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Readings and Book Chats

Erin Hart & Paddy O'Brien

If you're a bookstore, library, or book club looking for something just a bit different from a traditional author reading, you've come to the right place! Erin does public programs on her own, and in tandem with her husband, Irish musician and author Paddy O'Brien. Erin and Paddy love speaking to booklovers, writers' groups, library audiences, book clubs, and any group interested in Irish history, traditional music, and culture. The setting can be as formal as a theater stage or as informal as a circle of chairs beside the fire.

The cost for public presentations varies—please contact Erin to chat about what you have in mind...

Erin Hart & Paddy O'Brien

Memoirs, Music, Manuscripts & Mystery!

Erin Hart & Paddy O'Brien

As people, places, and artifacts from the past come alive through projected images, Paddy plays a few tunes on button accordion and offers tales of his adventures growing up in a thatched house in rural Ireland, with no electricity or running water, when music and stories around the fire were still the main form of entertainment. Erin might sing a medieval hymn to Saint Brigid as she spins the story of her latest novel, a knotty mystery inspired by a true discovery: a 9th-century book of Psalms preserved in an Irish bog. This is available as a full multimedia program; we bring our own laptop, digital projector, and projection screen to share images from our stories. And we always enjoy answering questions from the audience.

Erin offers solo multimedia events, combining readings from her work with glimpses of the people and places in Ireland that stir her imagination:


If you're looking for a keynote speaker, Erin can also prepare tailor-made talks about everything from the writing process—research, creating characters, developing a mysterious plot—to the challenges of getting published in today's literary marketplace, to the importance of a library in the life of a community, or how today's crime writing is addressing social issues.

Writing and Music Workshops

Erin and Paddy also offer writing and music workshops, which can be tailored to whatever audience you have in mind. Paddy is a internationally-renowed musician and collector of Irish music. He was named Irish Traditional Composer of the Year in 2012, and has recorded more than 1,500 tunes from his repertoire in The Paddy O'Brien Tune Collection, a resource for scholars and Irish music learners.

All-City Reads, Other Special Programs

Erin and Paddy have also done a number of all-city reading events (in Austin, Saint Peter, and Lakeville, Minnesota, among others), which offer school residency, senior lunches, and other community programs, and usually culminating in a special event featuring a presentation with readings, images, and traditional Irish tunes from Paddy and one of his musical groups.

If your community likes to kick up its heels, Paddy can also bring his band—and a dance instructor—for a traditional Irish céilí (KAY-lee) dance.

In addition to programs about Irish history and culture for Saint Patrick's Day celebrations, Erin and Paddy also offer special multimedia/musical programs:

  • A Holiday Toast to Friends, featuring a veritable feast of Irish midwinter traditions, toasts, poetry, music and song
  • A Condensed History of Ireland in Music and Song, which covers 6,000 years of Irish history with samples of ancient harp music, hymns and marches, dance tunes and satirical songs

For more background on Paddy and his workshop and concert offerings, please visit his website.