Irish American Writers & Artists

November 24, 2015

11.17.15 IAWA Salon at The Cell: Theatricality, music, storytelling from newcomers and regulars

Filed under: Uncategorized — by scripts2013 @ 10:13 pm

By Karen Daly
Photos by Cat Dwyer

The late November IAW&A Salon brought gifted actors, comic and serious, great storytellers, two new presenters (one named McCourt), along with musicians, novelists and one poet to the stage at The Cell on November 17th.


Peadar Hickey

Guitarist/singer Peadar Hickey opened with two songs that told stories about the Irish in America. “Fighting Tom Sweeney” with words by James Kelly and music by Derek Warfield tells of the Cork-born Colonel of the 52nd Missouri who fought bravely in the Civil War Battle of Shiloh. The tender “Lost Little Children” by Tim O’Brien is about two young brothers who sail to America to meet their parents who preceded them to earn the money for the children’s passage.

Peadar is part of the touring group Derek Warfield and The Young Wolfe Tones. You can catch him regularly in NYC at Donoghue’s, Times Square, Tuesdays at 8pm and Saturdays at 10pm, the Pig ‘n Whistle, Times Square, W. 46th St., Wednesdays at 9pm, and the Dog and Duck, Sunnyside, Thursdays at 8.30pm and Sundays at 5.30pm


Suzanna Geraghty and Mark Byrne

Here from Dublin to perform her award-winning solo show, Auditions, Zoe’s Auditions, Suzanna Geraghty treated us to a few minutes of the show, in which a hapless actor tries to demonstrate the full range of her talents in an audition that doesn’t go so well. Suzanna lived up to her description in The New York Times as “…a gifted physical comedian…” Suzanna’s “Auditions, Zoe’s Auditions” won the Best Comedy Award at United Solo 2015!


David McLoghlin

We welcomed new member David McLoghlin who read from his memoir-in-progress, The Travelled Child.  It describes his family’s emigration from Ireland to Belgium and Darien, CT, in the 1980s, and a young boy’s struggle to belong in a variety of countries, including Ireland, upon his return home with a New England accent.  David is author of Waiting for Saint Brendan and Other Poems (Salmon Poetry, 2012), and recipient of a grant from Ireland’s Arts Council. David notes that the Salon was only the second time he has read from the memoir and was grateful for such an appreciative audience. Visit


Rosina Fernhoff

Noted actor Rosina Fernhoff performed an excerpt from the solo play Snow People by Av Inlender. Weaving history with personal experiences, the play explores the controversy surrounding Nazi looting of art treasures during World War II and Swiss complicity in the thefts. Rosina played a woman whose daughter confronts her with contemporary questions of guilt and restitution.


Jon Gordon

Jazz sax player Jon Gordon has played and read from his memoir For Sue at several IAW&A Salons. Tuesday he chose the Malachy McCourt route (“Just tell the story!”) with anecdotes from a book he’s working on titled Jazz Lives. Jon had unique stories about some of great musicians he met as a very young man starting out: Jay McShann, Doc Cheatham, Joe Williams, Clark Terry and Cab Calloway, among others.


John McDonagh

Another IAW&A member who can tell a story, John McDonagh did a few minutes from his solo play Cabtivist. In this hilarious segment, John is chosen to show British actor Stephen Fry around New York for his TV show, so naturally John brings him to Queens to meet some authentic goodfellas. John graciously thanked IAW&A members for encouragement, feedback and support of his work. After two sold-out shows this fall, John will perform another one at The Cell on December 16.  Get your tickets here:

crowd david

The supportive IAW&A Salon crowd listens to David McLoghlin


Thom Molyneaux

Thom Molyneaux’s play about 9/11, White Ash Falling premiered at The Detroit Repertory Theatre in May. Tonight he read two monologues. White Ash Falling is structured as a play within a play. The first dialogue had Richard, an actor, telling the other actors what he did on 9/11 and followed with Richard’s character, Greg, telling his story of that unforgettable day. Pleased with the reception and good reviews, Thom hopes to produce White Ash Falling in or around New York.


