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Salon bursting with pride, celebrating LGBTQ lives

KT Mulholland, left, and Ashley Pynn. PHOTO BY GORDON GILBERT JR.

Salon Diary / By Karen Daly

The Irish American Writers & Artists celebrated Pride Month with a rollicking, joyous Salon that introduced new artists to our Salon family and attracted our largest crowd yet at St. Patrick’s Pub. Kudos to Miranda Stinson who championed and produced the event and served as host for the first time.

Esteemed poet William Leo Coakley opened the program with several pieces: a view of a rambunctious gay cat and a future of dimmer sight and inheritable old clothes, a tribute to refugees emerging whole in a new country. The last poem was a romp with an active bi-sexual bear in Irish Boston and a straight talking dog in New York. William is shortlisted for the 2019 Hennessy Prize for New Irish Writing. Watch for his poems in the June 30 edition the Irish Times.

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An actor, singer/songwriter, playwright, Sharon Fogarty delivered a touching monologue “A Kiss for Miss Ellie” from Gordon Gilbert’s play, "Monologues from the Old Folks Home." Gordon is grateful for her fine performance, especially as she had little time to prepare. Gordon notes that "Monologues from the Old Folks Home" will be performed for the 8th time, on Friday, June 29 at 7 p.m., at St. John’s Lutheran Church on Christopher Street in the West Village.

M.C. Neuda stylishly delivered two flash fiction crime stories: “Newcomer,” in which “una bandida, this senorita” outwits a pair of thugs, and “Looking for Trouble,” where assumptions about the husband in the story (for some people, at least) are upended. M.C’s stories have appeared in e-zines “Shotgun Honey,” “Yellow Mama,” and “Near2theKnuckle,”in print at “Flash: The International Short-Short Story Magazine” and “Crimespree” and we’re happy to say, at IAW&A Salons. Qassye M. Hall is a MFA Candidate at Sarah Lawrence College, working in fiction and creative non-fiction. She read from her novella about a girl who has given up everything to care for her father and his mental health. The girl is brought to vivid life from the moment she’s in the car to the moment she leaves to head out west. Qassye’s work has been published in The Scarlett Leaf Review, Nebo: a Literary Journal, Five Cent Cigar, and a few other magazines.

Wanjiko Eke, a standup comedian based in New York, riffed on a many topics: Texas, sex, relationships, travel (“just taking your phone to different cities”). She appears all around town, and you can find out at jikogram on Instagram.

Brendan Fahy of the Lavender and Green Alliance invited all to join the Pride Parade on this Sunday, June 24. Register here https://www.lavenderandgreenalliance.org/events/2018-nyc-lgbt-pride-march/form

Playwright Honor Molloy brought down the house and brought us back to 1993 when Time magazine discovered Lesbian Chic. “Get Real, Camille” is Honor’s hilarious send-up of the feminist theorist and social critic Camille Paglia’s response to Time. Remarkably, the dialogue was mostly Paglia’s own words, and it was a mouthful.

Recent Pace University graduate Max Onofre read a charming story, “A Little More,” telling of a couple he viewed as “the epitome of love” making the audience care about them, too. Max aims to become a full-time political journalist and he’s working on a short-story romance book

Novelist J. L. Weinberg read from his debut novel, "True Religion" (Chelsea Station Editions), described by Lambda Literary as “A paranormal adventure packed with occultism, genealogy, past life regressions, and early American history.” He chose a passage where Seth Davis, a New York City writer, after researching the supernatural, after two encounters with ghosts, decides to be past-life regressed. For more about the book and its author, a film journalist, see jlweinberg.com.

The Salon ended on a high note with a musical performance by KT Mulholland, lead singer of indie alt-rock band kingkween, accompanied on guitar by Ashley Pynn. KT sang a bluesy version of “Sweet Pea,” as a love song for Ashley. KT has performed her original tunes in some of New York’s most renowned venues, such as Bowery Ballroom, Gramercy Theatre and Webster Hall, and is set to release her fourth studio album late summer 2018. See her next at Arlene’s Grocery, Friday, July 6. Ashley, an actor who specializes in stunt work, and is the stunt double for Elizabeth Keen (Meghan Boone) in “The Blacklist,” and has worked in countless other film and TV features. KT and Ashley’s thrilling version of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” was a perfect close to the night.

The next Salon will take place at on Tuesday, July 3, at 7 p.m.at St. Pat’s Bar & Grill, 22 West 46th St. (between 5th and 6th Avenues.), New York, NY 10036, and on Tuesday, July 17, at 338 West 23rd St.(between 8th and 9th Avenues).