How It’s New York:  The event takes place at Thalia Café at Symphony Space, one of New York’s treasures, and artistic get-togethers are an NYC tradition.  As are all melting pots, and diversity (see below).
How It’s Irish:  The Salons are hosted by  Irish American Writers & Artists a non-profit org dedicated to celebrating all Irish American artists past and present, emphasizing the diversity of the Irish-American experience.  It’s a group for artists to “use their work to affect matters of culture, entertainment, politics and social justice.”  Love the social justice bit.

Working on a play?  A novel?  stand-up comedy?  A new song?  Open mic nights may became a cliché in the 90s, but so what– they allow writers to hear their own voices and get feedback from others.  I lived in Prague for a bit in the tail of the 90s, and was a regular at a literary event called Beefstew, held at a restaurant/club called Radost/Fx every Sunday night.  I only got up and read once, but I heard great stuff, saw people I wanted to see, even met my boyfriend (but I won’t blame Beefstew for that!  More on Beefstew in my forthocoming book, based on my dissertation, Performing Cultures!).

The Irish American Writers & Artists’ Salon are held the first Tuesday of every month– so that means tonight!  It’s at Thalia Café, up at Symphony Space, 95th and Broadway (2537 Broadway, entrance on 95th) 7-9 pm.  Malachy McCourt (Co-Director of the group; Peter Quinn is President, and the Board of Advisors is chock full of starry people) came up with the idea to allow IAW&A members to present a work in progress. 

MC Sarah Fearon with Salon reader

At the last one Michael Sheahan sang a song, for example; Honor Molloy read from her soon to be released novel Smarty Girl; Mary Gannon read a poem; Sheila Walsh read from a play in progress.  For starters.  Charles R. Hale, Chair of the Events Committee, says there were 50 people at the last one– and it was a holiday week!  Only members can present, but you can join while there.  That’s what NYIA (pronounced:  Nayah, or nyeah, nyeah) plan to do!  Email Charles or Kathleen Frazier, C0-Chair, for more info!

Gwen Orel
About the Author

The only New York journalist who writes for both the Forward and Irish Music Magazine.