by Mary Lannon
Photos by Cat Dwyer

As usual great writers abounded at Bar Thalia this past Tuesday evening but two singers with tributes to the late Pete Seeger stole the show at the IAW&A salon.

In the middle of the second half, Maureen Hossbacher blew away the crowd with a gorgeous rendition of “The Water is Wide,” as a tribute to Seeger and his work cleaning up the Hudson River. Seeger popularized the tune in the 60s. Many regular salon-goers knew Maureen could write but had no idea what an amazing singer she is!!


Maureen Hossbacher

Ending the first half, John Munnelly led a rousing sing-along rendition of Seeger’s “If I had a Hammer.” Prior to that Munnelly sang two original songs that had the crowd both singing along and laughing.  First the sing-along was ““Non Illegitemi carborundum est ( Don’t let the bastards grind you down),” and second was “Brooklyn” a send-up of a struggling Brooklyn artist that provoked much laughter.  Munnelly has a  reservations-recommended show on Saturday Feb. 8 at 8 p.m.  See details at and on his web site at


John Munnelly


Marni Rice

Another beautiful original song came from Marni Rice who also hosted the evening.  She sang “Looks like Rain” and also read a poem from her collection of poems, It’s Not the End of the World.


John Skocik

Last (but not least) of the singer/musicians John Skocik ended the evening with a couple of his original songs.  John is the lead singer of the band Girl to Gorilla, which is finishing up its new album.  John is also an accomplished actor who is in the running to be the host of the Philadelphia Flower Show.

As always, the salon also featured an abundance of talented writers and storytellers.


Kevin Holohan

The versatile Kevin Holohan read a comic outtake from his novel The Brothers’ Lot featuring the shadowy and sinister guild-like Brannigan Brothers Amalgamated Services that seem to control all of the trades and skilled labor in the Dublin of the story.  It was recently published on to inaugurate their On the Cutting Room Floor feature:


Mary Lannon

Mary Lannon read from her novel, and as she seeks to publish it, she asked all to friend her main character on Facebook.  Please take a moment to friend Miranda J. McCleod:


Tom Mahon

As always Tom Mahon did a stand-up job reading from his novel in progress, American Mastery.  In this chapter, Charlie Fenton confronts his inordinate fear of flying. He boards the plane and it takes off, but throughout, he’s convinced he’ll die or be killed. When they’re aloft and he sees clouds out his window, he assumes they’ve crashed and he’s dead, and he was right all along.’’


Ed Farrell

The talented Ed Farrell recited two of his poems, “Coole Sonnet” and “Re-Union on a Winter Afternoon.” Farrell said the IAW&A Salon audience is the best he’s ever experienced.


John Kearns

The prolific and talented John Kearns read an excerpt from his novel-in-progress, Worlds, in which Janey Logan takes her children, Paul and Kitty, from Ardmore, PA into Center City, Philadelphia to visit their father’s office and to see the Wanamaker’s Light Show or “The Holiday Pageant of Lights.”  In the excerpt John read, Janey and the children travel into the city and meet an unmarried former coworker of Janey’s who delays them with small talk and with remarks about how happy she is to be going home rather than out into the cold and then to a crowded light show.  The story of the Logan family’s visit to the Light Show, the Enchanted Colonial Village, and Santa will he heard at upcoming Salons.


John Farrell

The multi-dimensional John Farrell enchanted the crowd with a story about his youth and making a difference. It was his first time storytelling; he also builds sets for movies and has a band called Fishcakes and the Fried Daddies (next gig at The Old ‘776 House in Tappan, NY).


Kathleen D’Arcy Walsh promoting the St. Pat’s For All Parade, March 2nd


Enjoying the presentations…


Honor Molloy

Honor Molloy gave a spirited reading from Moss Hart’s Act One.


Mike Swift

Mike Swift read from his one-man play, First Born, about 5 generations of men in an Irish-American family, the Donahoes, from 1910 to the present day. The monologues he read were Seamus’ story of landing in Manhattan in the early 20th century, his great-great grandson Declan finding the family home again in the present day and video logging the fact that he has been kicked out of school, Declan’s Grandfather James talking about getting drunk at age 11 on the day Pearl Harbor was bombed, and his son, Todd, talking about his experience in the Iraq war.

Don’t forget the St. Pat’s for All Parade on March 2nd!

The next IAW&A Salon is on February 18th at the Cell Theatre. See you there!