Irish American Writers & Artists

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 Amazon.com;  For a signed copy, contact Margaret or order from www.notebooksfrommysteryschool.com

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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  Tom-Mahon.com.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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!  http://www.rockawayartistsalliance.org

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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Marcia Loughran

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

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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.

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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.

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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.   Tom-Mahon.com

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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.

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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!
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A great and supportive summer audience

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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.

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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

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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.      

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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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.”

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Maureen Daniels

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Maureen’s son, Asher

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

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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

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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.

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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.

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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 www.youtube.com/tonypenapoetry.

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 mccourtvideo@aol.com.

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 http://www.anupictures.com/.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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;
unexpectedly,

The collection, a finalist for the New Women’s Voices Award, is available Amazon.com.  For a signed copy, contact Margaret or go to www.notebooksfrommysteryschool.com at artist@margaretmccarthy.com.

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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 Tom-Mahon.com

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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 http://nicolacmurphy.com/NicolaMurphy/Welcome.html.

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.
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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.

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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.

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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 https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/adriannamateo/adrianna-mateo-the-album.

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Irish Echo Deputy Editor, Peter McDermott, and Christy Kelly

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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 http://www.andreawrightmusic.com.

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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

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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?

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Mark Butler

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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.

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ULU’s Christian Zabriskie and Lauren Comito

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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.

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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.

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

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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 http://www.maxinelinehan.com

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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!

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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. http://www.dejouxmusique.com

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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!

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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 http://www.tonydemarcomusic.net

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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.”

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Daisy Kearns sells raffle tickets to Seamus Scanlon

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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!

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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.

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DJ Sharp

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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: www.mauramulligan.com Follow her memoir, Call of the Lark on Facebook: Follow Call of the Lark on Facebook

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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: http://www.mariereillymusic.com

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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 www.mauramknowles.com for more.

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Mark Butler

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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 amazinglibraryshow@hotmail.com

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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.

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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.

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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.


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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.”

 

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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 amazinglibraryshow@hotmail.com.

April 26, 2015

4.21.15 IAW&A Salon and Book Party: Festive doubleheader of readings, performances, and song!

Filed under: dance,Essay,Events,Literature,Music,Theater — by scripts2013 @ 9:18 pm

By Karen Daly
Photos by Cat Dwyer

“…the amazing worlds that you all create…”  Karl Scully

A lively celebration for the launch of IAW&A President and Wexford man Larry Kirwan’s new book, A History of Irish Music brought out an SRO crowd to the Cell. Malachy McCourt gave a moving introduction to Larry and his book.  Larry enchanted the crowd by reading a chapter about the iconic blues guitarist, Rory Gallagher. Our Salon followed, with producer John Kearns hosting topnotch presentations that included music, memoir, poetry, fiction, and humor. mary

Mary Tierney

The actress Mary Tierney started the Salon with a scene from an untitled novel-in-progress by writer Joseph Davidson. In 1966, a young woman named Bobby Joe Lang is hitchhiking from Kansas to San Francisco’s Haight Ashbury in search of love and peace. She is picked up by a stranger in a truck and her life is soon threatened. Mary’s dramatic reading brought both characters to life. jk

John Kearns

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Christy Kelly

Poet, screenwriter, and novelist Christy Kelly read from his novel-in-progress called, Nobody Said. He dedicated this section to Larry Kirwan. In Nobody Said, two cops cruise the Pelham Bay section of the Bronx (Bruckner Boulevard) in the Olympic Year of 1976, when, Christy says, “The sky was pink with arson.” bernadette

Bernadette Cullen

Poet and professor Bernadette Cullen read “Ruminations While Standing on the Edge of the Precipice” which she describes as a longish poem on uncomfortable ‘truths’…. sean

Sean Carlson

Sean Carlson has serialized chapters from his yet-untitled family memoir of emigration at previous Salons. Tonight, he showed another side of his writing with excerpts from a travel series recently shortlisted as a finalist in a contest judged by the editor of the Paris Review. “Notes from Cambodia” is scheduled to publish this summer in Nowhere Magazine.

