Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

On St. Patrick's Day, Irish Arts Center And Partners Will Give Out Thousands Of Free Books Across NYC


Irish Arts Center, a multidisciplinary center dedicated to bringing people of all backgrounds together through the excellence and dynamism of Irish arts and culture, presents their 10th Annual Book Day (March 17). The program exemplifies Irish Arts Center's unique role, within the packed New York cultural landscape, as an organization that builds bridges between the traditional and the contemporary as well as between Ireland and other cultures across America and around the world.

This year marks a decade of celebrating St. Patrick's Day with the most cherished of Irish legacies: Irish stories. The Irish Arts Center family of volunteers and staff, sponsors and supporters-along with their partners at the New York City Council-will fan out across all five boroughs for their landmark 10th Annual Book Day to hand out thousands of free books by Irish and Irish American authors alongside work by writers from France and the French diaspora, in IAC's tradition of honoring kindred voices and bridging diverse cultures on this special day for the global Irish community. Past Book Days have included titles by Mexican (2017), Caribbean (2018), and Asian American (2019) authors.

Free books will be given out at ten Book Day pop-up stations across all of New York City's five boroughs, as well as upstate where there will be a wide selection of genres, reading levels and languages to choose from including fiction, nonfiction, young adult, children's books, poetry, and books in translation. IAC presents this year's Book Day in association with New York City Council, New York State Assembly, Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States, Consul General of Ireland in New York, and Literature Ireland.

Rachael Gilkey, IAC Director of Programming and Education, says, "During the most visible time for celebrating Irish culture in the States, Irish Arts Center Book Day celebrates the impact that the Irish and the Irish immigrant community has made on the world of arts and culture, through the power of telling our stories. In partnering each year with a different cultural institution, Book Day shows how the Irish stand shoulder to shoulder with other immigrant and diasporic communities, and by taking place across all five boroughs, with books for all reading levels, across all genres, and in multiple languages, that message reaches a large number of New Yorkers."

Leading up to Book Day, people can follow the event on Twitter and Facebook (#IACBookDay) to find out where to grab a free book.

Authors included in this year's selection: Marguerite Abouet, Sheila Agnew, Molly Aitken, V.S. Alexander, Nathacha Appanah, Sharon Arbuthnot, John Banville, Kevin Barry, Samuel Beckett, Ciaran Berry, Adelaide Bon, Olivier Bourdeaut, John Boyne, Anna Burns, Lynn Cahoon, Anna Carey, Lisa Carey, Marina Carr, Ciaran Carson, Betsy Carter, Michael Coady, Chris Colfer, Sandrine Collette, Laurence Cosse, Mollie Cox Bryan, Catherine Cusset, Christelle Dabos, Gerald Dawe, Devon Delaney, Negar Djavadi, Charlie Donlea, Emma Donoghue, Dominique Fabre, Peter Fallon, Tom French, Brian Friel, Susan Furlong, Brian Gallagher, Laurent Gaude, Anna Gavalda, Alan Gillis, Jean Giono, Eamon Grennan, Fabien Grolleau, Mahir Guven, Yannick Haenel, Mary Ann Hart, Michael Hartnett, Felicity Hayes-McCoy, Luke Healy, Seamus Heaney, Tami Hoag, Kevin Holohan, Kim Hood, Matthew Horace, Claire Keegan, Mary Pat Kelly, Tom Kilroy, Dean King, Helen Klein-Ross, Susan Lanigan, Herve Le Corre, Sergei Lebedev, Min Jin Lee, Paula Leyden, Grace Lin, Morgan Llywelyn, Paul Lynch, Sean Lysaghtv, Alain Mabanckou, Natasha Mac a'Bháird, Aifric Mac Aodha, Dorothy Macardle, Kathleen MacMahon, Derek Mahon, Andrei Makine, Susan Maxwell, Eimear McBride, Malachy McCourt & Brain McDonald, Alice McDermott, Erika McGann, Medbh McGuckian, Padraic McIntyre, Julianne McKeigue, Lindsay McKenna, G.A. McKevett, Joe McLaren, JP McMahon, Kristina McMorris, Conor McPherson, Scholastique Mukasonga, Paul Muldoon, Caitlin Mullen, Catie Murphy, Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, Ailbhe Ní Ghearbhuigh, Máire Ní Mhaonaigh, Jim Nolan, Edna O'Brien, Kevin O'Brien, Billy O'Callaghan, Carlene O'Connor, Joseph O'Connor, Maggie O'Farrell, Kaitlin O'Reilly, Mark O'Sullivan, Michelle O'Sullivan, Matthew Quick, Sally Rooney, Robert Rorke, Jeremie Royer, Mathieu Sapin, Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt, Peter Sirr, Kevin Stevens, Dale Talde, Lucy Tam, Patrick Taylor, Sylvain Tesson, Matt Thomas, Gregory Toner, Enda Walsh, David Wheatley, Sheena Wilkinson, Emily X.R.Pan, Alice Zeniter

Participating publishers include: Archipelago, Doubleday, Europa Editions, Farrar Straus and Giroux, Flying Eye Books, Gallery Press, Graywolf Press, Grove Atlantic, Hachette, Harper Perennial & Harper Paperbacks, Kensington Books, Literature Ireland, Little Island Books, Little, Brown and Company, Macmillan, The New Press, New Vessel Press, New York Review of Books, Nobrow Press, The O'Brien Press, Other Press, Penguin Random House, Phaidon, Restless Books, Royal Irish Academy, Simon & Schuster, Skyhorse Publishing, TCG Books, Tor / Forge,Tramp Press

For a complete list of Book Day locations, please visit

Related Articles

Buy at the Theatre Shop

T-Shirts, Mugs, Phone Cases & More

More Hot Stories For You