Irish American Writers & Artists

April 22, 2018

4.17.18 IAW&A Salon: RAVES FOR A POWERFUL NIGHT: “Full of energy and revelation”

Filed under: Uncategorized — by scripts2013 @ 7:49 pm

 

By Karen Daly

Photos by Tom Mahon

The writer Maureen Hossbacher hosted an extraordinary group of artists for the mid-April IAW&A Salon in a packed house at the Cell. Salongoers and presenters sent rave reviews about the night. “Full of energy and revelation…remarkable offerings.”  “In awe of the talent assembled last night. Humbling to say the least! Loved it.”

Poet Madeline Artenberg set the tone for the evening with her accomplished reading of several poems. Madeline’s history as a photojournalist and street-theater performer informs her work. She dealt with injustice on the world stage in “Demokratia,” a first-hand account of living in Athens under the Colonels and in “Tibet, Land of the Snows.”  Her more personal pieces included “Ruse of the Flute,” about a young girl’s abusive family and “After Death,”  about a daughter’s relationship with her dead mother.

IMG_4563 MO

Madeline Artenberg

Jill Caryl Weiner has a brand-new book, and was proud to have family members at the Salon to celebrate its release. When We Became Four: A Memory Book for the Modern Family helps growing families get ready for that next great adventure: the second baby. This memory book and family journal is warm and funny with easy checklists and creative prompts, in the style of her best-selling When We Became Three, called “the most clever and creative baby journal.” Jill’s enthusiasm for her work is obvious.  She reminds us it a great gift for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, or any day when the family is expanding. She asks us to support local bookstores, such as Bank Street Bookstore on 107th and Broadway. Find them also at Barnes & Noble and on Amazon.

IMG_4594 JW

Jill Caryl Weiner

Salon members had the fun of watching Dublin playwright Derek Murphy develop his hilarious dark comedy Dyin’ for It here at the Salon. He’s currently working on The Love Parts; six short plays about bad relationships. One, “The Woman Driver,” read by the wonderful talents Maria Deasy and Ciaran Byrne portrays the final unraveling of a relationship that should not have lasted as long as it did. Notes Derek, “this is one driver you don’t want to get in the car with.” And he promises more parts of The Love Parts, and more funto come.

 duo.jpg

Ciaran Byrne, Maria Deasy

Marni Rice thrilled with an excerpt, in song and narrative, from her solo work-in-progress In Search of the Past: Memories of a New York Farm Girl from the 1920’s. It’s based on the life of her grandmother— a farm girl, Vaudeville performer and early student of Martha Graham —and set soon after women had won the right to vote, but still lacked rights within their own households. Playwright/composer/performer Marni performs in French and English and her work has been have been produced at festivals around the world.

MR

Marni Rice

With a recent MFA from City College, Natasha Herring inspires change through her writing, compassion advocacy, teaching and filmmaking. She inspired tonight with her brilliant chapter “Strange Fruit” from her memoir Raining Sunshine. Natasha’s description: “Sunshine’s (the protagonist’s) allegorical exploration into the oasis of Okavango Delta after a sexual assault. She searches for a semblance of healing amongst the lions, baboons and grasshoppers only to question race, sexuality and her upbringing on the Lower East Side.” “Strange Fruit” will be published.in the Kweli Journal. Visit http://www.natasha-herring.com.

NH2.jpg

Natasha Herring

Poet Marcia B. Loughran always notes how grateful she is for the opportunity of sharing her work with sounding board of the Salon. Let’s say our appreciation for Marcia’s work and warm voice is mutual.  She optimistically shared a poem about spring, “Astoria Park, April” where she “checks on the trees” to salongoers dressed for the frigid April evening. She then tapped into our shared nostalgia for the cousins we all grew up with two poems dedicated to her cousins, “Rowboats, Lake Mansfield” and “The World is Smaller When We Name It.” Her chapbook Still Life With Weather is available online.

IMG_4656 ML

Marcia B. Loughran

Leilani McInerney has performed in The Fantastiks, at the Amato Opera House and in regional theatre. Now she is creating her own material in poetry and monologues. Tonight she offered an original, stunning monologue hearkening back to an experience she had as a child growing up in Texas, titled “Love Field.” Though very young at the time, the event still resonates in her life. Funny, she notes, how things resurface.

LM.jpg

Leilani McInerney

Another gifted multi-talent, Guenevere Donohue closed the evening with a tribute to   author Samuel Beckett and the Easter Rising, both born in April. Performing Clov  from Beckett’s Endgame, a slave attempting to leave his master, Guen showed her dramatic skill. As a fine way to close a powerful program, Guen sang a soaring rendition of Padraig Pearse’s infamous and inspiring Irish language poem, Mise Éire, set to Patrick Cassidy’s music.

IMG_4690 GDGuenevere Donohue

Thanks to Maureen Hossbacher for hosting.  Don’t forget Jill Weiner’s books, seen here, along with Maureen’s new chapbook, which will be featured soon at a Salon!

Join us next time, Tuesday, May 1 at St. Patrick’s Pub at 7 pm.

 

 

Advertisements

April 9, 2018

4.3.18 IAW&A SALON: April Brings New Work, Tender Family Ties and One “Nude Frolic”

Filed under: Uncategorized — by scripts2013 @ 8:44 pm

By Karen Daly
Photos by Cat Dwyer 

We had an especially high-spirited Salon at St. Patrick’s Pub on the first Tuesday of April, with two artists debuting new work, and excellent music, memoir, fiction, drama and poetry, and a tour de force by Malachy McCourt.  The theme of family bonds and memories was present in many offerings, whether they were forged in Brooklyn, Ireland or China, or in the imagination.

Host and Salon producer John Kearns opened with a poem he’d just completed. He describes the experience of joining a friend by a river in Chengdu, China as she burned fake currency and other paper items for her deceased father, as is the custom. Because of the language barrier, the narrator struck mute and illiterate captures the moment as “A poet with no words/Even to say there are no words.”

catseyepix-0256_previewJK

John Kearns

Jenifer Margaret Kelly and Mary Ann Meyer might have been our first mother-daughter presenters. Jenifer’s mother Mary Ann, on a visit from Florida, had taken a sentimental journey to the places in Brooklyn where she grew up.  Mary Ann shared “The Tree,” a poem written by a prison inmate who watches a tree being torn down during his incarceration and reflects on the everyday beauty that we overlook. Inspired by our recent crime salon, Jenifer read a new short story titled “Miami” in which a sultry young woman heads out to kill an afternoon in the Miami heat. JMKelly-writes.com

catseyepix-0264_previewJMK

Mary Ann Meyer and her daughter Jenifer Margaret Kelly

Rosina Fernhoff’s reading of a monologue from Sheila Walsh’s play Mr. Tweedy’s Neighbors dazzled playwright. It tells the story of two eccentric sisters and their antagonistic, dying mother and what happens when a lonely neighbor visits.

Rosina Fernhoff, left,  reading from Sheila Walsh’s play. Sheila, center.

