Irish American Writers & Artists

September 22, 2015

Jubilant 100th IAW&A Salon 9/15: Celebrating Our First Four Years

Filed under: dance,Essay,Film,Literature,Music,Theater,Uncategorized,Visual Arts — by scripts2013 @ 8:56 pm

”…a fine green thread binds us together…” Colin Broderick

By John Kearns and Karen Daly
Photos by Cat Dwyer

We had much to celebrate at the Cell Theatre on September 15. Our 100th Manhattan Salon featured readings and performances of works developed over the Salon’s first four years and a retrospective of IAW&A Salon photographs by Cathleen Dwyer.


Audience enjoying Cat Dwyer’s photos

annaDeputy Irish Consul General, Anna McGillicuddy

The Consulate General of Ireland/New York, represented by Anna McGillicuddy, Deputy Head of Mission, congratulated IAW&A on the occasion. Origin Theatre Company’s Artistic Director George C. Heslin welcomed the IAW&A Salon to its prestigious 1st Irish Theatre Festival this year.

georgeGeorge C. Heslin

And Salon founder Malachy McCourt returned after a brief absence this summer. Malachy’s presence and performance meant a lot to everyone in the SRO house, as he truly is our guiding spirit.


Malachy McCourt


John Kearns

IAW&A Treasurer John Kearns produced and hosted the 100th Salon as a curated program of fiction, memoir, poetry, music, dance, visual and performance arts. Cathleen Dwyer, special events, portrait and urban landscape photographer, has taken photographs at the Salon since the early days. Tonight we enjoyed a slideshow of over 100 striking pictures from the first four years. Cat also photographs concerts and does headshots for performers. She is always available for hire and offers discounts to IAW&A members. To purchase prints and see more of her work, go to

sarahSarah Fearon

Sarah Fearon has shared her comedy routines with us since the beginning of the IAW&A Salon. Her play, “Ted Talks NYC” was developed from her comedy and won first prize at the Short Play Festival at the Players Theatre this summer. From tonight’s sample we can see why: Sarah was fiery, funny and profound.

tomTom Mahon

Frequent Salon reader Tom Mahon has presented fiction, poetry, film and even a children’s book. He credits the Salon with helping him complete his novel. “Unforgivable,” a tragic story with a shocking ending, is a vignette from his collection Tomorrow Never Came. Tom told it with his usual dramatic force.

mpkMary Pat Kelly

Mary Pat Kelly is author of the best-selling novel Galway Bay, and award winning documentary filmmaker. She charmingly described her Chicago Irish roots and her research for her latest novel, Of Irish Blood, excerpts of which she had debuted at salons.

colinColin Broderick

Author and filmmaker Colin Broderick delivered a knockout piece about his development as a writer. He has written two memoirs, Orangutan about his first twenty years in New York City and That’s That about his early life in Northern Ireland. He is now editing the collection The Writing Irish of New York.

honorHonor Molloy

Speaking of knockout pieces, Honor Molloy described her childhood journey from Dublin to America and finding encouragement for her work in NY’s Irish American community. Author of Smarty Girl: Dublin Savage, playwright, instructor, Honor has been a regular contributor since the start of the IAW&A Salon.

cathyCathy Maguire

Cathy Maguire originally from Dundalk, Co. Louth, showcased her talents as a singer/ songwriter. Her beautiful country song “Portrait” looks at an old wedding picture and wonders how the couple’s life turned out. In addition to her country album made in Nashville, her Ireland in Song explores the top ten most famous Irish ballads. Guitar virtuoso, Irish born Damien Kelly accompanied Cathy and we hope to hear more of his work. Find him at


Damien Kelly and Cathy Maguire 


Backstage at the Cell….


Karen Daly, with Malachy on the laptop screen

aud    Full house enjoying Salon 1oo


Mary Lou Quinlan

At a fall 2011 Salon, Mary Lou Quinlan read her earliest work on The God Box, a loving tribute to her late mother. She turned that book into a New York Times bestseller, website and mobile app. And with theater veteran, Martha Wollner, a one woman play “The God Box, A Daughter’s Story” Performances around the US, Ireland and at the Edinburgh Fringe 2014 have raised over $300,000 for charities. Brava, Mary Lou!

meg  Megan O’Donnell

Poet Megan O’Donnell describes her poems as “…attempts to deal with the complexities of gender, race, violence, and survival through the lens of poetry.” They were “Letter to a Young Man,” “ Survival Guide,” “Window Shopping,” “Make Waves,” and a haiku “When. ” The multitalented Megan is award-winning writer of poetry, fiction and non-fiction and lyricist for the jam band, Sofus.


Maura Mulligan and Patty Furlong

In another example of work debuted at a Salon, Maura Mulligan performed sean nos stepdancing for the first time at a Bar Thalia earlier this year. Just a few months later, in August, she won third-place medal in the All-Ireland sean nos competition in the Fleadh Cheoil in Sligo. Trad musician Patty Furlong accompanied Maura on the button-accordion. Patty is a winner of All-Ireland titles and founding member of the world famous Cherish the Ladies traditional music group.


Mary Lannon

More congratulations to Mary Lannon.  Her story, “Frank N. Stein,” first presented at a Salon became her first publication in The story tells of a young woman’s quest to leave an imagined monster behind her, for those imaginary monsters can the hardest to shake!


Maxine Linehan

“Fiercely talented “ (NY Times) Maxine Linehan introduced her song “I Think of You” by Andrew Koss and Bob Stillman at a Salon. The song, about the trials and tribulations of life in NYC is now a standard part of her repertoire. Accompanied on piano by her husband Andrew Koss, Maxine also performed a tender rendition of U2’s “Sometimes You Can’t Make It on Your Own.”   You can catch her solo show on October 17 at


Composer and accompanist, Andrew Koss


Larry Kirwan

Larry Kirwan, IAW&A President, premiered a beautiful new song, “Floating My Way Back to You”, written about his great grandfather, a Wexford sea captain, whose ship went down off Cornwall in 1898.

malMalachy McCourt

And it was only fitting that the great Malachy McCourt, author and raconteur brought the 100th Salon celebration to a close with story and song. Recently sidelined with a leg injury, Malachy, as Tom Mahon notes, was “…in rare form last night after escaping his current confinement.”

