Irish American Writers & Artists

January 25, 2017

1-17-17 IAW&A Transatlantic Salon with Belfast Artists

Filed under: Uncategorized — by scripts2013 @ 12:27 am

by John Kearns
Photos by John Kearns, Sile B. Fee, and Bronagh Lawson

On Tuesday January 17th, Irish American Writers and Artists held a special event — a transatlantic salon in which New York and Belfast artists shared their work via Google Hangouts.  Bronagh Lawson hosted the artists in Belfast and John Kearns hosted in New York.


Bronagh Lawson

Bronagh Lawson is a visual artist/ curator and art blogger who has been tracking the emerging Belfast art scene since 2010. Bronagh is a long-term collaborator with Suellen Semekoiski from School of Art Institute Chicago, looking at Art and its impact on healing violence.  Her 2016 exhibition,  The Ebb and Flow of East Belfast was exhibited at as part of the 1916-2016 Commemorations supported by British Council and An Roinn Ealaion Oidhreachta agus Gaeltachta, the Department of Arts and Gaeltacht. Bronagh’s work based on the experience of visiting every church in Belfast for a service to is to be completed in October 2017  for the 500 anniversary of the Reformation.

John Kearns opened the proceedings with his poem, “Transmigration of Soul,” about how Irish and African music traveled across the Atlantic to blend into the American music of rock ‘n’ roll. The poem, an excerpt from his novel in progress, Worlds, was a finalist in the 2012 James Hearst Poetry Prize and was published in North American Review.


A Ruth Gonsalves Moore photo

From Belfast, Ruth Gonsalves Moore, winner of the Taylor Art Award for 2014, presented 10 photographic images including from the series Bethel,  A glory to her, Inheritance, and Angels and Ordinances. Interested in faith and worship practices, Ruth works from an insider/ outside position speaking to female sensibilities, around “dress” and dress codes


Anthony Roberts

In New York, Anthony Roberts shared poems that are snapshots of a worldview of a Soldier and a Citizen questioning the responsibilities of both. There is an old curse, “may you live in interesting times.” The silver lining is that interesting times often produce interesting poetry.


Geraldine O’Kane

Geraldine O’Kane, originally from County Tyrone, Northern Ireland, is a poet, creative writing facilitator, arts administrator, curator and mental health advocate. She is part of Poetry NI, a multimedia platform offering opportunities and resources for poets in Northern Ireland. She recently received an Artist’s Career Enhancement Scheme (ACES) award from Arts Council of Northern Ireland. She is working towards her first full collection. Her pamphlet “Quick Succession” is available to purchase via Pen Points Press.

Geraldine is co-host Purely Poetry monthly mic nights held in The Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast. Her poetry is mostly inspired by observation, addresses the issues society would prefer not to talk about, and is firmly seeded in the oral tradition of storytelling. She specializes in micropoetry.  Her work has been published in anthologies from Community Arts Partnership, The Galway Review, Poethead, the Poetry Super Highway, The Incubator, and elsewhere. Her work can be found at and

maureenMaureen Hossbacher

Maureen Hossbacher read an amusing memoir entitled ”Tables” that traced her culinary adventures from the less than ideal environs of her mother’s kitchen to the gleaming steel and tile domain of a professional cooking school.


The afternoon crowd in New York


The evening crowd in Belfast

John Kearns opened the second half with his poem, “Valentine Avenue, Bronx, NY” about a miserable seeming February 14th in the Bronx, which ends with a helium heart rising above the ugliness.


Work of Gerry Gleason

Gerry Gleason enjoyed sharing selected art works from a career spanning over forty years by Google Hangouts with the Irish American Writers and Artists of N.Y.C.. He was also happy that the image of the painting, “Raining Dollars N.Y.C” could be finally seen digitally in the city that inspired the image in 1993.


Mary Lannon read an excerpt from her novel-in-progress, Tide Girl.  The dystopian novel satirizes a corporate, pornography-soaked world that is a little too close to our own.


Colm Clarke

Colm Clarke is an artist based in Belfast creating actions, sonic scores and situations. Colm develops his work as a tactile strategy with collaboration, humor and interventions. Colm is a member of Queen Street Studios and Bbeyond performance collective.  Colm Clarke presented recent project HOME AGAIN – a project in two parts focusing on a film and radio broadcast working with pigeon fanciers and asylum seekers that reside in Belfast. He is interested i the pigeon clubs as social spaces and the enormous distance these birds navigate in their flight back to captivity and as a counterpoint to this interviews and radio program in collaboration with asylum seekers to tell their own story and journeys.


Accompanied on guitar by Adam Bilchik, violinist and singer-songwriter Adrianna Mateo concluded the salon with three songs:  “Coney Island,” “August Sun,” and another inspired by show tunes.  It was a rousing and beautiful end to our second transatlantic salon!  Adrianna’s most recent single is available on iTunes, Google Play, and YouTube.

Hopefully, this is was the first of many events in which we can share our work with our friends in Belfast!

