Irish American Writers & Artists

June 27, 2011

IAW&A Member Colum McCann Earns Another Major Literary Award

Filed under: Literature — by moneygrip4 @ 2:52 pm
On Wednesday June 15th at a ceremony in Dublin, IAWA member Colum McCann received the 2011 International IMPAC DUBLIN Literary Award for his novel Let the Great World Spin.

The International IMPAC Dublin Literary Awardadministered by Dublin City Public Libraries, is the largest and most international prize of its kind. It involves libraries from all corners of the globe, and is open to books written in any language, which have had an English-language edition published in a designated period. An initiative of Dublin City Council, the Award is a partnership between Dublin City Council, the Municipal Government of Dublin City, and IMPAC, a productivity improvement company which operates in over 50 countries.

McCann was born in Dublin but makes his home in New York City, where the prize-winning novel is set. Let the Great World Spin which won the National Book Award in America in 2009, was selected from a shortlist of 10 books.

With literature, McCann said in his acceptance speech, “We can go on an extensive journey of joy.  We can inhabit a landscape that others before us ruined.  We can learn how to live in a place even if we aren’t there.  Literature gives us access to a very real history.  We are allowed to become the other we never dreamed we could be. Literature is the best democracy we have.   These things we tell one another, they survive.  Not even sickness, not war, not even death can take our stories and our words away …”  

Let the Great World Spin is the critically acclaimed author’s most ambitious novel yet: a dazzlingly rich vision of the pain, loveliness, mystery, and promise of New York City in the 1970s. In the dawning light of a late-summer morning, the people of lower Manhattan stand hushed, staring up in disbelief at the Twin Towers. It is August 1974, and a mysterious tightrope walker is running, dancing, leaping between the towers, suspended a quarter mile above the ground. In the streets below, a slew of ordinary lives become extraordinary in bestselling novelist Colum McCann’s stunningly intricate portrait of a city and its people.

June 14, 2011

IAW&A Salon Schedule

Filed under: Essay,Literature — by moneygrip4 @ 9:05 pm

This past Tuesday evening the IRISH AMERICAN WRITERS & ARTISTS first “Salon” was held at Symphony Space’s Thalia Café in Manhattan.  The purpose of the ‘Salon’ is to allow IAW&A members an opportunity to present in the medium of their choice: reading, poetry, comedy, music, etc.  The event is meant to be low keyed and social and that was exactly what it was.  Participants presented their work while listeners sipped wine and cocktails and enjoyed the overall good spirit of the evening.  ”Enjoyed the craic,” the Irish might say.

The event was a great success.  Malachy McCourt opened with a few words and closed with a song. Kathleen Frazier emceed the event, skillfully weaving the mix of presenters. The evening was fast paced and filled with interesting presentations: John Kearns and Honor Molloy read from their novels; Sarah Fearon performed a comedy routine; Barbara Horn sang; Mary Gannon read from her play; Kathleen Frazier and I read personal essays, and Malachy gave a hilarious reading from his memoir A Monk Swimming.  The presenters were wonderful, the audience supportive, and the venue perfect.

The Salon format is a great opportunity for IAW&A members to “be heard.” In fact, only members are invited to perform, although friends are urged to attend.  This was the first of a series of seven scheduled IAW&A Symphony Space salons.  Here are the dates for the upcoming events, which will be held on the first Tuesday of the month:

July 5th

August 2nd

September 6th

October 4th

November 1st

December 6th

If there are any questions or if you are interested in becoming involved with the IAW&A or creating events in your part of the world, you can address your questions and comments to Charles R. Hale, Chair of the Events Committee at or Co-Chair, Kathleen Frazier at

Hope to see you at the next Salon.

June 6, 2011

June 7th – IAW&A Salon

Filed under: Uncategorized — by moneygrip4 @ 9:29 pm

The first IAW&A Salon will be held on the evening of Tuesday, June 7th from 7pm-9pm, at Symphony Space’s Thalia Cafe, located at 2537 Broadway (entrance on 95th Street) in NYC. Participants will have up to ten minutes to present in the medium of their choice: reading, poetry, comedy, music, etc. Come show your support and make your presence felt.

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