Irish American Writers & Artists

September 29, 2012

Changes to IAW&A Salon Schedule in October!

Filed under: Uncategorized — by johnleemedia @ 8:28 pm

The IAW&A Salon, which is normally the first and third Tuesday of the month will be on the second and fourth Tuesday in October.

The Thalia Salon is on October 9th and the Salon at The Cell is on Oct. 23rd.

Hope to see you there!


September 28, 2012

Mike Farragher & Co. Kick-Off IAW&A NJ Salon

Filed under: Events — by johnleemedia @ 5:45 pm

There was a small yet mighty–and mighty talented–crowd that participated in the inaugural NJ Irish American Writers and Artists (IAW&A) Salon on September 27. This is a new partnership forged between the IAW&A and the Irish American Cultural Institute of Morristown.

The evening kicked off with an oral story from Kathy Callahan, who spun a whimsical tale about how a letter to her hero Bruce Springsteen led to an unforgettable night in the VIP section with fans from Northern Ireland.
Singer/songwriter Patrick Clifford kept the storytelling of the Boss by playing a haunting cover of “Thunder Road,” a tune he says is as strong an Irish immigrant song about busting out as anything else out there. Clifford also debuted “Pole to Pole” a track from his upcoming album “Chance of a Start.” He also read a moving essay about his family and the inspiration of the album cover for his first disc. You can hear songs on the new disc by logging onto his website at
Mike Farragher ended the evening with a sneak peek at his new book, the follow-up to the runaway success This Is Your Brain on Shamrocks. Farragher told the tale of how he helped edit a book of poetry and a book of gripes penned by his friends that produced the idea for “Screw U Haikus,” a ribald collection of short poems about things that get his goat. To follow Mike’s antics log onto
We then celebrated the evening at the legendary Hennesy’s Bar in Morristown. Creativity is thirsty work, indeed! Thank you to Carol and Mark Buck from the Cultural Institute, who were such excellent hosts! The Guinness bread and craic were equally mighty!
The Salon sessions allow writers, artists, and playwrights to express themselves in front of a safe and nurturing community. We’d love to see you at the next one!
A number of artists have already reserved their place at the next NJ Salon, which will be on October 25 from 7-9 and takes place on the last Thursday of every month at the Irish American Cultural Institute, just steps away from the NJ Transit Morristown stop at 1 Lackawanna Place. Google map link is,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.&biw=1302&bih=1188&q=1+lackawanna+plaza+morristown&um=1&ie=UTF-8&hq=&hnear=0x89c3a6965ab47cd5:0xc6659651bcb3a34e,1+Lackawanna+Pl,+Morristown,+NJ+07960&gl=us&sa=X&ei=q7dlUMz7OsaB0AHtwIDoDQ&ved=0CCIQ8gEwAA

Write On,

Mike Farragher

September 26, 2012

Add Your Support to the Eugene O’Neill Award…With an Ad!

Filed under: Uncategorized — by johnleemedia @ 6:53 pm

You can honor our 2012 Eugene O’Neill Lifetime Achievement Award honoree Judy Collins and support the work of the Irish American Writers & Artists by advertising in the O’Neill Award event program….


Irish American Writers & Artists, Inc.

Opportunities to Support the Irish American Writers & Artists

The Eugene O’Neill Lifetime Achievement Award Celebration will be held on Monday, October 15, 2012 beginning at six o’clock at The Manhattan Club above Rosie O’Grady’s, 800 7th Avenue, New York, NY.
Our honoree this year is famed singer and songwriter Judy Collins.

Opportunities to honor Judy Collins and support the work of the Irish American Writers & Artists are available in the form of sponsor ads to appear in the Eugene O’Neill Award Commemorative Program and sponsor banners and links to appear on the IAW&A website

Sponsorship Options:

$1250 – Back cover of Eugene O’Neill Award Commemorative Program and sponsor’s banner and link posted on the IAW&A website for one year.

$1125 – Inside covers Eugene O’Neill Award Commemorative Program and sponsor’s banner and link posted on the IAW&A website for one year.

