Making a rare appearance here in America, International best-selling author Morgan Llywelyn is an Irish-American and the recipient of the 1999 Exceptional Celtic Woman of the Year Award from Celtic Women International. She calls herself "a historical novelist specializing in the Celtic culture". But to millions of readers of such books as The Horse Goddess, Bard, Red Branch, Lion of Ireland, and Grania, Morgan Llywelyn simply makes history come alive within her pages. She makes us live the lives of Cuchulain and Brian Boru, as well as the druids and bards who lived in Ireland in times past.
Morgan Llywelyn was born in New York to Welsh-Irish parents, but these days she lives in Ireland full time where she serves as Chairman of the Irish Writers' Union. She is also the only woman to have walked the entire length and breadth of Ireland on her own two feet, walking a total of 427 miles for charity.
"It meant walking over 30 miles a day for sixteen days with no break," she said.
Her latest novel 1916: A Novel Of The Irish Rebellion is the story of the Irish fight for freedom, seen through the eyes of the orphaned Ned, recently returned to Ireland after losing his parents in the sinking of the Titanic. It is the story of the brave men and heroic women who, for a few unforgettable days, managed to hold out against the might of the British Empire to realize an impossible dream.
Colum McCann is the award-winning author of five novels and two collections of short stories. His most recent novel, “Let the Great World Spin,” won worldwide acclaim, including The 2009 National Book Award in the U.S, the 2010 Best Foreign Novel Award in China, a short-listing for the International Impac Award, as well as a 2011 literary award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
“Let the Great World Spin” became a best-seller on four continents.
McCann’s fiction has been published in 30 languages and has appeared in The New Yorker, Paris Review, Granta, The Atlantic Monthly, GQ, Bomb and other places. He has written for numerous publications including The New York Times, the Irish Times, Die Zeit, La Republicca, Paris Match, the Guardian, the Times and the Independent.
McCann is considered, in every sense, an international artist. Born in Ireland, he has travelled extensively around the world. He and his wife Allison lived in Japan for two years. He currently lives in New York City, where he holds dual Irish and American citizenship. He is a member of the Irish Academy, Aosdana, and was awarded a Chevalier des arts et lettres by the French government in fall 2009 (making him one of a exclusive number of foreign artists recognised in France for their literary contributions: other recipients have included Paul Auster, Salman Rushdie and Julian Barnes).
Richard Moore was born in Derry, Northern Ireland. At the age of 10 years, Moore was struck by a rubber bullet on the bridge of his nose, resulting in permanent blindness. After he realized that he would never see his parents’ faces again, he cried one night until he fell asleep. He said that he had accepted the situation he was in just like that (snapping his fingers), and said: “Forgiveness is a gift for yourself.”
“I have learned to live in a different way. One can take away one’s sight, but one cannot take away one’s vision.”
Moore founded the charity “Children In Crossfire” in 1996. Based in Derry, with projects in Africa, Asia and South America. Crossfire focuses on issues affecting children, providing access to clean water, food, health and education.
Irish writer and film producer Maurice Fitzpatrick has graduate degrees from Trinity College, Dublin and Senshu University, Tokyo, Japan. He had been living in Tokyo, lecturing at the University level and writing for six years prior to moving to Solingen, Germany with his wife, Marina. In addition to English and Irish; Mr. Fitzpatrick speaks French, Japanese, Italian, German and Norwegian.
Fitzpatrick's film, The Boys of St. Columb's, based on his book of the same name, tells the story of the first generation of Derry children to receive free secondary education as a result of the ground-breaking 1947 Education Act in Northern Ireland. This film tells the story of how the political and historical conditions of Northern Ireland altered as a result of the mass education of its population, culminating in the Civil Rights Movement of the late 1960s which drew its inspiration from the USA.