Numerous other artists credit the IAW&A Salon with encouraging and offering a supportive environment to present their work and fostering a sense of community. Some of them include John Brennan, John Cappelletti, Kathleen Donohoe, Kathleen Frazier, John Kearns, Maura Knowles, Margaret McCarthy, and Vivian O’Shaughnessy.

On the occasion of 100th IAW&A Salon, may we take this space to thank all IAW&A members and Salon goers and volunteers for their participation, encouragement and support. Special thanks to the hardworking staff at The Cell Theatre. More about IAW&A Salons at

Please note the next Salon is WEDNESDAY, 10/7 at 7pm at Bar Thalia.

And get your tickets now for our big annual bash. For fast and easy ticket purchases:

2015 Eugene O’Neill Award Honoring Patricia Harty of Irish America Magazine

Monday, October 19, 2015 at 6:00 PM

The Manhattan Club, Upstairs at Rosie O’Grady’s, New York, NY

9/2 Salon at Bar Thalia: Traditional Songs to an Original Tune Finished in the Hallway

Filed under: Uncategorized — by scripts2013 @ 8:07 pm

by John Kearns
Photos by Kevin McPartland

From traditional songs to an original tune finished in the hallway of Bar Thalia, the IAW&A Salon on September 2nd was one to remember!

Donie Carroll

Donie Carroll started off the first IAW&A Salon of September with “Moonlight in Mayo.” He followed it with a song from his CD, Divil of a Noise, “Off to Philadelphia.”


Ray Lindie

Ray Lindie read a few pages from his screenplay, Mad Dogs Of August about the bar room scene which takes place in Niki’s Restaurant & Bar where Tinker Tobin is revealed to be an MI-5 Agent.

Kathleen Frazier

Kathleen Frazier read from her newly released memoir, SLEEPWALKER: The Mysterious Makings and Recovery of a Somnambulist. For reviews, advance praise and an excerpt from the memoir visit


Kira Citron

Kira Citron read a personal essay about one particularly awkward dinner in Newport Beach, CA. This yet-untitled piece is part of a collection of similar short works.


Michael Fizpatrick

First-time reader, Michael Fitzpatrick read a story about an old friend with whom he had lost touch.  Years later, it turned out that the friend had become a drug addict and passed away.

John Kearns

John Kearns read excerpt from novel in progress, Worlds, an excerpt in which Rev. Sarsfield Logan, S.J. is unprepared for his homily. He tries to improvise and ends up going off on irrelevant tangents. As he descends from the pulipt, he realizes the opportunity he has lost and feels deeply ashamed.


Kathleen O’Sullivan

Kathleen O’Sullivan read two of her poems, “My Mother, My Self” about an Irish daughter
imbibing her mother’s deep desire to reconnect with her Irish family and village after a 40 year separation and  “Desperate” about a woman’s desperate choice to plunge to her death on 911 and the transformation that she experiences during her descent as her Higher Self expands into all knowingness.


Brendan Costello

Frequent presenter and IAW&A Board member Brendan Costello Jr. read an account of his hospital stay last fall.  The story revolved around a visit from the hospital’s in-house acoustic musician during what Brendan described as a bout of “Tylenol withdrawal,” and revealed the limits of music’s healing powers, particularly when it comes to the songs of Leonard Cohen.


Megan O’Donnell

Megan O’Donnell, lyricist for the jam band, “Sofus” shared some of her poetry with us.


Jon Gordon

Jon Gordon talked about some of the things that have happened for the book, “For Sue”, including recently being selected as a finalist in the memoir category by the National Indie Excellence Award. He also mentioned some conferences at which he presented the book this year, and one he is going back to in Honolulu in January where he’ll speak about his next book, Jazz Lives.


Guenevere Donohue

Guenevere Donohue sang us out with a brand new original composition, a witty hard-driving song she calls, “Am I “Mc” Enough For Ya” or “The Narrowbacks Lament.” It was wicked fun the whole crowd could relate to, delivered in that soulful voice we have grown to love over the last three years. An exciting and inspiring way to conclude the salon!

Guenevere Donohue is the host of our next IAW&A Salon on 10/7 at Bar Thalia at 7 pm!

And don’t forget our Eugene O’Neill Lifetime Achievement Award for Patricia Harty on October 19th!


August 21, 2015

IAW&A Salon 8/18: Talents on Display in Several Genres!

Filed under: Uncategorized — by scripts2013 @ 10:53 pm

by John Kearns
Photos by Cat Dwyer

It was a hot, muggy night on Manhattan’s 23rd Street for the latest IAW&A Salon at the Cell but an enthusiastic crowd joined us anyway for an evening of prose, acting, poetry, music, and video.


Kevin McPartland

Salon regular, novelist and short story writer Kevin R. McPartland read a short chapter from a novel in progress entitled, Brooklyn Rhapsody.  A story of old Brooklyn meets new with a rich description of a Saturday night out involving his two main characters in a raucous Park Slope American Legion Post called the Rawley.


Rosina Fernhof

Rosina Fernhof performed the first ten minutes of Av Inlender’s solo play, Shadows, which gives voice to Russian choreographer, Nadia Arkadina’s saga of war and years of hiding, political purges, and tyranny, of her grandmother’s cryptic messages, and the suppression of her faith as an individual and a creative spirit.


Ray Lindie

Ray Lindie read from his screenplay, Mad Dogs Of August, introducing 7 new characters two of which are principals. These pages show how the criminal element just does whatever it wants and damn the consequences.  More to come from Ray’s screenplay.


Bernadette Cullen

Poet and adjunct professor at the College of New Rochelle, Bernadette Cullen, showed her versatility with a short story. She read Listen, just Listen, a short story, with a touch of the surreal.


Tony Pena

Reading at the Cell amongst so many talented people is always a humbling yet invigorating experience for Tony Pena who sends a sincere thank you and appreciation for those who gave him kind words of support. Tony read two gritty poems . “Eddie Ozone” was a piece about a a hot summer weekend in the fast lives of a group of young men in Alphabet City and their sad epilogue . “Twinges and Twangs” was a piece about the trials and tribulations of a mechanic’s daughter in a life akin to a sad country song.


Alan Murray

Glasgow-born traditional guitarist, Alan Murray impressed the crowd with two songs, one a happy-ending variation on the story of the wandering stranger and the guileless young lass.


Mike Farragher

Mike Farragher debuted his new book, A Devilish Pint, at the IAW&A Salon.  In the book, the narrator has many discussions over his favorite beverage with the devil, who apparently does cite scripture for his purpose.


