Irish American Writers & Artists

July 1, 2014

Honor Molloy Hosts IAW&A Salon of Newcomers and Stalwarts, June 10th at the Cell

Filed under: Literature,Music,Theater,Uncategorized — by scripts2013 @ 10:18 pm

By Mary Lannon with thanks to Honor Molloy

Tuesday night’s well attended IAW&A Salon hosted by the gracious and winning Honor Molloy featured a slate of new performers that along with a few stalwarts made for a lovely evening at the cell.

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Ed McCann

First, first-time presenter, Ed McCann read from his luminous memoir, Finding George.  His work has appeared in national magazines and literary journals. An award-winning television writer / producer, he’s also a longtime contributing editor at Country Living magazine.  This Saturday at 2pm, along with his partner Richard Kolath, he will launch Writers Read, a new literary endeavor that promotes established and emerging writers and celebrates the spoken word.

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Mark William Butler

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Kelsey Walston

Next, Mark William Butler presented a song from his horror movie Christmas musical, Bad Christmas Sweater.  The song, “He Will Know” was performed beautifully by a IAW&A Salon first-timer, the talented actress Kelsey Walston.  With a little luck, the play will be providing audiences with a warm, fuzzy, and freaky feeling sometime this holiday season. Butler  is a playwright and composer who has had over 30 plays and revues produced in what he is now forced to admit has become a long career.

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Yvonne Cassidy

Another first-time salon presenter, Irish author Yvonne Cassidy, read from her third novel, How Many Letters Are In Goodbye? This was the first reading from the novel, which was published by Hachette Ireland on June 5thHow Many Letters Are In Goodbye? is the story of Rhea Farrell, a young Irish girl, homeless on the streets of New York, trying to find out more about her mother who died when Rhea was only three. Cassidy, who has been living in New York since 2011, read the first letter from the book and was happy to leave the evening selling all the advance copies she’d brought with her! For more info or to see a video of the reading: www.yvonnecassidy.com.

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Bernard Smith

Dublin-born musician Bernard Smith first sang “Travel On,” an original song, that he wrote after a series of events that at the time he considered catastrophic.  But when he stopped to listen to the rhythm of his own heart, he realized all of the seemingly life changing problems were just small transient ones that he could let go of. His second song, “Down in the City,” was written by Irish folk artist Sony Condell as an homage to him and because it’s a beautiful song.

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Kevin Holohan, Joe Goodrich, and Honor Molloy

Completing the first half, the multi-talented Honor Molloy presented a brief segment from The Three Christs – a new music theatre work she’s working on with composer/performer Corey Dargel. Kevin Holohan read stage directions and Joe Goodrich played Dr. Zeel—psychiatrist to the Jaysoo Trio.  Molloy is a playwright and author of the stunning novel, Smarty Girl.

honorHonor Molloy 

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Kevin Holohan

Opening the second half, Kevin Holohan read two short pieces. The first was a short story about a rite of passage of a young boy in Dublin trying to gain peer acceptance of his first foray into serious swearing. The second was a short excerpt from his first novel The Brothers’ Lot, a phantasmagoric wishful vision of justice as it should have been, cataloging the physical implosion of every Church-run institution in Ireland where abuse of children took place, a piece lent added resonance and poignancy by the recent renewed media attention around mother and child homes in Ireland. http://www.akashicbooks.com/catalog/the-brothers-lot/ 

kearnsJohn Kearns

John Kearns read an excerpt from his novel in progress, Worlds, an “overture” to the book’s first section dealing with the Deadly Sin/Lively Virtue of Lust/Chastity.  The overture juxtaposes fragments and sentences related to Lust or Chastity from the episodes that follow in the novel about four generations of the Irish-American Logan family.  It also interspersed bits and pieces from mythology, biblical stories, and literary classics.  Later this month, Kearns will be reading with one of our favorite salon participants—Maura Mulligan—in County Mayo—his grandparents’ old stomping grounds.

tonyTony DeMarco

Tony DeMarco hails from an Irish-Italian family in East Flatbush. He’s been performing and teaching the Irish fiddle for over 30 years, and is acknowledged as a master of the New York/Sligo fiddle style.  DeMarco also invited the audience to the second annual New York Trad Fest to be held on October 18th at Connolly’s Pub and October 19th at the Irish Arts Center this year.  In addition, the Trad Fest will include a panel discussion hosted by Dr. Mick Moloney at NYU’s Glucksman Ireland House at 12:30 pm on October 18th.

