How It’s New York: Artists Without Walls produces multicultural showcases in and around New York City
How It’s Irish: Founded by two Irish-Americans who are proud of their heritage, but who also believe that art comes alive when all cultures interact.
Who is Seamus Scanlon?
I write fiction, memoir and drama. Anything to avoid the novel, basically. Also as a late arrival to writing I am trying to make up for lost time on multiple fronts. I am interested in the distilled genius that is early noir crime fiction style in general and the melancholic Irish twist I can add on the side. It was astonishing to see a play Dancing At Lunacy I wrote and produced in March 2012 in New York. It prompted me to write more of them because it is an amazing art form to see your words transformed with meaning and nuances (and usually improved) during a production. My first crime fiction collection As Close As You’ll Ever Be came out in Sep 2012 – a combination of Joyce and Tarrantino apparently. Peter A Quinn said it was a masterpiece. For details of book, reviews, blurbs etc As Close As You’ll Ever Be
What are you working on at the moment?
(1) A sequel to Dancing at Lunacy called I Am Harm. (2) A screen play of Dancing. (3)a short play called Callow Lake. (4) A web series trailer based on the lead character in Dancing. (5)The crime fiction novel called Who Shot Charles Hale. Actually it’s called A Week in the Life of Victor Kraytwin Aged Sixteen and Three Quarters – which is a much zingier title.
Do you have upcoming events you would like people to attend?
Fri April 19 (7-9 pm)
Tue April 23 (1–4 pm)
Thu April 25 (7-9 pm)
Boys Swam Before Me (ran March Sat 23 & Sun 24 at An Beal Bocht)
at Lehman College AWoW Showcase. Stars Paul Nugent & Katherine O’Sullivan and directed by Don Creedon.
Thu May 9 (7-9 pm)
Before you die what are the top five things on your bucket list that you want to do?
Finish the novel!
Walk in the St Patrick’s Day Parade in NY.
Do one-handed press-ups like Bruce Lee.
Perform in one man show – only way I can play a lead at this stage.
What is your favorite place in the world to visit and why?
Renbrack, Foxford, Co. Mayo – we went there on our summer holidays from the concrete of Mervue, Galway. It was a small farm owned by my grandparents John and Mary (nee Gallagher) McGowan. I remember the relief of escaping Galway girls and gangs, the sound of the Moy at night while I lay in the deep dark, walking barefoot across the warm tar of the country road, watching mist rising off Callow Lake in the morning and the sound of the wind blowing through the wind break trees. It gives me solace still.
Who is your greatest inspiration and why?
May McGowan and Michael Scanlon. Neither could not go to university but wanted it for us. They were more proud than we were when all four of us graduated. My father didn’t go to high school but was intelligent and loved to read. On Sunday afternoons he went to lectures in University College Galway that were oprn to the public. My mother May McGowan couldn’t go to University although it was only $50. Once we graduated she decided she would enroll. I noticed she faltered over early assignments. It presaged dementia that was coming. She had to abandon it in frustration. I would have gladly have swapped my degree so she could have gotten hers.
What picture do you love to stare at and why?
The one of Charles Hale on a rock in Boulder. Just joking. None really.
(Editor’s note: Charles Hale commented “Legions of my fans feel similarly.”)
If you could dream about trying out something you haven’t tried out in the arts yet, what would?
I would like to act. Or be a performance artist. Inside I am a show off. But it’s a long way in. Both feel almost insurmountable for me. Reading prose or something is easy. You have script. You have banter (if you are lucky).
What was the best gift that someone gave you that inspired or facilitated an interest in your art?
Passing Nora Barnacle’s house everyday in Bowling Green in Galway made me curious about Joyce. Studying Joyce was complicated but not as complicated as Galway girls. I visited Rahoon cemetery to see where Nora’s love Michael Bodkin was buried and of whom Joyce was still jealous. (He is Michael Furey in The Dead).
In school our English teacher Dan Taheny played recordings of Dylan Thomas reciting his own poetry. I had to pretend it didn’t affect me but it shocked me and thrilled me. My brother Sean inspired me – he was an amazing writer – he was hundred times better than me back then as I am now!
As Close As You’ll Ever Be
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