The Irish American Writers and Artists Inc. (IAW&A) Salon is going to Ireland for the first time!
IAW&A members will be performing two mini-salons in the Literary Tent at the Electric Picnic in County Laois, Ireland. The preeminent arts and music festival, now in its 13th year, is being held at Stradbally Hall from September 1st through 3rd.
According to the Electric Picnic website:
“Set among the ancient trees on the lawns of Stradbally Hall you’ll find an oasis of literary readings, political debate, performance poetry, science experiments, inspiring talks, news quizzes, public conversations and much more.”
It all started when Electric Picnic organizer Marty Mulligan attended an IAW&A Salon in the fall of 2016. He was so impressed with what he saw, he offered the salon time slots at his festival along with accommodations and spending money. It was up to IAW&A to obtain funding for air fares.
Thanks to the generosity of the Irish Consulate, the IAW&A received the travel funding in mid-July. And so began the necessarily short process of selecting presenters for the Electric Picnic salons.
The IAW&A Board of Directors and Salon Committee nominated and voted on many talented artists and the following were selected to represent work developed at the salon during its first six years, ranging from plays to novels to comedy:
- John McDonagh – Cabtivist — developed and presented entirely at the salon
- Sarah Fearon – TED Talks NYC – based on comedy material developed and presented at the salon
- Kathleen Donohoe — Ashes of Fiery Weather – board member/salon presenter who obtained a book contract with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
- Maria Deasy (with Dublin-based Sarah Lafferty) in Derek Murphy’s Dyin’ for It — developed and presented entirely at the salon.
IAW&A Salon producer John Kearns will act as host and round out the mini-salons with some poetry.
The IAW&A Board also voted to fly Derek Murphy to Ireland so that he can see his work performed.
IAW&A thanks the Electric Picnic and the Irish Consulate for making this possible. We hope this will be the first of many salons in Ireland and that many more of our salon presenters will be able to share their work in the Emerald Isle in the coming years.