Mike Farragher had lots to celebrate: the launch of his new book, 9 Rooms in Ballyglunin, a collection of stories set in a rural B&B in Galway; the release of the audiobook This is Your Brain on Shamrocks and the recent filming in Kansas City of a comedy pilot for the Shamrocks book. He read a sweet excerpt about visiting his grandmother in Ireland, “Playing Ketchup with Granny.” Find out more at ThisIsYourBrainOnShamrocks.com

MF.jpg

Mike Farragher

Singer and musician Mary Courtney was celebrating, too, namely the release of her latest CD Freedom’s Pioneers. Mary sang three songs from that CD, accompanying herself once on the guitar, once on the bodhrán. She called it “an absolute joy to able to perform” for us.  Salongoers will agree that the joy was ours. Find her schedule at http://www.marycourtneymusic.com

catseyepix-0303_preview MC.jpg

Mary Courtney

Poet Bernadette Cullen read several exquisite short poems that are thematically related. They included “Oblivion,” “Last Night at the Planetarium,” “All Exits Closed”  and” Le Temps Perdu” and “My Father.”

catseyepix-0329_preview  BC.jpg

Bernadette Cullen

Singer/songwriter of “Celtic Soul” Bernard Smith entertained with original tunes. He composed the bittersweet “The Day Before Yesterday Morning” as a tribute to his late father. His lively “Travel On” is about letting go of what you can’t control.

catseyepix-0323_previewBS

Bernard Smith

Kathleen Vaughan read a chapter titled “Mothering Myself” from her brave memoir-in-progress Raised by Nuns and Drunks. As a young child who lost her mother, Kate learned to watch and emulate other women who cherished their children and themselves. Acknowledging the many women who supported and guided her, Kate revealed her practices for self-care.

catseyepix-0334_previewKV.jpg

Kathleen Vaughn

Gordon Gilbert, Jr. told a short, funny story of looking for his car in Greenwich Village, and then reprised a character from one of his monologues. This character holds forth on aging, memory loss, lust, frustration and the bitterness of old men. Gordon claims that  resemblance to any person living or dead was strictly intentional.

catseyepix-0337_previewGG.jpg

Gordon Gilbert

Malachy McCourt read a hilarious story from his bestselling memoir A Monk Swimming. As a headstrong young man, Malachy got into a dispute at an east side establishment that wanted him to check his coat. Malachy settled the dispute with what he calls “a nude frolic.”  He also offered words of inspiration and exhortation about the craft of writing and telling stories.

catseyepix-0353_previewMM.jpg

Malachy McCourt

Malachy gets the last word at our Salon, but we’ll give Mary Courtney the last word in our column. Commenting on Malachy, “our chieftain and founder,” she notes, “His presence always brings the energy in the room to the top…having him read and speak to us all is beyond words.” 

See you next time at The Cell, 4/17 at 7 pm.

 

 

March 26, 2018

3.20.18 IAW&A SALON: In League with Mystery Writers for a Criminally Good Night

Filed under: Uncategorized — by scripts2013 @ 9:46 pm

By Karen Daly
Photos by Cat Dwyer

IAWA’s March Salon at the Cell, dubbed Crime Night by its co-conspirators Seamus Scanlon and Gary Cahill, brought together members of the prestigious Mystery Writers of America with IAWA talent. Speaking of talent, actor and playwright Joe Goodrich hosted with great style. A mystery editor and aficionado, Joe gave an overview of the genre that ranges from “talking cats to serial killers.” No cats appeared but we had plenty of killers, flash fiction, classic detectives and a bit of history, and naturally, a bit of music.

One of the organizers, Seamus Scanlon read three flash pieces:  “A hAon, A Do, A Tri” (“One, Two, Three”) about “a girl called Zelda in Mervue who didn’t like guys like she ougtha…” His  “Three-Nil” depicts an early savage incident in Northern Ireland. Seamus’ best selling work The Long Wet Grass, now a film and play, was originally developed and premiered at the Cell. www.thelongwetgrass.com

 

 

Seamus Scanlon, left.  Gary Cahill

His partner-in-crime Gary Cahill read a short story “Responsorial” which was inspired by the themes of Seamus’ The Long Wet Grass. It’s a tough tale of American retribution for a long- ago personal transgression that took place during the Irish Troubles.

 

 

Rosina Fernhoff,  Mark Butler

Four IAWA members entertained with selected bits from their favorite crime novels. Rosina Fernhoff and Mark William Butler chose classic detective fiction. Rosina read a taut, humor-filled, first person piece from the noir master James Crumley’s The Last Good Kiss. Playwright Mark William Butler channeled his inner Philip Marlowe as he read from Raymond Chandler’s classic 1949 novel, The Little Sister. Guen Donohue chose a slice of In the Woods by best-selling contemporary Irish author Tana French. Nancy Oda took us to 7th century Ireland with Absolution by Murder, the first book in the Sr. Fidelma series by Peter Tremayne.

 

 

Guen Donohue, left.  Nancy Oda

Suzanne Solomon’s flash fiction entry “Last Stop, Greystone Park” featured a vengeful wife hoping to enjoy her insurance money. Enjoy it on Akashic Books “Mondays Are Murder” series: http://www.akashicbooks.com/last-stop-greystone-park-by-sa-solomon/ Suzanne’s work has appeared in the collections New Jersey NoirJewish NoirProtectors 2: Heroes-Stories to Benefit PROTECT, Grand Central Noir and online publications. http://www.facebook.com/Author.S.A.Solomon.

 

 

S.A. Solomon, left.  Joe Goodrich

Richie Narvaez, award-winning author of Roachkiller and Other Stories, was born and raised in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. And Williamsburg has changed a lot since then. Richie’s feelings about those changes are reflected in his upcoming novel: Hipster Death Rattle. The brief but bloody excerpt left us howling, and eager for the book’s publication next year.

 

 

Richie Narvaez, left.  Larry Kirwan 

IAWA president Larry Kirwan read a tender piece from his new novel A Raving Autumn. Set in Rockaway and Breezy Point, it tells of a couple who lost a hero son on 9/11. And then he sang “Heroes/Belfast” his interpretation of David Bowie’s classic. When Larry met Bowie,  Bowie said that “Heroes” could be set in Belfast as well as Berlin. Find Larry’s version on iTunes and other digital platforms.

catseyepix-0127_previewbreaEnjoying the intermission

Sara Covington, of Queens College and the Graduate Center, specializes in early modern British and Irish history. She told a particularly chilling story: that of Col. Daniel Axtell, a prominent figure in Cromwell’s conquest of Ireland. Appointed as governor of Kilkenny, and later accused of treason, Axtell was eventually hanged, drawn and quartered.

 

 

Sara Covington, left.   Nina Mansfield

In “Gods and Virgins in the Big Easy,” two college women head to New Orleans with murder in mind. Nina Mansfield’s story was published in Crime Syndicate Magazine. She’s a Connecticut based fiction writer and playwright. You can find her work at  http://www.ninamansfield.com

In M.C. Neuda ‘s “Widow’s Might” published online in Yellow Mama, a not quite saintly widow-to-be tends to her husband.  And she read her poem, “Fix Me With A Pin,” in her best teenage voice. M.C. notes that it’s “currently awaiting the judge’s pleasure in Crazyhorse Magazine‘s poetry competition.”

