Sunset Park

Irish Arts Center hosts book giveaway for St. Patrick’s Day

March 17, 2016 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The book distribution is a great way to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day, according to the Irish Arts Center. Photo courtesy of Irish Arts Center
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St. Patrick’s Day isn’t just for parade fans. It’s a good day to celebrate Ireland’s rich literary tradition, according to members of the Irish Arts Center, who celebrated the holiday by giving away thousands of free books at carious locations around the city.

The Sixth Annual Irish Art Center Book Day took place on Thursday.

Volunteers were scheduled to set up a portable book store on the northwest corner of Fourth Avenue and 36th Street, outside the 36th Street subway station in Sunset Park, to distribute free books to passersby.

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Five thousand books were donated by major publishers for the occasion.

Book Day is a citywide celebration of Irish literature on St. Patrick’s Day, according to a press release issued by the Irish Arts Center. The idea is to celebrate Irish culture and literacy and to help foster a love of Irish literature in New Yorkers.

Some of the 5,000 free books included Spanish translations.

The volunteers fanned out over 11 locations in the five boroughs and started handing out books at 7 a.m. The participants vowed to stay put until all they ran out of books.

“Songdog” by Colum McCann, “Beatlebon” by Kevin Barry and “Frog Music” by Emma Donoghue were among the titles that found their way into the hands of new readers on Thursday.

Founded in 1972, the Irish Arts Center is an arts and cultural center dedicated to projecting a dynamic image of Ireland and of Irish America for the 21st century. The center is located at 553 West 51st St. in Manhattan.

Its mission is to strengthen cross-cultural partnerships and preserve the evolving stories and traditions of Irish culture.

The center’s programming is centered on three areas: performance — including live music, dance, theatre, film and literature; exhibition — consisting of visual arts presentations and cultural exchanges; and education — with dozens of classes in Irish language, history, music and dance.

For more information, visit

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