Join fellow IAW&A members at a fundraiser for the Saint Pat’s for All Parade!
And, save the date for the February 28th concert at the Irish Arts Center and for the parade itself on Sunday, March 2nd!
Visit www.stpatsforall.com for details.
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:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Phone: 201 869 6717
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!
LIGHT OF THE DIDDICOY
with readings by author EAMON LOINGSIGH
and famed Irish writer MALACHY McCOURT(A Monk Swimming)
THE WRITERS AFTERLIFE
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.
ABOUT LIGHT OF THE DIDDICOY
ISBN 978-0-9884008-9-4, Original Trade Paperback, 230 pages
http://threeroomspress.com/, 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.
ABOUT THE WRITERS AFTERLIFE
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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 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 http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ACOR48A
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.
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.
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.
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!
Happy New Year from IAW&A!
Ready for your turn at the mic? Email John Kearns at IASAlon@hotmail.com.
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.
Larry Kirwan’s Hard Times, last year’s smash-hit musical about Stephen Foster and NYC’s Five Points neighborhood during the Civil War, returns to the Cell Theatre on January 9th and runs Thursdays through Sundays until February 2nd.
Join us for Irish American Writers and Artists night on January 23rd at 8 pm, with a talkback with the cast and playwright after the show!
The Cell Theatre is at:
338 West 23rd Street, between 8th & 9th
See you there!
The year ends with our own MALACHY McCOURT, appearing on CBS This Morning on Tues. Dec. 31 between 8 & 9 AM to talk about (& sing about?) the centennial year of “Danny Boy.”
Malachy wrote extensively on the “Danny Boy” in his recent book of the same name.
Oh Danny Boy, the pipes, the pipes, are calling
From glen to glen, and down the mountain side
The summer’s gone, and all the flowers are dying
”Tis you, ’tis you must go and I must bide.
But come ye back when summer’s in the meadow
Or when the valley’s hushed and white with snow
“Tis I’ll be here in sunshine or in shadow
Oh Danny Boy, oh Danny boy, I love you so.
Everyone can hum this haunting Irish ballad that inevitably brings a tear to the eye. For all its popularity, the most requested “Irish” song and its origins still remain an enigma. Is it even Irish? Did the song initially grace the Irish countryside as the winsome ballad of an itinerant piper, or did it first take form as a blind musician’s bow danced across the strings of a fiddle? Travel with Malachy on his journey for the truth as he interviews musicologists, historians, academics, celebrities, and Irish icons. Join the expedition and trace the complex evolution and enduring mystique of “Danny Boy” in an unforgettable tribute that brilliantly weaves history with folklore.
by Mary Lanon
Photos by Cat Dwyer
Christmas made an appearance in several presentations Dec. 19th as Irish American Writers and Artists celebrated the holiday with a salon at the cell and much merriment at the after party.
Early on in the evening Christmas featured in Bernadette Cullen’s reading of her own three poems and one of the Nativity poems by Joseph Brodsky, the Russian poet. Arriving in the U..S. as an involuntary exile in 1972 Brodsky began writing a nativity poem every Christmas.
Maura Mulligan with Marni Rice on accordion
Also in the first half, memoirist and Céilí dance teacher Maura Mulligan presented “Oíche Nollag” (“Christmas Eve”) by Eoghan Ó Tuairisc. As well as poetry, Ó Tuairisc wrote a number of novels in Irish including L’Attaque about the French military adventure in Mulligan’s native County Mayo in 1798. He also wrote verse in performance-friendly style such as “Oíche Nollag,” which Mulligan recited in both English and Irish. Accordionist Marni Rice, who composed music depicting, lines such as . . . “the sharp nails of the rain on the roof, fingering a tune,” accompanied her. During the recitation of the original Irish- language version, Rice played the traditional Irish carol, “Don Oíche Úd i mBeithil.”
Noting the connection of the season and peace, the versatile Marni Rice also read two poems about peace from a collection entitled, It’s Not the End of the World, which she began writing on December 21st, 2012. She also sang an original song called “Pub Tune” from her EP, Songs for a Small Chamber.
Enjoying the break
After the break , Guenevere Donohue got the crowd into the holiday spirit with her very own Christmas song, “Green and Red Stuff.” She also sang Jackson Browne’s “Rebel Jesus,” accompanied by our extraordinary MC John Kearns on guitar. This was John’s Salon debut on guitar.
Guenevere Donohue with John Kearns on guitar
Continuing the holiday theme, the estimable Honor Molloy brought to life the sounds and the smells of Christmas Eve 1966 on Moore Street—Dublin’s open-air market where market women hawk their wares. Her character, Noleen O’Feeney, goes wandering among the stalls. Honor brought the house down with her reading of the shawlie’s tale of the Baby Jesus and the little oranges!
Other presenters offered gifts of their work on other themes.
The talented Tom Mahon read Chapter 10 of his novel in progress American Mastery.The Fenton brothers are given round-trip tickets to Tokyo, but Vietnam War veteran Charlie is petrified of flying and can’t sleep. He remembers back to 1970 when at mass his brother Raymond denounced the congregation and the priest for letting Nixon bomb Cambodia without a word of protest. He can’t reconcile what he did in the war and what he knows is still happening and getting worse. Kudos to Tom for coming to present at the IAW&A Salon after having partial knee replacement surgery!
Presenting a brand-new excerpt from his novel in progress,Worlds, John Kearns read about Father Sarsfield Logan’s return home for his father’s funeral. Sarsfield’s youngest sister, Kitty, complains to her Jesuit brother that their siblings had begun taking items belonging to their father before he passed away. Though Kitty couches her outrage over this in terms of its immorality and shamefulness, it soon becomes clear that she is worried that she has not gotten her fair share of her father’s belongings.
Mary Lannon read the beginning of a short story, “The Key to Catastrophe Management,” about art weather, and young love(they really are all related!).
Kathy Callahan read from her recent IAW&A blogpost about Sinead O’Connor’s recent concerts in the3 New York are and told a story about a pedophile priest from the parish she grew up in.
Kevin R. McPartland
Member Kevin R.McPartland read an excerpt from a short story entitled,” Lost Loves.” In the story, we are taken to a small town just south of Atlantic City and introduced to a cast of fascinating characters whose lives intersect in a local bar called the Anchorage Tavern. All in attendance loved the story and Kevin promised more to come in future salons.
The versatile Don Meade, leader of the Blarney Star concert series and the Landmark Tavern sessions, ended the night playing a slow air on harmonica followed by a set of reels. He then concluded the evening with an a capella version of, “Muldoon, the Solid Man.”
Don Meade and the appreciative Salon audience
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! See you at the Thalia on January 7th!
Our friends, Tjasa Ferme and Kira Simring, from the Cell Theatre have a play performance coming up this Saturday night. Please come out and show your support and enjoy a $4 discount with the code LOVE911.
A two woman farce with a three man parade, Cocktales follows Eve’s escape from the Garden of Eden to Dr. Truth’s TV show where she begs Dr. Truth to treat her predilection for erection. The reluctant analyst forces Eve to look her twisted sexuality in the eye.
WATCH THE TRAILER: http://youtu.be/tni0oy30P_Q
158 W. 72nd Street
Saturday, December 14th at 7pm
$12 and two drinks minimum
SPECIAL DISCOUNT: LOVE911 = $8
“Inspired direction with absurd innovation by Kira Simring… Raw, funny, and totally entertaining…”
- Richmond Shepard
“Tjasa’s concentration and energy are enviable, her highly polished craft is remarkable, her delivery is exceptional. All around impressive!”
- Peter Klein, touring agent