 

 

John Kearns, left.  M.C. Neuda

John Kearns was thrilled to have the excellent actors Gina Costigan and John Skocik in a scene from his play, In a Bucket of Blood, set in Hell’s Kitchen. Eddie Carey waits for his old friend and crime boss, Jimmy Nolan, late at night in a bar. He is trying to learn about a shooting that morning at a local construction site. His wife, Deirdre, enters the bar and through one stratagem after another tries to get Eddie to realize that his loyalty to Nolan is misplaced.

catseyepix-0185_preview john?Gina .jpgJohn Skocik, Gina Costigan in In a Bucket of Blood

Gary Cahill closed the show with a “slightly revised rock/mambo version” of Warren Zevon’s love and heroin song “Carmelita.” Pete Smith, actor, singer, songwriter, and retired firefighter, (http://www.PeterQuentinSmith.com), accompanied him on acoustic guitar.catseyepix-0239_preview GC PSPete Smith on guitar.  Gary Cahill

Special thanks to Gary and Seamus and Joe, and our MWA guests for delivering a fun, fast-paced night!

See you next time, Tuesday, 4/3 at 7 pm at St. Pat’s Pub, 22 W. 46th St.

March 15, 2018

3.6.2018 IAW&A Salon: An evening of personal & fictional stories, poetry, drama, and song

Filed under: Uncategorized — by scripts2013 @ 3:50 am

by Gordon Gilbert
Photos by John Kearns and Mark Butler

For the second time, the IAW&A salon convened at our new home for first Tuesdays, St. Pat’s Bar & Grill, a pub on West 46th Street, in a private room on their 3rd floor (accessible both by elevator and stairs).  From behind the bar, Claire, a convivial Irish lass, served us well.  Several of those who attended can attest that the food there is also quite good!  John Kearns was our host for an evening in which we were regaled with both personal and fictional stories, monologues, poetry, song and excerpts from a play.

IMG_3686Gary Cahill

The evening began with a reading by crime fiction writer Gary Cahill of an excerpt from his short story “On a Two-Way Street”, published in print and e- formats with Mystery Weekly Magazine’s February edition.  It was a foretaste of the next salon (March 20th): Crime Night at The Cell, co-created  by Gary and Seamus Scanlon, which will feature an array of readers and writers from IAW&A and Mystery Writers of America New York.  Dark and stormy?  Gary guarantees it!

IMG_3687

Maria Neuda

Gary was followed by Maria Neuda.  Although primarily a crime fiction writer, this evening Maria presented us with three short non-crime pieces.  The first two were poems:  “I Hate to See” (in two parts – “That Evening Sun” and “Go Down”) and “What is Honesty in This Case?”  The third, a flash fiction piece: “Strangers on a Train.”  Maria will be a participant in the upcoming “Crime Night”, and is also featuring on April 25th at a monthly spoken word event, “Rimes of the Ancient Mariner,” held at the Three of Cups in the East Village.  Maria has had her crime fiction published on e-zine sites, Shotgun HoneyYellow Mama, and Near2theKnuckle.

thom-annalisa

Thom Molyneaux and Annalisa Chamberlin

Next were Thom Molyneaux and Annalisa Chamberlin, who performed two excerpts from his play White Ash Falling 9/11, a play within a play about that horrific day.  The first takes place backstage with Annalisa’s playing Gwen, a young actor who first learns of the tragedy while rehearsing The Seagull at Yale Drama.  In the second, Annalisa played a waitress, Bonnie, witnessing the devastating tragedy live in a New Jersey restaurant with a spectacular view of the Twin Towers.

Then County Mayo native, Maura Mulligan, author of the memoir, Call of the Lark read an excerpt from her fiction writing in progress that features Madge O’ Malley.  Madge has been chosen by a ghost to solve a murder, the said spirit making contact with her at an artist’s retreat in Donegal.  Maura was delighted with the audience’s response.   Maura invited everyone to join her at a ceremony on March 22nd at Brooklyn Borough Hall, where she is being honored as Irish Woman of the Year by the Irish American Heritage & Culture Committee of the Dept. of Education, NYC.

This event is free and open to the public.  Anyone interested in attending, please contact Maura (mauramulligan@aol.com) and she will send you the invitation.  Also you may contact her if you have an interest in joining a weekly céilí dance class (Irish folk dance for adults) and or an Irish language class.

IMG_3691

Maura Mulligan and Philomena Connors

Next came a regular attendee of the IAW&A Salons, Philomena Connors, who is currently working on a short story set in India in a dystopian future.  Philomena read to us from the beginning of her new story.   The protagonist, a UN field worker, takes the reader on a journey to a new reality where the world order has radically changed: dictatorships, caliphates, and democracies vie for global power; mainstream education no longer functions, international travel is restricted and the internet is inaccessible.  Two Irish aid workers try to keep it all together while exploring their pasts and maybe falling in love. To be continued … !

IMG_3703

Maewyn Succat 

IMG_3694

John McDonagh

The second half began with  John McDonagh, who thanked the IAW&A for making possible his one-man play Off the Meter Off the Record at the Irish Repertory Theatre.  He then went on to tell us his personal story about how, following the death in London of his cousin, Vinny, who had been born in that city, it came about that he was asked to bring his ashes back to County Donegal to be buried with his mother, John’s aunt.

John also asked if anyone knew of an agent who could promote his one-man show to HBO, Showtime or Netflix.  He told us that in the neighborhood where he grew up in Queens, the only agents he ever knew were FBI agents. You may contact John at offthemeter.net.

IMG_3696

Rosina Fernhoff

Next we were entertained by IAW&A Salon regular and wonderful actor Rosina Fernhoff, who gave us a delightful reading of a monologue by Gordon Gilbert, in which she portrayed a rather merry widow who still talks quite regularly to her dead husband, and this time is telling him about the unique solution she has found to her need to feel the closeness of others.

gordon

Gordon Gilbert

Then to the amusement of the gathering, Gordon gave us a brief but rowdy reading of six limericks not his own.

kearns

That was followed by our host John Kearns, reading an excerpt from the title story of his collection, Dreams and Dull Realities, in which the sixth-grader Terrance is returning to school after having cut his Achilles tendon on March 17th.  As he gets ready for school, he imagines how he will be a different, more extroverted kid with his classmates.  He also recalls the teasing of his relatives and wonders if they somehow knew that he had brought bad luck upon himself by not wearing green on Saint Patrick’s Day.

guen

Guenevere Donohue

Next Guenevere Donohue sang two songs of the Irish immigrant experience: “Ain’t I Mc Enough For Ya”, an original piece about Guen’s grandparents’ Amerikay arrivals, and “No Irish Need Apply”, a classic folk song which helps people understand one of the reasons why we Irish Americans hold fiercely to our Irish identity.  Guenevere also wants us to know: “I’m in a cool play next week, and it’s super fun: Pieces of a Playwright II in Off-Off-Broadway at 124 Bank Street Theater 2018.”