See you at our next IAW&A Salon at Bar Thalia on Thursday, February 2nd!  We will be welcoming guests Patrick Mahoney and Cormac O’Malley with their new books about the Irish in Connecticut and about Irish rebel and writer Ernie O’Malley.

Here is the 2017 IAW&A Salon schedule.



January 9, 2017

Planes, Cars, Tuk-tuks, and Shank’s Mare: Travelling on with Irish American Writers & Artists at  their first salon of 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — by scripts2013 @ 2:30 am

by Maureen Hossbacher
Photos by Mark Butler 

Rich Stone

The first salon of the year was a well attended gathering of both familiar and new faces.  Let’s start with the new — first time presenter Rich Stone, who read his clever and entertaining short story “Beyond Superman” about Max the philosophy professor who, after his car breaks down, finds himself wandering in the desert near Las Vegas, where he encounters several not quite human entities with some interesting answers to the eternal question “Is there a God?”

marciaMarcia Loughran

Also wandering — this time down Mott Street — was poet Marcia Loughran, in her “messay”  entitled “Parable of the Tawdry Fish.”   Having arrived too early for a brunch date in Chinatown, she wanders into a New Year’s Day mass in a church with a less than stellar choir.  The choir may have sung off key, but Marcia’s new year’s message was right on pitch, including her lovely poem “Momentary Sighting.”  Loughran’s award-winning poetry chapbook Still Life With Weather  is now available on and Barnes &

John McDonagh

Monologist, political activist and radio personality John McDonagh, in the flesh, accompanied by a virtual Malachy McCourt (cardboard cutout) was on hand to preview an upcoming 2-man play that John is developing which will feature stories from some of Malachy’s memorable broadcasts over his 40-year radio career.

djD.J. Sharp

The scene: a police station; the date: February. 25, the day of Tennessee Williams’ death some years prior at a hotel in the precinct.  In this segment from his one-man show focusing on the life and work of the great playwright, actor and dramatist D.J. Sharp, in character as world weary Detective Tommy Gillespie,  recalls the details of that fateful but otherwise routine night and his impression of Williams, whom he once met in a bar.


Vivian O’Shaughnessy

Visual artist and poet Vivian O’Shaughnessy brought a little warmth to the chilly evening  with her recitation of “Pocket” :   . . . mmm / sanctum of love / warmth . . . from which we cherish / bygone times / the present.

Tim O’Mara                                

Novelist Tim O’Mara shared with us the pleasure of writing book dedications, introduced us to two dedicatees in the audience (his wife and daughter) and then read an excerpt from his 4th and latest Raymond Donne crime novel, Nasty Cutter (dedicated to his brother and available now from Severn House, in hard cover and on Kindle).



Judith Glynn

On a flight from NYC to San Francisco, novelist and travel writer Judith Glynn experiences an attitude adjustment when she strikes up a conversation with a generously tattooed heavy metal guitarist half her age.  The essay, entitled “ Seatmates by Design” charmed the audience. For more of Judith’s adventures, real and imagined, check out her book-length nonfiction taleThe Street or Me and her novel A Collection of Affections.


John Kearns

Salon host, John Kearns, debuted a new song inspired by his recent trip to India.  “Tuk Tuk Trip” has fun with the comical aspects of riding in an auto-rickshaw through the congested streets of Delhi and describes the beautiful Muslim and Hindu sights seen along the way.

gordGordon Gilbert

Gordon Gilbert presented two of his most recent poetic monologues, both of which deal with getting older:  “All My Aches & Pains”, in which he personified the subjects as unwelcome guests, and “OK, So I’m an Addict!”, inspired by spending time with family. A familiar presenter at IAW&A salons, Gordon also hosts spoken word events at the Cornelia Street Cafe in Greenwich Village.

Sarah Fearon

Sarah Fearon, having frequently killed us with her comedy routines, tonight intrigued us with excerpts from a story titled “You Must Pay the Rent.” The protagonist, Sally, is a real estate agent traveling through the magical labyrinth of the real estate world in New York. This work in progress guarantees its readers a lot of inside dope, as, in addition to her regular appearances at comedy clubs, Sarah was recently named one of our City’s top 25 RE agents.

guen2Guenevere Donohue

The salon was brought to an uplifting close by the multi-talented Guen Donohue who delivered a heartfelt rendering of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, a fitting selection as the new Administration in Washington DC approaches.  She followed the recitation with the moving and seasonally relevant Jackson Browne song, “The Rebel Jesus.”


Performing “The Rebel Jesus”

The snow held off until midnight, when most of the salon audience members were, presumably, safely home, via their various modes of transport, if not already tucked in their beds.

mariaMaria Deasy made an announcement about the Women’s March on NYC on January 21st

Please note the early start time of our next salon at 3:00PM , on January 17, at the Cell theatre, 328 West 23rd Street.  This will be a special collaborative afternoon shared with presenters in Belfast, Northern Ireland, who will appear live via video hookup.

A very happy, healthy, productive, satisfying New Year to all!


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