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Master of Ceremonies Frank Clancy reads from the works of Irish poet Rita Ann Higgins.
AASU Hosted Sebastian Dangerfield Talk

Savannah, GA—Contemporary Irish poet Rita Ann Higgins was the subject of this year's fifteenth annual Sebastian Dangerfield talk on Irish literature held on Wednesday, March 6 at Armstrong Atlantic State University. Frank Clancy, assistant professor of literature at Armstrong Atlantic, was the event's master of ceremonies again this year and the presenter of the talk on the life and work of Higgins.

Higgins resides in and uses her native Galway City and its people as the subject of her poetry. Clancy remarked that Higgins' people have much in common with Irish novelist James Joyce's Dublin characters. Both writers are interested in the "no hopers" who struggle against great forces-sexual, political, economic, religious, social-that are invisible to them yet determine the form that their lives will take.

Savannah Mayor Floyd Adams declared the hour of noon to be officially named the Sebastian Dangerfield Lunch Hour throughout Savannah.

Winners of the traditional Dangerfield Ginger Man cookie awards were:

  1. Great Fiction Written by an Irish American:
    Former Georgia Tech football coach George O'Leary for his creative resume.
  2. Outstanding British citizen:
    Gerry McLean's English Springier Spaniel, Lady Fudge
  3. Outstanding Irish Coach:
    General Robert E. Lee (a.k.a. James Anderson)

Members of the audience claiming to be representatives of the Shriners and the Savannah Parade Committee got into a disagreement after Clancy provoked them into pelting each other with hard candy. Folk singer Melanie Mirande performed "The Town I Love so Well" and tenor Jim McLaughlin sang "Danny Boy." The event ended with an Irish coffee reception sponsored by Kevin Barry's Pub. Savannah Joe's provided Irish crème coffee.

Next year Clancy hopes to have Bill O'Riley on the Dangerfield stage to debate him on any Irish question.

Written by Frank Clancy for the Savannah Morning News' Closeups.

March 8, 2002

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