Irish American Writers & Artists

July 18, 2011

The 2nd Annual Crossroads Irish-American Writing Contest

Filed under: Events,Literature — by johnleemedia @ 1:17 pm
Tags: , , , ,


Genre: Short Story

The Crossroads Irish-American Festival, through the establishment of the Crossroads Irish-American Writing Contest, wishes to support and develop the voices of Irish-American writing. Through this contest, we endeavor to spur and support the development of short stories from new and aspiring writers.

Short Story Writing Contest Guidelines

In 2011, the second year of the writing contest, we welcome the submission of short stories that engage with the meaning of an Irish-American heritage (multiple/hybrid ancestries included).
• Please submit previously unpublished work of up to 3,500 words. Submissions in languages other than English are welcome.
• One submission per person only.
• Electronic submissions only. Please make submissions to
• Deadline: September 30, 2011
• Entrance Fee: $20.00.
• For more information please click here.

First Place Award: $300. Additionally, the winner may be invited to participate in the 9th Annual Crossroads Irish-American Festival in March 2012 by reading an excerpt from his/her submission with flight and hotel expenses paid by the Crossroads Irish-American Festival.

Read Your Writing at the Crossroads Irish-American Festival – March 2012
Join us in San Francisco in March 2012! All writers who submit entries to this writing contest are invited to read an excerpt of their submission at the 9th Annual Crossroads Irish-American Festival in March 2012. We will host a reading during the Festival with date, time and location to be determined.

About The Crossroads Irish-American Writing Contest
Crossroads is interested in the varied and multiple ways in which one can be “Irish” in “America”. In this sense, to be Irish-American means that one can be first or fifth generation, with or without a diversity of other ethnic/racial inheritances. To be Irish-American can mean that one hails from Boise, Brooklyn, Buenos Aires, San Francisco, Halifax, Montserrat or Fairbanks. In other words, we define Irish-American as inclusive of the Americas. And, we are interested in all of the possible ways that the Irish have impacted and shaped experience, identity, culture and society in each and every corner of the Americas.

July 14, 2011

Eugene O’Neill Lifetime Achievement Award goes to Irish Repertory Theatre

Filed under: Events,Literature,Theater,Uncategorized — by johnleemedia @ 4:12 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

Irish American Writers & Artists to present O’Neill Award to Irish Rep founders at annual event on Oct. 17

The Irish Repertory Theatre has been named the 2011 recipient of the Eugene O’Neill Lifetime Achievement Award, given annually by the Irish American Writers & Artists, Inc. (IAW&A). Irish Rep founders Charlotte Moore, who is also the company’s artistic director, and Ciarán O’Reilly, producing director, will accept the award at a festive celebration on the evening of Monday. Oct. 17 at the Manhattan Club, just north of the Times Square location where O’Neill was born and one day after the 123rd anniversary of his birth.
Opening its doors in 1988 with Sean O’Casey’s The Plough and the Stars, The Irish Rep has consistently pursued its mission to bring works by Irish and Irish American masters and contemporary playwrights to American audiences, to provide a context for understanding the contemporary Irish-American experience, and to encourage the development of new works focusing on the Irish and Irish-American experience.
IAW&A board member T.J. English said, “Irish American Writers and Artists is proud to present its 2011 Eugene O’Neill Lifetime Achievement Award to Charlotte Moore and Ciarán O’Reilly, the founders of the Irish Repertory Theatre. Together, starting with little more than a shared dream and indefatigable determination, they’ve made the Rep into one of the theatrical community’s most creatively vibrant and artistically significant venues. Along with their brilliant staging of O’Neill’s plays, Charlotte and Ciarán have presented season after season of critically acclaimed productions. With the Rep, they’ve done for Irish theater in New York what Yeats and Lady Gregory did for Dublin with the Abbey. Their contributions to the arts in general and Irish-American culture in particular are immeasurable. They’ve richly earned this award.”

Moore and O’Reilly wrote, “It is an honor pure and simple to be recognized for our work, but to receive an award with Eugene O’Neill in the title is deeply meaningful.” They quoted O’Neill himself to summarize the vision that drives and sustains the Irish Rep: “’The people who succeed and do not push on to a greater failure are the spiritual middle-classers. The man who sets out for the mere attainable should be sentenced to get it–and keep it. Only through the unattainable does man achieve a hope worth living and dying for–and so attain himself.’ In that spirit or perpetual striving, they concluded, “we treasure this award both for the honor it brings and the inspiration it provides.”

On behalf of the board of the Irish Rep, chairperson Ellen McCourt spoke of the “generous, innovative, creative, and oh let’s just say it, brilliant” work that Charlotte and Ciaran have done in bringing the Irish Rep to where it is today. “The Eugene O’Neill Lifetime Achievement Award,” McCourt said, “is an especially appropriate honor. From the moment they opened their doors with Sean O’Casey’s ‘The Plough and the Stars,’ in 1988, the theatrical community has been continually enriched by a remarkable series of Irish and Irish-American productions. Terry Teachout of the Wall Street Journal puts it simply when he describes The Irish Repertory Theatre as ‘One of the finest theatre companies in America.’ Ciaran and Charlotte are true heroes as well as great artists. I can’t imagine two worthier recipients of the O’Neill Award.”

In addition to the Eugene O’Neill Lifetime Achievement Award, the Irish Rep has been honored with the 2007 Jujamcyn Award, a special Drama Desk Award for “Excellence in Presenting Distinguished Irish drama,” and the Lucille Lortel Award for “Outstanding Body of Work.”

