written by Charles R. Hale


Given a cruel childhood how does anyone function psychologically at a far greater level than his or her experiences might predict? It’s a question I’ve often pondered when thinking of my grandfather Allie’s extremely difficult youth.


Connie Roberts
Connie Roberts

Recently, I had a discussion with poet Connie Roberts about this same topic. Connie suffered through an equally difficult childhood but survived as one of the most talented, vivacious people I’ve ever met. I asked her when she was going to write a memoir and she said, “I have. It’s all in my poetry.”


Now you have an opportunity to read this great woman’s work. The winner of the Patrick Kavanagh Award as Ireland’s top poet in 2010 and winner of the Listowel Writer’s Week Poetry Collection Award, her debut book of  poems Little Witness has been published by Arlen House Dublin. You can buy a copy and learn more about Connie by clicking here. 


Paywright/actress Erin Layton and Connie Roberts
Playwright/actress Erin Layton and Connie Roberts

Here’s what Dan Barry wrote about Connie’s work in the NY Times: “The concrete language of Connie Roberts hits you hard; leaves a mark. You smell the brutal father’s soured Guinness breath before his next abomination; you taste the succulent orange spirited into an orphanage bed; you feel the sting of a nun’s wooden spoon, the warm piss of fear, the run of blood. 
In her vivid recounting of a childhood spent in one of Ireland’s notorious industrial schools, truth hides behind no “masquerade of metaphors.” Roberts honors children, holds adults accountable, and finds acceptance, all with a reportorial rigor that, through her soaring language and big-hearted vision, achieves poetic art. This is the poetry of rock-hard experience. It will skin your soul.”


_DSC87091Honor Finnegan will be performing Sunday, November 17th, at Music at Lily Pads @ UUCSC.  Joni Mitchell’s Blue: A 40th Anniversary Celebration, 3:00pm, 27 North Road, Peace Dale, Rhode Island. $15.  Honor will also be performing at  The Underground, Sunset Rodeo Wednesday, Nov. 20th, 7:00 – 9:00, 955 West End Ave New York NY.  In the round with Sharon Goldman, Fred Arcoleo, and Mangus Ferguson. 2-drink minimum per person 



Tara O'Grady @ Winnie's LoungeTara O’Grady will be performing at the Mercy Centre Bangkok Concert at the Irish Repertory Theatre, Monday, November 18 at 8:00pm with a cocktail reception at 6:45pm. $50 donation to Mercy Centre USA includes reception and a concert with some of the top Irish musicians including Joanie Madden, Martin O’Connell and Tony Demarco. All proceeds go directly to orphanage. Tara will also be appearing with her jazz trio on Wednesday, November 20, 6-9pm at Winnie’s Lounge in the Refinery Hotel, 63 W. 38th St. 




th-1Peter Quinn returns to theIrish Arts Center Tuesday, November 19, 7:30pm, to read from his recently released novel Dry Bones. This is the final installment of the detective Fintan Dunne series, which centers around an ill-fated OSS mission on the Eastern front during WWII and its consequences more than a decade later. Joining Peter will be Tara O’Grady, Mary Tierney, Honor Molloy and Dan Barry. Peter will follow with a Q&A during which you are sure to learn about his exhaustive research on World War II and the liberties a writer sometimes has to take with history.  Call 212-757-3318 and ask for the Artists Without Walls discounted tickets $8.




unnamedDarrah Carr Dance and ModErin: The 15th Anniversary Season. The Irish Arts Center, 553, W. 51st St., Nov. 22-Nov 24., Fri and Sat 8pm, Sat and Sun Family Shows 11am. Sunday 3pm . 
ADMISSION: $25 non-member / $20 member / $15 family show / Use code DCD20 and pay the IAC member rate – while supplies last! TICKETS: or 866-811-4111