rosina2

Rosina Fernhoff

Not done yet, the indefatigable, incomparable Rosina Fernhoff performed for us once again, this time a hilarious rendition of “And the Winner Is Me,” a monologue by playwright and movie buff Mark William Butler, in which he pays a satirical tribute to the Oscars.  (Following the salon that night, they both then attended the “after-Oscars-party” ten feet away at St. Patrick’s 3rd floor bar.)

mal

Malachy McCourt

As he traditionally does, Eugene O’Neill Award recipient Malachy McCourt, one of the founders of IAW&A, concluded the salon by regaling us with choice witticisms and a reminder that we should be storytellers, not simply (and boringly) readers, when we perform what we have written, not seeking so much to edify as to entertain!  Lastly, in case we had forgotten what he self-professes, that he cannot sing, Malachy led us all in song again, this time the anti-war classi:  “Johnny, I Hardly Knew Ye.”

Join us next time, Tuesday, March 20th, 7 pm, at The Cell Theatre for the IAW&A Crime Salon!

 

February 26, 2018

2.20.18 IAW&A SALON: “Love, artistry, and courage abound” in an exciting night at The Cell

Filed under: Uncategorized — by scripts2013 @ 3:14 pm

By Karen Daly

Photos by Dan Brown

The mid-February Salon at the Cell drew raves from audience members and from presenters grateful for their warm support. A night rich in monologue, personal stories, crime fiction and satire was brought to an electrifying close by visiting bluesman Paddy Smith.

10

Kathleen Walsh D’Arcy, IAWA Board member, and co-founder of St. Pat’s for All, announces the Concert and Parade this weekend.   St.Patsforall.org

Salon producer and host  John Kearns opened the program with two original poems, each inspired by travel, of long and short distances. In “Leaving for China,” an homage to Du Fu, Chengdu poet of the Tang Dynasty (8th Century), the narrator describes the streets of the Bronx as he anticipates his first flight to Shanghai. “Heading Home” portrays the spontaneous creative conversation of a couple commuting home from work. John had just celebrated the Chinese New Year in China, and he came bearing gifts of chocolate.

6 John Kearns

Andre Archimbaud likes to say he that he has a very French name, but a very Irish heart. Tonight he read three short pieces which revealed that Irish heart: “Museless Monday” written the day that David Bowie died; “Thickets and Thorns” about losing his grandfather and “Hyperballad” about a man Andre met in Washington Heights, who was losing his life to the drink.

9.JPG

Andre Archimbaud

Jerry McTigue presented a satire piece in the form of a hypothetical ad promoting the most difficult item to sell: Nothing. And we bought it!  Jerry got the idea from his work creating ads for real products and services. He’s also authored six books, including the Life’s Little Frustration Book series, and numerous articles and essays for national magazines and major city newspapers. An IAWA newcomer, Jerry appreciated our “warm and supportive audience.”  http://ggaynormctigue.com

11 Jerry McTigue

Once again the Obie-Award winner Rosina Fernhoff captivated the audience with a monologue from the one woman-play The Conversion of Alice B.Toklas by Carol Polcovar. In this play , Toklas steps out from the shadow of her late lover Gertrude Stein, and talks about her dream to become a Catholic

2.JPG

Rosina Fernhoff

Crime fiction writer Gary Cahill read from his newly published short story “On A Two-Way Street” currently featured on the cover of the February issue of Mystery Weekly Magazine. Gary sums it up as “Chinese food meets diamonds and guns on the beach and the driver of your dreams.” And what else do you need to know? Gary primed the audience for next month’s crime-themed Salon at the Cell (3/20) being organized by Seamus Scanlon with Gary colluding (yes … there is “collusion”).

12 Gary Cahill

Dan Brown wrote and directed actress Abbey Dubin in one of the night’s outstanding monologues. In “The Rolex Tudor Prince Oyster Date with Steel Blue Dial,” a child’s impulsive act has far-reaching consequences on her family relationships. Dan says the piece challenges the idea that the truth will always “set you free.” Instead an occasional dose of dishonesty might be the pathway to freedom. Dan also took the great photos here.

3 Abbey Dubin

Carmel McMahon made an impressive Salon debut with an excerpt from her recently completed memoir, In Ordinary Time about her childhood in a large Catholic family in Co. Meath. Carmel, who came to New York in 1993, has been published in The Irish Times, The Irish Independent, The Irish Echo and the Hennessy Book of Irish Fiction.

4

Carmel McMahon

Another Salon newcomer, and a stylish presenter, M.C. Neuda says she probes “the darker (but not unamusing) side of the human condition in crime fiction.” Her selections tonight  made that point.  They included “Look At Me, Damn You”  which won an Honorable Mention in Glimmer Train’s July/August 2016 Very Short Fiction Competition. “Matchstick” was published in Flash: The International Short-Short Story Magazine and her latest, dealing with the latest technology,  is “Are You Tracking?”

13.JPG

M.C. Neuda 

The fearless Sarah Fearon blew in to try out some new material for her comic real estate routine, no doubt preparing for her show on Tuesday at the West Side Comedy Club. She brought along her ukulele, too and prompted by the day’s weather, sang “California Dreamin.” And inspired, or uninspired by the news these days, she played “Imagine.”  Sarah claims she needs more uke lessons, and she was delighted that the crowd joined in to sing along.

5 Sarah Fearon 

Leilani McInerney delivered a brief, mesmerizing performance in a monologue about a woman experiencing unusual side effects from medication.

8.JPG

Leilani McInerney

The blues artist Paddy Smith brought the Salon to a thrilling close with two numbers on harmonica and vocals: “The Sky is Crying” and Paul Butterfield’s “Born in Chicago.” Paddy has been playing harmonica since he was six years old and has released two EP’s “Ran Out of Road Paddy” and “Let Those Blues In.” You have a chance to hear Paddy Smith Blues Band at the CRAIC Fest on Saturday, and we say don’t miss it.

1

Paddy Smith

Get ready for a busy few weeks and watch Facebook for more events.

FEB 27  Sarah Fearon in a Comedy Review. Reserve at https://westsidecomedyclub.com/calendar/ftuesday-february-27-7pm

MAR 2  St. Pat’s-for-All Concert at Irish Arts Center, 6 pm.  Tickets:   stpatsforall.org

MAR 3  CRAIC Fest, including Paddy Smith Blues Band, Mercury Lounge, 7 pm. Tickets at Ticketfly

MAR 4  St. Pat’s-for-All Parade, Sunnyside, NY 1 pm

MAR 6  IAW&A Salon at St. Patrick’s Bar, 22 West 46th St.,  7pm

MAR 20  IAW&A Crime-themed Salon at The Cell, 7pm

 

 

 

February 12, 2018

2.6.18 IAW&A Salon: Eclectic Talents and Lively Audience Mark Our Midtown Debut

Filed under: Uncategorized — by scripts2013 @ 3:41 pm

By Karen Daly

Photos by Cat Dwyer

St. Patrick’s, that is, the pub on West 46th Street, drew a convivial crowd to the first February IAWA Salon. Hosted by John Kearns and Mark Butler in the bar’s private room,   we had poetry, monologue, memoir, flash fiction and befitting our location, a saint or two.