The IAW&A annually bestows the Eugene O’Neill Lifetime Achievement Award on an Irish American writer or artist who has created a body of work that places them among the great artists and entertainers of all time. Playwright Eugene O’Neill embodied the highest level of artistic achievement. With his unparalleled body of work in the theater, he not only won many prestigious awards (including four Pulitzers and a Nobel Prize for Literature), he maintained a level of artistic integrity that set the bar for all to come.

Actor Brian Dennehy was honored with the 2010 O’Neill Award. Novelist William Kennedy accepted the inaugural O’Neill Award in 2009.

O’Neill Lifetime Achievement Award Cocktail Reception, will begin at 6.00 pm on Monday, October 17, 2011 at the Manhattan Club, upstairs at Rosie O’Grady’s, 800 7th Avenue at the corner of 52nd St., near Times Square. .

Founded and operated as a non-profit organization, Irish American Writers & Artists, Inc. celebrates the achievements of Irish- American writers and artists, past and present, and works to highlight, energize and encourage Irish Americans working in the arts. IAW&A supports free speech, the rights of immigrants, the equality and dignity of all, and the process of peaceful, positive social change in the U.S., Ireland and around the world.

Founding board members of Irish American Writers and Artists Inc, include writers Peter Quinn, TJ English, Pete Hamill, Malachy McCourt, Mary Pat Kelly, Michael Patrick MacDonald and Celtic singer/songwriter Ashley Davis.

For more information about Irish American Writers and Artists, Inc, go to where on-line ticket sales will begin soon.

For media queries and photo requests, please contact:
John Lee 917-475-6981

July 10, 2011

Second IAW&A Salon Draws Diverse Talents

Filed under: Uncategorized — by johnleemedia @ 10:29 pm

Emcee Sarah Fearon intros the next Salon reader

by Charles Hale
Okay. So Mary Black didn’t close out Tuesday night’s second Irish American Writers & Artists’ Salon. But we did have singer/songwriter/guitarist Michael Sheahan sing a beautiful ballad, “Pressed Between the Pages of Time” from his soon be released CD.

The Salon, the brainchild, of Malachy McCourt,  allows IAW&A members the opportunity to present in the medium of their choice: a reading from a work in progress, a video, a comedy skit, storytelling or a song, whatever the participant would like to present. The event is meant to be low-keyed and that’s exactly what it was, a group of artists gathered to support one another in a relaxed and convivial atmosphere.

Sarah Fearon emceed the gathering, and along with Dennis Driscoll, brought a fair dose of hilarity to the proceedings, Sarah with her video “Snazzy Sells the Highline,” and Dennis with a riotous tale of growing up in NYC  called “The Shit Line.”

Honor Molly gave a spirited reading from her soon to be released novel, Smarty Girl; Martha Pinson shared a poignant tribute to her “Grandma Deeny;” Mary Gannon read a stirring poem, “Chemotherapy I,” and Mary Lou Quinlan shared a wonderful work in progress, a one woman show, “The God Box.”

In addition, John Kearns, Mary Pat Kelly, Pat Hanrahan, Neil Hickey read from their novels in progress, Sheila Walsh read from a play in progress, and I read a short story.

The turnout was excellent, particularly in light of the fact that it was a holiday week.  Members and their friends enjoyed a number of fine performances from the IAW&A’s members in a perfect setting, The Thalia Cafe, located at Symphony Space on Broadway and 95th Street.  When the performances ended, few were quick to leave.  The atmosphere was conducive to sipping cocktails, becoming acquainted, and sharing stories.

The salons are held on the first Tuesday of each month at The Thalia Cafe. For more information on joining the IAW&A or attending the Salons you can contact Charles Hale at   The next Salon will be held August 2nd.

Mary Lou Quinlan

John Kearns

July 5, 2011

IAW&A Member Named Poet Laureate of Louisiana

Filed under: Literature — by moneygrip4 @ 7:07 pm

Julie KaneGovernor Bobby Jindal has named Natchitoches English professor Julie Kane the 2011-2013 Poet Laureate of Louisiana.

Julie Kane, PhD, is a professor of English at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches.  A tireless promoter of poetry in the state, she is a recipient of the National Poetry Series award (2002), the Donald Justice Poetry Prize (2009), and a Fulbright Scholarship (2002).  In 2005, she was selected as a juror for the National Book Award in Poetry. Subject to confirmation by the state Senate, Kane will succeed the state’s current poet laureate Darrell Bourque on May 21.

Dr. Kane’s poetry collections – Jazz Funeral, Rhythm & Booze and Body and Soul – celebrate the culture of New Orleans. She is also the co-author of the Vietnam memoir Counterpart: A South Vietnamese Naval Officer’s War and an editor of the anthologies Umpteen Ways of Looking at a Possum: Critical and Creative Responses to Everette Maddox and Voices of the American South.

The LEH will confer the award on Julie Kane, Louisiana’s Poet Laureate at 6 p.m. June 23 at the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, or LEH, Louisiana Humanities Center, 938 Lafayette St., in New Orleans. She also will give her first official public reading as Poet Laureate. The program will be free and open to the public.

“After lengthy deliberation the panel felt that these accomplished and reputable poets are the most qualified of those nominated,” the Poet Laureate Panel stated in its written recommendations to the governor. “Each writes about his or her own cultural experiences in Louisiana – three different voices with three different expressions. We realize that only one can be chosen for this honor, but I am compelled to express the panel’s agreement that several others, in addition to the aforementioned, are worthy of this award to represent the state of Louisiana as its literary ambassador in the years to come.”

“The LEH is honored to be able to confer this award on so worthy a poet as Julie Kane,” said Dr. Michael Sartisky.

Blog at