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Under a full Moon, 50 years on

Hannah Reimann performing. PHOTOS BY CAT DWYER

Salon Diary / By Brendan Costello Jr.

Irish American Writers & Artists' second July Salon took place at the cell theatre, under a full moon, on the 50th anniversary of the launch of the Apollo 11 mission. IAW&A member and frequent presenter Gordon Gilbert hosted, guiding audience and presenters on a memorable journey through poetry, music, theatre and film.

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A. F. Winter read several poems, and then invited his sister, Jill Caryl Weiner, to present a play she had written depicting repartee between an optimist and a pessimist. A.F. Winter is working on his third book of poetry and his fourth novel, and has won the South Carolina Playwrights Festival for his work, The Colliers. His website is www.afwinter.com. Jill Caryl Weiner is an accomplished journalist and the author of two popular parenting-related memory books. Her website is www.jillcarylweiner.com

Kathleen Rockwell Lawrence read from her book in progress, a memoir/novel about four generations of her "Flynniage." Her selection imagined Tte Land War raging in Dromtrasna, near Abbeyfeale, and her great grandparents Jacky and Mary O'Connell Flynn on the tragic day in 1882 when they were evicted, along with their four young children; their poor ancestral cottage tumbled and burned.

The host Gordon Gilbert.

Kathleen is the author of three books: Her two novels “Maud Gone” and “The Last Room in Manhattan” have just been reissued on Amazon. “The Boys I Didn't Kiss” is a collection of her essays, which have appeared in The New York Times, Ms., Glamour, Salon, Vogue and The Antioch Review among others. She has taught at Hunter College High School and the City University of New York. Her webpage is www.kathleenrockwelllawrence.net.

Matthew Paris delighted the audience with a piano improvisation on “The Rose of Tralee”, with a fugue on the musical letters in Erin Ga Bragh. He is a commercially published author, musician, videographer and retired athlete. He has played at Folk City and Irving Plaza, has done concerts with Pete Seeger and was DC37's official labor song singer and was a weekly radio host on WNYC. His website is www.matthewparis.com.

After the intermission, Dublin-born novelist and poet John Fallon read three poems from his unpublished collection “Hour Upon the Stage.” One piece dealt with a child's memory of Christmas, another concerned a "respectable middle-aged woman who has an affair." The second poem, "Visiting the Brother in Queens," is being developed into a one-act stage play. John's two novels, “A Relative Matter” and “A Peculiar Predicament” are available on Amazon.

Chatting during the break.

Salon newcomer Julie Owen read the first four pages of "Leo 's Apartment," a short story about a 70-year-old man who has just come home to his Park Avenue apartment from the neurologist having just been diagnosed with dementia. In it, Leo talks with his apartment about the joys and disappointments of his fortunate life, before he forgets. The piece is from Julie's book of interwoven short stories about New York entitled “Leo's Apartment and other Stories.” She is a real-estate broker by trade.

Andrea "Red" Barnes is a street poet and an actor, and she wrote some new poems for the New Moon, on the 50th anniversary of the launch of Apollo 11, including "Moon in Me":

"To sleep under you is the art of protection

I soak your moonbeams and wake up fierce enough to face another day

with your watery Gaze flowing through me."

Here is a link to Red's newly published essay, The Talisman of Strummer: http://monologging.org/

Salon newcomers Julia Knight and Valerie Barnes presented a short film. The piece, "Her Story," is part of "SKIN: A Meditation," an art installation of poetry films and an interactive exhibit. This was one of three films.

A view of the audience before the start.

Hannah Reimann closed out the evening with two songs by Joni Mitchell, "Rainy Night House" and "River." Hannah is a NYC based singer/songwriter, multi genre composer, concert pianist, filmmaker, actor & educator. She has played and sung in Lincoln Center, The Knitting Factory, other venues & music festivals, and will be performing around town in support of her new EP of songs by Joni Mitchell. Follow her at her website, www.hannahreimann.com.

Our next Salon will be tomorrow evening, Tuesday, Aug. 6, at Thalia Studio, below Symphony Space at 95th Street and Broadway.

And don't forget! Our annual Eugene O'Neill award ceremony will be on Monday, Oct. 21, 2019 at Rosie O'Grady's; this year's honoree is Peter Quinn. For tickets go to https://oneill2019.eventbrite.com/.