Little Witness had a rousing launch at the Listowel Writers’ Week Festival on May 29th, hosted by the inimitable Billy Keane. The poet Matt Mooney launched his collection Earth to Earth alongside me. It was a very special day. My first book launch. I made a wish.
My New York launch was held at The Cell Theatre in NYC, on July 12th. Hosted by Artists Without Walls co-founders, Charles R. Hale and Niamh Hyland, this was another day I’ll not soon forget. Charles emceed; Niamh, with that amazing voice of hers, sang. Fellow AWoW members Annette Homann (violinist), Liv Mammone (poet) and I.S. Jones (poet) showcased their respective talents. The theatre was packed to the rafters. A fabulous afternoon of music, poetry and song. And laughter. And wine. The highlight for me was my 11-year-old son, Aedan, reading one of my poems, “Maisie’s Farm”. I am so proud of my little man.
In this week’s New York Times Style Magazine there is a piece about the 78-year-old experimental performance artist Joan Jonas, who lives in a loft in SoHo and who, since the late-60s, has been practicing her own unique art form: “Jonas has pursued a category-defying, perpetually exploratory practice that melds performance, drawing, film, video, sculpture, installation, sound and literature.” Jonas is a woman not constrained by any discipline. She would have fit in well with the sisterhood of artists—visual, performance, and musical—at the Artists Without Walls: Gallery Series, featuring Kathleen Bennett Bastis’ Permutations at the First Street Gallery, NYC this past Friday night. Mixed media artist Kathleen Bennett Bastis, singer-songwriter Martina Fišerova, violinist Annette Homann and performance artist Allison Sylvia, like Jonas, do not fit neatly into a pre-packaged brand: all are difficult—in the best way possible—to pin down. The aptly named exhibition Permutations served them all well. There was alteration and transformation in spades on the night! [click here for the complete article]
I was honored and delighted to be a featured poet at the 39th Annual National Conference of the American Irish Teachers Association’s Well Versed: A Celebration of Poetry from Ireland and America, on Saturday, November 8th, 2014 at the Liederkranz Building, NYC, hosted by AITA’s president Doris Marie Meyer. Participating with me on the day were poets Terence Winch and Sean Nevin and arts journalist Earle Hitchner. And I once again had the pleasure of collaborating with the extraordinary uilleann piper Jerry O’Sullivan and the fabulous singer/songwriter, and Artists Without Walls co-founder, Niamh Hyland.
Special guests included, visiting from Ireland, the Minister for the Diaspora, Jimmy Deenihan and the Consul General of New York, Barbara Jones.
Click here to see some photos of our marvelous day of Irish poetry and music.