Lauren Miller

Neither Irish nor American, London-based novelist, Lauren Miller, shared some of her prose with us before dashing off to LaGuardia to pick up her brother.


Margaret McCarthy

Since August is the month of Leo the Lion, Margaret McCarthy read her poem “Advice from The Lion At Noon” from her poetry collection Notebooks from Mystery School,  now out from Finishing Line Press.  A finalist for the New Women’s Voices Award, the collection is available at;  For a signed copy, contact Margaret or order from


Tom Mahon

Tom Mahon read the second chapter of his children’s book Little Bigfoot he wrote with his son 25 years ago.  Jamie, whose point of view the story is told, first finds a strange animal, then the villain show up wanting to shoot it.  The hero’s first call to action begins in a startling way.  Visit


John Kearns

Having gotten a strong response to the first part  at the last IAW&A Salon, John Kearns read the second part of an episode from his novel in progress, Worlds, in which the relationship among the three characters driving through Manhattan’s courthouse district is transformed into a courtroom drama. With Laura as the judge and the Englishman, Gavin, as the prosecutor, Paul Logan, acting as his on defense attorney, presents his opening statement. Accused of being more interested in Guinness than in love when he comes to the bar where Laura works, Paul reminds the court that it is Laura who always insists on staying at the bar after her shift is over.  Nearly losing his white wig, Gavin objects several times, only to be overruled.


John McDonagh

Accompanied by video, John McDonagh performed the latest segment from his one-man show, Cabtivist, about his adventures as a cab driver and activist, leaving the audience laughing and amazed.

Our next IA&A is on Wednesday September 2nd at the Thalia.

Our 100th Salon Celebration will be on September 15th at the Cell!

Don’t forget the O’Neill Award for Patricia Harty, editor of Irish America magazine on October 19th!

See you soon!

August 12, 2015

IAW&A Salon on 8/5: Lots of laughter, music, poetry and prose!

Filed under: Uncategorized — by scripts2013 @ 11:21 pm

by Mary Lannon
Photos by John Kearns 

Lots of laughter could be heard at the salon at Bar Thalia last Wednesday night, August 5th, with three hilarious comedians in the house. They were joined by talented singers and strong writers to make for another enjoyable evening.


Joe Rooney

All the way from Ireland, comedian and Father Ted star, Joe Rooney, entertained the crowd.  In his stand-up routine, he talked about how pointless it is for Irish people to taste the wine at a restaurant, how the Irish never complain at a restaurant but whisper their true feelings to one another, and how the nation has turned its back on the potato.  If there were a potato blight in Ireland today, no one would care.  A basil blight, however, might cause mass emigration.

Rooney was not the only presenter to have the crowd laughing: John McDonagh and Sarah Fearon each took a comedic turn.


John McDonagh

McDonagh told the story of how when Bernie Madoff was down and out and being sentenced to 150 years as a first time non-violent offender Randy Credico and himself stood by him in his time of need


Sarah Fearon

Fearon did a set of stand up in order to brush up for a new event at the Rockaway Artists Alliance. WORD WAVES is a evening of poetry writers, music and comedy. Check out the link and hopefully it will become a regular series for Irish American Writers and Artists to participate in!


Maureen Hossbacher

The Rockaways also came up in Maureen Hossbacher’s reading from a novel-in-progress. She evoked the ambiance of Rockaway Beach in the 1930’s, from the perspective of an Irish immigrant of that era — a place where “the sand is pure white . . . and if you close your eyes and listen to the talk going on around you, the Irish accents, you’d think you were on a strand at home.”

Three singers entertained the crowd.


Guen Donohue

Guen Donohue noted that as we age sometimes the songs we rebelled against as teenagers become dear to us. She sang a lovely version of “Oh, Danny Boy.”


Jack DiMonte

Jack DiMonte sang “When The World Was Young” a French pop song from the early ’50s that was originally called “Le Chevalier de Paris” by M. Philippe-Gérard.  Johnny Mercer took one phrase from the original – “Ah the apple trees” and wrote a completely different English lyric to it, but it remains a wistful ode to youth and summers past.


John Skocik

John Skocik debuted three darkly humorous songs for the enthusiastic IAW&A Salon crowd: two about bar customers he serves, “The Wolverine” and “Long Live Bob,” and one about being in a band, “The Snake Ate the Bass Player.”

Several writers who we haven’t heard from in a while also gave readings.


Marcia Loughran

Marcia Loughran was excited to read and shared three new poems, including an ode to her Irish mother-in-law.


Mary Lannon

Mary Lannon read an excerpt from her novella, “The Key to Catastrophe Management” about a weather-obsessed main character who discovers her artistic self.


Christy Jones

Christy Jones presented another installment of his book about his adventures as a New York City taxi driver.

Two stalwarts of the salon also dazzled the crowd.


Tom Mahon

Tom Mahon read a vignette “Silent Beauty” from his collection: Tomorrow Never Came. In it, a young woman goes to Bogota, Columbia to study Pre Columbian Art and is abducted by a drug king.  She gives birth to a boy and the drug king is captured. She leaves to live in New York, but when her son dies at seven from a brain tumor, the story recounts the continuing effects on her.


John Kearns

Our amiable and talented host, John Kearns, read a short excerpt from his novel in progress, Worlds, in which the relationship among the three characters driving through Manhattan’s courthouse district is transformed into a courtroom drama. Laura becomes the judge, the Englishman, Gavin, the prosecutor, and Paul Logan, the defendant acting as his on attorney. Paul is accused of pretending to come to the bar where Laura works in pursuit of love when he is actually more interested in pints of stout and free shots whose ingredients he does not know.


Mike Malone

Mike Malone, first-time presenter and host of WVOX’s radio show, Books and Beer, presented some selections from his novel in progress.  We hope Mike comes back to read for us again!

At the end of the evening, even the bartender gave us a rave review.

“You guys are awesome,” said he.

See you at the Cell on 8/18 at 7 pm!

July 27, 2015

7/21 IAW&A Salon at the Cell: A Summer Night of Drama, Video, Readings, and Music!

Filed under: Uncategorized — by scripts2013 @ 3:26 pm

Originally posted on scriptssite:

by Bernadette Cullen
Photos by Cat Dwyer

A large and supportive crowd turned out for the July 21st IAW&A Salon at the Cell that featured presentations in several media: prose, drama, poetry, video, dance, and music!