John Kearns

Having returned from a conference in Belfast and a vacation in Madrid, IAW&A Salon producer and host John Kearns read a brief excerpt from his novel in progress, Worlds, in which Paul Logan reminisces about an incident that took place when he started teaching at an all girls’ school in the South Bronx. When Paul sends a student to detention, she returns to the classroom and attacks him.  After learns that she will be expelled, two students in his class start arguing about the incident and have to be sent to separate guidance counselors.


Alphie McCourt

In his first Salon appearance, Alphie McCourt charmed with three selections from his The Soulswimmer, A Collection. Two selections, “Quiet Time” and “The Prose Nose” were in verse. “Albanese” is a story, fictional, we presume, about a returned emigrant farmer whose erotic encounter with his wife is enhanced by a cow’s tail.  More about him at:


Tom Mahon

Tom Mahon’s true story about an incident in Vietnam, “Sergeant Murray’s Problem” is another dramatic vignette from his collection Tomorrow Never Came.  In it, a sergeant dies when he is forced to recover his lieutenant who was injured in ambush.


Marcia Loughran

The accomplished poet Marcia Loughran was happy to be back at the Salon, sharing three poems, one of which (“Imagine October”) has been published by the Riding Light Review.  The other two were new, one “Allen Ginsberg Goes to Costco” and “Ceasefires.”

let it be

John Kearns, Jack DiMonte, Mark Butler, and Sarah Fearon

The full night came to a close, with an impromptu sing-along of “Let It Be” led by Jack DiMonte, Mark Butler, and Sarah Fearon, with John Kearns on guitar.

Happy Thanksgiving, and don’t forget the Salon at Bar Thalia on December 1st!   See you soon!



November 9, 2015

11.3.15 IAW&A Salon at Bar Thalia: Rich Brew of Music, Drama, Humor & More

Filed under: Uncategorized — by scripts2013 @ 5:25 am

“Wonderful night that evolves each time out of goodwill and fun…” Tom Mahon

By Karen Daly
Photos by Tom Mahon and Kathleen Walsh D’Arcy

Musician/writer/ singer Marni Rice graciously hosted the early November IAW&A Salon at Bar Thalia that was a rich brew of story, song, humor and poetry.  As that sage Tom Mahon says, “Even when it gets serious, it’s still fun”.


Mary Pat Kelly

Fresh from her success hosting our Eugene O’Neill Award for Irish America magazine co-founder and editor-in-chief Patricia Harty, Mary Pat Kelly was first up. She described the research for her next novel (following Galway Bay and Of Irish Blood) and took a show of hands as to where the plot should go. Mary Pat found sharing her ideas and the feedback from fellow writers and artists “very helpful.”


Sarah Fearon

Comic performer and IAW&A Board member Sarah Fearon also shared work in development — new ideas and comedy notes. After her terrific performance at 100th Salon and her efforts in helping organize the O’Neill event, Sarah’s gone back to the drawing board to find the “new funny.” And she did.


Jack DiMonte

Singer and frequent Salon contributor Jack DiMonte showed his comic side by imagining how celebrated actor Richard Burton would have played Vegas. Jack’s impression of Burton doing a segment from this nightclub act started with a brief soliloquy from “Hamlet” that segued into the Billy Strayhorn jazz classic “Lush Life.”


Tom Mahon

Tom Mahon read a dramatic story about one man’s hypocrisy. In “Elite Only,” a group of well-off men in a small town drink and swap stories.  When they leave, one of them comes upon an accident involving two women. Gerry Simmons, a country judge, elects not to help and the women die. In the aftermath, his wife divorces him; he marries his young assistant; moves to Florida and doesn’t stand for re-election. Why didn’t he help them?  He was drunk and a judge known for being tough on crime.


