Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Obama, Ireland, Children's Literature

Among the gifts given in Ireland to the visiting U.S. President Barack Obama was a book of Hawaiian children's stories collected by Padraic Colum. A noted Irish folklorist, Colum was invited in the 1920's by the Hawaiian government to come and record their ancient stories; the results included his books At the Gateways of the Day (1924) and The Bright Islands (1925). Along with William Butler Yeats, Lady Gregory, and Pamela Travers, Colum was part of the Celtic Twilight; he later married Mary Maguire and became an American citizen. During his Irish visit, the Hawaii-born President observed, "If you need someone to do good writing, you hire an Irishman."

See the Irish Times: http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2011/0524/1224297638360.html

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