It may not take a rocket scientist to draw cartoons, but Detroit native Pat Byrnes erred on the side of caution by getting his Aerospace degree at the University of Notre Dame. He joined General Dynamics–Convair as the first pre-design engineer (the brainstorming guys) they had ever taken directly out of undergrad. Despite this privilege, he knew his calling was elsewhere. For a time, he honed his creative skills writing ad copy for big agencies like W. B. Doner in Detroit and J. Walter Thompson in Chicago. He scripted ads for everything from cheese to menstrual relief products, and won buckets of awards, from the Addy to the Clio. During this time, he moonlighted with experimental comedy acts, to much critical acclaim (even notoriety) in Chicago's then crackling night club scene. He left writing ads for reading them as a voiceover actor. Between auditions, he finally found time to answer his above-mentioned calling. Cartooning. Since 1998, Pat has been a regular contributor to The New Yorker. He is also a staple in Reader's Digest, Wall Street Journal and America Magazine. For three years, he created the syndicated comic strip, "Monkeyhouse.". He has won the National Cartoonists Society Award for advertising illustration, and awards for his sonnets. He also writes musicals. And he used to paint when he had the time. His gag cartoons appeared for the first time in book form in What Would Satan Do? (Harry N. Abrams, 2005), and again in Because I’m the Child Here and I Said So (Andrews-McMeel, 2006). His most recent book is Eats Shoots & Leaves — Illustrated Edition by Lynne Truss (Gotham 2008) of which he is the illustrator. More recently, he is the inventor of the Smurks app for the iPhone and author of the Captain Dad blog (CaptainDad.org). He is married to Lisa Madigan, who, in addition to being charming and beautiful, is also the Attorney General of the State of Illinois. They live a surprisingly quiet life with their delightful daughters, Rebecca and Lucy, on the banks of the Chicago River.
Arthur Cola was born in Chicago in the “little Italy” neighborhood of the near west side of the city. His family moved to Oak Park, IL where he attended Oak Park-River Forest High School. While attending Loyola University, Chicago, he met his future wife, Donna Shields. Together they have five now grown children and four grandchildren. He, his wife and family now live in Wisconsin.
Arthur's latest blog
Rita Emmett is a Recovering Procrastinator, and a Professional Speaker & author, whose first book THE PROCRASTINATOR’S HANDBOOK ,sold over 100,000 copies in its first year, has been featured in 312 interviews, including with Katie Couric,, is sold in 32 countries, and won the Digital Media Award for Non-Fiction e-book of the year (Stephen King won the Fiction e-book award. Rita is convinced that Stephen keeps mentioning that Rita is the non-fiction author) Since then, she has written THE PROCRASTINATING CHILD: A Handbook for Adults to Help Children Stop Putting Things Off, The Clutter-Busting Handbook and Manage Your Time to Reduce Your Stress: A Handbook for the Overworked, Overscheduled, & Overwhelmed. Think anyone will relate to that?
Each year, Rita is included in the prestigious “Who’s Who in the World”, as well as “Who’s Who in America”, "The World Who's Who of Women", and “Who’s Who of American Women”. Among the businesses and organizations she has helped to achieve greater productivity are Merrill Lynch, Mercedes-Benz, Met Life, ACE Hardware, Kraft Food, University of Chicago Hospitals, and The National Kidney Foundation. Rita & her husband Bruce live in Des Plaines, Illinois and she is a proud member of the Irish American Heritage Center. (And has been a member for 25 years.)
Dennis Foley holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia College-Chicago and a J.D. from The John Marshall Law School. His first book, The Street’s and San Man’s Guide To Chicago Eats, won the Midwest Independent Publishers Association Book Awards—1st Place for Humor. Happily married to Susan, Dennis is also the proud father of Matt, Pat, and Mike. The Foley clan resides in Chicago’s Beverly neighborhood.
In The Drunkard’s Son, Dennis tells the powerful and humorous story about growing up on Chicago’s South side in the 1960s and ‘70s, a time of strife that also found his family running head on into an endless series of roadblocks. This memoir, featuring a young, wise-beyond-his-years narrator, received rave reviews from the Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Tribune and other local media upon its release in May of this year.
Mary Terese Kanak was born in Chicago and raised in Wheaton, Illinois. She lives in Villa Park, Illinois with her husband, their two daughters, and their two Shitzu dogs.“Ripples of Connections” is a family memoir, published in July, 2011. The story begins in 1855, (7 Hester generations back), in a wee cottage on a farm in the small village of Aughaderry, Loughglynn, Castlerea County Roscommon, Ireland. Mary's grandfather (John Hester) grew up on this farm and her great Aunt Bea still lives there, Bea's son James & his children work the farm. The stories of her Irish roots unfold with the journeys of both maternal grandparents over “the big pond” to Chicago, Illinois. She wrote the book to introduce her children and her nieces and nephews to their Irish Grandma and their Irish heritage.
