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A New Chapter: Women Writing Northern Ireland Now—Panel Discussion 11/28

A New Chapter: Women Writing Northern Ireland Now

Tuesday, Nov. 28, at 6 p.m.; Topper Theater, Villanova University

“The Villanova Center for Irish Studies, in partnership with the Consul General of Ireland in New York, will welcome award-winning women writers from Northern Ireland to campus for an engaging literary panel discussion and readings around the topics of women’s rights, the sectarian divide, and social class.” Panelists include: Lucy Caldwell, Jan Carson, and Michelle Gallen. Moderated by Yvonne Cassidy.

This ACS-approved event is presented in partnership with Columbia University, NYU, and Georgetown University, with support from the Government of Ireland and Northern Ireland Bureau. Co-sponsored by: Falvey Library, Department of English, Department of History, Department of Political Science, Department of Global & Interdisciplinary Studies, Gender & Women’s Studies, Center for Peace & Justice Education, Creative Writing Program, the Writing Center, St. Joseph’s University Irish Studies Program, the Irish Diaspora Center of Philadelphia, and the Irish American Business Chamber & Network, Inc.

Register here.



Maya Angelou Becomes First Black Woman on a Quarter

By Jenna Renaud

The U.S. Mint has announced that on Monday, Jan. 10 they began shipping quarters featuring poet Maya Angelou.  

This quarter represents the first in the American Women Quarters Program. This Mint program will take place over four years and includes issuing five quarters a year to honor women in fields, including women’s suffrage, Civil Rights, abolition, government, humanities, science, and the arts.  

Women to be featured in 2022 include physicist and first woman astronaut Sally Ride; Wilma Mankiller, the first female principal chief of the Cherokee Nation; Nina Otero-Warren, a leader in New Mexico’s suffrage movement and the first female superintendent of Santa Fe public schools; and Anna May Wong, the first Chinese American film star in Hollywood. 

Women have previously been featured on coins, although never the quarter. In 2017 the Mint introduced a commemorative gold coin featuring Lady Liberty as a Black woman. Suffragist Susan B. Anthony was the first to be featured on a coin in circulation when silver dollars were released with her image in 1979. Other women featured on currency include writer and activist for the disabled Helen Keller and Sacagawea, the Shoshone woman who helped Lewis and Clark across the plains.

Author, poet, and Civil Rights activist, Angelou rose to prominence with the publication of her autobiography I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings in 1969. She was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2010 by President Barack Obama. Although having passed away in 2014 at the age of 86, Angelou’s impact and writings live on.

The quarter design depicts Angelou with outstretched arms and was created by Emily Damstra, a designer, and Craig A. Campbell, a medallic artist. Behind her is a bird in flight and a rising sun. Both of these selected images are inspired by her poetry and the way she lived her life. 

Below we have compiled a list of some of Maya Angelou’s most important and impactful pieces of work, all of which are available in Falvey’s collection: 

Click here to find a full list of Falvey’s collection of Maya Angelou pieces and make sure you are on the lookout for these quarters over the next four years. 

jenna newman headshotJenna Renaud is a Graduate Assistant in Falvey Memorial Library and a Graduate Student in the Communication Department.

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How many great women have you read?

By Daniella Snyder

Cat in the Stacks Logo

As Women’s History Month comes to a close, I’m curious to know: how many women authors have you read? I scoured the Library’s (online) stacks and compiled a list of some of my favorite women authors and their most famous works. Let us know how many you’ve read on social media (@villanovalibrary on Instagram and @FalveyLibrary on Twitter), and let us know what authors you would have had on your list!

The cover of "Beloved"


Toni Morrison, Beloved

Morrison tells a harrowing tale of slavery and its lasting impact through fragments and flashbacks. Beloved is based on the true story of Margaret Garner. This novel, like the rest of Morrison’s work, is known for its beautiful language and intense imagery.




The cover of "To The Lighthouse"


Virginia Woolf, To The Lighthouse

Written by Woolf in 1927, To The Lighthouse centers on the Ramsay family between the years 1910 and 1920. Woolf, a mother figure of Modernism, focuses on philosophical introspection, thoughts and observations, subjectivity, the nature of art, and the concept of perception in this novel.



The cover of "Pride and Prejudice"


Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice is Jane Austen’s famous romantic novel of manners, written in 1813. Austen’s novel has consistently appeared near the top lists of “most-loved books” among literary scholars and the reading public for decades and is one of the most popular novels in English literature.



The cover of "The Color Purple"

Alice Walker, The Color Purple

The Color Purple is a 1982 epistolary novel by Alice Walker, which won the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the National Book Award for Fiction. The story focuses on the life of black women in the southern United States in the 1930s. The novel has been a consistent target of censorship and sits on the American Library Association’s list of the 100 most frequently challenged books because of the explicit content.



The cover of "Jane Eyre"

Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

Jane Eyre was written in 1847 and follows the experiences of the titular heroine throughout her growth to adulthood and budding romance. The novel revolutionized prose fiction by being the first to focus on its protagonist’s moral and spiritual development through a first-person perspective.



The cover of "Their Eyes Were Watching God"


Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God

Zora Neale Hurston wrote Their Eyes Were Watching God in 1937. The novel is considered a classic Harlem Renaissance work. Hurston explores protagonist Janie Crawford’s life as she develops from a teenager to a full-grown woman in Florida in the early twentieth century. The novel was initially poorly received but is now considered one of the most influential works of African-American and women’s literature, and TIME included the novel in its list of the 100 best English language novels since 1923.


The cover of "The Bell Jar"


Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

The Bell Jar is the only novel Sylvia Plath wrote in her short life. It’s considered semi-autobiographical, because the protagonist’s descent into mental illness parallels Plath’s own experiences. Plath committed suicide only a month after the novel’s publication.



The cover of "all about love"


bell hooks, All About Love: New Visions

I added this book to the list because 1) I love bell hooks, and 2) I think this is a book that every woman (and human!) should read. Combining personal anecdotes, psychology, and philosophical ideas, hooks discusses a different aspect of romantic love in each chapter, with the ultimate goal of making us more open to giving and receiving love. In All About Love: New Visions, hooks presents a view of love in modern society that goes unmatched by any other writer.


Daniella Snyder Headshot

Daniella Snyder is a graduate student in the English department and a graduate assistant in the Communication & Marketing department at Falvey Memorial Library. This week, she’s been catching up on movies, TV, and books, including the book Followers by Megan Angelo, the Hulu adaptation of Little Fires Everywhere, and the movie Troop Zero.



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Last Modified: March 25, 2020

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