Irish American Writers & Artists

January 27, 2014

St. Pat’s for All Fundraiser at Molly Bloom’s, Feb. 1st!

Filed under: Events,Music,Social Activism — by scripts2013 @ 5:06 am

Join fellow IAW&A members at a fundraiser for the Saint Pat’s for All Parade!

pats for all

And, save the date for the February 28th concert at the Irish Arts Center and for the parade itself on Sunday, March 2nd!

Visit for details.

January 24, 2014

Maura Mulligan Invites Members to Celebrate Celtic Festival of Imbolc & the Feast of St. Brigid

Filed under: dance,Events,Literature,Uncategorized — by scripts2013 @ 3:55 pm

by Maura Mulligan

You are invited to celebrate the ancient Celtic festival of Imbolc & the feast of St. Brigid. February 1st marks the beginning of spring in Ireland. The goddess, Brigid, and the saint are both known as patroness of poets, bards, musicians, midwives, farmers and healers.


Qualified teachers will offer mini lessons in Irish language, dance, weaving & yoga.
The classes are free. Participants are asked to donate for studio rental & invited to share homemade food offerings.

Guests may share artistic gifts of poetry, song, story, music and dance.

The following teachers are lined up for the event:

  • Mary McIntyre, native of Co. Mayo has taught Irish language both in Ireland and here in New York. She works for the NYC DOE
  • Philomena Connors is a certified Hatha 1 Yoga teacher. She studied at Integral Yoga Institute here in New York and teaches there regularly.
  • Bernadette Cullen is a poet and teacher in New York.
  • Maura Mulligan, Mayo native has taught Irish language & dance in NY for over twenty years. She is a certifiedCéilí dance teacher.

Two rooms are booked at Ripley Grier Studios, 131 West 72nd St (between Broadway & Columbus). 6:30-9:30 pm.

Classes are free. Participants will share the studio rental. At about $15 per person, it’s the best deal in NYC!

In the interest of time, some classes will run concurrently.

1. Yoga (active participation)
2. Weaving St. Brigid’s cross (active participation)
3. Irish language (active participation – two levels offered)
4.Ceílí Dancing (active participation)
5. Poetry (lecture/discussion)

It’s not too late to sign up.

We will have guest presentations at the social hour following the classes. So far, we have the promise of a song from the lovely voice of Vera Wrenn. The vivacious Kathleen Higgins will remind us about good nutrition. Witty comedian, Sarah Fearon has “penciled this in.” I hope that means she’ll share her talent.

We’ll be tempted to taste bones when we sample St. Brigid’s cakes from Deirdre Batson’s amazing kitchen. What else? Oh yes, Nancy Oda says she loves to cook. Yum!

Participants are welcome to bring wine, cheese, fruit and or a favorite dish to share.

The celebration is Friday, Jan 31st from 6:30-9:30 pm.

Location: Ripley Grier Studios, 131 West 72nd St. (between Broadway & Columbus) you’ll warm up climbing the stairs to the 2nd floor. No elevator.

RSVP requested by 1/26.

Email Maura Mulligan at

Phone: 201 869 6717

Member Tim Dwyer Calls for Action on Imprisonment of Activitist/Writer/Actress Margaretta D’Arcy

Filed under: American Politics,Irish Politics,Social Activism,Theater,Uncategorized — by scripts2013 @ 2:50 pm
by Tim Dwyer
IAW&A Members: Please, as concerned individuals, support the release of Margaretta D’Arcy from Limerick Prison. She is one of the original members of Aosdana. Whether you agree with her political beliefs and her non-violent actions that preceded her incarceration- walking onto a runway at Shannon Airport with one other person to protest U.S. military use of the airport-it is unethical to place a 79 year old woman with cancer and Parkinson’s Disease in Limerick prison for 3 months.
A 2012 official Irish report concluded that Limerick prison has a number of serious deficiencies, including its medical care. With Margaretta’s medical issues, incarceration could be a death sentence.  There were more humane, healthy and safe ways to incarcerate Margaretta, such as house arrest.
I am calling on concerned members, particularly those strongly networked, involved with the media, with leadership and organizing abilities, to help us identify and execute means of expression, that may include letters, meetings or vigils  promoting these concerns to such entities as the Irish Consulate and the Irish Minister of Justice.  As I have none of these strengths and live 100 miles north of NYC, I am calling on our esteemed and accomplished members to lead the way in this important issue.  Believe me, I am not experienced in activism, so I am asking others for help.
Please respond so we can begin identifying and executing our expressions of concern.  This will be the expression of concerned individuals, and not an official statement of IAW&A.   I thank you for Margaretta!