A great and supportive summer audience


Sean Carlson

The evening began with Sean Carlson, an IAW&A board member and writer.  At prrevious Salons, Sean Carlson has shared early glimpses from his first book, a yet-untitled narrative of emigration through a family story from Ireland to London and the Bronx. Tonight, he showed another side of his writing with an essay about the East Village from a series he’s writing about New York.


Ray Lindie

Ray Lindie ‘played’ several characters as he read from his screenplay, Mad Dogs of August.  In the first ten pages, through brilliant role playing, Lindie introduced his audience to eight characters (four of whom are principal characters). The story…

View original 1,150 more words

July 15, 2015

IAWA Salon July 7, 2015: “Wild Mountain Wishes for Malachy McCourt”

Filed under: Uncategorized — by scripts2013 @ 11:31 pm

 by Jeanne D’Brant
Photos by Kevin McPartland


Get Well Card for Malachy

The IAWA July Salon at Bar Thalia was favored with a solid turnout who sent their support in song to founder, Malachy McCourt. Donie Carroll led the group in singing “Wild Mountain Thyme,” a song of the Scottish Highlands readapted by an Ulsterman. Salon Producer John Kearns forwarded the video to Himself.

The night featured the return of some familiar faces along with a few first-time presenters and an innovative mother/son poetry performance.      


Sarah Fearon

Sarah Fearon read a short piece called “Hurry Up and Relax.” While approaching the July 4th Holiday Weekend, a conscious effort is made to go against the city’s grain of “hurry up and relax.” Starting off at the zoo’s Delacourt clock, she gives us a walking meditation through the weekend’s events. Taking in a massage at an insanely deluxe spa, compliments of a gift certificate; watching fireworks on a Brooklyn rooftop, making the trek to a Rockaway bungalow, and feeling nostalgia for the old days when life was slower and more relaxing.


Tom Mahon

Tom Mahon read a story called “LUCK” from his collection: Tomorrow Never Came.  A new Lieutenant arrives in country and is immediately sent to replace a platoon leader in a firefight. The instant he gets off the helicopter, he’s shot. He’s evacuated, and we learn the man he was supposed to replace was killed along with his radio operator and two others by a direct hit from a mortar.


Jonathan Goldman

Jonathan Goldman read a poem, “Aunt Rose,” from his in-progress suite of poems about his dead relatives, imaginatively entitled, Dead Relatives. The poem alludes to the unknowability of previous generations, and is kind of about how the author used to be a shit.


John Kearns

John Kearns read a brand-new excerpt from his novel in progress, Worlds, in which Paul Logan reminisces about a gluttonous day spent in the French Quarter of New Orleans during a Catholic school teachers’ convention. Paul recalls eating beignets and muffulettas and drinking beers in the Old Absinthe House and from a lovely young street vendor while listening to live music coming from the bars of Bourbon Street. Paul will meet his girlfriend and other fellow teachers for a dinner that evening, in an excerpt John will read at the next salon.


John McDonough

In a piece from his one man play Cabtivist, John McDonagh commented that the upper east side never changes: no one dies, and the only places they go are to Bloomingdales, and psychiatrists’ and doctors’ appointments. His pithy stories of interactions between cops and cabbies show how quickly things can get out of control in the city, and how society and cab drivers deal with the homeless. To paraphrase William Butler Yeats, driving a Yellow cab in NYC too long “makes a stone of the heart.”


Bernadette Cullen

Bernadette Cullen lead off the second half of the evening with a reading of two pieces from a series of long poems in development which explore the themes of loss and remembrance. She will continue to write poetry, but is also interested in exploring short fiction pieces.


Jack DiMonte

Frequent presenter and ever suave crooner, Jack DiMonte sang “On Second Thought,” a poetic ode to the regrets one can experience after a romantic break-up. It was written by Cy Coleman and Carolyn Leigh, who penned many well-known hit songs, including, “Witchcraft.”


Maureen Daniels


Maureen’s son, Asher

This mother and son poetry team of Maureen Daniels and her son, Asher, was a first-ever for the Salon.


Donie Carroll

Donie Carroll sang three songs, including, “Are Ye Right There, Michael?” by Percy French, describing comical adventures on the West Clare Railway.  The song appears on Donie’s album, Divil of a Noise.  The Corkman also sang the Wexford song, “The Bantry Girl’s Lament for Johnny.”

Donie finished the evening’s presentations accompanying himself on guitar whilst singing “Wild Mountain Thyme” in an accent redolent of the Auld Sod (County Cork, to be specific). The crowd joined in to wish Malachy well and expects to see him dancing at a ceili before Yule (with the Rockettes)!  Watch the video!

See you on 7/21 at the Cell!

June 23, 2015

6.16.15 IAW&A Bloomsday Salon: film, poems, stories, song make an “invigorating” and “raucous” night

Filed under: Uncategorized — by scripts2013 @ 10:16 pm

By Karen Daly
Photos by Cat Dwyer


The IAW&A Salon at the Cell occurred on that revered date on the Irish cultural calendar: Bloomsday. Despite many competing events around town, we had a great crowd enjoying a night that was variously described as “raucous,” “invigorating and inspiring.” The line-up featured our first mini film festival, arranged by Conor McCourt and Laure Sullivan, as well as poetry, fiction, stories, song and of course, the famous Molly Bloom. In honor of the wanderings of Ulysses and Leopold Bloom, several odysseys were presented throughout the evening.


irish tapes

Conor McCourt and Laure Sullivan introduced the first brief film segment. The Irish Tapes, produced by John Reilly and Stefan Moore in association with Global Village. Reilly and Moore shot over one hundred hours of footage on videotape in Northern Ireland in 1971-1973. Our sample showed a man on short release from Long Kesh prison to get married.


