In addition, Mike Farragher, one of the bards who read, interviewed Hurley; read that here!
Charles said stepping up to the mic at Lincoln Center made him want to echo the words shouted by James Cagney at the end of White Heat, “Made it, Ma! Top of the world!”
Honor Molloy presented an excerpt from her novel Smarty Girl: Dublin Savage based on her memories of the famed Dubliners’ performing in her family’s living room in Baile Atha Cliath. Adding to the assemblage of famous Dubliners, Aedin Moloney gave a rousing and expert performance of Molly Bloom’s soliloquoy from Joyce’s Ulysses. (There was also a reading from the Ithaca episode of Ulysses by a pair of performers.)
|Honor Molloy and Mike Farragher (@Christine Walsh)|
Fittingly, a few poets took to the stage of the Gathering of the Bards as well. Barbara Feldon gave the audience a few selections from W.B. Yeats. Writer and professor Christy Kelly read one of his poems. Poet and jewelry designer Mikelle Terson recited a lyric by Eavan Boland accompanied by a doumbek drummer and other musicians.
|Charles Hale and Peter Quinn|
Peter Quinn, author of Banished Children of Eve, Looking For Jimmy, and The Man Who Never Returned, gave a humorous and passionate introduction to novelist William Kennedy, urging everyone in attendance to write a letter to the King of Sweden, exhorting him to give the Nobel Prize for Literature to the Albany writer, whom Quinn called America’s greatest living novelist, belonging to the same literary category as O’Neill and Hemingway.
|The McCourts, Joe Hurley, William Kennedy (@Christine Walsh)|
Malachy McCourt, actor, raconteur, and author of A Monk Swimming and Singing My Him Song, offered the Gathering of the Bards some hilarious remarks about how the snakes chased out of Ireland by her patron saint came to America to become conservatives and about the dubious genetics involved in the coupling of Adam and a woman made from his own rib. He concluded the afternoon’s entertainment with a powerful and soulful a capella performance of what he called, “the greatest anti-war song ever written,” that is, “Ach, Johnny, I Hardly Knew Ye.” No better way to wrap up the afternoon’s festivities.
|Joe Hurley and the Gents|
Although — as I was occupied with distributing flyers, answering questions about the location of Damrosch Park, telling people they could probably find a restroom in Avery Fisher Hall and that no, the gentleman in the spectacles and hat is not Elvis Costello, but writer Joe Goodrich — I have every excuse for forgetting some remarkable highlights, I do and will feel guilty about any performers I have failed to mention. Sorry, folks.