Thinking Out Loud: A Conversation with the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins

Date and Time
October 1, 2019
Event Details

The scholar, poet, and human rights advocate visits the Library to share reflections from his career in public service with Mr. Dan Barry. 

President Michael D. Higgins is the ninth President of Ireland, elected to office in 2011 for a seven-year term. In October 2018, President Higgins was re-elected to serve a second term in Office, having secured the largest number of votes in Irish Presidential election history.

A passionate political voice, a poet and writer, academic and statesman, human rights advocate and champion of creativity within Irish society, Michael D. Higgins has previously served at every level of public life in Ireland, including as Ireland's first Minister for Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht. President Higgins is a fluent Irish speaker.

As a lecturer in political science and sociology in National University of Ireland, Galway, and in the United States, Michael D. Higgins was a passionate proponent for the extension of access to third level education beyond the walls of established Universities. He was centrally involved in the development of extra-mural studies at National University of Ireland, Galway, and he traveled extensively across the West of Ireland to provide accessible evening classes for interested citizens.

A desire to work more directly for equality and justice led Michael D. Higgins to enter public life and he went on to serve as a public representative at many levels from Councillor and Mayor of Galway City to 9 years in the Seanad and 25 in Dáil Éireann, the National Parliament.

President Higgins has published two collections of essays and four collections of poetry. He is also a member of the Royal Irish Academy and the recipient of numerous awards and honorary fellowships.

President Higgins will be in conversation with New York Times journalist and author Dan Barry.

Dan Barry, a senior writer at The New York Times, was born in Queens, New York, and is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University and New York University. He shared a 1994 Pulitzer Prize as a member of an investigative team at the Providence Journal, and since then has twice been a nominated Pulitzer finalist. He is the author of Pull Me Up: A Memoir; City Lights, a collection of his “About New York” columns; Bottom of the 33rd: Hope, Redemption, and Baseball’s Longest Game, which won the 2012 PEN/ESPN Award for Literary Sports writing; The Boys in the Bunkhouse: Servitude and Salvation in the Heartland; and This Land: America, Lost and Found, a collection of his national columns, published in September 2018.

The New York Public Library has been an essential provider of free books, information, ideas, and education for all New Yorkers for more than 100 years. Join us in welcoming President Higgins, whose dedication to the people of Ireland is aligned with the Library’s mission to inspire a life-long love of learning.

Presented in collaboration with the Irish Consulate.


For free events, we generally overbook to ensure a full house. Priority will be given to those who have registered in advance, but registration does not guarantee admission. All registered seats are released shortly before start time, and seats may become available at that time. A standby line will form one hour before the program.

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