Poet Tony Pena started off the readings with three poems: “A dance before New York,” and his Irish tribute “Upon kissing a Celtic princess” and “The island of untitled poems” which implores poets to name their works. Tony found his first Salon “invigorating and inspiring” and felt that even “rain could not dampen the great vibes brought on by the welcoming spirit…” We hope to welcome Tony again. See more of Tony’s performance poetry and caterwauling punk tunes at

The three other segments were interspersed during the night. They included Guard Vincent: Fatima Mansions Beat. In 1999 filmmakers Conor McCourt and Laure Sullivan followed police officer Vincent on his beat in one of the toughest housing projects in Dublin. The result was a vérité look at the people, the place and the long-term effects of drug and alcohol abuse, crime, and systemic dysfunction. Filmmakers are trying to do a follow-up and return to the place and re-visit the people Vincent encountered on his beat. For more information, contact Comor at

Camino by Sea, in which a Writer, a Musician, an Artist and a Stonemason follow an ancient Camino route from Ireland to Spain in a daring voyage; rowing a traditional hand-made boat across the open sea. Filmmaker Dónal Ó Céilleachair documents two voyages of this intrepid group and their relationship to the sea. Visit


Tom McGrath

Lazarus Running: A tale of redemption and salvation in the story of Guinness Book of World Records marathon runner Tom McGrath. Tom was at the Salon to share a heartfelt description of his life as an athlete and New York City bar owner who faced his struggle with alcohol.

We thank Laure and Conor for their work in selecting these films and helping create another unique Salon.


Karen Daly

IAW&A Board member and frequent editor of this blog, Karen Daly read a piece of memoir called “Listen.” Inspired by – or maybe incited by — the wonderful musical talent in IAW&A, Karen regrets that she was not gifted with the singing gene. Having been anointed “a listener” in school may have fueled her lifetime, unabashed love of music and dancing.


John McDonagh

John McDonagh told the hilarious story “How the Irish peace process cost me one million dollars.” John and a friend spent seven long days in Los Angeles auditioning for The Amazing Race, which he calls “one of a long list of reality TV shows that I was rejected from. Spoiler: Honey Boo Boo and the Duck Dynasty boys pass the sniff test, but not a yellow cab driver from New York.” John’s on Twitter and Facebook at cabtivist.


Jack DiMonte

Another New York story came from Jack DiMonte. Jack, a singer, told a charming story about an incident that happened to him many years ago.  A young man showed up at his door at 3 AM with an improbable story about an acquaintance of Jack’s, a neighbor who had been in a car accident in the Bronx and needed $22 to get home in a taxi.  Despite the near-certainty that this was a scam, the con man got the $22 from Jack and went on his way. In true NY fashion, the woman’s husband heard about the scam and kindly reimbursed Jack for the cash.  His name was Graydon Carter, now the long-time editor of Vanity Fair.

ship“Moving through the air high spars of a threemaster, her sails brailed up on the crosstrees, homing, upstream, silently moving, a silent ship.” –Ulysses

Salon producer and night’s host John Kearns read an excerpt about Sarsfield Logan, S.J. from his generational novel in progress, Worlds.  One night in 1910 New York, Father Logan is unable to sleep because his superiors have rejected his proposal to help nearby Italian immigrants.  He writes in his journal to calm himself down.  Throughout his journal entry, his anger and pride struggle against his vow of obedience and his need for humility until he finally abandons any notions of revenge and begins to pray the rosary.


Margaret McCarthy

In honor of the Summer Solstice, Margaret McCarthy read her poem, “The Tangible Illumination of Summer” from her poetry collection Notebooks from Mystery School, just published by Finishing Line Press.   She began:

One morning I sank into summer and summer sank into me;

The collection, a finalist for the New Women’s Voices Award, is available  For a signed copy, contact Margaret or go to at


Tom Mahon

Tom Mahon read a chilling story called “Revenge” from his collection of vignettes called Tomorrow Never Came. Mathew Bender’s only daughter was killed by a man and for the rest of his life Matthew Bender went to the prison where her murderer was kept to look into the eyes his daughter last saw in life. For 57 years neither man ever exchanged a word, until Mathew lifted his phone and said,  “I’m not coming anymore.” The prisoner left and Mr. Bender sat staring into space. When a guard came to his assistance, Mathew Bender was dead. Visit


Nicola Murphy

Every Bloomsday celebration needs a Molly Bloom and we were privileged to have Nicola Murphy perform a ravishing soliloquy. An accomplished actor, seen this year in the Irish Rep’s Da, Nicola’s profile may be found at

guen and brendan

Guenevere Donohue and Brendan Costello

An “Ulysses-ian” evening concluded with our own guitarists Brendan Costello and John Kearns accompanying soulful singer, Guenevere Donohue on three Joyce-inspired selections: Tom Waits’ mournful neo-trad “The Briar and the Rose,” a rockin’ Doors sea-song, “Land Ho!” and an IAW&A sing along about Dublin’s sweet “Molly Malone.”

guen and baldies

Guen and the Bespectacled Baldies present “Molly Malone”

‘til next time. Tuesday, July 7 at Bar Thalia at 6 pm!  Keep en eye out for news on our 100th IAW&A Salon celebration!

June 7, 2015

6.2.15 IAW&A Salon: A Touch of the Poet in a Varied, Thrilling 4th Anniversary

Filed under: Literature,Music,Social Activism — by scripts2013 @ 11:10 pm

By Karen Daly
Photos by John Brennan

In a month that celebrates Yeats and Joyce, we had more than a touch of the poet at our fourth anniversary IAW&A Salon at Bar Thalia on June 2. Several distinctive poets presented their work; two new singer/songwriter/musicians joined the group, creating a varied and thrilling line-up.


John Kearns

Finishing the story he presented at last month’s Thalia salon, the night’s host John Kearns read a tender excerpt from his generational novel-in-progress, Worlds about the Logans of Philadelphia. After his mother’s death, Paul Logan meets his old friend, Joe, in a Wall Street area bar. Joe reveals a secret he had been keeping since the two were in high school — that after Joe’s father had lost his job and subsequently died, Janey Logan had quietly slipped Joe money so that he could go out with the other boys.


Jeff Barstock

First time presenter Jeff Barstock, poet and playwright, read several poems — heartfelt, spiritual, and cosmic in nature.

Through his creativity, Jeff wants to uplift and induce healing laughter throughout world. He succeeded tonight especially with the tribute, “Firefighter” and spiritual works such as “Flame” and “Broken Angel.” Jeff appreciates the warm IAW&A welcome.