$1000 – Full page ad in the Eugene O’Neill Award Commemorative Program and sponsor’s banner and link posted on the IAW&A website for one year.
$525 —  Half-page ad in the Eugene O’Neill Award Commemorative Program

Name of Sponsor/Organization as it is to appear in the program

Contact Person ___________________________________________________

Phone _________________________ Email__________________________________

Enclosed is a check for $_________ for a (check one):

SOLDFull page (7 ¾” x 10 ¼”) back cover program ad and website listing ($1250)
____ Full page (7 ¾” x 10 ¼”) inside cover program ad and website listing ($1125) (included 4 event tickets)
____ Full page (7 ¾” x 10 ¼”) program ad and website listing ($1000) (includes 3 event tickets)
____ Half page (7 ¾” x 5”) program ad ($550) (included i event ticket)

Send camera-ready art and website banner by Friday, September 28 to:

Brian Corrigan/Program Designer

mailing address for artwork and for ad payment:
Irish American Writers & Artists, Inc
511 Avenue of the Americas #304,
New York, NY 10011

Checks should be made payable to: Irish American Writers & Artists


September 25, 2012

Writing Competition From The Table 4 Writers’ Foundation

Filed under: Uncategorized — by johnleemedia @ 11:36 am
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Friends of Malachy McCourt have formed an organization called the The Table 4 Writers’ Foundation, to honor the legendary restauranteur, Elaine Kaufman.

Elaine at Elaine’s


The organization will be giving grants of $2000 to promising writers living in New York City, 21 years and older, as part of an annual competition.

Rules and the application form for the grants, which will include both fiction and nonfiction writing, are available at Grant winners will be announced at a gala to be held on Sunday, February 10, 2013, marking what would have been Ms. Kaufman’s 84th birthday.

All entries must be postmarked by October 15, 2012.

September 24, 2012

Invitation to IAW&A Members: Lelia Doolan at Glucksman Ireland House

Filed under: Film,Visual Arts — by johnleemedia @ 9:43 pm
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Lelia Doolan

Lelia Doolan, a former Artistic Director of the Abbey Theater, Chairperson of the Irish Film Board and award-winning television producer and documentary film maker, has been a driving force in Ireland’s theater, film and television world since her pioneering time in the early days of Irish national television.    Her latest project is building Galway’s first arthouse cinema: The Picture Palace which is scheduled to open in the winter of 2013.  The funding for the venture — provided mostly by Irish government and state agencies — is almost complete but given Ireland’s dire economic circumstances there is a shortfall which Doolan is trying to make up.

Picture Palace

Her track record in bringing art and culture to the west of Ireland makes Doolan well-equipped for this kind of challenge: she brought independent cinema to the small villages and towns of rural Ireland in the form of the Cinemobile and she was a founder of the Galway Film Fleadh, Ireland’s premiere film festival. Along with President Michael D Higgins she revived the Irish Film Board 1993 and brought about a rebirth of independent cinema in Ireland.

Bernadette, Doolan’s award-winning documentary on the life of Bernadette Devlin is playing on Sunday, October 7th at the New York Irish Film Festival

A reception for Lelia Doolan and Galway’s Solas Picture Palace will be help at Glucksman Ireland House, NYU 1 Washington Mews, New York, NY 10003  Thursday, October 4th at 7:00 pm.  To  attend, RSVP:

September 20, 2012

Rave Reviews for Latest IAW&A Salon

Filed under: Essay,Events,Literature,Theater — by johnleemedia @ 11:56 am
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Why attend an Irish American Writers and Artists Salon? Here’s a quote from one of Tuesday night’s readers, Jim Rodgers: “I’ve come to realize that the Salon would have gone the way of similar efforts in many fields–great ideas that founder at the toddler stage—if not for dedication of a great bunch of folks. Yesterday was a tough day at work and I almost backed out of attending. I’m glad I didn’t. The presenters help put me back on track and enriched my day.”  And you did as well, Jim. Thank you from all of us.
Michele Cetera presented the first installment of the short story, “Pieces Of Me.”  Michele cleverly sets up the scene giving us details that draw us into the story as we meet the character Macy Grant, and all the negative happenings that are wreaking havoc in her life.  This was a fast paced,  funny reading as Michele transformed herself into Macy Grant ranting about everything that has gone wrong in her life, but ready to accept change, move forward and never give up hope. Do I see the makings of a one woman show in the “Maria Tomesi, My Cousin Vinny” mold? I hope so.  
Tara O’Grady
Singer/songwriter Tara O’Grady returned from an extended tour of England and Ireland with a new song called, “In Belfast Tonight.” Tara composed the lyrics and melody on the plane ride home to New York last week after a memorable night in Belfast with a group of artists and musicians she met during a traditional Irish music session. One artist happened to be named after the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas, and a few of the famous poet’s most recognized lines sneak their way into Tara’s lovely song. “Do not go gentle into that good night…rage, rage, against the dying of the light.” Tara announced that the new song will most likely make its way onto her third album, A Celt in the Cotton Club, to be released in 2013.
The IAW&A’s resident sleepwalker, Kathleen Frazier, read from her book proposal for Somniloquies: A Memoir of Sleepwalking. Her story is both harrowing and powerfully told  but, she reports, she is now a completely recovered somnambulist.  Kathleen is an outstanding reader and you can hear her read from the memoir on Tuesday, October 2nd at 6:00 pm at The Cornelia Street Cafe in Greenwich Village. For more information, see the notice in the “What’s Happening” section on the IAW&A website
Pat Fenton is a playwright with a vivid memory and great ear for a Brooklyn era long since past, and as such, Pat attempted to bring to life Nick Scarpa, a loan shark who hung out in an old neighborhood bar, the Hill Top Lounge, on a typical 1950’s Windsor Terrace Saturday night. Judging from some of the comments I heard during the intermission, no doubt, Pat succeeded.
Owen and Moley O’Suilleabhain
Moley and Owen O’Suilleabhain are beginning to incorporate a deeper narrative into their performance as they attempt to bridge their musical act into other disciplines and performance opportunities.  The brothers sang one of their own compositions called ‘Irish Hearts Are Hard To Break’ and the traditional song ‘Suil a ruin’. The brothers spoke of the tradition of maccaronic song and of grieving and letting go. Owen & Moley later commented that they appreciate the salon as a workshop to try out new songs and link them with common themes and stories on a formal speaking plane. We’re honored to have them.
Mary Lannon followed with a wonderful reading from her novel-in-progress An Explanation of the Fundamentals of the Derivation of Dilapidated Brown Station Wagon Theory (aka How I Became A Scientist and Discovered the Truth About Parallel Universes) by Miranda J. McCleod.  The novel tells the story of a girl science geek who believes that at the age of fourteen, after fighting with her father , she got sucked through a faulty air-conditioner in a dilapidated brown station wagon and landed in a parallel universe.  The conceit is that she deals with the normal ups and downs of adolescent through her unique scientific perspective.  An imaginative and creative presentation.
Guenevere Donohue treated us all to a full-on performance of her chamber play, Moses’ Goggles.  Her deceptively simple and powerful writing style, combined with clever stage image, packed unexpected modern connections into a gem-cut piece honoring her Grandpa Moses’ emigration story and work on the Hoover Dam.
Emcee Charles Hale
Jim Rodgers closed the evening reading from his novel Long Night’s End.  In a gripping and haunting excerpt, the protagonist Johnny Gunn discovers that his friend Jimmy has been re-visiting ground zero late at night and reliving the horror of the “sunny day,” the day he lost his father and brother and most of his battalion.  Johnny guides his now catatonic friend back to the subway and back to Sunnyside, delivering him to his wife in the early hours of the morning.  It is then that Johnny realizes Jimmy’s days as a fireman are over–a final loss he knows Jimmy will not likely survive. 
The next salon will be held on October 9th at the Thalia Cafe at Symphony Space at Broadway and 95th St.  For more information on joining the Irish American Writers & Artists or attending the salons, contact Charles R. Hale atchashale1@ya

September 19, 2012

New Member with a New Novel

Filed under: Literature — by johnleemedia @ 9:14 pm
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The Barn is the second novel from Postmortem-press by Jason Downes and is slated for release early October.

