Irish American Writers & Artists

October 23, 2012

IAW&A New Jersey Salon Returns Thursday

Filed under: Events,Literature,Theater,Visual Arts — by johnleemedia @ 10:02 am
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IAW&A New Jersey Salon…Thurs., Oct 25 at 7 PM
Appearing at the Irish American Writers & Artists’ New Jersey Salon in Morristown, NJ is “Highway Star” Billy Barrett.
Billy is part of the rising tide of new age neo-beat authors.

One writer said, “His prose has the effect of Dylan Thomas crossing paths with the lyrics of the first three Springsteen albums.”

His readings from his novel in progress, “Highway Star” are original and provocative.
Meet Billy and others at 7 PM at the Irish American Cultural Institute, just steps away from the NJ Transit Morristown stop at 1 Lackawanna Place.
For more info, contact Mike Farragher at



June 22, 2012

The Gift of Connection (VIDEO)

Filed under: Film,Literature,Television,Visual Arts — by johnleemedia @ 3:40 pm
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At Tuesday’s Salon at The Cell IAW&A member Charles Hale debuted his short film, The Gift of Connection, which details a family visit to Castleblayney, Ireland, the town from which his great grandfather emigrated. Not long after Hale and his family arrived in Castleblayney they discovered their ancestral home. His mother, however, discovered much more, a link, a connection between her father, her grandfather and Ireland.

May 23, 2012

Mary Lou Quinlan Opens “The God Box”

Filed under: Literature,Television,Theater — by johnleemedia @ 1:20 pm
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At the Irish American Writers & Artist second salon, last July, Mary Lou Quinlan debuted her one-woman-show, “The God Box,” the story of Mary’s mother’s God Box, a private cache of notes to God on behalf of family, friends and strangers. In April, the book version of “The God Box” was released and has become an instant hit, appearing in the twelfth spot on the New York Times best seller list.
Mary Lou Quinlan has written inspirational features for Real Simple, O, the Oprah Magazine, and MORE, and other magazines and, is the author of the books Just Ask a Woman, Time Off for Good Behavior, and What She’s Not Telling You. She is the nation’s leading expert on female consumer behavior.

As the founder and CEO of marketing consultancy Just Ask a Woman and Mary Lou Quinlan & Co., she has interviewed thousands of women about their lives. Mary Lou has keynoted hundreds of conferences around the country; has appeared on television programs such as The CBS Early ShowGood Morning America, and the Today Show; and has been profiled in The New York Times, the Wall St. Journal, and USA Today as well as many other media outlets.

Mary Lou is Jesuit-educated with an MBA from Fordham University. She also holds an honorary doctorate in Communications from her alma mater, Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia where she earned a BA in English.

She and her husband, Joe Quinlan, live in New York City and Bucks County, Pennsylvania along with their dog, Rocky.

Enjoy a free selected chapter from The God Box.

May 4, 2012

Writing & Storytelling Workshop with Honor Molloy

“I have seen many perform their written work over the last forty years, but it is easy to say that Honor Molloy, on the page or in person, is one of the very best I have ever experienced.”  

– Stanley Crouch, critic, columnist, novelist

Enjoy a day discussing your fiction, connecting with fellow writers and learning strategies to address how to face open mics.

Honor Molloy will lead a writing and storytelling workshop for fiction writers. In this class, writers will explore several aspects of the short story in a craft discussion and get their creative juices flowing with writing exercises and prompts. This workshop will also be focused on reading your writing in public, which can bring awareness to the tone, pacing and word choice of your story. Participants should come to the workshop with a completed story, ready to be shared with the group. Honor Molloy will offer writers tips and give each person a chance to rehearse with an audience of fellow writers to gain concentration and confidence.


For new and practicing writers. Limited to 15 students.

Fee: $50 non-member of IAC / $45 IAC member, senior or student under 16

Register through or 866-811-4111 

March 21, 2012

“Breathing of an Ancestor’s Space and Time” Debuts at Salon

Filed under: Essay,Literature,Television,Theater — by johnleemedia @ 4:16 pm
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Charles Hale debuted his short film “Breathing of an Ancestor’s Space and Time” at last night’s IAW&A Salon at The Cell.