January 15, 2014

Maura Mulligan Profiled in “The Western People’ newspaper

Filed under: Uncategorized — by scripts2013 @ 6:09 pm

IAW&A member and active Salon participant, Maura Mulligan was recently featured in the West of Ireland newspaper, The Western People. In the Decembert 23, 2013 article, The Western People discussed Maura’s career and her being honored at the Irish Echo Labor banquet. The event, held at the Sheraton New York, Times Square Hotel was organized to pay tribute to the Irish American labor legacy.


Congratulations, Maura! Comhghairdeas leat!

January 13, 2014

Malachy McCourt joins Eamon Loingsigh at Barrow Street Theater

with readings by author EAMON LOINGSIGH
and famed Irish writer MALACHY McCOURT(A Monk Swimming)


with readings by author RICHARD VETERE
and Obie award-winning playwright ISRAEL HOROVITZ

Three Rooms Press will present a sneak peek of forthcoming novels LIGHT OF THE DIDDICOY and THE WRITERS AFTERLIFE with very special guest readers Malachy McCourt and Israel Horovitz as well as authors Eamon Loingsigh and Richard Vetere.

NOVEL IDEAS: A sneak peak @ new books  
Thursday, January 16 at 7 pm at Barrow Street Theater, 27 Barrow St. (at 7th Avenue).
Tickets $10, available at the door.

Eamon Loingsigh


ISBN 978-0-9884008-9-4, Original Trade Paperback, 230 pages, March 2014

LIGHT OF THE DIDDICOY is the brutal saga of Irish-American gangs on the Brooklyn waterfront in the early part of the twentieth century, told through the eyes of Irish immigrant Liam Garrity. Forced at age 14 to travel alone to America on the eve of the 1916 Easter Rising, Garrity stumbles directly into the hard-knock streets of the Brooklyn pier neighborhoods run by Bridge District gang The White Hand. In the industrialized enclaves where Famine Irish settled a generation earlier, Garrity has no choice but to use any means necessary to survive within the clan-like loyalties of the gang.

The book has received widespread pre-publication praise from early readers, including Malachy McCourt, who raves, “LIGHT OF THE DIDDICOY is an amazing series of literary leaps from terra firma into the stratosphere above. The writing embraces you, and his description of the savagery visited on poor people is offset by the humor and love of the traditional Irish community. Don’t leave the store without this book.” T.J. English, author of Paddy Whacked and The Westies, enthusiastically applauds the book, saying “LIGHT OF THE DIDDICOY is written with tremendous flavor and panache. Historical fiction at its best.”

And Alphie McCourt, author of Heartscald, notes, “Eamon Loinsigh is a poet with a pickaxe and a scalpel attached to the working end. Mr. Loingsigh, the meticulous historian, paints a rich picture. Mr. Loingsigh, the novelist, tells it like it was. LIGHT OF THE DIDDICOY is a great read.”

Author Eamon Loingsigh is a journalist with a long-held fascination for the Irish-American New York City experience. His family emigrated from Ireland in the late nineteenth century and his grandfather and great-grandfather ran a longshoreman’s saloon on Hudson Street in Manhattan for much of the twentieth century. LIGHT OF THE DIDDICOY is his first full-length novel.


THE WRITERS AFTERLIFE is a truly original, hilarious and triumphant tale of a writer given one last chance to realize his lifelong dream – after he dies. Tom Chillo, a 44-year-old writer with two novels under his belt, plus countless hack survival jobs, dies suddenly and is faced with one chance to return to earth for one week and set the wheels in motion to achieve eternal fame for his true life’s work. Failure is not an option.

Author Richard Vetere is has written more than 30 plays which have been performed worldwide. His 1997 novel, The Third Miracle, was made into the namesake 2000 film produced by Francis Ford Coppola and starring Ed Harris and Anne Heche.

Warm Festive IAW&A Salon Despite Record-Breaking Cold Outside, 1/7/14

Filed under: Events,Literature,Music — by scripts2013 @ 3:20 pm

By Karen Daly
Photos by Cat Dwyer

Well, the weather outside may have been “beastly” as Brendan Costello described it but inside the Bar Thalia the first IAW&A salon of 2014 was cozy and warm. More than a dozen members presented their work and an upbeat SRO crowd got the salon year off to great start.

John Kearns started the evening off with an announcement about IAW&A Night at Larry Kirwan’s play, Hard Times, at the Cell Theatre on January 23rd.  Tickets are still available.


David Sharp and Mary Tierney

The fun began with two fine actors, Mary Tierney and David Sharp, performing a scene from playwright Joe Davidson’s “Looking for Cans.” Mary has been hosting TimeBanksNYC (TBNYC) free Acting/Writing class for the last two years at Theater for the New City (TNC), where David, a veteran actor, and Joe are both members. Mary first met Joe through IAW&A and is pleased to see such artistic collaborations flourish. Joe Davidson’s “Looking for Cans” will be a part of the Veterans Administration Hospital program.