Maura Mulligan

Maura Mulligan read a lovely introduction to her memoir, Call of the Lark, which describes how she discovered her writer’s voice as well as her reasons for writing the book. Maura will present this piece this summer at the Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann in Sligo, accompanied by esteemed fiddle player, Marie Reilly. Some audience members asked for a link: Call of the Lark by Maura Mulligan.

john_mcD John McDonagh

John McDonagh, who has been driving a yellow cab in New York City for 35 years, read two poems with his observations of the city and which he read at PEN World Voices Festival this year. In “200 West Street Story,” John describes the irony of taking passengers to Goldman Sachs headquarters and then going to Occupy Wall Street, a few blocks away. “What Happened to My City” decries the changes in our town. John is working on a one-man play about his adventures driving a yellow cab in NYC called “Cabtivist” and can be heard on Talk Back-New York, Thee and We Edition, with Malachy McCourt and Corey Kilgannon, on Wednesday mornings at 10 am, WBAI.


Jeanne D’Brant

Jeanne D’Brant read a sensual new poem called “Green Man,” and an ethereal chapter titled “Palace of Dreams” from her book, Heartlands of Islam. She is planning a summer trip to Ireland to research her next project on the Irish genome. She has been invited to present on the philosophical aspects of biochemical pathways for the quarterly seminar at Harvard University’s Mahindra Center for Poetry, Philosophy and Ethics.


Mark Butler presents Lauren Comito of Urban Librarians Unite with $1700 raised at the Amazing Library Variety Show

In a happy follow up to last month’s successful benefit Salon, Mark Butler presented Lauren Comito of Urban Librarians Unite a check with the proceeds. Lauren and Mark again expressed their gratitude for the night’s performers, audience, and volunteers.

adriannakmateoAdrianna Mateo

TimeOut New York called Adrianna Mateo’s performance at the Bang on a Can marathon “triumphant.” A solo violinist and singer-songwriter, who has appeared at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and The TimesCenter, she came to the Thalia and sang a lush, emotive acoustic set from her upcoming rock album. Find Adrianna’s debut single (and the surreal story behind it at


Irish Echo Deputy Editor, Peter McDermott, and Christy Kelly


Christy Kelly

Poet, screenwriter and novelist Christy Kelly read from his novel-in-progress titled Nobody Said, set in the Bronx in 1976. Christy writes beautifully of “natives and immigrant citizens.”


Conor McGlone

Conor McGlone read excerpts from two poems, one “A Thought in Summer” and second about the ocean and the collapse of ego. An accomplished young writer, Conor was introduced to the Salon by his CCNY writing instructor, Brendan Costello Jr.


Honor Molloy

Honor Molloy treated us to a segment from her novel Smarty Girl – Dublin Savage. She calls this excerpt “a funny and poignant look at the clash between classes and the way words can divide and wound. It’s 1966. The Irish Government has recently established a Commission on Itinerancy to urbanize “the walking people”—or today’s travelers. Noleen and two kids from the Carlow Encampment battle it out with epithets, curses and fists.”  jon

John Paul Skocik

A popular Salon presenter who performs his own compositions, singer/songwriter guitarist John Paul Skocik performed two original tunes. You can find John’s songs on iTunes and other online outlets, under his former band Girl To Gorilla.


Andrea Wright

Another distinctive talent, singer- songwriter and recording artist, Andrea Wright often performs at Rockwood Music Hall. In her IAW&A Salon debut, she sang two original songs, in “Going Places” she urges listeners to “create their own journeys.” Find her work at


2015 Next Generation Indie Book Award winner, John Brennan, and Christy Kelly

Our next IAW&A Salon will be on Bloomsday, Tuesday, June 16 at 7pm at The Cell.  Conor McCourt and other filmmakers will be presenting their short films.  Don’t miss it!

May 29, 2015

5.19.15 IAW&A Special Edition Salon “The Amazing Library Variety Show”

Filed under: Events,Literature,Music,Social Activism,Theater,Uncategorized — by scripts2013 @ 3:28 am

“A rousing, rollicking night of fund-raising, hell-raising with hilarious songs and stories about libraries and librarians and books.” –Tom Mahon 

By Karen Daly
Photos by Cat Dwyer


The stars came out for IAW&A’s first fundraising Salon, The Amazing Library Variety Show on Tuesday, May 19 at The Cell Theatre. Mark Butler, the show’s producer and host, corralled members to donate their time and talent to support the work of the NYC-based grassroots advocacy group, Urban Librarians Unite (ULU). The Show, which brought out an SRO crowd, was a testament to the generosity and breadth of talent in IAW&A and to Mark’s artistic, organizational and hosting skills. And dare we say it was truly an amazing night?


Mark Butler

kathleen walsh

Kathleen Walsh D’Arcy announces raffles prizes

In keeping with IAW&A’s mission to encourage full participation in and access to the arts, the night’s proceeds will go to Urban Librarians Unite, which has been described by The Wall Street Journal as “Guerrilla Librarians Making Noise.” ULU Founder and Executive Director Christian Zabriskie described the group’s work. They operate a Save NYC Libraries Campaign and the Volunteer Library Brigade that brings books, maps, Wi-Fi, and free eBooks to city sidewalks and parks. Their Hurricane Sandy Children’s Book Campaign distributed over 20,000 books through free mini-libraries in areas of Brooklyn and Queens where libraries were damaged by the storm.

christian lauren

ULU’s Christian Zabriskie and Lauren Comito


Richard Butler as Dewey Decimal dewey job

Richard Butler and Jon Gordon

A surprise visit from library lover, Mr. Dewey Decimal, singing the jazzy “Librarians Really Dew It for Me” set the night’s upbeat tone. Dewey’s identity was later revealed to be Richard Butler, an actor, director, and acting coach with over 30 years experience working in the New York City and San Francisco Bay areas. Richard has played everything from a presidential assassin in Sondheim’s Assassins to a frumpy Baltimore housewife in Hairspray to Santa Claus in a cocktail dress. As a director, he has worked on both established and new plays, including In the Wilderness by IAWA treasurer John Kearns, and Bad Christmas Sweater, The Laundry War, and other plays by his brother, IAWA Secretary Mark William Butler. He is currently directing Mark’s dystopian comic fantasy, Heaven Is a Beer Commercial, to be performed as part of the Manhattan Rep Summer One Act Play Competition in early June.

tj banner

T.J. English

Best-selling author, social historian and journalist T.J. English read a selection from his new book about Whitey Bulger that is scheduled for publication in September of this year. His books include The Westies, Paddy Whacked, Havana Nocturne and The Savage City. His journalism has appeared in such national publications as Vanity Fair, Esquire, Playboy and Newsweek, among others. Along with his accomplishments as a writer, T.J. is one of the founders of Irish American Writers & Artists and served as the organization’s President for two years.

crowd 2

We note with pleasure that IAW&A’s first President, Peter Quinn, attended the Show, so all three IAW&A chiefs were present.