By understanding the events that surrounded one incident in his grandfather’s life through this video, Hale is able to get the “feel of things,” he is able to breathe from his grandfather’s space and time.

Author Peter Quinn called Hale’s video, “Concise and eloquent, narrative that borders on poetry, subtle yet emotional….The restraint in the piece is powerful…a willingness to let viewers and listeners have their own thought instead of telling them what to think.”


December 8, 2011

Malachy McCourt Opens Thalia Salon, December Edition

by Charles Hale

Singer songwriter Michael Sheahan couldn’t join us at the Irish American Writers and Artists’ Salon this week—he’s touring the country promoting his award winning book and CD about Santa, “Mr. Holiday Presents the Roof Top Hop”– but we did have our own white-haired favorite, Malachy McCourt, who regaled us with his wit and wisdom. Malachy opened the precedings with a wonderful and informative session on the art of reading and storytelling.  And although it was meant to be informative—and it was—it became a rollicking storytelling session packed with tip after tip. Malachy at his best.  

 Kevin McPartland, a Viet Nam veteran who served in the Mekong Delta, read a riveting story of life and death from his  anthology of short stories, “Adventures in Hell.”  Charles Hale, inspired by a recent performance of Dancing at Lughnasa at the Irish Repertory Theatre read an essay Remembrance, Discovery and Connection, a tale of his mother’s visit to her grandfather’s birthplace in Castleblayney, Ireland, and Mary Gannon read an essay Names, a creative nonfiction piece reflecting on family history and her experience as an Irish immigrant.

Sheila Walsh, with the assistance of Honor Molloy and Kathleen Lawrence, read from her play in progress “Mr. Tweedy’s Neighbors,”  the story of  two sisters who help their neighbor find his lost faith.  Sheila was followed by Honor Molloy, who screened a wonderful short video, “Sixpence the Stars,” a holiday story told by a Dublin Market woman.  If you’d like to see what a talented storyteller sounds like check out this youtube video  

Kathleen Rockwell Lawrence read a chapter from her unfolding family saga “Becoming Irish: The Progenitor, The Priests, The Pope and Me, or: How I Lost It on My Honeymoon–My Religion, That Is.”  Kathleen shared why her father, the sire to fifteen children, thought birth control advocate Margaret Sanger, was a bitch. What a surprise! This was Kathleen’s second Salon reading and we all look forward to her wit and wonderful writing. 

 Maura Mulligan read an excerpt from her soon to be released book “Call of the Lark,” a portrait of her childhood in rural Ireland during the 1940s and 50s. In her memoir Maura writes how she found the courage to change her life – three times. First, working as a servant in “a grand house.” Then, sailing to America and working for the phone company, followed by answering a higher call, entering a Franciscan convent in upstate New York.  I anxiously await the publication of this very fine work.

John Kearns a Salon regular continued reading from his novel in progress, “Worlds.” Set in 1910, John told how Father Sarsfield Logan, S.J. finds a worker and strike leader from the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory beaten up under the Sixth Avenue Elevated and how he helps her to St. Vincent’s Hospital.  A compelling excerpt from what will be a wonderful novel.  John was followed by Sarah Fearon who has brought her great wit to a number of past Salons. Sarah worked on new material, including a few thoughts on potatoes, hunger, guilt, the Holiday Season, darkness–yes, this is an Irish-centric crowd–and, as per Malachy’s suggestions, tried to “find the light. ”  She always does just that. 

Anyone old enough to remember November 22, 1963 knows exactly where they were when he or she learned of John F. Kennedy’s assassination.  Kathy Callahan remembers it very well.  She was sitting on her father’s shoulders in Dealy Plaza that sunny afternoon in Dallas.  Kathy ended the evening with a witty and poignant discussion of a young girl’s special powers and memories of that day in Dallas. 

The next salon will be The Salon at The Cell, located at 338 W 23rd Street in Manhattan, on December 20th, beginning at 7PM. For more information on joining the Irish American Artists and Writers and presenting at a Salon contact me, Charles Hale at

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