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Larry Kirwan enjoying the Salon

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 Stephanie Silber

Stephanie Silber gave a powerful reading from her first novel, Other People’s Houses, a coming of age story set in the early seventies. Pregnant teenager Queenie has been shipped off from her humble roots for the duration to live with a wealthy family on Long Island. Complications ensue when their foundering son returns unexpectedly from Harvard. This scene plays out on a beach and on a boat, in a haze of heat one Fourth of July; a high school friend of Queenie’s has come to visit — and has set her sights on the troubled, glamorous, son. Feelings run high. larry_book

Larry Kirwan

We had more enchantment from Larry Kirwan when he read another passage from A History of Irish Music. You can purchase Larry’s book at www.black47.comor Amazon.com. Find the schedule for his upcoming solo solo gigs iwww.black47.com karl

Karl Scully

Karl Scully, one of the world famous Irish Tenors, graced us with a song, “My Lagan Love.” Karl has appeared in movies, performed in Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and around the world. So we appreciate his appreciation of the Salons. Karl was delighted to enter “…the amazing worlds that you all create…” crowd

A full house for the IAW&A Salon and book launch party

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Marie Reilly on fiddle and Maura Mulligan

Accompanied by the fiddler Marie Reilly, Maura Mulligan presented an excerpt from her memoir, Call of the Lark. The piece, depicting school days in Ireland of the 40s/50s will be part of a performance at the Fleadh Cheoil in Sligo this summer. Maura is honored to work with Marie in preparing to introduce passages from the book with musical interludes.You can find a video of their performance, courtesy of Dee Nolan, on https://www.facebook.com/CallOfTheLark brendan

Brendan Costello Jr.

IAW&A board member and frequent Salon contributor, Brendan Costello Jr. read the opening of T.S. Eliot’s famous poem “The Waste Land.” Brendan reworked that section as a Buzzfeed lifestyle article, proving that April may still be the “cruellest month,” but at least it’s user friendly.  “What I’ve found in this handful of dust might just haunt you for years to come!” Brendan also edits the IAW&A “Weekly” newsletter. He encouraged members to share news of upcoming events, gigs, performances and publication, or other events that may be of interest to the group. Send your news or send an email to subscribe to iawaweekly@gmail.com mun

John Munnelly

Singer/songwriter John Munnelly says: “Thank you for the love, artistic freedom and support I receive regularly from the IAW&A and friends…” John played two original compositions. His new song about love, from a distance, was inspired by the title of Theresa Lennon Blunt’s memoir, “I Sailed the Sky in A Silver Ship.” The melody for his second song came from a dream he had one morning while in Dublin attending a launch event for his soccer supporters song “King of Cambridge.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J9brCB-5A6Y John asks for your vote on the song’s title. He’s wavering between “No More Than A Boy” and “Through the Passing of the Years.” Find him at http://johnmunnellymusic.com/fans-contact-social-upload/ malachy

Malachy McCourt

Malachy McCourt brought the night to a rollicking close, with a story about his days as a gold smuggler. Saying he wasn’t sure about remembering the lyrics, he delivered verse after verse of the Noel Coward (a Salon first?) song about British officers in India. “I Wonder What Happened to Him?”

Whatever became of old Tucker?
Have you heard any word of young Mills
Who ruptured himself at the end of a chukka
And had to be sent to the hills?
They say that young Lees Had a go of D.T.’s’
And his hopes of promotion are slim. 

Next IAW&A Salon will be May 5, at Bar Thalia. Join us and see what surprises are in store.

April 14, 2015

4.7.15 IAW&A Salon “…warm and loving atmosphere in that intimate Bar Thalia space…”

Filed under: Uncategorized — by scripts2013 @ 4:31 pm

By Karen Daly
Photos by Cat Dwyer

We don’t often start the recap with a description of our closing act, but this note from playwright Thom Molyneaux is too good to wait until the end. 

 I have to add that the highlight of the evening for me (aside from the reception to my reading) was Malachy’s impromptu rendition of “‘And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda.”  When the audience spontaneously and harmoniously joined him in the chorus, the warm and loving atmosphere in that intimate Bar Thalia space made me feel as if I was in the middle of a scene from just the best John Ford movie ever. 

Thanks, Thom. We couldn’t have said it better.

Singer, composer, accordionist, writer and creator of performance works, Marni Rice was the night’s superb guest host.

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Kathleen Rockwell Lawrence

Kathleen Rockwell Lawrence (neé Flynn Kirby Higgins) continues her family obsession with a ripped-from-her-life piece called “On the Lam with Mom,” which poses the riddle: How many Irish-American siblings does it take to care for one 90-year-old mother? Kathleen sees it as a cautionary tale against the good old Irish way of prolific procreation as old-age insurance.

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John Ganly

New member John Ganly appreciated the Salon hospitality for his first presentation. John talked about his novel Celtic Crossings and read from the introduction. Three sisters leave 19th century Belfast to pursue their dreams in a changing world. John chose “crossings” because their journeys cross oceans and continents; social barriers from immigrants to establishment and from organized religion to self-realization. As their family story develops, it reflects rapid social changes: the Irish struggle independence, women emerge as a political force and technology permits rapid communication and transportation.

