Irish American Writers & Artists

March 5, 2013

Irish History and Heritage Site “The (New) Wild Geese” Celebrates Relaunch with On-Line Event

IAW&A member Gerry Regan officially unveils  on Sat., March. 9 

An online kick-off to the St. Patrick’s Day season, the re-imagined Irish history and heritage website The Wild Geese goes live Saturday, March 9 at 9 AM (ET) as with a seven-hour digital launch party, featuring contests, prizes, online panels and an open invitation to connect, chat and collaborate with others around the world who cherish the epic history of the Irish … worldwide.

All the events of the day and benefits of the site are open to all who sign-up, for free, as Wild Geese members. Once members, they can set-up their own personal pages, begin blogging on their Irish topics of interest, create groups around their Irish passions, share videos, photos, and music, or join existing groups that match their interests.

new look and social sharing functions highlight

new look and social sharing functions highlight

On “Launch Day,” members will participate in live panel discussions and Q & A with subject-matter experts and devotees, covering the wide breadth of The Wild Geese’s content, with six sessions, focused on travel, cooking, genealogy, the legacies of Ireland’s Cillini and Magadelene Laundry abuses, and the Irish who fought in America’s Civil War. The venues will include the site’s Main Chat Room and Google Hangout. (panel schedule follows)

Festivities hosted on the redesigned site will include a members-only prize drawing of Irish-themed film posters, jewelry, CDs and books every hour and contests for members that will be judged by members, including:

·  Tell Us Your Irish Story – where members post their personal takes, or stories, on epic Irish history.
·  The Irish ExperienceFreeze Frame! where members share photos they’ve shot, and voters (fellow members) acknowledge their favorite iconic images of the global Irish community among those uploaded.

Saturday’s launch is the culmination of more than 15 years of dedication to preserving, exploring and discussing the great themes of Irish history and heritage, in Ireland and among the world’s 70 million of Irish descent. The (New) Wild Geese re-emerges on Saturday with its rich historical and narrative content showcased on a sharp, contemporary-looking, easy-to-navigate site and with compelling new community and social-sharing capabilities that encourage members to research, write and broadcast articles and multimedia and post events focused on their own Irish interests to a passionate worldwide community.

“As a Wild Geese member, you’ll be able to participate in exclusive forums, video and teleconferences and other dynamic learning experiences for free, as well as enjoy concierge services connecting you to heritage products, events and services to best fit your needs,” Executive Producer Gerry Regan said. “As Heritage Partners, marketers will be engaging the true faithful, the masses who’ve never stopped believing that the Irish story, including their own, remains epic in scale.”

“Join us in supporting the preservation of Irish heritage worldwide by adding your voice to the growing number within The Wild Geese community,” he added.

Recap: The (New) Wild Geese Online Launch Party, Sat, Mar. 9, 9AM to 4PM (ET). Become a member for no charge at to join the festivities.

Panel discussion schedule (all times ET):

  • 9 AM: “Travel Hag” blogger, author, tour guide Mindie Burgoyne fields questions about Irish travel and the “Thin Places” in Ireland where our world intersects with ‘the other.’
  • 10 AM: Dublin-based genealogist Nicola Morris focuses on researching your Irish family history.
  • 11 AM: Bloggers and Irish cooking devotees Mairead Geary aka “Irish American Mom” and WG’s own Maryann Tracy will field discussion of Irish cooking, traditional and otherwise.
  • NOON: Ireland-based author & archaeologist Damian Shiels, writer & WG Associate Editor Robbie Doyle and WG Editor at Large Liam Murphy field questions on the Irish in America’s Civil War.
  • 2 PM: Archaeologist Toni McGuire, Magdalene activist Mari Steed and WG Preservation Editor will discuss the Legacy of Ireland’s Cillini and Magdalene Laundries.
  • 3 PM: Our final panel of the day, headed by William Patterson University’s Richard Kearney, will focus on The Dublin Lockout and leading Irish activists in the American labor movement.

Background on The Wild Geese
Year of Launch: 1997
Mission: Every day, with the help of  members, readers, and Irish Heritage Partners, The Wild Geese explores, promotes, preserves, and celebrates the epic heritage of the Irish around the world — through compelling content, evolving technologies, a dynamic community, and collaborative marketing connections.
Namesake: Those 12,000 Irish soldiers, families in tow, coerced into emigrating in the aftermath of the 1691 Treaty of Limerick. Many of these “Wild Geese” rose to prominence in armies and navies throughout the world. Though some would get another chance to strike a blow for Ireland, they were truly, as poet Emily Lawless said, “Fighters in every clime — Every cause but our own.”
Best Read Interviews: 2007 Q&A with indie film director Ken Loach (“Hidden Agenda,” “The Wind That Shakes the Barley”); The Wolfe Tones’ Derek Warfield (2003), Black 47 front man Larry Kirwan (2006), and former Boston College Belfast Project Director Ed Moloney (2011).
Number of Articles Online: 700+, a number increasing weekly.
‘Best’ Plug: Wall Street Journal “Best Pick” (2003) “for serious fans of Ireland’s contribution to world culture.”
Most Commented-On Series: ‘One Love: The Black Irish of Jamaica” (2003), by Rob Mullally
Co-Founders: Irish-Americans Gerry Regan and Joe Gannon
Slogan: “Exploring, Promoting, Preserving and Celebrating the Epic Heritage of the Irish … Worldwide”