The year is 1789 and the town of Aldwood have decided to build something that will serve the community. A place in which to gather in the fine weather and to store emergency supplies in the winter. A local farmer donates one of his fields and soon the work begins on this noble and worthy project.

However unbeknownst to the towns folk burried beneath the earth for hundreds of years, imprisoned there by the ancient native tribe in the area is a demon of unspeakable evil. It remains within its prison held there through an ancient rite and an oath never to build upon the land. Once the foundation for the barn is started, the oath is broken and the one last item which binds the thing to the field is taken and with it is unleashed a monster which at first is weak but over time grows in strength and power and aims to seek revenge on the ancient tribe and use the citizens of Aldwood to feed its hunger.

Spanning the centuries from the 1780’s to the 1970’s the barn follows the demon with the building as it uses the weak, the stressed and the evil minds of Aldwood as it regains its strength and seeks a host to finally wreek a terrible revenge on the Native tribe that imprisoned it centuries before.

Several tales link into one common enemy and with each one the terror and horror exceeds until the climax is reached between the old evil, several strong and tired spirits and the tribe.

Advance praise for The Barn

This novel is a chilling history of horror, with several hideous tales that unravel to reveal one common foe. Each new period of that history is more gruesome than the last, and as those stories come together you find yourself crawling to the edge of your seat.

Kenneth W. Cain, author of The Saga of I and The Dead Civil War

THE BARN is a ghost story unlike any other. Downes’ richly written, identifiable characters are haunted not only by the malevolent spirits of an eerie barn in New Jersey, but also by a uniquely American guilt spanning several generations. Fast-paced, at times heart-wrenching, and packed with plenty of chills, THE BARN, like its inhabitants, will stay with you long after the pages have run out.

Joseph Williams, author of Detroit Macabre and Swinging from Stars

Less than a third of the way through “The Barn,” I was enthralled as well as surprised by the ease at which Jason Downes’ characters touched my heart and chilled me to the bone. As much as I hated putting the book down, I had to stop on several occasions so I could get some nightmare-free sleep.

Jessica McHugh, author of Rabbits on the Garden, The Sky, the World, and PINS.

September 18, 2012

In Conversation with Judy Collins

Filed under: Uncategorized — by johnleemedia @ 9:21 pm
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Join us when we honor Judy Collins with our Eugene O’Neill Lifetime Achievement Award on Mon., Oct. 15 in NYC.  For details go to

September 17, 2012

Celtic Cross Over: Irish Impact from Broadway to Wall Street

Join a livley discussion this Tuesday evening on the unique role of Celtic cultural enterprises in New York City and, by extension, the rest of the United States with IAW&A panelists Larry Kirwan, Malachy McCourt, Gwen Orel and others in an exploration of the interplay of the arts and business and how Celtic drama, music, and literature have built on this relationship to travel throughout America.

Date: Tues., Sept. 18, 2012
Time: 6:30 PM
Location: Lincoln Center Library for the Performing Arts, Broadway & W 64th St.
FREE event followed by a reception, presented by Origin Theatre Company and the Irish business Organization of New York (IBO-NY) as part of 1st Irish Festival. RSVP at

Irish Business Organization of New York & 1st Irish Festival present Celtic Cross Over, Sept 18, 6:30 pm

September 15, 2012

Next Salon–This Tuesday at The Cell

Filed under: Uncategorized — by johnleemedia @ 2:23 pm

IAW&A salons are normally held on the first and third Tuesdays of the month. The next salon is scheduled for The Cell Theatre, 338 W23rd St, on September 18th at 7PM. For more information on the salons or on joining the Irish American Writers & Artists contact Charles R. Hale

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