Poet and frequent Salon contributor, Gordon Gilbert, Jr. kicked off the night with three poems, covering a range of styles and emotions. His first, “War of the Roses,” a heroic-style parody about his battle with invasive roses. In the second poem, he drew deeper meaning from two small tragic events and the final one concerned the impact of new technologies on our children.

In honor of the Philadelphia Eagles’ first ever Super Bowl victory, Salon producer and the night’s co-host and Philadelphia native John Kearns read from the opening of his short story, “Athletics.” In the story, Gene Prendergast commutes home from Center City Philadelphia imagining that sportscasters are giving a play-by-play of his exploits.

Gordon Gilbert, Jr. left. John Kearns, center. Mark Butler

First time presenter Tim Fitts, who lives in Philadelphia, also revelled in the Super Bowl victory. Author of two short story collections, Hypothermia and Go Home and Cry for Yourselves, he read terrific new flash fiction: “Belly,” “Disco,” “Spring Break” and “Shark Patrol.” Tim teaches Creative Nonfiction at the Curtis Institute of Music and is a frequent guest on the literary magazine Painted Bride Quarterly’s podcast, Slushpile. Pbqmag.org Find Tim’s work on Amazon.

In light of last week’s celebration of St. Brigid, Sheila Houlihan read “The Giveaway,” a poem written by the Pulitzer Prize winning American poet and satirist, Phyllis McGinley. The humorous work acknowledges – and pokes fun at — the Saint’s legendary generosity:

For here’s the fault in Brigid lay:
She would give everything away

Tim Fitts,  left. Sheila Houlihan with her St. Brigid’s Cross.

Delivering five powerful monologues from the Shakespeare section of his one-man show, Me and the Monologue, actor Thom Molyneauxdescribed his personal connections with Marc Anthony, Hotspur and Henry V. Thom, a veteran Salon performer, was delighted with the audience’s reception and sharing of their personal connections with the Bard. Thom notes that he and Malachy McCourt agree, “The best things that ever happened to the English language were Shakespeare and the Irish, though not necessarily in that order.” 

Thom Molyneaux, left.  John Munnelly

John Munnelly has a new talent. He’s a musician, singer, songwriter, artist and now saucier. He debuted a new song “They Were No Good,” and captured the mood of many salongoers about the politics of the day in “I Wish I Still Believed.” In addition to XU, his current music release, John’s other hot new project is hot sauce. Disproving the notion that Irish people can’t do spice,he’s created a food enhancer that getting great word-of-mouth, Hattwood Hot Red Sauce at hattwood.com.

Marcia Loughran, a prize-winning poet and nurse practitioner, received her MFA in Creative Writing from the Bennington Writing Seminars. Tonight she shared three poems, “Superstition,” “Tap Dance at the Nursing Home” and “7D.”  She is working on a full-length manuscript to follow up on her prize-winning chapbook, Still Life With Weather.

Marcia Loughran, left. Kathleen Vaughan

Kathleen Vaughan read a section of her memoir-in-progress Raised By Nuns & Drunks. When she entered Good Shepherd School, after living in an orphanage, she felt like an outcast, compared with girls who were more confident, better dressed and who enjoyed the kind of bonding Kate never experienced. Luckily, the nuns at Good Shepherd School were especially kind to their new student, and Kate expresses her appreciation for them in this candid section.

Speaking of kindness, Guenevere Donohue described how a suggestion from another IAW&A member, to give money to a homeless person, instead of sending him a birthday present, inspired her poem. So she gave to a man who lives on the grate next to her subway entrance and created a perceptive new poem, “Sometimes He’s There and Sometimes He’s Gone.”

Guenevere Donohue, left.  Ellis O’Toole

A new member of IAWA and first time presenter, short-story writer Ellis O’Toole read two charming selections from her remembrance collection in progress. “The Wild Man” tells the story of a child’s confusion upon meeting an apparent fugitive, while “Election Year” describes what happens when five-year olds engage in political debate, in this case over Kennedy vs. Nixon. O’Toole, a daughter of Irish immigrants, is a New York native.

crowdMalachy McCourt, far right,  enjoying the night.

Fondly known as our Salon godfather, Malachy McCourt came to bless the new space, and share a few words about St. Patrick himself. He chased the snakes out of Ireland…and we know where they came. Malachy guided us in singing “Down by the Salley Gardens” and we left the warmth of St. Patrick’s pub for the bright lights of midtown.

Join us next time, Tuesday, February 20, 7 pm at The Cell.

 

January 22, 2018

1.15.18 IAW&A Salon: INSPIRING CELEBRATION OF MARTIN LUTHER KING DAY AT THE CELL THEATRE

Filed under: Uncategorized — by scripts2013 @ 1:01 am

By Maureen Hossbacher
Photos by Cat Dwyer

On Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, the Irish American Writers and Artists, Inc. tribute to the great man got off to a rousing start with a powerful presentation by poet Robert Gibbons entitled  “to deify a martyr.”  The torrent of applause that followed set the tone for the rest of this wonderful evening hosted by John Kearns and included in the roster of events for the 2018 Origin’s First Irish Theater Festival.

gibbons .jpg

Robert Gibbons

Keyera Bowens returned to the Cell to share another thought-provoking work: Part 1 of a story titled “No Church in the Wild,” a prose poem that explores America’s history through the lens of two brothers. We eagerly await Part 2 from this young writer with a promising literary future.

bowers Keyera Bowens

Incorporating some strategically placed call-and-response phrases, first time presenter Natasha Herring read her lyrical essay ”Black and Blue.”   An educator and filmmaker, Herring is a graduate of CCNY’s MFA program and recently completed a memoir entitled, Raining Sunshine (and is looking for an agent). She has also created an on-line community of e-courses called lolforlotsoflove. For more info go to https://natasha-herring.com/natasha

 

Natasha?.jpg

Natasha Herring

IAW&A was delighted to receive a visit from Irish Vice Consul Shane Cahill who expressed his admiration for our organization and pledged the Consulate’s continued support. In the spirit of the evening, he generously reached out to our diverse presenters and audience and invited other artists with worthy projects to seek assistance from the Consulate.