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Gerry Walsh

Gerry Walsh, acting on advice from Malachy McCourt, did not read but talked about his short-story collection, In The Company of Old Men, a reminiscence of laughter, fun, love, horror and aversion, tales from growing up and working around an assortment of colorful characters, sane, half-insane or one step from the Gates of Hell. Walsh spoke about growing up with death and honoring those who come before you by telling their stories.

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Marni Rice

Closing out the evening Marni Rice sang two original songs from her EP Songs for A Small Chamber, accompanying herself on accordion. Rice’s original performance works in French & English (text, music & storytelling) have been produced at Theatre festivals in the US, Canada, Europe, Japan and Central Africa. Currently, she’s working on Magdala: Stories from the Net and the Sea; a co-creation by the Xio Evans Marni Rice Experimental Dance Theatre.

See you at Bar Thalia on Wednesday, July 2nd at 7 pm!

June 26, 2014

THE IAW&A GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING, Monday, June 30, 6 PM

Filed under: Uncategorized — by johnleemedia @ 8:11 am

It’s almost here!

And we hope you can make it! Mingle with your fellow members and let your voice be heard – maybe even volunteer for a committee!

And help us to honor and bid farewell to Irish Deputy Consul General Peter Ryan, who is leaving to take up the newly created post of Consul General in Hong Kong.

The meeting is Monday, June 30th at 6:00pm at The Irish Consulate, 345 Park Avenue (at 51st Street), 17th floor.

And yes, there will be refreshments!

June 13, 2014

IAW&A Salon Celebrates Its Third Anniversary at the Thalia with Newcomers and Regulars

Filed under: Essay,Events,Literature,Uncategorized — by scripts2013 @ 12:03 am

by Mary Lannon
Photos by John Kearns

Great performances from IAW&A Salon regulars Tom Mahon, John Kearns, Tara O’Grady, and Marni Rice among others and a showcase of readings from three City College students taught by IAWA’s own Brendan Costello Jr., marked the entertaining IAW&A Salon at the Thalia on Wednesday night, June 4th.

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John Skocik

John Skocik, lead singer and songwriter from Girl to Gorilla, led off the night with a couple of original songs. John and the band will be playing gigs in New York City this summer.  Watch this space for more information.

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Tom Mahon

Our first writer of the night, Tom Mahon, read a “Doctor’s Story” from a collection of stories called Delusions.  In the piece two people’s dreams come true, yet the doctor is outraged to learn that society pays so much more to its entertainers than to its health care providers, especially its surgeons.  Other stories in the collection explore the questions of whether delusions are real if a person sees them turn out to be real and whether delusions that become real result from skill, luck or the will to bend reality to a vision.

Next up our gracious  and talented host, John Kearns, read two excerpts from his short story, “Making a Visit,” about a man named Terrance who, because of a song that reminded him of his mother, stops into a church on the evening that he plans to commit suicide.  During his visit, Terrance reflects on several memories of his mother and of Saint Patrick’s Days past.  After depositing all of the money he had in the poor box, Terrance leaves the church and runs into some street musicians performing one of his mother’s favorite songs.  When the musicians ask him for a contribution, Terrance agrees to bring the money the next day, and he walks away laughing.

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Mary Lannon

Mary Lannon read from the middle of a short story called “A Key to Catastrophe Management” about a college senior who becomes obsessed with the weather while trying to figure out art and love.  Lannon is also working on publishing a novel.  Learn more about it and like her Facebook page at MirandajMcleod.com

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Tara O’Grady

The multi-talented singer-songwriter Tara O’Grady, who recently signed with a literary agent in Hollywood, next read an excerpt from her memoir Migrating Towards Happiness. The humorous piece reveals a frustrating conversation Tara had with a priest on the day of her Donegal granny’s death, and a dream she later had when she found herself in the biblical Garden of Gethsemane. Tara’s full swing band will be performing at a FREE outdoor swing dance Wednesday, June 11 for the Brooklyn Public Library Summer Series, dance lesson 6:30pm and music 7:00-8:30pm. 10 Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn. www.taraogradymusic.com.

