisted for the 2016 Dublin International Literary Award.
Walshe’s knack for capturing the essence of Irish language and culture is what sets him apart from other authors of his time.
While visiting Mercyhurst, Walshe will also be conducting workshops with Creative Writing majors and minors of the English Department, giving students the opportunity to interact personally with a published author and professor well-versed in both creative and academic writing.
The presentation will take place at 8 p.m. on Thursday and will be followed by a book signing with Walshe.
The event is free and open to the public.