James Francis Cahillane













The Florence Poets Society announces Jim’s new book, ON HISTORY’S FRONT STEPS: One Irish Clan’s Exploits in Northampton, Massachusetts, “The Paradise of America” featuring historical photos from mid-20th century Northampton, including tercentennial celebrations of 1954 when Jim’s Irish born dad, James Cahillane, was the city’s new mayor. The book features over fifty new poems inspired by sixty plus images, plus five essays discussing politics, sport, Irish immigration, family, and the U.S. automobile business during the period 1930-2010. (ISBN-13 978-0-9800095-2-1).

             All books are available from the author, Collective Copies, and local bookshops:

The Best Place of All: An Irish American Memoir of Pluck, Luck & Automobiles plus

A Winter Offering and A Second Collection are available at $18. Mail order copies cost $21 in U.S.A., to Ireland and UK $25.  E-Mail: jfcahillane@comcast.net

            James Francis Cahillane (CAH hill lane) is a retired executive with a later life career as a freelance journalist, essayist, poet and author of a memoir that became part of a series of Northampton, Massachusetts’ histories commissioned by the city’s 350th Anniversary Committee. He spent four years in the USAF during the Korean conflict.

Jim’s dad served a then record three terms as Northampton’s mayor, serving in the same corner office once occupied by U. S. President Calvin Coolidge. A handsome 44-year-old “Mayor Jim” presided over the city’s 300th anniversary celebrations in 1954.

The Best Place of All: An Irish-American Memoir of Pluck, Luck & Automobiles (City of Northampton, 2004. ISBN: 0-9600828-4-0) details his Irish immigrant father’s unlikely American-dream story as first a champion Golden Gloves heavyweight boxer, self-made businessman and civic leader who became one of only two Irish-born mayors in the United States. Jim Sr. was elected twenty-three years following his arrival. The Best Place of All touts Mayor Jim’s political friendship with Sen. John F. Kennedy, and examines how his upset primary victory and three mayoral terms impacted his life and that of his large family. He and Imogene had six children and twenty-four grandchildren; many of them have been or are currently active in the Pioneer Valley’s civic life.

Young Jim’s business career was spent in the retail end of the U.S. automobile industry. His son, Chris, operates Downtown Auto Sales and Rentals in Northampton. www.cahillane.com.












On History's Front Steps Front Cover


Jim’s privately printed book of poems, A Winter Offering, (2005) won Honorable Mention in Writer’s Digest 2006 International Self-Published Poetry Competition.

 A Winter Offering and A Second Collection (Florence Poets Society, Florence, MA 2007. ISBN: 978-0-9800095-1-4) added twenty-two contemporary poems to the prize-winning book. His poetry has been published in a number of journals including: The South Carolina Review, The Distillery, and Ilya’s Honey, Ship of Fools, Soundings East Literary Magazine, Silkworm and Wild Leaf Press’s ‘09 anthology. WordWorth.com honored his essay, In Praise of English Pubs in June 2009.

 Jim has long enjoyed reading and writing poetry, a passion he credits to the Irish folk songs sung by his Kerry grandfather, Stephen, a widower who came to America in 1947 to live with his eldest son, James, and his family.

Jim graduated from the University Without Walls at UMass/Amherst (BA ‘89). (www.umass.edu/uww) He returned to UMass to study English literature. (MA ’97). Inside and outside of UMass Jim has written alongside a number of fine poets, including Doug Anderson, Patricia Schneider and the late Agha Shahid Ali. He is a member of The Florence Poets Society, founded by Tom Clark and Carl Russo. He is also a member of The New England Poetry Club, founded by Amy Lowell and Robert Frost in 1915.

            Jim and his English wife, Maureen Stone, live and garden at their country home “Mole End,” in the Berkshire foothills of Western Massachusetts.



            I finally came home following a three-month odyssey inside our local health care system due to complications from two emergency colon operations. Thanks to everyone who made my somewhat miraculous recovery possible.