When I’m writing, I usually need music. Oh, who am I kidding – I kind of always need music, no matter what I’m doing. Just in case you’re interested in some of the favorites for writing and anything else, here’s a list of artists and groups that continue to inspire me, in no particular order. Mind you, this is just what’s on the current playlist – there’s far too much music in the house to list here:

  • New Model Army/Justin Sullivan
  • Concrete Blonde/Johnette Napolitano
  • Tom Waits
  • Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
  • The Pogues
  • Flogging Molly
  • Janis Joplin
  • Corvus Corax
  • Dead Can Dance
  • Leonard Cohen
  • Mozart
  • Guns N Roses
  • Schubert (Trio in E Flat is particularly divine)
  • This Mortal Coil
  • the Ink Spots (And any other 1920-1940s crooners and blues)
  • Trent Reznor
  • Azam Ali
  • Peter Gabriel
  • Rebel Songs
  • Johnny Cash
  • Billie Holiday
  • Drums and Pipes


  • Neil Gaiman
  • Hunter S. Thompson
  • Tim Pat Coogan
  • Sinead McCoole
  • Joseph E.A. Connell
  • Oscar Wilde
  • Margaret Ward
  • David McKittrick
  • Charles De Lint
  • James Joyce
  • Andrew Vachss
  • Morgan LLywelen
  • Cormac McCarthy
  • Brothers Grimm


  • W.B. Yeats
  • Edgar Allan Poe
  • Robert Burns
  • Emily Dickinson
  • Walt Whitman
  • Dylan Thomas
  • Byron
  • Maya Angelou
  • T.S. Eliot
  • E.E. Cummings
  • Leonard Cohen

Historical and modern hero worship:

  • Hunter S. Thompson
  • Constance Markievicz
  • Valentino Rossi
  • Amelia Earhart
  • Margaret Skinnider
  • Elizabeth O’Farrell
  • Anne Devlin
  • Jenny Holzer
  • A good deal of my own friends
  • Justin Sullivan
  • Sleep No More (NYC)
  • Neil Gaiman
  • Tom and Kathleen Clarke
  • Shakespeare

I think that’s a good enough start. I’m sure that I will continue this at some point and add to it as well. It was just what was in my brain at this moment…and I’m lucky to have so many just off the top of my head…

One thought on “Inspirations

  1. Michael Galvin says:

    Dia dhuit Shannon. I think you should add some Dubliners, Clancys, Christy Moore, The Chieftains & Daoirí Farrell to your play list. I’m enjoying your blog and I’ve ordered your book. Tiocfaidh ár lá!!! Sláinte, Míceál Ó Gealbháin

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