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!

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