Artists Without Walls (AWoW), an organization that promotes artistry, diversity and culture, hosted a book launch party for Hofstra Adjunct Professor of English Connie Roberts. Earlier this spring, Professor Roberts released her first poetry collection, Little Witness, inspired by her experiences growing up in an orphanage in Ireland.
AWoW co-founder Charles R. Hale, a writer and filmmaker, is a 1971 Hofstra alumnus. The party, held at the Cell Theatre in Manhattan, brought together Hofstra students, alumni, faculty and Professor Roberts’ family, friends and colleagues.
Little Witness is not the first time Professor Roberts has written about her childhood experiences. Her memoir in verse, Not the Delft School, received the 2010 Patrick Kavanagh Award. A County Offaly native, she emigrated to the United States in 1983 and graduated from Hofstra with a Master of Arts degree in English Literature and Creative Writing. She teaches Creative Writing and Irish Studies at Hofstra.
Also in celebration of the publication of Little Witness, Professor Roberts was a guest at the Listowel Writers’ Week Festival in Kerry, considered one of the most important literary events in Ireland. On September 15 she will participate in the Garden City Irish Cultural Society Reading, and on November 7, she will be a featured reader at the Irish Arts Center/NYC PoetryFest.
October 16 – Professor Roberts is developing a poetry workshop for the Hofstra University Museum’s Global Explorations Program. This will take place at the Filderman Gallery, located on the 9th floor of the Axinn Library at the Enduring Images exhibition.
October 26 – Hofstra’s Irish Studies Program presents “The Poet & the Piper: Readings from Connie Roberts’ Little Witness,” with special guests, America’s premier uilleann piper Jerry O’Sullivan and singer Niamh Hyland.
October 29 – She will participate in an event, “Coping with Suffering Through Creativity,” presented by the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine.
Top image: (L to r) Hofstra MFA student I.S. Jones, Professor Roberts and alumna Liv Mammone.