Vice Consul of Ireland in New York, Shane Cahill, left.  George Heslin,  founder Origin Theatre Company’s First Irish Festival

Standing in for filmmaker and IAW&A Vice President Mary Pat Kelly who was unable to attend, Board member Kathleen Walsh D’Arcy introduced a tantalizing abridgment of Kelly’s film Proud. The inspiration for the film was an article by Thomas Young, an African-American war correspondent, headlined “Irish First To Treat USS MASON Crew As Americans” and based on the true story of the only African American sailors to take a Navy warship into battle during World War II.  Narrated by Ossie Davis and featuring actors Stephen Rea, Eric LaRay Harvey and Aidan Quinn, the section screened at the salon showed the men arriving in Derry and their adventures there.  For more information check out Proudthemovie.com. 

kwd.jpg

Kathleen Walsh D’Arcy introducing clip from Mary Pat Kelly’s film Proud

Next we were treated to a musical interlude by Annalisa Chamberlin, accompanied on acoustic guitar by John Kearns.  Chamberlin, a NYC-based actor and singer, performed the song ”Only Her Rivers Run Free”, which was written for the civil rights movement in 1968 Northern Ireland inspired by Martin Luther King Jr.  Her second selection was a rendition of the stirring ballad ‘The Death of Emmet Till’ written by Bob Dylan.

ac & JK.jpgAnnalisa Chamberlin,  John Kearns

Funny thing about the truth is, it’s just true, you don’t have to prove it. That lyric from Aiesha Duke’s original song “Sweet Lie” applies to her impressive talent as well.  Nevertheless she went right ahead and proved it anyway, with another exciting salon performance.  In addition to her work in Off-Broadway musical theater, Aiesha is also the lead singer, lyricist, manager, and choreographer of her own band , Miss Dukes Music.

dukes

Aiesha Dukes

John Kearns read a draft of a new poem about how movements of non-violent resistance have had far reaching influence. The poem highlights connections between Irish civil rights leaders and Gandhi and Martin Luther King who inspired the civil rights movement in the North of Ireland.

JK.jpg

John Kearns

The amazing Rebekah Madebach made her second appearance at the salon. The New York actress performed “New Year’s Eve 2014”, a dramatic monologue written and directed by IAW&A member Dan Brown. The piece explored the idea that a seed of hate may exist even in the most open heart. The goal of this raw and edgy performance was to inspire each of us to look inside of ourselves, and continue to become more open and loving.

rebeca.jpg

Rebekah Madebach

First time presenter Janelle Poe, read three poems, the first a found poem comprised entirely of Dr. MLK Jr.’s words in his seminal historic text, “Letter from Birmingham City Jail”.  In “Math,” Poe continued addressing the theme of segregation and exploitation by presenting a complicated equation to identify, “How Many Black People Do You Know?”  Her final untitled poem draws connections between global “cells” and prisoners of oppression.  An organizer for the CCNY MFA Reading Series and selected reader for the Turnstile Series of graduating CUNY MFA students, she will be reading at CUNY Grad Center sometime in the next few months.  Visit elle-dj.com or CCNY MFA Reading Series for more information.

janelle.jpg

Janelle Poe

Our grand finale was delivered by Maxine Linehan, international concert and recording artist.  Maxine travels the world as a solo concert artist and has enraptured crowds in venues from New York’s Lincoln Center and Paris’ famed Théâtre du Châtelet, to Feinstein’s/54 Below and Birdland. Her stunning tribute to fellow countrymen U2, garnered rave reviews at its premiere last year including the Irish Voice who described the show as “the perfect introduction to the megawatt talent of the incomparable Linehan”. Accompanied by pianist Steven Ray Watkins at the salon, Maxine performed U2’s smash hit “One” (her cover single is available on iTunes and all proceeds benefit Broadway Cares Equity Fights AIDS:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/one-bc-efa-edition-single/1089686719 ).  She also performed another U2 classic, “Pride” (In The Name Of Love), which was written in honor of Dr. King. Maxine will give a special St. Patrick’s Eve performance of her show  ONE: THE SONGS OF U2 backed by a chamber orchestra at Feinstein’s/54 Below on March 16th at 9.30pm.

maxine civil rights 2

Maxine Linehan

This special event was summed up perfectly by Janelle Poe:  “ A beautiful evening — and this is what [Dr. King] wanted!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

January 12, 2018

1.5.18 IAW&A Salon: A Rollicking Night Undeterred by Bomb Cyclone

Filed under: Uncategorized — by scripts2013 @ 12:45 am

by John Kearns
Photos by John Kearns and Tom Mahon

The IAW&A Salon began 2018 undaunted by a last-minute schedule change, large piles of snow on the sidewalks, and the frigid temperatures brought on by a “bomb cyclone”.  But in the words of presenter Tom Mahon, “We turned a quiet, freezing evening into another rollicking night of story, song and drumming.”

tom

Tom Mahon

Tom Mahon started the salon with two vignettes.  The first was called, “I’ve Had Enough,” about a young intern’s first ER patient who dies before he can save him.  Then the man’s family arrives, and then his lawyers.  Altogether four wives and fourteen children, who all howl when they discover their former rich husband and father left them nothing.  The second story was called, “Before He Left,” of a vet whose reentry into his family and community goes awry when a bar patron’s shouting sends him into survival mode and he reacts and kills the man.  A week later the vet kills himself. The story, told from the father-in-law’s point of view asks after burying his son-in-law, “How did we expect him to do all he had to on his own?”

rob

Rob Block

First-time presenter Rob Block’s  ‘Beyababa’ was written as a choral oratorio though decidedly secular – not a bit churchy. The story concerns the interior conflict of a king who’s nation is in peril of losing to drought it’s only crop: “beyababa.”  None of the advice or direction he receives from those around him seems useful or sound. What is a King to do? Rob sends all possible praise and thanks to Rosina Fernhoff for her magnificent interpretation of his work.

rosina

Rosina  Fernhoff

Rosina  Fernhoff then performed a monologue from Approaching Zanzibar by Tina Howe.  The very old character Olivia recounts her memory monologue of her wild youth and her unforgettable first love who ” taught her to eat orchids and read the stars” in Zanzibar.

ed

Eddie Crawford

John Kearns was honored to have actor Eddie Crawford read an excerpt from his story, “Displacement.”  Eddie vividly portrayed the musings of 1940s Detective Raftery who tries to imagine himself in the place of a murderer, since it has proven difficult to get any information in his Irish-American neighborhood.  “Only way to shut the Irish up is come in with a badge and ask a question.”

gord

Gordon Gilbert

Gordon Gilbert began with two poems written on the first and second day of the New Year and followed them with a singles bar proposal and a poem about acceptance of the
physical limitations that come with age.  He concluded with a “Winter Spell” of protection for his father’s land, written twenty years ago when the land was still his father’s.

sarah

Sarah Fearon acted as an understudy for Marcia Sanders (aka Marcia Loughran).  Sarah read new material on a character who moves through the real estate world in New York.

isham

Kathleen O’Sullivan presented a chapter from her illustrated memoir, Isham Street, in iMovie form.  In this chapter, the innocent child in a spiritual euphoria sees life from her unique perspective, in which walking up Isham Street feels like she’s going on a pilgrimage to heaven.  With her angel by her side, the girl goes through her Saturday ritual that includes the butcher’s offering her a slice of baloney and the baker’s giving her the bread ends, while people are blessing themselves all over Broadway … returning home to her lyrical mother & the family feasting on baloney sandwiches.

