The Canisius College Contemporary Writers Series presents the 17th Annual Hassett Reading: Yeats Now.  The evening of poetry, song and conversation will feature Joseph Hassett, Vincent O’NeillMary Ramsey and Daniel Mulhall, Ireland’s Ambassador to the United States. The event will take place Tuesday, April 27 at 7:00 p.m.  Members of the Canisius community will have the option to join limited in-person seating in the Montante Culture Center. Additional attendees are invited to join us virtually. 

Buffalo native Joseph Hassett is a graduate of Harvard Law School and holds a PhD in Anglo-Irish Literature from University College Dublin. He is pro bono senior counsel for Hogan Lovells, located in Washington, D.C. and outside counsel to the Embassy of Ireland, also in Washington, D.C.  Hassett is the author of W.B. Yeats and the MusesThe Ulysses Trials: Beauty and Truth Meet the Law and Yeats Now: Echoing into Life . He traces his love of literature to inspirational Canisius professors such as Charles Brady, Dick Thompson, Les Warren and Mel Schroeder.

Vincent O’Neill is the artistic director emeritus of Buffalo’s celebrated Irish Classical Theatre Company.  Born in Dublin, he trained there as an actor and later toured from London to Leningrad and Moscow as member of the Abbey Theatre Company London. In 1989, O’Neill relocated to Western New York and worked as both an actor and director in the region’s major theaters and won numerous awards, including multiple Artie Awards. O’Neill’s critically acclaimed one-man show, Joyicity, toured throughout Europe and the United States, with two runs off-Broadway, as well in Toronto, Sydney and Tokyo.

Mary Ramsey was the lead singer-songwriter for the 10,000 Maniacs, an American alternative rock band known best for its Top 40 hit song “More than This.” Born in Washington, D.C. she earned her bachelor’s degree in music performance at SUNY Fredonia and became a fulltime member of the Erie Philharmonic at age 17. With John Lombardo, Ramsey formed the Buffalo folk duo John & Mary. Ramsey has worked with Buffalo’s Irish Classical Theatre and has been a guest artist on many recordings with such artists as The Goo Goo Dolls, Ani DiFranco and Billy Bragg.

Daniel Mulhall is Ireland’s 18th ambassador to the United States.  Born and raised in Waterford, Ireland, he completed his undergraduate and post-graduate studies at University College Cork, where he specialized in modern Irish history. Mulhall is the author of A New Day Dawning: A Portrait of Ireland in 1900 and co-editor of The Shaping of Modern Ireland: A Centenary Assessment. He has spoken at many festivals, including the Oxford Literary Festival, the Newbury Festival, the Liverpool Literary Festival and the Edinburgh International Book Festival. Mulhall is also a regular speaker at the University of Liverpool Institute of Irish Studies and is an Honorary Fellow at the Institute.

Founded with a grant from the John R. Oishei Foundation and continued through the Peter Canisius Distinguished Teaching Professorship Program, the Contemporary Writers Series is generously supported today by the Hassett, Scoma and Lowery Endowments and with the cooperation of The Buffalo & Erie County Public Library, Just Buffalo Literary Center, the Center for Urban Education and Talking Leaves Books.

For more information, contact Mick Cochrane, PhD, professor of English and coordinator of the Contemporary Writers Series, at (716)888-2662 or

One of 27 Jesuit universities in the nation, Canisius is the premier private university in Western New York. Canisius prepares leaders – intelligent, caring, faithful individuals – able to pursue and promote excellence in their professions, their communities and their service to humanity.

Originally published on