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Marni Rice

Marni Rice ended the first half of the evening by singing two songs acapella.  She led off with “On Raglan Road” (Luke Kelly/Patrick Kavanagh) and “The Month of January” (traditional song from Sarah Makem songbook).  Salon regulars may not have been surprised to learn that these songs marked a return to the talented Rice’s roots as she spent her early years hanging out at the library memorizing folk tunes.

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Jim Rodgers

Jim Rodgers returned to the IAW&A Salon and read a short story set in Sunnyside.

Most of the second half of the salon showcased  former students of Brendan Costello at City College.

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Conor McGlone

Poet and musician Conor McGlone read a selection of poems that were linguistically dense and brimming with a brooding intensity.

dude

Jordan Ortega

Bronx native Jordan Ortega read an engaging selection from a novel in progress, about a detective who awakens from a coma and discovers he no longer needs to sleep.  In addition to being an excellent writer, Jordan is also captain of the CCNY Basketball team (this may be a Salon first!).

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Megan O’Donnell

Megan O’Donnell is an actor, activist, and award-winning writer of poetry, fiction and non-fiction.  She read a selection of poems on numerous subjects, including violence against women (the focus of her activism) and an emulation of Emily Dickinson.

We look forward to hearing more from these talented young writers, particularly now that there’s a new student rate for the membership!]

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Brendan Costello

Brendan Costello Jr. followed with a selection from a novel in progress, about an executive who whiles away time in his office dreaming about the apocalypse.  He closed with an interpretation of the Kinks’ “Sunny Afternoon,” which he described as the musical equivalent of his character’s sentiment that “This is the day the Lord has made, let us prepare for a cleansing fire.”

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Jack DiMonte

The evening ended with Jack DiMonte singing two songs of summer.  He began with a sad song of regret over a missed romantic opportunity at a seaside that began life as a French song called “C’est Te Moi” by Alfred Vidalin and Gilbert Becaud.  American lyricist Norman Gimbel, who also wrote English lyrics to many Bossa Nova classics, wrote the English lyrics, and it became “It Was Me.”   The second song was a much happier take on summer love, “That Sunday That Summer” by Joe Sherman and George David Weiss, a hit for Nat King Cole in the early 1960s that was later revived by his daughter Natalie.

June 2, 2014

Sarah Fearon’s “Air Rights” on the boards June 19-22

Filed under: Uncategorized — by johnleemedia @ 2:05 am
Tags: , , , ,

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IAW&A Board member Sarah Fearon’s short play “AIR RIGHTS” will be in this Short Play Festival June 19,20,21, & 22. The festival theme is Only in New York.

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For more info, go to http://www.shortplaynyc.com/only-in-new-york-june-2014-festival-line-up-announcement/

Tickets can be purchased at: https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/pr/934968

 

May 30, 2014

Bergen County Irish Festival: Opportunity for IAW&A Members to Read

Filed under: Essay,Events,Literature,Uncategorized — by scripts2013 @ 9:19 pm

The inaugural Bergen County Irish Festival is on Saturday, June 28th, from 11 am -7 pm at Overpeck County Park in Leonia, NJ.

Member Sean Hickey invites members to read from their works and sell their books, if they have some.

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The event will also include readings from famous/noteworthy/beloved Irish literature. Something like a favorite poem or two from Yeats, Synge, Moore, et al, or a passage from a longer work would be most welcome. The goal is to make the festival a celebration of Irish/Irish-American culture and literature, past and present.

Due to the nature of the event, there are a few restrictions that are not imposed on IAW&A Salon readings:

1) No profanity. Works should be appropriate for a family event.

2) Works should be able to function as stand-alone pieces for the reading. While a lyrical chapter from a novel that works with little context needed from the rest of the story would be okay, a plot-heavy piece from chapter 28 would not really work, given the audience.

3) Works should pertain to Ireland, Irish or Irish-American life and culture, being/growing up Irish, etc., in some way.

To sign up to read, email Sean Hickey at typee@live.com.

April 29, 2014

On the Red Carpet!

