July 22: Peggy O'Brien (UMass) on Seamus Heaney

posted Aug 15, 2014, 8:15 PM by Amherst Club   [ updated Aug 15, 2014, 8:29 PM ]
President Roger Webb called the meeting of the Amherst Club to order at noon on Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014, and welcomed us all.

Roger noted that there will be a Love Notes meeting today after lunch.

There will be no meeting on Tuesday July 29th , the fifth Tuesday of the month. We also skip two meetings in August, so we will NOT meet on August 12th and August 26th.

Roger reminded the Cub that an envelope for the Amherst Schools Backpack Project will be passed around again today, for the last time. If anyone wants to claim a tax deduction for their donation, they must make their check out to the Amherst-Pelham  Regional Schools and write Backpack Project on the memo line. Otherwise, make the check out to the Amherst Club.

If anyone needs to pick up a new Club Directory, ask Jacquie Price for one.

Roger is seeking input on the food we are served at lunch. Today and for the next couple of meetings cards are being placed on the tables for members to indicate their preference – whether to raise the cost of lunch by $1, and receive better food, or keep it as is. The present cost is $13, the new cost, if approved, would be $14. There is also space on the cards for general opinions on the lunches.  Members should feel free to give as many opinions as they wish, but they are asked to vote ONLY ONCE.

The Club sang Happy Birthday to Larry Siddall for his July 23rd birthday.


Murray Schuman brought us back 50 years, to himself as a young graduate student sailing on the MS Rotterdam to Europe, to study at the famous hotel school at Lausanne.  After an intense course in French, the language of instruction, he was launched on his culinary studies. He ended up interning at a large busy bistro, where his most memorable client was a witch-like elderly aristocratic woman with a single tooth – to whom he introduced the delights of Cervelle au Beurre Noir (Brains in Black Butter), chosen as most suitable for her dental condition, which became her favorite dish!


Arthur Kinney introduced his UMass English Department colleague Professor Peggy O’Brien,  who spoke movingly about the Irish poet Seamus Heaney on the first anniversary of his death.  A Mount Holyoke graduate, Peggy went on to earn graduate degrees in Dublin, and to teach there for many years before coming to UMass. Peggy placed Seamus Heaney in the context of other Irish poets of his age and before, particularly Patrick Kavanagh.  She is herself the author of two collections of poetry, Sudden Thaw and Frog Spotting. Her work has appeared in magazines such as The Yale Review and The New Yorker. She is also the editor of the Wake Forest Book of Irish Women's Poetry.

Raffle:  Elsie Fetterman won both the wine and the $10. She generously donated the $10 to the endowment fund.  


The Hampshire Shakespeare Company’s Julius Caesar opens on Wednesday, July 23rd, at 7 p.m. at the UMass Renaissance Center. It is playing July 23rd-27th and July 30th-August 3rd.

Community Breakfast at UMass Student Union Ballroom, Wednesday August 27th, 7:30-9:00 a.m. Tickets $8 in advance, $10 at the door, Contact events@umass.edu  or 413-577-1101.
Iraqi Students at a UMass Program discuss their culture on Thursday, July 24th at the Monkey Bar, Bistro 63, 7 -9 p.m. approximately.

Isaac BenEzra urged members to think about the Net Neutrality issue and look out for a discussion about it locally with Jim McGovern in late August.  

Larry Siddall’s photos of Europe and Egypt are on show on three different floors the Amherst Town Hall through August.

Your scribe,                                                                                                                                          
Linda Honan