By Karen Daly
Photos by John Kearns
Our first Fall Salon, on a still-sultry night, had an enticing mix of seasoned presenters with several new talents. Mark William Butler, our good-natured host, kept the program moving, starting off with “Six Lost Days in November” a monologue about a lottery player, performed by actress Skylar Larkyn, one of those new talents. Its author Dan Brown used the monologue to explore the role of luck, fortune, and fate in life.
Thom Molyneaux portrayed three men in crisis in short pieces from his one-man show, Me and the Monologues. The veteran actor and writer seamlessly became an English actor in John Osborne and Anthony Creighton’s Epitaph for George Dillon; a television executive in Paddy Chayefsky’s Network and a mayoral hopeful in William Alfred’s Irish American verse drama, Hogan’s Goat, set in 1890’s New York. Thom was particularly pleased that he sparked salongoers’ interest in Hogan’s Goat, which he calls “a sadly neglected work.”
Writer, editor and new IAWA member Michael Mannion read a tempting brief section from the opening of his novel Erin’s Daughters in which a grandmother transmits ancient secrets to her granddaughter. The book is scheduled for release in mid-October 2018 by Haverhill House Publishing. Michael invites all to learn more about his work at The Mindshift Institute, a nonprofit founded by Michael and his wife Trish Corbett in 1999.
Gordon Gilbert, Jr.
Gordon Gilbert, Jr. read a dramatic and moving trilogy of poems that he wrote in the sad days following 9/11, titled “When the Towers Fell.” Gordon also announced “Remembrances of 9/11,” a program he hosts annually. This year’s will be held at at the Cornelia Street Cafe on Wednesday, September 12th at 6pm.
Salon producer John Kearns read a monologue from his play in progress, Boann and the Well of Wisdom, about the Irish mythical character Boann who defied authorities and uncovered a forbidden well. In the monologue, Boann’s father describes how Boann had always been an obedient and helpful daughter until he told her of a marriage he was arranging for her and she was adamant about marrying a man she had chosen. John’s novel Worlds, developed at the IAWA Salon, has been named a finalist in the William Faulkner – William Wisdom Creative WritingCompetition. He will be attending the awards events in New Orleans later this month. Of course, we’re rooting for him!
Guenevere Donohue read a brand new piece about her connection to the ocean, noting “the centuries of island people in my blood.” Comparing the journey of her grandparents from Kilkenny with what she calls the “adrift-ness” of emigration, Guen launched into a powerful rendition of The Pogues’ “Thousands Are Sailing.” This pairing will become part of Guen’s new music theatre piece, To The Sea.
M.C. Neuda is known for her stylish crime fiction but tonight she offered a story in more literary mode. M.C. describes the work as rumination on the city of Prague and its place in the heroine’s evolution of self and her husband’s devolution of his.” In short, what “for better or for worse” is all about.
Natalie H. Rogers
Natalie H. Rogers calls her poems “portraits in poetry for older women.” The titles reveal their humor and compassion — “On The Other Side of Over The Hill” and “I Refuse To Die Like An Old Person.” Her goal is to acknowledge, without shame, women’s desires, fantasies, triumphs, fears, effort to cope and losses. A first time Salon presenter, Natalie is an expert speaker, and founder of Talkpower: A Panic Clinic for Public Speaking. Find her programs, including an intensive Mind/ Body Workshop in late September.
In his first Salon visit and one of his first NYC performances, Ronan Fitzgerald sang two songs and played a powerful acoustic guitar. “Karaoke Kings and Queen” was the first single released by Ronan’s band in Birmingham (UK), Nerve Centre. Ronan notes, “it’s a lively number, but in retrospect, it’s about a 25 year old who isn’t very good with girls, and that’s sad.” Ronan’s “What Kind of Privilege is This?” offers a view of the immigration process in which he didn’t feel particularly privileged, frustrated by time and bureaucracy.
Next Salon, Tuesday, September 17th will be held at the Irish Arts Center, 553 West 51st St.