For updates on the launch event, please go to
Contact Information:


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


July 27, 2012

Sounds of The Salon at the Cell

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Music was featured during Tuesday night’s Salon at The Cell. Brothers Moley and Owen Suillebhain offered a blend of ancient Irish sacred songs with modern pop tunes and mesmerized the audience with a brilliant musical performance. Particularly moving was a Gregorian Latin Chant, “Caminus Ardebat.” Liam O’Connell, the first rap artist to appear at a salon, inspired the audience with his 
pulsating sounds and rhythms and the opening of Charles Hale’s video, Fathers, Sons and Baseball, was set to the American baseball classic, “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.”
Singer, songwriter Tara O’Grady opened the show reading from her unpublished memoir Transatlantic Butterflies & the November Moon, a story that takes the reader on a journey across America, where Tara replicated her Waterford Granny’s 1957 road trip in a Chevy Bel Air, searching for the spirit of the immigrant grandmother she never met, as well as the spirit of America during a time of economic uncertainty. She convinced Chevrolet to pay for her symbolic migration. The iconic car company was inspired by her quest to chase not only her Granny’s spirit, but also the spirit of America to find out if the American dream still exists.
Bestselling author, Jeanine Cummins read from her latest book, The Outside Boy, and it was as “gloriously poetic’ as Malachy McCourt claimed. Jeanine promised to come back soon and read from her latest novel, which she is putting the finishing touches on with an eye toward publication in March. Actor Jack O’Connell did double duty, reading witticisms from the twentieth century sports writer, Jimmy Cannon, and reading from playwright Janet Noble’s work in progress.  Janet described her work as a “ghost play” based on the life and death of her brother. And past contributor and wonderful writer, Brendan Connellan, dipped into his novel-in-progress Mr Big Shot and regaled and entertained us with a bizarre tale of a deer being shot, a daughter being hidden and a man wondering how to best remove a carcass from the middle of his flower bed, especially one riddled with bullets.
First time presenter Kathleen Walker read her poem “Forever Family Secrets,” which was just accepted for publication in the New York Irish History Roundtable Journal. Her poem speaks of her journey to find her culture, which began in high school when her English teacher asked her what “Parish” she belonged to. She had no idea. Due to extreme feelings of loss during her early life, she came to realize that she had to put the pieces of her existence together. “Forever Family Secrets” is part of her journey.
Caroline Winterson, actor extraordinaire, joined Honor Molloy in reading “Three Bits From Three Plays.” Caroline and Honor read brief scenes from Maiden Voyages (written by Bronagh Murphy and Honor Molloy), Crackskull Row and Kick. The Cell was a fantastic place to display these snippets as the two wonderful actresses flung their voices to the ceiling, the backwalls and beyond.</d

Billy Barrett followed Hale’s baseball video, a remembrance of pleasant times spent with his father that centered on their love of baseball. Keeping with the baseball theme, Billy was the evening’s “closer.”  “Given the tremendous succession of pure talent that graced the cathedral, closing the show was not an easy task,” Billy said. Billy’s book, Highway Star reeks of the kind of scathing comical gas that makes all great closers…great. With a few selections from the “Punch Line” chapter, he walked to the mound, threw nothing but strikes and calmly retired the side….
It was a great evening and as Owen O’Suillebhain noted, “The Irish American Writers Salon is a hotbed of talent.  A very receptive and generous listening fills the space.”
Well said.
The next salon will be at the Thalia Café on August 7th. For more information on the salons or joining the Irish American Writers and Artists contact Charles R. hale at

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

November 10, 2011

“Salon at The Cell” added to IAW&A Monthly Calendar

Filed under: Events,Literature,Music,Theater,Visual Arts — by johnleemedia @ 6:27 pm
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Due to the popularity of the Irish American Writers and Artists’ Salons, which are held the first Tuesday of each month at the Thalia Café at Symphony Space and West 95th Street, we are adding an additional venue to showcase that talent of IAW&A members.

On Tuesday, November 15 an additional IAW&A’s Salon will be coming to The Cell Theatre, located at 338 West 23rd Street.  The Cell a “Twenty First Century Salon, is a place where artists can “mine the mind, pierce the heart, and awaken the soul…a place for artists to incubate and present new work.” It is exactly that spirit that the IAW&A’s Salon has attempted to capture and why we are happy to add the “Salon at The Cel”l to our monthly schedule along with the “First Tuesday Thalia Salon.”