kathleen OKathleen O’Sullivan (photo by Tom Mahon)

malachy.jpeg

Malachy McCourt (photo by Tom Mahon)

Malachy McCourt shared some of his thoughts on religion and the afterlife and read part of the description of hell from Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.  He then sang, “And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda” by Eric Bogle and wrapped up the salon with a rousing rendition of “The Bells of Hell”:

“The bells of Hell
Go jing-aling-aling
For you but not for me …”

After Malachy’s performance, the salon had a surprise guest recruited by Tom Mahon from the subway in Washington Heights — djembe drummer Matt Sweet!  Matt plans to return to the IAW&A Salon with more drums!

matt2

Matt Sweet (photo by Tom Mahon)

Don’t forget out Civil Rights Salon at the Cell on Monday at 7.  Reserve your free ticket here: http://www.1stirish.org/?post_type=show&p=2156

December 27, 2017

12.19.17 IAW&A Salon: Bringing Gifts of Dance, Acting & Laughter to the Party

Filed under: Uncategorized — by scripts2013 @ 4:49 am

By Karen Daly

Photos by Cat Dwyer

The IAWA Holiday Salon at The Cell lived up to its advance billing as a festive year-end party full of tremendous talent, an SRO crowd and seasonal cheer. Three dance performances, two short videos, mesmerizing acting, sweet Christmas tunes and a lot of laughter added up to an unforgettable night.

NYC actress Rebekah Madebach commanded the stage in “Flesh Wounds,” a comedic monologue written and directed by Dan Brown. As a “friend” of the bride at the wedding reception, she gives an unscheduled toast. The self-indulgent, and often inappropriate, speech becomes a journey towards spontaneous self-discovery for the uninvited speaker.

catseyepix-0591_Brown Rebekah Madebach

Next in playwright Jenifer Margaret Kelly’s darkly comic piece “Hailing Time,” the ever-amazing Rosina Fernhoff portrayed a Southern woman struggling against the vortex of suburban life, with its tightening gyre of missing socks, frozen smiles and unexpressed passion.

catseyepix-0608_preview Rosina .jpg Rosina Fernhoff

With lively music, song and dance, Maura Mulligan and company brought us a bit of the Celtic winter tradition known as “Wren Day.” The wren is considered a symbol of the old year in Celtic mythology and the holiday is still celebrated in some parts of Ireland, Wales and the Isle of Man. Fiddler Marie Reilly and whistle player Colm Butler joined singers Martin Daly on guitar and Pamela Jean Agaloos in presenting traditional Wren Day music together with Maura and her dancers Deirdre Batson, Siobhán McCourt, Silpa Sadhajun and Kim Tullach. If you’d like to join Maura’s weekly dance class, reach out to mauramulligan@aol.com

catseyepix-0640_preview wren .jpgMaura Mulligan’s Wren Day 

Actor and comedy performer Sarah Fearon sent her alter ego “Snazzy Peabody.” A real estate legend in her own mind, Snazzy appears in a series of short films. Having already sold the Brooklyn Bridge, Snazzy is on to another NYC exclusive listing, this time she’s selling the Belvedere Castle in Central Park. Director and actress Shae D’Lyn introduced the segment and we’re only sorry that Sarah wasn’t able to be there to enjoy the laughs.

Sarah Fearon as Snazzy Peabody, left. Photo by Dan Brown. The real Sarah, upper right. Shae D’Lyn, lower right.

Bessie-award nominated Darrah Carr Dance returned to the Salon with the beginning stages of choreography for a new, full-length collaboration with musicians Dana Lyn and Kyle Sanna premiering at the Irish Arts Center in 2018. Inspired by Lyn and Sanna’s sophomore album The Great Arc, the work blends traditional Irish step and contemporary modern dance, in the company’s trademark style of ModERIN. Company members Michelle Esch, Jonathan Matthews, Caitlin McNeill, Laura Neese and Alexandra Williamson thrilled the crowd with their ensemble work, and a solo by company member and TONY award winner Trent Kowalik (the original Billy in Broadway’s Billy Elliot) thrilled again.

Darrah Carr Dance.  Soloist Trent Kowalik 

In what’s becoming an IAWA holiday tradition, Mark William Butler invited cast members from his terrific show in development Ugly Christmas Sweater: The Musical to perform original songs. This time, Richard Butler and Kristine Louis Reynal treated us to “Christmas Is You,” accompanied by Will Buck on piano. Mark will have an Ugly Christmas Sweater performance in late January. We’ll post the details, and be sure to check here https://www.facebook.com/events/850476095110902/

Will Buck on piano.  Richard Butler, left, Kristine Louis Reynal, Mark Butler

Dublin playwright Derek Murphy excels at creating plays about very bad relationships and he’s delighted that Maria Deasy and John Keating brought “A Leg For Christmas” hilariously to life. In a hospital waiting room in Ireland, the two argue about traffic, tea, marmalade, and the bathroom, until the macabre reason for their presence, and relationship to one another is finally revealed, amid much laughter.

maria DB.jpg

Maria Deasy, John Keating.  Photo by Dan Brown.

IAWA VP Mary Pat Kelly showed a trailer for Shirah of Bethlehem, an animated Christmas musical that she’s writing with world-class collaborators, best-selling children’s book illustrator Peter H. Reynolds, award-winning television producer Carole Hart (of Sesame Street and Free to Be You and Me) and producer Margaret Murray. As a child, Mary Pat loved Nativity stories that added fictional characters, such as Amahl and the Night Visitors and The Little Drummer Boy. There were talking animals, but where, Mary Pat wondered, were the girls? That was her inspiration for the adorable Shirah, who leads the shepherds to the manger. More at  wwwshirahofbethlehem.com

Mary Pat Kelly, Shirah on screen

catseyepix-0827_preview larryLarry Kirwan announced that 2018 would be his last year as President of Irish American Writers & Artists, Inc. He thanked his fellow board members and IAWA members for their unwavering support – and we’ll have ample time to thank Larry for his leadership and inspiration. Saying that he had achieved most of his goals since taking the helm in June 2014, he noted that the organization was thriving. A believer in change and progress, Larry hopes that every member can aspire to join the board and become president. Larry is shown at right.

Later in the evening, Larry Kirwan performed a piece from his new solo show, “Ireland —A History in Song.” Larry went to Barbados to track down descendants of the Irish people whom Oliver Cromwell sent as slaves in 1649. One remarkable woman told him “They sent us here to kill us but we have thrived.” He integrated that conversation about the resilience of these descendants with Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song” and Black 47’s “Fire of Freedom.”

 break.jpgEnjoying the break

In his first Salon performance, Niall O’Leary demonstrated a few of his many talents, with a charming version of Shay Healy’s “I Am Allergic to Christmas,” followed by what he’s famous for: a thrilling traditional Irish dance. An All-Ireland and World Champion dancer, he founded the Irish Dance School that bears his name.

catseyepix-0813_preview niall 2Niall O’Leary

Malachy McCourt brought the Salon to a perfect close with a few words, covering among other things, the power of words. He thanked John Kearns, Salon producer and hard-working host. By popular request,  he ended with his signature song, “Will Ye Go, Lassie, Go.” 

