Irish American Writers & Artists

January 27, 2016

IAW&A’s Second Salon of 2016: Enjoyable Dramas of Many Types!

Filed under: Uncategorized — by scripts2013 @ 6:01 pm

by Mary Lannon
Photos by Cat Dwyer

Drama of the good variety featured in many of the enjoyable presentations at the Irish American Writers salon at the Cell on Tuesday January 19th.

mark byrne

Mark Byrne and Penny O’Brien

Kicking off the night and the drama, Dublin born playwright Derek Murphy presented the first scene from his new play, Dyin’ For It.  It starred  Mark Byrne and Penny O’Brien as estranged brother and sister dealing, rather inappropriately, with what should be some very sad news. Byrne trained with Wynn Handman in New York and at The Gaiety School and at the Samuel Beckett Centre in Dublin and has acted in New York, Dublin and Los Angelas.

thom

Thom Molyneaux

Next up Thom Molyneaux did not perform a play excerpt but told how his mother wrote out in longhand four copies of her”biography” for her sons. Reading from a copy, he recounted his mother’s telling of her life on a farm in Kerry. In the story a young mother, (Thom”s grandmother) overwhelmed with farm chores and the caring of her first half dozen or so children (there would be 16 in all), has her life changed by an unannounced visitor.

rosina

Rosina Fernhoff

Adding to the drama, Rosina Fernhoff performed a monologue from the solo play, The Conversion of Alice B. Toklas by Carol Polcovar.  Alice examines her life and desire to become a Catholic at the age of 92.  She has these conversations with herself and with her great love, Gertrude Stein. And in the course of these talks, reviewing her life with Gertrude Stein, she finds her own voice…herself.

mcD

John McDonagh

John McDonagh performed a hilarious sketch from his one man play, Cabtivist, recounting all the machinations involved in sending Christmas greetings to families of IRA prisoners on a sign in Times Square during the height of the Troubles.

brendan

Brendan Costello

IAW&A board member Brendan Costello discussed the new online sign-up form to be used by IAW&A Salon presenters.  He also asked for news and volunteers for the IAW&A Weekly newsletter.  

matteo

Adrianna Mateo

After some technical drama involving microphones during which Adrianna Mateo told the audience about performing on the Stephen Colbert show, Mateo read her short short stories and performed her single, “August Sun.”

jk

John Kearns

Just before the dramatic break (i.e. intermission), our dedicated host John Kearns read a brief excerpt from his novel in progress, Worlds: part of the overture to the novel’s section focused on Greed and Charity.

break 1

Adrianna, Rosina, Margaret McCarthy, and Kira Citron enjoy the break

kath

IAW&A board member Kathleeen Walsh D’Arcy has a refreshment during the break

break ii

Derek Murphy and friends … 

joel

Joel Weinberg

The first presenter of the second half, Joel Weinberg (J.L. Weinberg), made his first dramatic entrance to the IAWA salons, reading from his just-published novel, True Religion, a genre-bending fusion of paranormal horror, spiritual therapy, American history, and New Age enlightenment. An unexpected encounter with an otherworldly spirit at a holiday party in Pennsylvania’s Orenda Valley sends the main character, Seth Davis, a gay journalist from Manhattan, on a profound religious journey. Being able to introduce Joel was a special treat for John Kearns as Joel and John are friends and former coworkers.  

william leo coakley.jpg

William Lee Coakley

Another new member William Lee Coakley introduced himself with poems appropriate to the Selfie Age and then mocking ones on the barbarian English, thieves of our language, and on the ancient order of homophobes, followed by a memorial to the Irish-American poet Walter McElroy, defector to England during the McCarthy period among other thought-provoking and moving poems.

osulliv

Kathleen O’Sullivan

Next up Kathleen O’Sullivan presented her memoir Isham Street in the dramatic iMovie form with illustrations and voice-over narration. The chapter titled “The Church” illustrated the domination of the Catholic church in her Irish community, and her childhood quest to understand the concepts of God, Purgatory, Limbo, Heaven, and Hell.

theology

Childlike theology …

scanlon

Seamus Scanlon

Seamus Scanlon read another flash-fiction piece, “Across The Harlem River,” about Dominican gangsters stealing money from the badlands of Woodlawn. He is making a short film of another flash fiction piece he read previously at the IAW&A Salon, entitled, “The Resurrection Love Song.” He is looking for three Irish teens to star in it. Email seamus.scanlon@gmail.com cullen

Bernadette Cullen

Bernadette Cullen recommended the movie, Analisa, and then read a surreal prose piece, a poem responding to a painting by an Italian artist, and a third piece that was an epilogue to a much longer work that is in progress. Cullen is an adjunct instructor with the College of New Rochelle.

munnelly

John Munnelly

Closing out the night in his inimitable dramatic fashion, John Munnelly sang “Flower Shop in the Day (yeah, yeah, yeah),” a cynical take on gentrification, “Julius Caesar, a meditation on life filtered through historical biography, and a new song, “Is it Love that We’re Here For?” a meditation on meaning and reconciliation.

Look out for the new IAW&A Salon sign-up form!  See you at the next salon on Wednesday February 3rd at 7 pm at Bar Thalia!