The IAW&A Salon, the brainchild of Malachy McCourt, allows IAW&A members the opportunity to present in the medium of their choice. Do you have a recently published book you’d like to read from? Working on a new song you’d like to try out in front of an audience? Would you like to work out a scene from a play you’ve written, tell a story, read a passage from a novel in progress or hone your comedic skills? At an IAW&A Salon you’ll have ten minutes in front of a supportive audience to do just that.

The event is meant to be low-keyed and that’s exactly what it is, a group of artists gathered to support one another in a relaxed and convivial atmosphere.

While you must be a member to present, the proceedings are free and open to all.

For more information on the Salon or joining the IAW&A contact Charles Hale

October 24, 2011

Roisin Fitzpatrick’s exhibit opens at the Consulate General of Ireland New York

Filed under: Visual Arts — by johnleemedia @ 9:35 pm
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Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith, Bill Whelan composer of Riverdance, Mary Pat Kelly author of Galway Bay and Don O’Neill acclaimed Irish fashion designer and creative director of Theia, attended the opening ceremony of the art exhibition of Roisin Fitzpatrick – Artist of the Light®, at the Consulate General of Ireland New York.  The exhibition was officially opened by Loretta Brennan Glucksman, Chairperson of the American Ireland Fund and Consul General Mr. Noel Kilkenny.

Roisin Fitzpatrick, one of Ireland’s leading contemporary artists, previously worked at the United Nations, European Commission and European Bank. Following a brain aneurysm and a near death experience (NDE), Roisin Fitzpatrick turned this adversity into a positive life change. She was inspired to create a series of contemporary artworks – the Artist of the Light® collection. Evoking an inexplicable sense of serenity and peace, Roisin’s primary intention through this art is to introduce and share the beauty of the light and create a greater sense of well-being in both residential and corporate environments.

Her artwork is in the private and public collections of many leading European and US art collectors including Mark Burnett, TV producer of The Voice and The Apprentice and actress Roma Downey from Touched by an Angel. Roisin’s art is at entrepreneur Richard Branson’s new resort near New York and Fitzpatrick’s Hotels in Manhattan. Roisin’s art has been endorsed by New York Times best selling authors Deepak Chopra, Marianne Williamson, Michael Gelb and Dr. Christine Ranck, an Amazon #1 best selling author. Her work has been critically acclaimed by Forbes, Wall Street Journal and Boston Globe.

This exhibition provides a contemporary interpretation of all aspects of light, from the illumination of Newgrange (an ancient Neolithic site in Ireland) at the winter solstice to various aspects of light in nature.  Each piece of art expresses beautiful, intricate patterns with simple elegance using natural silks and the finest Swarovski crystals to create entirely unique art forms.

The exhibition, held in collaboration with the Irish American Heritage Museum, is open to the public, by appointment, until 30 November, Monday-Friday from 10am to 3pm, at 345 Park Avenue at 51 Street New York.  For appointments and guided tours with the artist please email Roisin at or call (347)549-0551. Visit

October 2, 2011

Art of New IAW&A Member Roisin Fitzpatrick on View in New York at Consulate General of Ireland

Filed under: Uncategorized,Visual Arts — by johnleemedia @ 10:40 pm
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An Exhibition of artworks by Roisin Fitzpatrick – Artist of the Light, opens at the Consulate General of Ireland, New York.  The exhibition runs from 3rd October to 30th November and is in collaboration with the Irish American Heritage Museum.

This exhibition provides a contemporary interpretation of all aspects of light, from the illumination of Newgrange at the winter solstice to various aspects of light in nature including the Whirlpool galaxy, water crystals and fractal designs.  Each piece of art expresses beautiful, intricate patterns with simple elegance using natural silks and fine crystals to create entirely unique art forms.

shimmering surfaces, celtc motifs

Following a career at the United Nations, European Commission and European Bank, Roisin experienced a near death, life-changing event from a brain aneurysm which ultimately inspired the creation of the Artist of the LightÒ contemporary artwork collection. Evoking an inexplicable sense of serenity and peace, Roisin’s primary intention through this art is to introduce and share the bliss and beauty of the light and create a greater sense of well-being in both residential and corporate environments.

Artist of the Light® artwork currently features in the private and public collections of many leading European and US art collectors including Mark Burnett, TV producer of Oprah’s All Stars and The Apprentice and actress Roma Downey from Touched by an Angel.  Golfing legend Christy O’Connor Jnr has also purchased her artwork.  Roisin’s art is featured at Richard Branson’s resort near New York and the Fitzpatrick’s Hotels in Manhattan. It was also exclusively showcased at the Conscious Capitalism Conference in Bentley University 2011.  Roisin has also been invited to speak at the United Nations SRC Enlightenment Society in New York.

For more about Roisin and her art, go to

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