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Welcoming international award-winning performer later this month


While practical guidance on creative writing techniques is a hallmark of ‘Ireland Writing Retreat,’ we also like to provide quality entertainment for participants, thus we’re delighted to announce an international performer-cum-author for the upcoming late-June event.

Ireland’s leading newspaper, The Irish Times, describes her as ‘trailblazing,’ RTE, the national radio station as ‘Billie Holiday reincarnated’ and The Wall Street Journal as ‘imposing.’


And so she is - especially with five music albums of jazz, blues and folk music already under her belt and a unique memoir.

Tara O’Grady – singer, songwriter, author – has agreed to perform EXCLUSIVELY for retreat participants and talk about her experiences writing her new book.

Tara's recording of the famous song 'Danny Boy' was ranked #6 in the Best-Selling Blues songs in the United Kingdom due to her appearance in the award-winning BBC documentary film, ‘Danny Boy - The Ballad that Bewitched the World.’

That documentary featured actor Gabriel Byrne, who has starred in over 70 movies; director Jim Sheridan, whose films include Oscar-winning ‘My Left Foot’ and In The Name of The Father,’ which received 13 Academy Award nominations; as well as musicians Judy Collins, Joe Jackson and Johnny Cash's daughter, Rosanne. The film was nominated for Best Documentary at the 2014 Irish Film & Television Awards - Ireland's version of the Oscars/Emmys.


The ‘New York Music Daily’ describes Tara as a ‘torchy chanteuse leading one of the most badass old-time swing bands you'll ever hear… with sounds like classics from the 1930s.’

Her memoir entitled ‘Migrating Toward Happiness: The Soundtrack to My Spiritual Awakening’ is described as 'Eat, Pray, Love' meets 'Thelma and Louise' on the Yellow Brick Road.


Even Malachy McCourt, author of ‘A Monk Swimming’ and brother of Frank McCourt who won the Pulitzer Prize for ‘Angela’s Ashes,’ voiced high praise for Tara’s memoir, saying “All men should read it to help them understand the magic of the workings of a woman's mind and all women should read it for affirmation. It's got prose, poetry, music, musing and humor spiced with history all soaring in a wild profusion of color and romance settling on a positive peak. Get elevated. Read it. I loved it!

Tara has been the recipient of ‘The Irish Voice’ newspaper’s ‘Most Influential Woman’ award which was presented by Ireland's Prime Minister. She has also been a teacher of literature and writing and hosted workshops on imagination at New York’s Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. The daughter of Irish emigrants, Tara will fly directly from Germany to be a special guest at this month’s week-long retreat.

Tara says her memoir is “dripping with Donegal because my mother was born in Mountcharles and I spent every summer of my life in Donegal,” adding "every chapter features my granny Nora Conaghan, her farm and the sea, in addition to revealing my life growing up in NYC and my symbolic road trip from New York to Seattle replicating my Waterford granny's 1957 cross country journey in a Chevy Bel Air.

This is your last chance to reserve your place at the Summer Writing Retreat.

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