As an author and filmmaker, Mary Pat Kelly has told various stories connected to Ireland. Her award-winning PBS documentaries and accompanying books include To Live for Ireland, a portrait of Nobel Peace Prize winner John Hume and the political party he led; Home Away from Home: The Yanks in Ireland, a history of U.S. forces in Northern Ireland during World War II; and Proudly We Served: The Men of the USS Mason, a portrayal of the only African-American sailors to take a World War II warship into combat, whose first foreign port was Belfast. She wrote and directed the dramatic feature film Proud, starring Ossie Davis and Stephen Rea, based on the USS Mason story. She’s written Martin Scorsese: The First Decade and Martin Scorsese: A Journey; Good to Go: The Rescue of Scott O’Grady from Bosnia; and a novel, Special Intentions. She is a frequent contributor to Irish America Magazine. Mary Pat Kelly worked in Hollywood as a screenwriter for Paramount and Columbia Pictures and in New York City as an associate producer with Good Morning America and Saturday Night Live, and wrote the book and lyrics for the musical Abby’s Song. She received her PhD from the City University of New York. Born and raised in Chicago, she lives on Manhattan’s Upper West Side with her husband, Web designer Martin Sheerin from County Tyrone.
John Linehan grew up in the West Englewood community on Chicago's southside. During his childhood Chicago was known as the "Most Racially Segregated City in America". This was because Chicago has always been a city of immigrants. People from around the world would settle there to escape the oppression and poverty of their homeland. These people worked in the stockyards and steel mills of the city. They settled in ethnic enclaves and brought many of their own suspicions and prejudices with them. Open housing laws were passed by the federal goverment and the period of time from the mid sixties thru the late seventies marked rapid racial change as neighborhoods on the west and southsides of the city change literally overnight. Linehan's neighborhood was changing just as he turned sixteen. He bought an old car and joined a city wide ushering service that gave him acess to the stadiums, ballparks, and arenas of the city. He met a lot of characters in the bars and ballparks of Chicago. Corruption was an accepted part of life in Chicago. He had an inside look at how the "City that Works" actually worked.
City Life is a coming of age tale set in the neighborhoods and streets of Chicago, one of Americas most dynamic cities. It's the 1970's and Chicago's Southside is changing along with the rest of America. For Francis Curtin, a working class teenager growing up in the West Englewood neighborhood, life is about getting his first car, dodging trouble at his Catholic boys's school, and exploring the city with his closest pals. But Francis' world is set for rapid-fire expansion when he lands a job as an Andy Frain usher. Suddenly Francis is on the sidelines at Soldier Field, backstage at concerts at the Chicago Stadium, and rubbing elbows with sports celebrities Harry Carey and Bill Veeck at Comiskey Park. Then there are some of the usher's he meets, a motley crew of characters who expose Francis to the adult world and the corruption that Chicago is celebrated for. City Life is about coming of age in one of the most turbulent and thrilling eras in American history. Chicagoans will love this story for it's historical undertones and setting in some of the city's most iconic sites, many now demolished or in disrepair.
Sandra McCone is an Irish Children's author based in Illinois. She is best known for her Magical Tea Party books and presentations. In her books, she likes to share the tales and legends of Ireland's most fantastical creatures: the faeries. Much of what is known today in popular culture about the faeries comes from the old Irish stories about the fey, a race of creatures full of mystery and magick who are not only known to cause mischief but laughter as well.
Here Sandra shares her knowledge of the faerie realm as well as her knowledge of old Ireland, the times and traditions practiced by the ancient Celts. Maybe you might recognize some traditions as they have passed down and adapted to fit into modern day.
Poetry from the Heart of an Irish Soul encompasses a broad range of personal, political and many other topics, written from the heart. From his blessed recovery from alcohol addiction to eulogies, including one for John F. Kennedy that was so heartfelt that Senator Edward Kennedy sent the Author, Jerry O’Neill, a letter saying “…I would like to express my sincere thanks to you for your moving tribute to my brother, John F. Kennedy.”(The letter is in the book) There is also a eulogy for Jerry’s father, “Da” which inspired Jerry to write a final verse to the beautiful “Danny Boy” expressing Danny’s feelings for his father.
