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Cat in the Stax: Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

By Ethan Shea


It seems like a lot of these Cat in the Stax blogs are turning into holiday celebrations, but as we all know, tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day, and because of Villanova’s enduring ties to Ireland, I’d love to talk about how you can celebrate Irish heritage here at Falvey.

To begin with some of the history of St. Patrick’s Day, the holiday originated as a celebratory feast to honor the death of St. Patrick, who is known to have brought Christianity to Ireland. The Irish symbolism of the clover stems from St. Patrick, as he is rumored to have explained the concept of Christianity’s Holy Trinity to the people of Ireland with the help of a clover.

Villanova University has a top-notch Irish Studies program, so we know there is no better way to celebrate St. Patrick than by reading some prominent Irish authors. Villanova is especially lucky to have one particular Irish author, Emma Dabiri, as the Charles A. Heimbold Jr. Chair of Irish studies this semester. Her books Twisted (published as Don’t Touch My Hair in Ireland) and What White People Can Do Next were both remarkably successful and met with critical acclaim. Dabiri will be speaking on April 4 in Falvey’s Speaker’s Corner, so make sure you stop by! A recording of Dabiri’s recent Literary Festival reading is also available for viewing here.

"Chalice in 'Thirst for the Divine' Exhibit"

Chalice in “Thirst for the Divine” Exhibit

Another famous Irish writer, James Joyce, recently celebrated the 100th anniversary of his classic novel Ulysses. You can read all about the centennial celebration on this blog.

A personal favorite novel of mine, The Picture of Dorian Gray, was written by the Irish poet Oscar Wilde. Although Wilde is known for his poetry, this work of prose is timeless and has even been adapted to film.

I’d also like to draw your attention to an article by Rebecca Oviedo, a Distinctive Collections Archivist here at Falvey. Oviedo noted that this article features Villanova “as the first collection in a new series on ‘Global Archives’ from RTÉ Century Ireland, which highlights the rich historical collections available to researchers of the Irish Revolution in archives at home and abroad.” You can read the article for yourself here!

Furthermore, Villanova recently opened an exhibit for a medieval chalice that came from Ireland over 500 years ago. This chalice has not been used in a Mass in over half of a millennium, so given Villanova University President the Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD, intends to do just that during Mass on March 20 at 10:30 a.m. in St. Thomas of Villanova Church, a historic moment is just around the corner.

In addition to the chalice, Distinctive Collections and Digital Engagement (DCDE) has several items on display in support of the exhibit. If you would like to see these artifacts for yourself, the exhibit is available for viewing until April 20 at the Connelly Art Center Gallery.

Headshot of Ethan SheaEthan Shea is a first-year English Graduate Student and Graduate Assistant at Falvey Library.

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Introducing the 2022 Villanova University Literary Festival Lineup

The lineup for the 2022 Villanova University Literary Festival is listed below. All events will take place at 7 p.m. in Falvey Memorial Library’s Speakers’ Corner, except for the Emma Dabiri talk, which will take place in the Presidents’ Lounge, Connelly Center. These ACS-approved events, co-sponsored by the English Department, the Creative Writing Program, Global Interdisciplinary Studies, Gender and Women’s Studies, the Center for Irish Studies, and Falvey Memorial Library, are free and open to the public.


 Thursday, Jan. 27, at 7 p.m., in Falvey Memorial Library’s Speakers’ Corner

Jericho Brown is author of the The Tradition (Copper Canyon 2019), for which he won the Pulitzer Prize. He is the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard, and the National Endowment for the Arts, and he is the winner of the Whiting Award. Brown’s first book, Please (New Issues 2008), won the American Book Award. His second book, The New Testament (Copper Canyon 2014), won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award. His third collection, The Tradition, won the Paterson Poetry Prize and was a finalist for the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. He is the director of the Creative Writing Program and a professor at Emory University.

For more information on Brown, please visit his website:

Livestream link:


 Tuesday, March 15, at 7 p.m., in the Presidents’ Lounge, Connelly Center

Emma Dabiri, the 2022 Charles A. Heimbold Jr. Chair in Irish Studies, is an Irish writer, academic, BBC broadcaster, and social media influencer who has written two very successful non-fiction books: Twisted (published as Don’t Touch My Hair in Ireland) and What White People Can Do Next. Her work in the arts, fashion, and the media are complemented by her academic teaching and research in African Studies and Visual Sociology. She is currently completing her PhD at Goldsmiths University, London.

For more information on Dabiri, please visit her website:




 Tuesday, March 29, at 7 p.m., in Falvey Memorial Library’s Speakers’ Corner

Camille T. Dungy’s debut collection of personal essays is Guidebook to Relative Strangers (W. W. Norton, 2017), a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. She is also the author of four collections of poetry, most recently Trophic Cascade (Wesleyan UP, 2017), winner of the Colorado Book Award. She was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2019. She is a professor in the English department at Colorado State University.

Livestream link:





Thursday, April 21, at 7 p.m., in Falvey Memorial Library’s Speakers’ Corner

Tiphanie Yanique is a novelist, poet, essayist, and short story writer. She is the author of the poetry collection, Wife, which won the 2016 Bocas Prize in  Caribbean poetry and the United Kingdom’s 2016 Forward/Felix Dennis Prize for a First Collection. Tiphanie is also the author of the novel, Land of Love and Drowning, which won the 2014 Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Award from the Center for Fiction, the Phillis Wheatley Award for Pan-African Literature, and the American Academy of Arts   and Letters Rosenthal Family Foundation Award, and was listed by NPR as one of the Best Books of 2014. Land of Love and Drowning was also a finalist for the Orion Award in Environmental Literature and the Hurston-Wright Legacy Award. She is a tenured associate professor at Emory University.

For more information on Yanique, please visit her website:

Livestream link:

Kallie Stahl ’17 MA is Communication and Marketing Specialist at Falvey Memorial Library.






Last Modified: January 21, 2022

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