Larry Kirwan, Co-Founder Black 47

Tony Nominee 2022 for Paradise Square - IAWAI Eugene O’Neill Lifetime Achievement Honoree 2022.

Larry Kirwan was born in Wexford and lives in New York City. He is a columnist with the Irish Echo and in 2022 received the Irish American Writers and Artists Eugene O’Neill Lifetime Achievement Award. Larry was leader of Black 47 for 25 years during which the political rock band played 2,500 gigs, released 16 albums and appeared on Leno, Letterman, O’Brien, Fallon and every major US TV show. He has written three novels including Liverpool Fantasy and Rockin' The Bronx, a memoir, Green Suede Shoes, and A History of Irish Music. His latest novel Rockaway Blue was recently published by Cornell U. Press. He has written or collaborated on 19 plays and musicals including Paradise Square which began at the cell in Manhattan as Hard Times (produced by Nancy Manocherian, directed by Kira Simring). He collaborated with Thomas Keneally (Schindler’s List) on the musical Transport for which he wrote music and lyrics. It was produced at The Irish Repertory Theatre (directed by Tony Walton). His political thriller Rebel in the Soul was also produced at “The Rep.” He is currently adapting The Informer for stage. A political activist, he is an Irish Echo columnist and celebrity host of Celtic Crush on SiriusXM Satellite Radio. He was president of Irish American Writers & Artists for five years. In 2022 he received a Tony nomination for co-writing the book for Broadway musical Paradise Square.  The play follows the frequenters of a Five Points neighborhood saloon in Manhattan during the American Civil War, including the Black woman who owns it, a conflicted newly arrived Irish immigrant, a freedom seeker, and a once-great songwriter. Larry has written and collaborated on 19 plays and musicals. 

2023 Arts & Culture Awards