Filed under: Uncategorized — by johnleemedia @ 10:51 pm

kathcalla danny
 On The Red Carpet, Kathy Callahan with Danny Aiello, April 24. Kathy’s short documentary film “Mystery Of Faith and Intention: Springsteen and I with Terry Magovern” was selected for showing at the Ridgewood Guild Film Festival, NJ, April 24. Ms. Callahan, LCSW has been a major supporter of IAW&A, and her film was first shown at IAW&A Salon.
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April 24, 2014

IAW&A’s First Transatlantic Salon: Prose, Poetry, & Song Across the Broad Atlantic, 4/15

Filed under: Irish Politics,Literature,Music,Uncategorized — by scripts2013 @ 9:54 pm

“…A pioneering event…” Dublin poets share the “stage” with IAW&A members at the first Transatlantic Salon on April 15.

By Karen Daly
Photos by Cat Dwyer

Our enterprising IAW&A Salon producer, John Kearns, has not only taken the IAW&A salon on the road to Washington, DC, Fairfield, Connecticut and Philadelphia, he’s gone international!

On Tuesday, April 15, the first Transatlantic Salon featured IAW&A members at the Cell in New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood sharing the “stage” with Dublin writers live-streaming from the Twisted Pepper Café on historic Middle Abbey Street.

John shared organizing and hosting duties with Sarah Lundberg, a publisher, writer and founding member of Seven Towers Agency.  An organization that celebrates and promotes Irish and Irish-American writing, Seven Towers has goals similar to IAW&A’s Mission. They are an independent, non-profit publisher and organizer of monthly readings, open mics, podcasts, and local (Dublin) history events. Find them at seventowers.ie

Last year IAW&A held a celebration of Seven Towers’ seventh anniversary at our salon at the Cell, and this year, they joined us in person (well, on screen).

poet1Dublin writers joined us via Google Hangouts

The Dublin group, poets all, included Eamonn Lynskey whose work has been widely published since it first appeared in the 1980s in The Irish Press. His most recent collection And Suddenly the Sun Again is published by Seven Towers and available on Amazon. Visit Eamonn’s blog at http://tvivf.wordpress.com.

Glasgow-born Liz McSkeane has written numerous poems, short stories and radio scripts, which have been published in newspapers, magazines and literary journals including The Irish Times, Poetry Ireland Review and broadcast on RTE Radio. Liz’s poems have been anthologized in The White Page and Slow Time: 100 Poems to Take You There. Snow at the Opera House is her full collection.

Well known in Dublin as a poet and accomplished visual artist, Alma Brayden is a member of the Dalkey Writers’ Workshop.  Seven Towers published Alma’s first poetry collection, Prism.

Another widely published and praised Dublin poet, Kate O’Shea was shortlisted for the prestigious Patrick Kavanaugh Poetry Award.

A member of the Dalkey Writers’ Workshop, Phil Lynch started writing poetry while still at school and has been involved with poetry readings in Ireland and Belgium. His work has appeared in magazines and newspapers and has been featured on on national and local radio. Phil is a regular participant in spoken word and open mic events in Dublin. Phil will be joining us in person at the next IAW&A Salon at Bar Thalia on May 6th at 6 pm.

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Impressive afternoon crowd at NYC’s Cell Theatre

The New York group presented poetry, fiction, and song.

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Tom Phelan

Irish born, New York based Tom Phelan read a poignant excerpt from his World War I novel The Canal Bridge, in which a young Irish woman learns that her fiancé “has come back to Ballyrannel after walking home from the War.” Published in the U.S. this month by Arcade, and called by Books Ireland a “powerful and deeply affecting novel”The Canal Bridge tells the story of two Irish stretcher-bearers–and the lovers and families they leave behind.”

Nearly a quarter of a million young Irish men served in the British army and fought in the trenches. When Tom Phelan was growing up in County Laois, he knew many veterans of the Great War–five hundred men in his small town of Mountmellick had been in the war and at least fifty had died. Yet due to the political landscape of the time, their sacrifice went unrecognized. With The Canal Bridge, Tom hopes to help give them their honored place in Irish history. More at www.tomphelan.net.

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Mark William Butler

Mark William Butler shared his unusual views on beer, volleyball and sex on the beach in his satirical short story, Cool and Clean and Crisp (aka Heaven Is A Beer Commercial), which originally appeared in Paramour Magazine and was later included in the Best American Erotica book series, edited by Susie Bright (Touchstone/Simon & Shuster). Mark’s piece was mentioned in a review by Publishers Weekly and later cited by Ms. Bright in her book, How to Write a Dirty Story. Mark is currently available to write more dirty stories on a work-for-hire basis – hourly rates – mention this blog and receive a 50% discount!