Maxine Linehan

Irish native, adopted New Yorker Maxine Linehan, actress, singer and recording artist whom The New York Times calls “fiercely talented” sang two original songs. As a cabaret and concert performer, Maxine has performed at Town Hall, Lincoln Center, 54 Below, The Metropolitan Room and Birdland. The Huffington Post says Maxine’s new album “Beautiful Songs is “glorious.” Find her at


John Kearns

IAW&A Treasurer and Salon Producer John Kearns chose a short excerpt from his novel, The World, in which the protagonist, called “The Youth,” goes to the library to discover his Irish identity. In his introduction, Mark complimented John for his fantastic work in running the Salon, our organization’s signature event and expanding it to such faraway lands as Philadelphia, Washington DC, Chicago, St. Louis and Connecticut!


Marni Rice

Uniquely talented Marni Rice, a chanteuse-accordionist, sang in French. An author and composer, Marni’s original plays with music have been performed in French and English at Theatre Festivals worldwide. In 2012 she co-founded the Xio Evans- Marni Rice Experimental Dance Theatre to create original musical and dance performance works dedicated to issues of social justice. They are currently co-teaching a dance-theatre class for children at a NYPL in the Bronx.


Sarah Fearon

Stand-up comedienne, actor and IAW&A Board Member Sarah Fearon brought the laughs with her routine. Sarah describes herself as a native New Yorker by way of Northern Ireland. You may have seen her get whacked in The Departed. Or you may have seen her this spring at the Irish Arts Center “Sundays at Seven” comedy night. Sarah has a play in the Players Theater Short Play Festival opening June 18. So far she is keeping her New Year’s resolution of returning her library books on time!


Tony DeMarco

One of the top “trad” musicians in the country, Tony DeMarco played two reels that had our collective feet tapping. Tony has been performing and teaching the Irish fiddle for over 30 years, and is acknowledged as a master of the New York/Sligo fiddle style. Find his performances at


Karl Scully

Internationally known tenor Karl Scully delighted us with his rendition of Tom Lehrer’s “Poisoning Pigeons in The Park.” Karl was for six years, one of The Irish Tenors who recorded two albums and performed in hundreds of venues in Europe and the US. As a soloist Karl has performed all over the world including Carnegie Hall and the Avery Fischer Hall. One of his very first gigs he starred as Count John McCormack in the film “Nora.”



Daisy Kearns sells raffle tickets to Seamus Scanlon


Larry Kirwan

IAW&A President Larry Kirwan recalled the book selections at the library in his native Wexford, and read a section from his brand new book, A History of Irish Music. In this hilarious excerpt, Larry described Black 47’s being asked to back-up one of Shane McGowan’s first post-Pogue gigs. In addition to being founder of the rock band Black 47, Larry is an author, playwright, Irish Echo columnist and solo performer.


Lauren Comito

ULU Chair and Director of Operations Lauren Comito charmed the crowd with a song she wrote about the trials of a librarian. Lauren accompanied herself on the ukulele.


Honor Molloy

Honor Molloy can be counted on to thrill salongoers with her presentations and she did again tonight reading Backwards Library, a piece about summers, libraries and time. Honor’s autobiographical novel Smarty Girl tracks her life as a mischievous little gurrier running the streets of Dublintown.


John Paul Skocik

A popular Salon presenter who performs his own compositions, singer/songwriter guitarist John Paul Skocik performed two original tunes. You can find John’s songs on iTunes and other online outlets, under his former band Girl To Gorilla.


Jon Gordon

Jon Gordon played a soulful solo of “The Days of Wine and Roses.” Jon, winner of the Thelonious Monk award, is a world-renowned artist and one of the most successful, accomplished and in-demand alto and soprano saxophonists of his generation. Jazz Improv magazine calls him “an elite musician of our time.” Jon has often played and read from his memoir, For Sue at our Salons.


Cathy Maguire

Cathy Maguire sang two beautiful songs, one country-inflected, one Irish. Cathy began her career as a successful child star in Ireland. She’s back in New York, by way of Nashville, where she studied and worked with country music stars. Her CD Ireland In Song explores the ten most famous Irish songs.

Near the end of a very full program, host Mark Butler described Malachy McCourt as a man “who needs no introduction” but Mark introduced him anyway, for the thrill of saying: “Writer, actor, storyteller, singer – that’s right singer – radio personality, legendary innkeeper, Salon founder and godfather, teacher, inspiration, mentor, and most recently – Facebook assassin -the only one and one and only ­ Malachy McCourt.”


Malachy McCourt

Malachy began by quoting Henry VIII, who said to his wives, “I won’t keep you long.” But he did. He told how two poor urchins in County Limerick, he and his brother Frank, read library books under street lamps because there were no lights at home. Encouraged by the lively reception, he went off on a riff about labels, about snakes and God, Adam and Eve, pausing to thank God he’s an atheist, which slid smoothly into St. Patrick chasing the snakes from Ireland. Salon newcomers were treated to the “full Malachy.”

Frequent Salon contributor Tom Mahon sums it up perfectly: ”Then Malachy sang and asked us to sing along and we sang, feeling that this is fine, don’t let this end, but it did. Yet we felt better after a rousing, rollicking night of fund-raising, hell-raising with hilarious songs and stories about libraries and librarians and books.”

On behalf of IAW&A, our sincere thanks to all the performers for contributing to a wonderful night and a great cause; to superb pianist Ryan Shirar; to the artists who donated their work for the raffle; to our generous members, guests and volunteers; to the helpful staff of The Cell Theatre; and kudos to impresario Mark Butler!


May 11, 2015

IAW&A Salon 5-5-15: Members Debut New Songs, Stories, Plays and Talents

Filed under: dance,Events,Film,Literature,Music,Theater — by scripts2013 @ 4:22 am

By Karen Daly
Photos by Cat Dwyer

The early May Salon at Bar Thalia was a merry and mellow affair, with members introducing brand new compositions, fictional works, and theater pieces. We were also introduced to a centuries’ old fiddle tune and Irish dance form.


DJ Sharp

Actor and writer, DJ Sharp started off the proceedings with a reading from his screenplay.