His patriotic poems range from The Viet Nam War to 9/11. Hurrah and a personalized Patriot were given to Oliver Stone, who was so moved by them, he shook Jerry’s hand and personally thanked him after reading them. Mayor Richard M. Daley sent Jerry a thank you note for his personalized poem Himself. Sister Rosemary Conley of Misericordia and Father Jim Close of Mercy Home also have been subjects of Jerry’s work and have also sent letters of appreciation. Jerry has given hundreds of framed personalized copies of Patriot to veterans of all wars, Anniversary to fortunate recovering alcoholics and addicts to mark the milestones of their recovery and framed copies of Himself and Herself to those worthy of the accolade. His poem Chosen, touches the hearts and graces the walls in many Jewish homes as does his Green, Danny Boy the Answer and Blessings enjoy the same honor in hundreds of Irish homes.
Monica Dougherty is an artist, author and art therapist with a long love of the arts and media. While living in New York she worked for NBC-TV in Newsfilm, Creative Services, Local Advertising & Promotion and the Sports Department. After moving home to Chicago, she worked at the Goodman Theater, and then began a career in freelance art and design. Her children's book, You're A Miracle…Pass It On! was published in February 2007. She is co-author, with Mary Beth Sammons, of Images of America: Irish American Heritage Center. She has also written a screenplay entitled Rose's Ring, based on a true family story dating back to 1840s Ireland. Watch Monica's Youtube interview here
Mary Beth Sammons is an award-winning journalist, author and editorial and social networking strategist for non-profit organizations. She also writes about the ups and downs of handling life, health and wellness, and reinventing your life with grace and gusto for a variety of online publications and consumer magazines including: AOL’s Lifestyle network including ParentDish.com, and AOLhealth.com. Her writing appears in Family Circle, the Chicago Tribune, and American Airlines's website for female travelers.
As vice-president of editorial, Mary Beth helped launch CarePages.com, building community through editorial content and wrote a blog on about balancing her role as parent to three children and caring for her aging parents. She creates cause-related marketing campaigns for several non-profits including Christ the King Jesuit College Preparatory School, a startup high school in Chicago’s toughest neighborhood on the West Side. She is a former suburban bureau chief for Crain's Chicago Business and business editor for The Daily Herald.
Mary Beth has written 10 books, including Second Acts That Change Lives: Making a Difference in the World, My Family: Collected Memories, Living Life as a Thank You, and The Courage Companion. She currently is the co-organizer of the volunteer-run Storytelling Project at the Irish American Heritage Center in Chicago and is co-authoring a book on tracing your ancestors to uncover who you truly are with co-author Nina Lesowitz. She has received several industry awards, including first place from United Press International for best spot news coverage, a PR Silver Anvil Award, and an undergraduate scholarship from the William Randolph Hearst Foundation.
J.S. Dunn lived in Ireland during the past decade and pursued the Atlantic Bronze Age in Ireland, Wales, NW France, and Spain. BENDING THE BOYNE, her debut novel, won the 2011 Next Generation Award for historical fiction, and was listed for a 2012 Foreword Award. A short story excerpted from her second novel in progress appears in the Gaslight anthology ( October 2012, Chamberton Publishing) Bending the Boyne, 2200 BCE, Eire: the young astronomer Boann and the enigmatic Cian need all their wits and courage to save their people and their great Boyne mounds, when long bronze knives challenge the peaceful native starwatchers. Banished to far coasts, Cian discovers how to outwit the invaders at their own game. Tensions on Eire between new and old cultures and between Boann, Elcmar, and her son Aengus, ultimately explode. What emerges from the rubble of battle are the legends of Ireland’s beginnings in a totally new light.
“The Living Wills” is the product of collaborative creativity between Brendan Sullivan and writing partner, Rick Kaempfer. A decision made in two seconds can change, damage, save or even end a life. Henry Stankiewicz made such a decision and he is still dealing with the ripple effects over 30 years later. Can he and the people he affected now maneuver their way through a world of baristas and Army veterans, cartoon pirates and exploding port-a-potties, Canadian cowboys and bowling teams, office politics an young love, to find the strength to heal before it’s too late?
