James Joyce didn’t read from The Dead, Angelica Houston didn’t perform as Greta, and Susan McKeown didn’t sing the “The Lass of Aughrim,” but a talented group of writers, performers and musicians were in attendance at Tuesday night’s Irish American Writers and Artists’ Salon.
Honor Molloy began the All Soul’s Day proceedings with a wonderful childhood memory, a tale she calls “Bedtime Story.” Kevin McPartland followed with a work of “flash fiction,” a style of writing that is extremely brief, entitled “D Train,” a harrowing depiction of aliens invading the NYC subway system.
Singer, musician songwriter, Michael Sheahan was next up. Michael, who first appeared at Salon II and sang the very beautiful “Pages of Time,” sang the title song from his awarding winning Book/DVD/CD titled “Mr. Holidays Presents the Rooftop Hop.”
The spontaneous nature of the proceedings leaves the audience wondering how one performer’s work is going to segue into the next. The juxtaposition of Michael’s song about Santa Claus, followed by Mark Butler’s riotous romp of sexual debauchery, “Cool and Clean and Crisp,” was the perfect example of the “one never knows, does one,” segue. Mark’s very funny story was published in the book “Best American Erotica 1994.”
Award winning screenwriter, Martha Pinson, concluded the first half of the evening’s performances with two moving poems, “Garden of Eden,” and “The Cool Room,” and an inspiring haiku, which she calls “The Wedding.”
Kathleen Hill, whose book, “Who Occupies This House” received an “Editor’s Choice” from the New York Times, began the second half of the evening with a tender reading from her book. Peter Quinn, the IAW&A President, was in attendance and of Kathleen’s work he said, “It’s prose that constantly trips into poetry.” Perfect description.
Mary Gannon read from her novel in progress, “Sacred Street,” an engaging, romantic coming-of-age tale of a young girl and John Kearns read a finely constructed and thought provoking poem from his play “Sons of Molly Maguires.” John’s poem was published in the November 2011 issue of “Poetry for the Masses” The last reader was Kevin Holohan, who exhibited his brilliant reading and writing skills with an arresting tale of abuse and retribution from his book “The Brothers’ Lot.”
Sarah Fearon leant her keen sense of humor to the proceedings with a skit called, “A Microwaved NYC Moment,” a laugh-out-loud, fall-on-the-floor-funny scene of hilarity. This lady has a great ear for the sights, sounds and voices that are NYC.
As has become the Salon’s tradition, Michael Sheahan ended the evening with a song he wrote called “The White Strand.” The tune, motivated by his Irish-born wife Barbara’s hometown, and Michael’s first trip to the west of Ireland, captures the rugged beauty of Ireland’s west coast, and in the great tradition of Malachy McCourt, ended the evening with an Irish flair.
The next Thalia Salon, which is located at Symphony Space on 95th Street and Broadway, will be held on December 6th. There will be an announcement in a day or two of an additional Salon, which will be at The Cell Theatre on West 23rd Street on November 15. More on that soon. For additional information on becoming an IAW&A member and participating at a Salon, contact Charles Hale at firstname.lastname@example.org