Sitcom from Purgatory

On January 1st of this year, myself and many others were shocked of news that a British television outlet (Channel 4) is funding a sitcom about the “famine in Ireland.” Hugh Travers, an Irish writer is behind it, was quoted as describing it, ““we’re kind of thinking of it as Shameless in famine Ireland.” (Showtime’sContinue reading “Sitcom from Purgatory”

Interview: Portraits of Faith

Here is an interview done back in March on location in Brooklyn. The sit-down part of the interview is at Rocky Sullivan’s bar in Red Hook. The poem about Irishtown is read right in front of the gang’s headquarters at 25 Bridge Street, the old “Dock Loaders’ Club.” Other shots are taken on Plymouth StreetContinue reading “Interview: Portraits of Faith”

A Night of Pete Hamill

I had a great time last night at Irish American Writers & Artists Inc.’s Eugene O’Neill Lifetime Achievement Award. This year’s honoree is the legendary writer of fiction and New York Post columnist Pete Hamill. The man who defined, with wonderful words, the Brooklyn childhood of my parents and grandparents’ time was honored by many speakers,Continue reading “A Night of Pete Hamill”

Black Tom Explosion, 1916

Most historians directly associate the explosion that occurred on Black Tom’s Island on July 30, 1916 with German saboteurs. Which is accurate, but history has all but erased any connection between this German plot and the Irish Republican movement in the United States, which at the time was a very powerful lobby. Particularly in New York,Continue reading “Black Tom Explosion, 1916”

Battle: Light and Darkness

The death of famous cinematographer Gordon Willis reminds of the ancient symbolic battle in literature and film: Light vs. Darkness.  As a historical novelist, my work is greatly influenced not only by French and Irish literature, but also by the films of the 1970s. A great independence, comparatively speaking, had already set in in Hollywood afterContinue reading “Battle: Light and Darkness”

Hope and Gerry Cooney

“Cranford is only four square miles,” Joe’s son said in the kitchen. I sipped the coffee. “Everyone kind of knows everyone,” Joe said in his matter-of-fact tone. Joe and I stepped outside his home and we both smelled the April air, felt the warm wind with only a slight bite left to it. “It wasContinue reading “Hope and Gerry Cooney”

Malachy McCourt reads from ‘Diddicoy’ (text included)

Well, if you are wondering what “Light of the Diddicoy” reads like, here is a master storyteller to relate it to you. Mr. Malachy McCourt reads from Chapter 12 called “The Runner.” Below is the actual text, if you would like to read along: Loaded with moon-faced Italians, Sackett, Degraw and Union Streets in RedContinue reading “Malachy McCourt reads from ‘Diddicoy’ (text included)”

Barrow Street Theatre-Reading

What an incredible evening. I am really finding myself to be quite possibly the luckiest writer on the circuit. After arriving in the city, I hung around Greenwich Village and visited the old haunts of my grandparents and great-grandparents at 463 Hudson Street, the saloon that was in my family from 1906 to the lateContinue reading “Barrow Street Theatre-Reading”

Barrow Street Theatre

We have some big news to report here at artofneed, but first off, Happy Holidays to you all. I hope everyone is having good cheer with family and friends and able to enjoy these times. Second, I’m sorry I haven’t had many posts lately. I just moved, and since this is the WORST time of yearContinue reading “Barrow Street Theatre”

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