And we lassies and lads went to our after-party to continue the holiday cheer.

catseyepix-0842_preview sing along .jpgSinging along with Malachy McCourt

To our presenters, volunteers, members, friends and fans and the team at the cell, thank you for supporting the Salon and Happy New Year! 

MARK YOUR CALENDARS FOR THESE JANUARY EVENTS

JAN. 4:  IAWA Salon at Bar Thalia, 7pm

JAN. 14:  Darrah Carr Dance’s next performance during Stam-pede at Symphony Space, 3pm  https://www.symphonyspace.org/event/9850/Family/stam-pede

JAN. 15:  IAWA Civil Rights Salon in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day as part of Origin Theatre’s 1st Irish Theatre Festival, The Cell. 7pm

JAN. 20:  Larry Kirwan’s Ireland – A History in Song, Noble Maritime Museum, Snug Harbor, Staten Island, 8 pm   www.black47.com

JAN. 17 — 29:  Derek Murphy’s play Dyin’ For It, starring our own Maria Deasy and directed by John Keating. Origin Theatre’s 1st Irish Theatre Festival, The Cell.

 

December 11, 2017

12.7.17 IAW&A Salon: We Start the Season with A Salon Rich in Variety & Storytelling

Filed under: Uncategorized — by scripts2013 @ 2:45 pm

By Karen Daly

Thanks to Brendan Costello and Maureen Hossbacher for hosting an early December IAW&A Salon that was rich with variety ranging from Irish-born storytellers, a literary scholar and a thrilling performance by Honor Molloy.  Plus, we enjoyed new songs from the wonderful Tara O’Grady, along with fiction and memoir and we marked the start of our holiday season.

brendan booth

Brendan Costello. Photo by Christopher Booth.

Playwright/poet Jim Cullinane’s story “Lizzie Molloy” depicts a teenager’s crush on a mature woman who seems to him to exude sexuality. The boys in the small Irish town watch the title character go to work at the glue factory, “her hair the color of a wind-blown meadow.” An enthusiastic new member who has written two books, Jim says that, like all stories, there’s a kernel of truth in “Lizzie Molloy.” More at jimcullwriter.com

Jim Cullinane. Photo by Gordon Gilbert, Jr.  Maureen Hossbacher. Photo by Cat Dwyer.

Tara O’Grady joined us to celebrate the release of her 5th CD, Folk Songs: Songs About Real Folks, a collection of original songs in styles that include folk, gospel, rockabilly, swamp pop and swing. “Everybody’s got a story to tell,” says Tara, and tonight she gave us two of them. “Evening Temptations” is dedicated to Tara’s friend, Danish folk musician Mathilde Bondo (Tom Waits also wrote about her in his song “Tom Traubert’s Blues — Waltzing Matilda”). “Vidar the Viking” tells how Tara’s Dublin cousin Joanne met her Norwegian boyfriend Vidar. Tara fashioned that story into a proper old-fashioned Irish drinking song and we gladly sang along. Find out where Tara performs weekly, at www.taraogradymusic.com.

Tara by Tara.jpg

Malachy McCourt, Tara O’Grady. Photo courtesy of Tara O’Grady.

We heard Jonathan Goldman, a Joyce scholar and literature professor at New York Institute of Technology, enthusiastically describe a new book he’s edited for the University Press of Florida, Joyce and the Law. Fifteen scholars contributed essays about the legal issues central to Joyce’s work and life. (He was litigious!) Jonathan is author of Modernism Is the Literature of Celebrity and author/editor of numerous academic works. We also hear he’s a musician.  For the Joycean on your Christmas list, a special price of $40 plus shipping  has been extended until December 15. Use this code  AU1117 and order here: http://upf.com/book.asp?id=9780813054742

 

 

jonathan.jpg

Jonathan Goldman.  Photo by Dana Cotton.

Playwright Honor Molloy (Crackskull Row) declared she was there to “share the new.” And she did with a powerful monologue from her new play Round Room. An actress named Maggie Dubs believes that suicide is the only solution to an unwanted pregnancy in the Ireland of the early 1940s. She’s up on the roof of the Gate Theater, preparing to jump. Honor says, “If you weren’t there, you’ll have to wait for the play to be produced to find out.”

Honor not only “shared the new,” she treated us to her much-loved evocation of Dublin’s open-air markets, circa Christmas 1966, “Sixpence The Stars” (“The Little Oranges”). “Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without the little oranges,” says a Moore Street Shawlie. And it wouldn’t be an IAWA holiday event without “Sixpence The Stars.”  Treat yourself ttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w1y1jAmgRCE

honor
Honor Molly. Photo by Dana Cotton.

Tom Mahon had two stories to tell. He’s so proud that his daughter-in-law Jessica Cantlon is a Time Magazine Person of Year, The Silence Breakers. A cognitive scientist at the University of Rochester, as is Tom’s son, Bradford, she was an initiator of a lawsuit against the University for ignoring the sexual harassment by a professor in the Neuroscience department.

In Tom’s fiction story “I Voted,” a young immigrant talks about the first American Presidential election he was eligible to vote in. His candidate lost, and a short year later, his children’s health insurance has been cut, and his family’s food stamps slashed. Wondering what will happen next, he realizes that the president reminds him of the dictators of his former country.

Tom Mahon. Photo by Cat Dwyer. Karen Bermann. Photo by Dana Cotton.

After her Salon debut last month, Karen Bermann returned with a second excerpt, “Either I’ll Kill Myself Or I’ll Eat The Cookies,” from a work about her father, a postwar Jewish émigré who was born in Vienna in 1922. The text was accompanied by Karen’s drawings and watercolors. Karen teaches architecture in Rome during the first half of the year and returns to New York for the second half. A recent IAW&A member, she’ll be sad to miss our events while she’s away, and would love to be in touch. bermannkaren@gmail.com

Gerry Maguire, native of West Cavan, resident of Poughkeepsie told a funny autobiographical short story, set in 1960s rural Ireland. In “The Power of The Office” an elderly man sends a child on quest for a cure for his toothache. His cry for help is answered but not quite in the way he was expecting. Gerry’s work has appeared in the Leitrim Guardian magazine and other newspapers.

maguire

Gerry Maguire.  Photo by Dana Cotton.

Introduced by Brendan Costello as our “atheist godfather,” Malachy McCourt gave his unique version of the Nativity. He also told how as a poor child in Limerick, he desperately wanted a train set and was always disappointed. There’s a happy ending, as Lionel Trains gave him a gift, in a special presentation, 75 years later. So inspired by that story, the atheist sang “O, Come All Ye Faithful,” thus ending the night on a high note.

mccourts .jpg

Mark McCourt, Siobhan McCourt. Photo by Dana Cotton.

Don’t miss our Christmas Salon at the cell, Tuesday, 12/19 at 7pm.

 

 

 

 

 

Next Page »

Blog at WordPress.com.