Kevin R. McPartland

Salon regular, novelist and short story writer Kevin R. McPartland read from a recently completed short story titled “The Cruise,” a tale of magic and moonlight on the high seas. Kevin left the audience eager to hear the rest of this delightful tale.


Mary Deady

Singer Mary Deady, who wowed us at the O’Neill Award, wowed again tonight with two very different songs. The first was a traditional Irish air, “On the Brink of the White Rock Air” (Ar bhruach Na carriage).She followed with a funny, sophisticated Cole Porter song, “The Physician”

Once I loved such a shattering physician,
Quite the best-looking doctor in the state
He looked after my physical condition
And his bedside manner was great!


Gordon Gilbert, Jr.

Still in the Halloween spirit, Gordon Gilbert, Jr. read “I Know Why You Are Here Tonight” from his as-yet-unpublished book of vampire poetry: The Vampiricals, Book of Waters. He read two short pieces: a stand-alone monologue “Summers Are the Hardest Time” and “A Kiss for Miss Ellie”, which will be included in the seventh production of his play “Monologues from the Old Folks Home” when he produces it again in the spring.

Gordon hosts monthly celebrations of the Beat Generation writers at Cornelia Street Cafe, and he performs regularly there in Monologues & Madness on the first 1st Monday of each month.


Jordan Ortega

Jordan Ortega, a recent graduate of CUNY, shared an excerpt from his short story  “Ever Watchful Eyes,” a tale about a mysterious man following and watching a young girl from a distance throughout an eventful night. Jordan has presented several times at the IAW&A Salon, and is “always invigorated by the experience and feedback.”


John Paul Skocik

A crowd favorite, John Paul Skocik played a few songs including a new one called  “Making You Mine.”  His  “We Should Go Home” is performed with John’s former band on the self-titled album “Girl To Gorilla,” available on ITunes and at ♫ Girl to Gorilla – Girl to Gorilla. Listen @cdbaby John’s last tune was a poppy punk original, “The Phone Song” about the self-doubt and inner turmoil of a young man trying to get a young lady to answer her phone.  John is busy writing new songs and working on a short play, as well as beginning a novel, which he hopes to share at the Salon sometime in the near future.


Rosina Fernhoff

Actor Rosina Fernhoff mesmerized the audience with a monologue from The Piano Teacher, a three-character play by Julia Cho.  Mrs. K., a retired piano teacher who lives alone, reminisces about her husband and the children she taught long ago. One day she feels compelled to call her old students. Is it out of loneliness or some darker need?  It may not be what we cannot know what troubles us most, but what we cannot bear to know. The Piano Teacher will be presented in February at St. Malachy’s.

We’ll keep you posted on the details.


Marni Rice

The night’s host, Marni Rice, presented a poem from her new theatre piece “Magdala: Stories from the Net & The Sea,” co-created by The Xio Evans Marni Rice Experimental Dance Theatre.  It’s an original interpretation about the life of a woman named Mary from a fishing village called Magdala, Mary Magdalene The original text by Xio Evans and Marni Rice is in Spanish and English; choreography by Xio Evans (from Costa Rica) and original music by Marni Rice (from NYC). “Magdala” was produced at the WOW Café Theatre in October 2015 with additional dates TBD in 2016.  You can see an excerpt of this piece at the Riverside Church Latino Ministry meeting on Sunday, November 15th at 1pm. For additional details, please visit:


Malachy McCourt

We said it was a night of story, song, humor, and poetry and Malachy McCourt combined them all in his wrap-up, talking about “the freedom and eloquence” of the Salon, offering a clear-eyed assessment of The Quiet Man, and just a few riffs on politics.  He questions the politicians who talk about taking back America —Malachy didn’t know America had been taken away and to make his point, started us singing “This Land is Your Land.”

See you at our next IAW&A Salon at the Cell Theatre at 7 pm on November 17th!