Guen Donohue

The multi-talented Guenevere Donohue read her brand new poem, which she has now titled,Rushlight.” A lovely ode to the odd little lamp, “the people’s candle” that illuminated her ancestor’s home in Castlecomer, Kilkenny.


Marni Rice

Speaking of multi-talented women, Marni Rice has presented her work as a singer, accordionist, composer and writer at previous salons. Tonight Marni presented an excerpt from her play “After the Storm,” about a small village being looked after by a family of birds.


Brendan Costello

Brendan Costello Jr. likes to surprise and challenge the audience. Tonight he read from the first chapter of Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates. In the tragicomic description of a suburban community theater’s disastrous opening night, Yates captures the heart, and the despair, of the novel and its characters. Brendan chose to share it because he found it inspirational (in fact he assigns it to his creative writing students at The City College of New York.)


Maureen Hossbacher

Maureen Hossbacher gave a spirited reading of another excerpt from her novel-in-progress, The Grand March, the story of two generations of an Irish-American family in NYC. In this segment, set in the 1960’s, Bernie, a young nun, decides to bend her Order’s rules, to accommodate the close bond she has with her sister Nance.

In a new excerpt from John Kearns’s novel-in-progress, Worlds, Paul Logan reminisced about his younger days as an advertising proofreader and his opportunity to see ONE word he had suggested appear in an ad in the New York Times. The laughs of recognition showed that this story resonated with the crowd of writers in the audience. Offered the chance to do more copywriting, Paul turns it down, realizing that advertising is not the type of writing he had come to New York City to do and not what he was meant to do with his talents. John, salon producer and host, poet, playwright, and novelist, does not work in advertising.


Aghamore’s and New York’s own Maura Mulligan

Alternating in Irish and English language, Maura Mulligan presented Oíche Nollaig na mBan – “The Eve of Women’s Christmas”a poem by the Irish language poet, Seán Ó Riardáin. The poem is based on “The Night of the Big Wind” when a hurricane swept through Ireland on the eve of January 6, 1839 causing much destruction and death. Sarah Lundberg and Oran Ryan of the Seven Towers Literary Agency in Dublin translated the poem. Last summer, Maura read from her memoir Call of the Lark and was interviewed on the Seven Towers podcast. John Kearns was also a guest on the podcast in 2013.


A few laughs during the break 


A quick — and only — rehearsal during the break  


Mark Butler

Mark William Butler  refused to acknowledge the fact that Christmas is over when he presented one of his holiday songs, “Remember” from his musical “Santa Forever.” The tune was performed beautifully by vocalist Richard Butler and on the soprano saxophone by Jon Gordon. Mark – and we − thank Richard and Jon for sharing their wonderful gifts.


Richard Butler and Jon Gordon

Later in the program, jazzman Jon Gordon read from his poignant book, For Sue – A Memoir, the story of his childhood growing up alone with an alcoholic single mother. It’s no exaggeration to say that the audience held its breath as Jon read a section about his friend Mario and Mario’s family. For Sue is published by Chimbarazu Press and available on Amazon at


Jon Gordon

Sarah Fearon combines her skills in comedy, writing, and real estate in the work-in-progress story titled “While You Were Out.” It’s a tale with old school New York characters including a doorman, a paralegal and an actor. A little bit crazy and a little bit lucky, they help themselves to an estate sale that includes a penthouse with river views. The lesson: dreaming is free and sometimes it pays off.


Sarah Fearon

Many salongoers have heard Jim Rodgers read from his novel Long Night’s End. Tonight Jim gave an animated reading from his earlier book, Tierney’s Plate, in which newspaperman, Phineus Tierney seeks to expose a group of New York lawyers intent on the destruction of the Good Friday Agreement. After fleeing to a cottage in West Cork, and barely surviving an attempt on his life, Phineus gets drunk in the dark countryside, wondering if he should ditch the story and leave Irish politics to the Irish.


Jim Rodgers


Honor and Bronagh

Honor Molloy presented a tribute to her magnificent friend and collaborator Bronagh Murphy. Honor read two monologues from their play, Maiden Voyages, that takes place in Dublin’s Rotunda Lying In Hospital − the oldest maternity hospital in Europe. Bronagh −nurse, midwife, actress − trained at the Rotunda in the 1980s, thus providing the fodder for the play. Honor provided a spellbinding delivery.


Honor Molloy

Closing the night with a song, Jack DiMonte reprised one he presented once before titled “Robert Frost” by the great jazz bassist Jay Leonhart.  A struggling writer speculates on how sweet his life would be if he only had the life of the great poet as he imagines it must have been − carefree and patron-sponsored!


Jack DiMonte

Happy New Year from IAW&A!


Ready for your turn at the mic?  Email John Kearns at

Next salon at the Cell Theatre on January 21st. See you there!

And, don’t forget IAW&A Night at Larry Kirwan’s play, Hard Times, at the Cell Theatre on January 23rd! Tickets are still available.

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