Select Page

Aidan Ryan ’14, Creative Writing, Screens Film to Accompany Forthcoming Book

On Thursday, May 30, at 7:00 pm, Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center will host a work-in-progress screening of I Am Here You Are Not I Love You, the short documentary film that will accompany Aidan Ryan’s forthcoming book of the same name to be published next year by the University of Iowa Press.

The book is in part a biography of Ryan’s aunt and uncle, the visual artists Cindy Suffoletto and Andrew Topolski, and in part a memoir tracing their influence on his own path into the arts and development as a writer. The short film follows the arc of the book, with visuals of the art he discovered along the way and interviews with key figures in Suffoletto’s and Topolski’s lives and legacies.

The purpose of a work-in-progress screening is to gather feedback to inform the last stages of post-production editing. Following the screening there will be time for a Q&A and feedback session. The event is free and open to the public.

Ryan has published memoir and cultural criticism in Public BooksThe MillionsThe Adroit Journal, Colorado ReviewThe White ReviewCNN InternationalIrish America, the NEH’s Humanities, and Traffic East, where he is a senior editor.

He is also a cofounder and publisher of Foundlings Press, which has produced books, chapbooks, anthologies, broadsides, and archival works by new and established authors such as Forrest Gander, C.D. Wright, D.A. Powell, Mary Ruefle, Frank Stanford, and many others.

You can read more about the film and screening here:

You can learn more about Aidan Ryan here:

Submitted by: Mick Cochrane, Professor, English

Oprah Chooses Former Hassett Reader’s Latest Novel

Oprah Winfrey’s 105th Book Club selection is Long Island by the Irish novelist Colm Tóibín, who delivered the eighth annual Hassett Reading at Canisius in 2011.

Long Island is a kind of sequel to Tóibín’s bestselling and award-winning Brooklyn, telling the story of Eilis Lacey, an Irish immigrant, now in the 1970s, living with her husband and two teenaged children on Long Island.

“I had so many mixed emotions reading this novel,” Winfrey said in a statement. “I was captivated. Tóibín builds the story around a woman whose life changes seemingly overnight…It opens the door to her own secrets, grappling with choices she made long ago, urging her to break free from the silences she built around her life. A wonderful page-turner to start your summer reading.”

Colm Tóibín is the author of 11 novels including The Master, The Testament of Mary, and Nora Webster. In 2022 the Arts Council of Ireland appointed him Laureate for Irish Fiction 2022-2024.

The Hassett Family Reading brings Irish and Irish-American writers to Canisius to read from their work and to share their insights into writing and literature with students and members of our community. In addition to Tóibín, previous Hassett readers include Seamus Heaney, Paul Muldoon, Emma Donoghue, Anne Enright, Theo Dorgan, Paula Meehan, Belinda McKeon, and Marina Carr.

Submitted by: Mick Cochrane, English

Hawa Saleh ’24 Presents Award-Winning Essay

On April 27, Hawa Saleh ’24 presented a paper titled “Irreconcilable Rhetorics, Cultural Erasure, and Nuancing Violence: Yasser Arafat’s PLO versus the State of Israel in November 1974” at the regional conference of Phi Alpha Theta, the national history honors society, held at the University at Buffalo. Saleh’s essay was one of several to receive an Outstanding Paper Prize.

Saleh is graduating with three majors: history, English and creative writing. She is a member of the All-College Honors Program, vice president of the Honors Student Association, president of the Canisius chapter of Young Democratic Socialists of America, vice master of Di Gamma, a Canisius Earning Excellence Program award winner and a writing center tutor.

Saleh’s essay was developed in two courses, Modern Middle East and the history senior seminar, taught by Dr. David Devereaux, the faculty advisor of the Canisius chapter of Phi Alpha Theta.

Submitted by: Mick Cochrane, Professor, Department of English

Distinguished Alum and Former Trustee Publishes New Book

Joseph M. Hassett, PhD, ’64, is the author of “Under The Metal Man: Sligo in Yeats” (Lilliput Press), a new study of the presence of the town of Sligo, Ireland, in the work of Irish poet William Butler Yeats and his family.

Roy Foster, Carroll Professor of Irish History at the University of Oxford and author of the definitive two-volume biography of Yeats, calls Hassett’s new book “a treasure.” Paula Meehan, a former Ireland Professor of Poetry, writes, “This book is a Cabinet of Curiosities. Open it and be transported to the creative heart of the Yeats family and to the soul of Sligo, the two commingled to powerful and bountiful effect.”

After graduating from Canisius, Hassett earned a law degree from Harvard University and became partner at the Washington, D.C., law firm Hogan & Harston (now Hogan Lovells). He also earned first a master’s degree, then a doctorate in Anglo-Irish literature at University College Dublin. In 2022 Hassett received Ireland’s Presidential Distinguished Service Award for the Irish Abroad.

Among Hassett’s many gifts to Canisius was the creation of the Mel Schroeder Scholarship to honor his former teacher, a longtime and beloved member of the English Department. It funds Canisius students chosen to attend the Yeats International Summer School in Sligo, most recently Mason Bowes, ’24, and Maeve Devine, ’24.

Hassett also established the annual Hassett Family Reading, which brings Irish and Irish-American writers to campus to read from their work. Past Hassett readers include Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney, Anne Enright, Alice McDermott, Emma Donoghue and Paul Muldoon. Earlier this year, he endowed the Hassett Family Creative Writing Scholarship, a four-year, full-tuition scholarship to attract and support student-writers of exceptional promise.

Hassett’s previous publications include “Yeats Now: Echoing into Life” (Lilliput, 2020), “The Ulysses Trials: Beauty and Truth Meet the Law” (Lilliput, 2016), and “W.B. Yeats and the Muses” (Oxford University, 2010).

Submitted by: Mick Cochrane, English

Contemporary Writers Series Visitor Wins Presidential Medal

On Friday, May 3, Rev. Gregory Boyle, S.J, received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States highest civilian honor, from President Joe Biden in a White House ceremony. Father Boyle is the founder of Homeboy Industries, the largest gang-intervention, rehabilitation, and re-entry program in the world.

In October 2022, Father Boyle —accompanied by two “homies”— visited Canisius under the auspices of the Contemporary Writers Series and received the Canisius Presidential Medal, the highest honor our institution confers.

You can learn more about Homeboy Industries here.

You can learn more about the Canisius Contemporary Writers Series here. 

Submitted by: Mick Cochrane, English