Brendan Sullivan is a creativity coach. He helps organizational teams, leaders and individuals to create more innovative solutions, more successful creative ideas, and a healthier, more collaborative work environment where talented people can flourish. Brendan has designed, facilitated and presented his programs to a wide range of clients, including large corporations like Kellogg’s, Harley-Davidson, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Sara Lee, Jenny Craig, PepsiCo, Aetna, Marriott Hotels and many others, as well as to many smaller companies, nonprofit groups, schools and government agencies.
Brendan also was the creative producer, for 10 years, of a top-rated morning radio show in Chicago, the Jonathon Brandmeier Radio Showgram. His job was to create material for the show, written pieces, creative ideas and humorous character segments. Brendan developed successful, transferable techniques for generating creative ideas quickly. As an actor, Brendan has appeared in national television commercials, feature films, television productions and the theater. He is a member of the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. Brendan has also written scripts which were produced for television and the stage, as well as feature articles in magazines and advertising copy for business publications and radio commercials. Brendan and his wife, Susan, have four children and live in Chicago.
Conor Cunneen is a Corkman happily exiled in Chicago, where he says: The Guinness is great (some of you may have discovered that last night) ………. The natives are friendly and …… He has been force-fed more corned beef than he ever had in Ireland!
An internationally acclaimed speaker, Chicago humorous speaker of the year, and successful author, Conor will present from his latest work For the Love of Being Irish which showcases the all the humor, history and passion of Ireland in an A-Z book that will have you Learning, Laughing and Leave you with a spring in your step.
Phyllis A. Collmann is a retired nurse whose interest in pioneer stories sprouted from a lifetime of hearing accounts shared by the many patients she treated. There are 8 books in the Rose Donlin Pioneer Series. The Books are big, ambitious and adventurous, they have more of life's astonishing situations than any other Pioneer story you have ever read. Ms. Collman says that the stories of survival she heard while on the job inspired her to write this strength-filled story. She lives in Iowa with her husband of fifty years. Ms. Collmann enjoys poetry, nature, and the fine arts.
New to Arcadia Publishing’s popular Images of America series is Bridgeport by local authors and Bridgeport natives: JoAnne Gazarek Bloom, Maureen F. Sullivan, and Daniel Pogorzelski.
This pictorial history boasts more than 200 high quality vintage images providing readers with a unique opportunity to reconnect with the history that shaped their community.
Home to five Chicago mayors, Bridgeport is the most political neighborhood in the most political of cities. Parades of politicians honored its power at
national conventions. Once a Native American village traversed by Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet, as Chicago grew the area was called
Hardscrabble, then Cabbage Gardens, and finally, Bridgeport.
Immigrants built it: the Irish dredged a canal and mined a quarry that led to the building of slaughterhouses, co-ops, rolling mills and breweries that were worked by Germans, Lithuanians, Bohemians, Swedes and Poles. Sinclair described parts of it as a heartbreaking jungle. More immigrants came including Italians, Croatians, Mexicans and Chinese.
Against the backdrop of prairies, labor strife and gangways, this sometimes uneasy mix lived, worked and voted together. Bridgeport still has streets that defy the city’s orderly grid, settlement houses, language stews and churches and taverns for each ethnicity. Today, it may welcome artists and expensive housing but on summer nights stoop sitting and rooting for the White Sox remain social obligations.
Published: August 13, 2012 Available for purchase here: www.bridgeportchicagobook.com. Available for interviews, signings, presentations and Bridgeport trivia for groups. Any other ideas, call me and we'll see if it's doable.
Contact: Maureen Sullivan, Co-author for booking at maureen@ bridgeportchicagobook.com or 773-719-6655
SATURDAY ONLY: Brenna Briggs is the author of six Liffey Rivers Irish Dancer Mysteries which THE IRISH WORLD in London has compared to Enid Blyton's adventure series, "if you throw in a lot more reels and hornpipes." She was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, into an Irish American family where she thought for many years that sugar cookies with green icing on Saint Patrick's Day was the best thing about being Irish.
Briggs wrote monthly, serialized Liffey Rivers short stories for Irish Dancing and Culture Magazine for four years. Her essays have been featured in Hornpipe Magazine, The Irish American Post, The Sligo Quarterly Review and many Irish American magazines and newspapers.