Thom Molyneaux

Playwright Thom Molyneaux read from his new play Miller Kazan HUAC… and Marilyn Monroe that tells the story of the creative partnership of Elia Kazan and Arthur Miller. That partnership was destroyed when Kazan “named names ” for the House Un-American Activities Committee in the 1950’s and they confronted each other, not directly, but via their art — Miller striking first with The Crucible; Kazan hitting back with On The Waterfront. Thom will be off soon for the world premiere of his play White Ash Falling 9/11 at the Detroit Repertory Theatre, the oldest professional theatre in Michigan.


Maureen Hossbacher

Maureen Hossbacher gave a delightful reading from her untitled novel-in-progress. Set in a small parish in the midlands of Ireland, this section introduces two of the main characters, Fr. Thomas Doyle, a local priest, and his childhood friend, Desmond Long, a psychiatrist returned to his home town after years abroad. The priest’s housekeeper, Maude, steals the scene, as she contrives a subtle revenge against her employer, the supercilious, alcoholic pastor of St. Fintan’s.


Tom Mahon

Tom Mahon’s short, dramatic story was about a black family who move into a white neighborhood, and whose young son is beaten for no reason. His parents refuse to allow anything to stop them from loving and supporting their children. After years of working steadily, the black kids go to college on scholarships and make something of themselves, while the white family next door slide deeper into the cesspools of pride and prejudice.


Memoirist and dancer, Maura Mulligan, accompanied by fiddler, Marie Reilly introduced us to Sean Nós dancing – the oldest style of dancing in Ireland. Long before Set, Céilí or the formal Step dancing, Sean Nós was popular all over Ireland. Like the Irish language, the form was stamped out and only survived in the very far corners of the country, the Gaeltacht, the Irish speaking areas. Often danced on half doors and on tabletops, this loose and free style form of dance is now enjoying a huge revival. There are no specific steps and so individual dancer must improvise. An accomplished step dancer and céilí teacher, this was Maura’s debut as a Sean Nós dancer. Check her website: Follow her memoir, Call of the Lark on Facebook: Follow Call of the Lark on Facebook


Marie Reilly and Maurs Mulligan

Marie Reilly followed with a lively march tune known as “Conmachne” which she told us is untitled in the manuscript dated 1846 of Thomas Kieran, a nineteenth century fiddle master from Drumlish, Co. Longford. Marie told the fascinating story of the tune’s discovery. In 1962 Pierce Butler, a fiddle player and carpenter happened to be working on the removal of a thatched roof and found the manuscript hidden in the thatch. It seemed to be a manuscript Thomas Kiernan used in teaching in the period 1844-1846. Kiernan taught widely, travelling on foot from house to house, lodging at night in the houses where he taught. The accommodation was part of his payment along with a noggin of whiskey for breakfast and a plentiful supply of his favorite tobacco. Marie’s music can be found on her website:


Maura Megan Knowles and John Kearns

Back from L.A where she is shooting a film, Maura Megan Knowles debuted a brand new, very powerful song, “Shamed & Silent No More,written with composer Kevin McNally and accompanied on guitar by the talented John Kearns. Maura has been busy in L.A., where she did a pilot with Danny Trejo and the new ABC Family Series, Stitchers. She’s also recording songs and writing. Please visit for more.


Mark Butler


Christian Zabriskie

Mark Butler, producer of IAW&A’s fundraiser to benefit Urban Librarian Unite introduced ULU’s Executive Director
, Christian Zabriskie. ULU is grassroots advocacy group of librarians from all over the city. They bring Mini Libraries and public storytelling to the streets and parks, sponsor a 24 Read In to promote reading, and they ran a hugely successful campaign to distribute children’s books after Hurricane Sandy. ULU embodies IAW&A’s mission of fostering access to the arts and education. We think this could be the start of a beautiful friendship.

Some of the artists scheduled to appear in The Amazing Library Variety Show: Maxine Linehan, Jon Gordon, Richard Butler, Marni Rice, Hammerstep, Honor Molloy, TJ English, Larry Kirwan, Karl Scully and several beloved Salon presenters.

The Amazing Library Variety Show. May 19 at 7pm at The Cell. Donation $25; all proceeds will go to ULU. Reserve now at


John Kearns

Salon host John Kearns shared a brand-new excerpt from his novel in progress, Worlds. Writing in his journal, Paul Logan tells the story of meeting a childhood friend, Joe Boyle, at his mother’s wake in Ardmore, PA and then running into Joe again at Bowling Green in New York.  We’ll get to hear about the encounter between these two old friends at the next IAW&A Salon.


Kevin R. McPartland

Novelist and short-story writer, Kevin R. McPartland held the Salon crowd in rapt attention as he told a tale of old Brooklyn meets new Brooklyn with a looming eviction from a basement apartment at stake, a story that indeed had an interesting, comical, and poignant plot twist at the end.


John Paul Skocik

We got to enjoy John Paul Skocik performing three original tunes, two of them performed for the very first time anywhere. “Masquerade,” a happy sounding pop piece attempts to musically conceal the sardonic and self-loathing lyrics of an unrequited love. Next was a snippet of the unfinished “Cocktail Hour,” sung a capella, and inspired by Frank Sinatra’s contribution to the great American songbook. John premiered the rough, comical and lyrically sentimental punk styled tune “My Place.” It tells the brief tale of a man frustrated that he can’t be more to the woman he loves, yet he is also frustratingly content that he at least has what he has. Find John’s songs on iTunes and other online outlets, under his former band Girl To Gorilla.


Guenevere Donohue

Guenevere Donohue sang a gorgeous new composition that she wrote for the children of Palestine. Guen was inspired and moved by hearing that one of those children said “I have never seen the sea,” and she composed a song with that title. You can see the kids’ painting for Rogue Foundation’s I Am Palestine: “I Have Never Seen the Sea” Exhibit at the Chelsea Fine Arts building.

Prompted by Guen’s lovely song, Malachy McCourt recounted a not-so-lovely childhood memory of a promised trip to the sea that didn’t happen. He closed the night leading us with, “The Sea Around Us.”



Malachy McCourt

“The sea, oh the sea is the gradh geal mo croide.
Long may it stay between England and me.
It’s a sure guarantee that some hour we’ll be free.
Oh thank God we’re surrounded by water!”

Don’t forget: The “Special Edition Salon” The Amazing Library Variety Show. May 17 at 7pm at The Cell. Donation $25; all proceeds will go to ULU. Reserve at

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