October 16, 2015

IAW&A 10/7 Salon at Bar Thalia: New Voices and Brian Friel Tribute

Filed under: Uncategorized — by scripts2013 @ 9:15 pm

By Karen Daly

Our October 7 Salon at Bar Thalia had a small but enthusiastic turnout. Warmly hosted by Guenevere Donohue, the night featured tributes to the great Irish playwright, Brian Friel, who died this month.

Three new presenters joined us. First time presenter, Bethann Talty was “…awed by the talent and passion of last night’s fellow readers.”


Guenevere Donohue

In the first Friel tribute, Guenevere Donohue opened with a piece from “Dancing at Lughnasa.” The character Michael talks about ‘things becoming what they ought not to be” and Guen talked about the  “ought not” of a world without Brian Friel.

mike mal

Michael Fitzpatrick with Malachy McCourt

We welcomed new member Michael Fitzpatrick, who wrote the award-winning short play “Counting Apples.” He presented three short pieces from his ongoing “Humans of Irish America” series, a satirical, fictional take on immigrants’ stories. Find “Humans of Irish America,” as well as his other works, on his website,

Actor/playwright DJ Sharp has performed parts of his monologue about the last days of Tennessee Williams, “Return to Tennessee.” Tonight he gave a vivid portrayal of the closeted Williams haunted by what critics called his pet themes of alcoholism, insanity and incest.


Bethann Talty

Writer Bethann Talty called her night a “welcoming maiden voyage” at the Salon.  She read a deeply felt essay reflecting on her need to write – and run – and examine her Irishness in the aftermath of 9/11.


Jennifer Margaret Kelly

Jennifer Margaret Kelly found IAW&A after seeing Pat Fenton’s “Stoop Dreamer” at The Cell. A playwright/poet/writer/film-maker, Jennifer adds that she’s a bit of an Irish dancer and visual artist. We could relate to her poem “Poet’s Chair” about needing the right tools. She read a short creative non-fiction piece titled “Ode to Joy.”

Actor Rosina Fernhoff honored Brian Friel by reading the role of Grace from his play “Faith Healer.” Creating a stunning collage from Grace’s monologue, she told the arc of Grace’s story through her relationship with her husband Frank, the faith healer. Rosina’s solo performance of the play, “Snow People” by Av Inlender, her late husband, will be video taped this month.  She performed part of his play “Shadows” at The Cell.

Joe Davidson read a humorous excerpt from his yet untitled novel- in- progress about the life of the fictional Gerry Walker. In this excerpt set in the 1960s, Gerry meets his new friend Stanley Wolinski on the playground of his grammar school. He watches Stanley in awe as the rebellious youth lights up a cigarette stolen from his father. Stanley starts chocking and gagging but remains undeterred, as he attempts to smoke the entire cigarette. Joe was glad his piece met with plenty of laughs and a rousing applause.


Jeanne D’Brant

Jeanne D’Brant read another section of her riveting memoir, Heartlands of Islam. This section describes her experiences being caged in Pakistan. Her crime? Being a female of the species.


Kathleen Rockwell Lawrence

Kathleen Rockwell Lawrence read from her novel in progress, and is buoyed by the encouragement she received from Salon goers.

Host Guenevere Donohue bookended the night with a beautiful piece from the close of Friel’s “Dancing at Lughnasa” where he describes memory as movement. “Dancing as if language no longer existed because words were no longer necessary.” 

malachy mike

Malachy McCourt, Bethann, Michael, and Guen

The man himself, Malachy McCourt is back in fighting form after an absence this summer. He offered the group advice on a variety of topics. One piece which he claims not to use himself:  “In case of doubt, do the right thing.”   Malachy always does right thing for IAW&A.

See you on Monday at the O’Neill Award for Patricia Harty!

Join us at Bar Thalia on Election Day Tuesday, November 3 at 6pm!

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…

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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!

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