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Find the book on Amazon,com.

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John Kearns

Salon producer John Kearns’s recent trip to Ireland inspired him to create new poems and revisit an old one. “Aboard the Aran Seabird: Leaving Inishmore,” written in 1988 and published in Feile-Festa in 2010, sympathizes with Aran Islanders trying to sell rides in their ponies and traps to tourists. His brand-new poem “Ceol Na Farraige: Return to Inishmore” portrays the changes on the island since the previous visit: new ferries with international daytrippers, not a single pony and trap, an old church locked. The third poem, “On Galway Golf Course by the Bay,” depicts a moment when a father and two sons got caught in a rainstorm in a golf cart and careened sightlessly around the hills and fairways, laughing.

 sarahSarah Fearon

In honor of National Poetry Month and the anniversary of Seamus Heaney’s birth on April 13, the Ireland-like weather and the change of season Sarah Fearon read Seamus Heaney’s poems: “The Call,” “Rite of Spring”, “Song”, and “Anything Can Happen.”

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Mark Butler

Mark Butler announced the IAW&A benefit for Urban Librarians Unite, a grassroots advocacy organization, will be held on May 19th at the Cell Theatre.  He also introduced Lauren Comito, who told us about her group’s work.  The fundraiser, called The Amazing Library Variety Hour, will feature readings, music, comedy and dance.  More details will be coming soon, and more information about Urban Librarians Unite can be found at http://urbanlibrariansunite.org/.

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Lauren Comito

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Thom Molyneaux

Thom Molyneaux read more from “Cassidy’s Story” his play about a former IRA leader who finds himself in New York in 1968 fighting the same battles he fought in the 1920’s Ireland. He was “testing” the structure of his play, which progresses through characters’ telling stories of their own. Thom was “truly gratified” by our intense attention and enthusiastic response. An actor, Thom is rehearsing his role as the mysterious Isaac Strauss in “Lost In History” a play having its world premiere at the Garage Theatre Group in Teaneck New Jersey.  The Detroit Repertory Theatre (the oldest professional theatre in Michigan) will present the world premiere of Thom’s play “White Ash Falling 9/11” in May.

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Marni Rice

In the spirit of the IAW&A upcoming benefit in support of Urban Librarians, Marni Rice described how important the public library was to her as a kid. To supplement the record collection of folk music field recordings she found at home, the public library had the full Alan Lomax archives. She sang an unaccompanied ballad recorded by the great song collector, Paddy Tunney, “The Lowlands of Holland” from the Sarah Makem collection. For additional information about her upcoming performances, please visit: http://www.dejouxmusique.com.

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Jeanne D’Brant

More true, spellbinding adventures from Jeanne D’Brant. She led off the second half of the evening with “Dasht-I-Kavir”, the story of her journey across the edge of the Great Salt Desert of Iran from her book Heartlands of Islam. This harsh and alien landscape is the only place in her travels to 45 countries whose stunningly bizarre visuals provoked her to question if she was still on planet earth. Jeanne is journeying this month to the wilds of Fort Lauderdale, where she will present original research on the function of cellular biochemical pathways at the national symposium of the American Clinical Board of Nutrition. Visit her website http://drjeanne.org.

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Tom Mahon

Salon regular Tom Mahon read “The Man in the Pendleton Hat” from his collection of vignettes, Tomorrow Never Came. In the story, a woman comes to town to surprise her husband and she’s dressed to the nines. She catches the eye of a man desperate for money for gambling debts. He kills her and takes her fur coat, pearls, and diamonds. The woman had left her husband a phone message that said a man in a Pendleton hat was following her. The husband finds his wife’s murderer through that hat.

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Jack DiMonte

Jack Di Monte adds some background detail to his wonderful songs. Tonight he gave us the highlights of David Raksin’s career, the composer of the song “Laura.” As a young Hollywood orchestrator, Raksin turned Charlie Chaplin’s hummed melodies into written songs (without credit!). Jack then sang Raksin’s haunting ballad “The Bad and The Beautiful,” written for the movie of the same name, with lyrics by Dory Previn.

 

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Guen Donohue and John Kearns

Guenevere Donohue performed a haunting rendition of Belfast-born Van Morrison’s, “Into the Mystic,” despite some technical problems with John Kearns’s guitar.

The one-and-only Malachy McCourt close the night with some words of wisdom, and yes, that song.

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Malachy McCourt

See you next time, April 21 at the Cell — with a later start, at 7:30 pm!

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