 

 

 

 

 

January 11, 2016

1.5.16 IAW&A Salon: In the beginning was the Word, but first came the Irish. -Malachy McCourt

Filed under: Uncategorized — by scripts2013 @ 9:29 pm

By Karen Daly
Photos by Kevin R. McPartland

Judging by our first Salon of the year at Bar Thalia, 2016 will be a banner year for IAW&A. Host and Salon producer John Kearns announced the first road Salon (Molloy College, Long Island, February 26th) and that IAW&A will participate in the NYC commemoration of the 1916 Easter Rising. At the Thalia, we welcomed three new presenters, saw the return of old friends, and had so many talented folks on the bill, we had no time for intermission.

seamus

Seamus Scanlon

Starting the fireworks, Seamus Scanlon read a flash fiction piece about a pyromaniac called, “The Great Fire of Galway.” The story will be published in February on the AkashicBooks.com Mondays Are Murder feature. Seamus went from the freezing NYC to the Key West Literary Seminar where, he reports, he has met no Irish people so far! His new website is www.seamusscanlon.com

jen

Jenifer Margaret Kelly

Demonstrating the range of her talent, Jenifer Margaret Kelly read a poem “The First Snow,” a prose poem, “ Antibody” and a monologue, “The Muffin Man.”

sheila

Sheila Agnew

Sheila Agnew described her journeys from New York to Dublin, London, Mexico City and back and from lawyer to novelist. Author of several popular YA novels, Sheila has a timely new adult thriller, The Exclusion Wars, about a Latino teenager in hiding in New York in 2025 after President Trent has come to power. Says Eoin Colfer, author of Artemis Fowl, “Slick writing, a fascinating premise and a rollercoaster plot, Agnew’s The Exclusion Wars is a book that needed to be written and needs to be read.” More at http://sheila-agnew.com

tom

Tom Mahon

Tom Mahon told a poignant story of two weary sisters caring for their mother on Christmas Eve. Their brother is a veteran, who is in prison for using and selling drugs. The son is their mother’s favorite. So one sister writes a letter for him so their mother, in her dementia, can dream of her son holding her before she dies.

brent

Brent Shearer

In his second IAW&A appearance, Brent Shearer read his short story “Piss of the Faithful.” A writer whose blog can be found at  inthefrontrowonthedole.blogspot.com, Brent claims that he “publishes short things in obscure places.

eilin

Eilin O’Dea

Yes, I said yes. Irish actor/singer Eilin O’Dea gave a thrilling interpretation of Molly Bloom’s soliloquy from her “Joyce’s Women” production. More about her at EilinODea.com

bill

Bill McGarvey

IAW&A Salon first-timer (and John Kearns’s fellow Saint Joe’s Prep alumnus) Bill McGarvey, musician, singer, songwriter sang two terrific compositions. “Not Alone,” from his Beautiful Mess album is a quiet meditation on the search for one’s place in the cosmos. “Standing Next to Gloria Steinem” from his Tell Your Mother album deals with a real-life experience of encountering the feminist icon on the #6 train in NYC. For more of Bill’s work, go to billmcgarvey.com.

kath

Katharine McNair

In another Salon debut, Katharine McNair presented her poetry, “The FDR,” “Brothers,” “Broken Heart Melodies,” and three pieces from her musical in progress, a Cinderella story set in 1929 New Orleans. An MFA and multi-talent, Katharine’s work has been published in Poetry in Performance Volume 43, and online at BigCityLit.com, and her children’s literature has been published on StoryShares.org. Find her at Zincrest.com

 sean

Sean Carlson

IAW&A board member Sean Carlson has returned after his recent wedding to Cathlin Olszewski in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Cathlin and her mother joined us at Bar Thalia for Sean’s first reading in several months. His piece from his yet-untitled family memoir reflected on immigrant journeys and those left behind. The heartbreaking story of a young woman departing Ireland for Sacramento by way of airports in Newfoundland, New York and Los Angeles carries echoes of Colm Tóibín’s Brooklyn. More at www.seancarlson.net.

rita

Rita Reidy Lennick

Another writer making her Salon debut, Rita Reidy Lennick read a sensitive piece from her memoir and we encourage her to come back and read more.

jim

Jim Rodgers

A welcome return to the Salon, Jim Rodgers read the first chapter from his novel, Long Night’s End. The chapter introduces the main characters, the themes to be explored, and the continual angst and heartache the protagonist, Johnny Gunn, will exhibit throughout the novel. This all comes out through Johnny Gunn’s thoughts as he plays his guitar in a Lower East Side club, along with his aging band mates.

johnm

John Munnelly

Singer, songwriter, musician John Munnelly finds the Salon a comfortable place to debut new work. Tuesday he played for the first time a song he’s been working on since the summer, and that he was rewriting and editing right up until he played it for us. John’s take on a Zen Koan, the likely title is “Why is the One, Both the Same?”

mal

Malachy McCourt

In summing up a fine evening, Malachy McCourt, self-described “anchor baby,” declared, “In the beginning was the Word, but first came the Irish.”

And we can’t add to that.

The next IAW&A Salon will be on January 19th at the Cell at 7 pm!  The next Bar Thalia Salon will be on WEDNESDAY February 3rd at 7 pm with nothing trivial to rush or interrupt us.

Happy New Year!

 

 

Blog at WordPress.com.