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Drucilla Wall

Drucilla Wall, poet, professor and award winning writer, shared some of her poems. Drucilla is truly transatlantic, living in the Midwest, and spending summers in Wexford and Galway. Visit drucillawall.com.

jk

 John Kearns

John Kearns read a short excerpt from Worlds, a multi-generational Irish-American novel.  Seamus Logan tells a story as he crosses the Atlantic from Ireland to America. Seamus describes how he rowed across Killary Bay from Mayo to Galway, from home to exile, from restraint to freedom, from night to day …

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Tom Mahon

Tom Mahon read from American Mastery, his novel about a family in upstate New York. In this dramatic excerpt, the sons prepare to leave for Germany on business. Their father, who was wounded fighting the Germans in North Africa during WWII and resents the Germans, bullies his sons into not going. During the fight that ensues, the father, recovering from heart surgery, falls to floor clutching his chest. His sons and wife rush him to a hospital where he dies.

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Gary Cahill

Crime fiction writer Gary Cahill (Mystery Writers of America–New York, International Thriller Writers) read from two short stories based on his life experience. The as-yet unpublished Rollover IRA is about a very hard man raising money for his cause on the streets of New York. In Ninety Miles, A Million Miles, childhood friendship is challenged by hatred and revenge during the Cuban Missile Crisis. This story is published online and in an e-book anthology by Plan B Magazine. Gary and his friend, engineer Tom Richter, are also currently creating and reading audio for the Plan B podcasts. www.plan-b-magazine.com/

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Ryan Winter Cahill

As a parting gift to our friends in Dublin, Ryan Winter Cahill sang two songs. She chose “The Foggy Dew” by Canon Charles O’Neill in light of the anniversary of the Easter Rising. Demonstrating her range and talent, Ryan ended with the more lighthearted and lilting “Will I Ever Tell You?” from that all-American musical comedy, The Music Man. The Dubliners were as enchanted as we were with Ryan’s performance.

Sorry to report that we don’t have the expected video from the Salon, but you can be sure that nothing could spoil our transatlantic good will and mutual appreciation. We look forward to our next time,  and thank John and Sarah and all the participants for a wonderful afternoon/evening.  Congratulations!

By the way, should you be in Dublin, Sarah encourages you to visit the Twisted Pepper Café, which is hospitable to artists and writers.

Should you be in New York, join us at the Salon at Bar Thalia, on Tuesday, May 6, at 6pm. See you there!

April 21, 2014

IAWA Member Kathy Callahan’s Short Film in Ridgewood Guild Film Festival

Filed under: Film,Uncategorized — by scripts2013 @ 2:31 pm

On Thursday evening, April 24, 2014, Kathy Callahan’s short film will be shown as part of The Ridgewood Guild Film Festival.

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Come out and support Kathy and enjoy her film! 

March 13, 2014

IAW&A VP Larry Kirwan and Black ’47 on Jimmy Fallon on Saint Patrick’s Day!

Filed under: Uncategorized — by scripts2013 @ 9:54 pm

Leader of Black ’47 and IAW&A Vice President Larry Kirwan amd the band will be on Jimmy Fallon on Saint Patrick’s Night!

If you are near a TV (you’ll probably be resting up for the IAW&A Salon at the Cell on March 18th), tune into NBC (Channel 4 in NYC) for the show!

Black ’47  will also perform the same night at BB King’s on 42nd Street where the show will be broadcast live by SiriusXM.

Black+47

Black ’47 will do its final show in New York exactly 25 years after its first gig in the Bronx in November 1989.

March 10, 2014

Stephen Rea Reads from Joyce’s “Ulysses” at Fairfield University on March 19th

Filed under: Uncategorized — by scripts2013 @ 9:35 pm

On Wednesday, March 19th at 7:30 pm, Oscar-nominee Stephen Rea will read from Joyce’s Ulysses at the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts at Fairfield University.

REA

Tickets: $15 at www.quickcenter.com or 203-254-4010.

 

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