We consider iBAM!, (The Irish Books, Arts, and Music Celebration) the largest and finest Irish cultural event held in Chicago each year. iBAM!
Monica Dougherty and Marybeth Sammons
Monica and Marybeth will be at their book table all day Saturday and Sunday, presenting their unique book: Your Family Story to Go. The book is an interactive journal and portable kit to help you (uniquely) find and tell your family story – your own and those of your family members – and to organize those experiences into meaningful narratives.
It is a storytelling playbook, and a simple reminder, that by taking the time to start recording, sharing and preserving the stories of your family and your life, you are creating a roadmap of inspiration for generations of family members to come. When you learn about your family, you also learn a bit more about who you are. This book seeks to render these stories in ways that are engaging and exciting
Chef Kevin Dundon (2pm Saturday and Sunday in Shamrock American Room 2nd floor)
Our iBAM!2017 Culinary Arts Awardee, Kevin will talk once on Saturday and Sunday about his work in the Dunbrody House kitchens and cookery school, His Food Network TV show, and life as a noteworthy chef in Ireland.
A chef with a love of locally-sourced indigenous produce, Kevin considers himself spoilt with the positive bounty of fresh seafood and fantastic fruit and vegetables literally on his doorstep. Inspiration is easy to come by when you can indulge in the huge selection from the Hook Peninsula and also from Kevin’s own kitchen gardens at his hotel Dunbrody Country House.
Timothy Egan (Saturday - Room 109 1pm Discusses his books and career)
Our iBAM!2017 Literature Awardee, Tim will talk about his seven books, writing for the New York Times, and especially his latest book, The Immortal Irishman featuring the life of the fascinating Fenian, Thomas Francis Maegher.
Artist Philip Gray (Saturday and Sunday, 2:30 pm in Art Gallery - 2nd Floor, Northeast corner)
Our iBAM!2017 Visual Arts Awardee will talk about his art, his extreme art, and his approach to art on Saturday and Sunday in the Art Gallery on the 2nd Floor, Northeast corner of the buliding.
Presentations and Questions approximately 45 minutes. He will also be painting 'live' in the gallery over the weekend, and whatever he paints he is donating to the .
Michael Hogan (Saturday Panel on Brexit and Britains exit from the EU 5pm Room 109,
(Sunday 3pm Room 109 discussing his books on Abraham Lincoln and on the San Patricios)
WHY MEXICO LOVES ABRAHAM LINCOLN AND THE IRISH
Michael Hogan, Ph.D.
Sources: The Irish Soldiers of Mexico and Abraham Lincoln and Mexico. Both by Michael Hogan
Synopsis: When the US declared war on Mexico in 1846 and invaded that country based on false information, Abraham Lincoln, then a young Representative from Illinois, stood up in Congress and called the war “unconstitutional and unnecessary.” He called the president a fabricator and war monger. He risked his political career by doing so. Ulysses S. Grant said it was “a wicked war” and “the most unjust ever waged by a stronger nation against a weaker.” Hundreds of Irish, who had recently arrived to the New World fleeing the famine, agreed. They joined the Mexicans to repel what they considered an unprovoked invasion of a Catholic country. These men were called the Battalion of St. Patrick, or Los San Patricios. They are still honored today each year in ceremonies in the Mexican capital.
In 1863, when the US was in the middle of its own Civil War, Mexico in its weakened state, was invaded again. This time by Napoleon III’s French army along with their Austrian allies who imposed a Hapsburg prince, Maximilian I, as Emperor of Mexico. Although actively engaged in fighting the Confederates, President Lincoln provided a letter to the Mexican envoy which enabled him to raise over 18 million dollars in sales of Mexican bonds to train and arm a citizen army and to overthrow the French. In addition, Lincoln called on a feisty young Irish-American general, Phil Sheridan, to “lose” thousands of surplus weapons on the Mexican border after the Lee’s surrender and to harass the French troops at the Texas frontier.
Statues of Abraham Lincoln adorn squares and parks in Mexico. And the Irish are considered hermanos by Mexicans who share with them a love for poetry, music, the Virgin, and a passion for freedom.
Estimated time of talk: 40 minutes. Q and A: 15-20 minutes.
(Room 109, 1pm Sunday Presentation discussing The Peter Robinson Settlement Project)
The Peter Robinson Settlement Project 1823-1825 (day and time to be determined)
In 1821, Ireland had yet another crop failure and the British authorities did little for their Irish subjects, especially after the Act of Union (1800), which promised to elevate the political and social status of Ireland. This crisis sparked renewed threat of an agrarian revolt centered in southern Ireland. Sir Robert Wilmot-Horton, the British Under-Secretary for the Colonies, devised a relief scheme to emigrate impoverished Irish out of Ireland and relocate to Upper Canada.
This presentation of these little-known projects will describe the political and social ramifications for each country as well as the personal implications for the families. Most of the families stayed in Canada but some settlers moved west or came to the United States. This settlement project was the basis for Michael McCarthy’s first book - From Cork to the New World: A Journey for Survival
(Room 109, 1:45 pm Sunday. Discusses Life in Northern Ireland and more)
From My Eyes, To Yours: Poetic Memoirs of a Belfast Child (days and times to be determined)
The composition of story based poetry comes from the very depths of one’s soul in looking at the human journey of life. More often than not, it is the journey of the author that is told through reflective musings. In hindsight, however, and when those same poems take on a foundation of their own, their application can have far reaching effect in that they tell the personal stories of several thousand others who suddenly find that their own experiences are openly displayed before their eyes, wrapped between lines of stanza and prose. Thus, although the human journey of life is considered as “unique” in its application, it is often shared with perfect strangers who become sudden acquaintances through poetic inscriptions.
Raised during a dark period enveloped by political and religious persecution throughout Northern Ireland’s brutal historical past referred to as ‘The Troubles’, this thirty-minute presentation will feature a sampling of the poetic works by Belfast Author, Greg McVicker. A Social Worker by trade, Greg will explore the human journey of life as captured through his lens and featured in his intimately written book of poems, An Irish Heart: Poetic Memoirs of a Belfast Child.
One Cross to Bear; a Unique Story to Tell: Through these Belfast Eyes…
Having been born and raised throughout a dark period that saw more than 3,700 lives claimed in Northern Ireland during ‘The Troubles’, Greg McVicker, an Author and Poet from Belfast, was not involved with the political movements that scarred the communities surrounding his own. He would come to realize that the targeted sectarian hatred that he and his family left behind for a new chance at life would be met by bigger challenges after their immigration. In this coming of age story, Greg reflects on his childhood, his lifelong quest to reclaim his stolen Irish identity, as well as his continued efforts to make global change though his first book, Through the Eyes of a Belfast Child: Life. Personal Reflections. Poems.
This engaging forty-five-minute storytelling presentation will feature an intimate look at the human journey of life including Greg’s own personal story, and will combine a sampling of Greg’s poetry, interspersed with his memories of growing up under the guidance and love of an Irish mother. Audience members will undergo several emotions including being moved to tears when hearing their own stories and personal life experiences being told, only to give way to laughter due to the Irish craic, wit, and humour that accompanies his presentation.
Bringing Your Irish Ancestors to Life (Room 109 2:30pm Terence discusses Bringing Your Ancestors Back to Life)
A Christmastime dinner conversation about his ancestors led author Terence O’Leary on a two year journey to recreate the heartbreak of the Irish Potato Famine and the triumph of the Irish who survived the journey across the Atlantic on the infamous famine ships. Mr. O’Leary will discuss the writing process and research involved in creating his historical fiction novel Irish Crossings.