The Pen Parentis Literary Salon is a unique Downtown series that shatters parental stereotypes as it celebrates the diverse creative work of writers that are also parents. On the second Tuesday of each month September through May, join us at 75 Wall Street (Andaz Wall Street). Each night begins with networking over wine, compliments of Andaz Wall Street. Readings are followed by Q&A moderated by Pen Parentis founder M. M. De Voe and Salons curator Christina Chiu. Each event ends with mingling and book signings. Come join the fun!  Pen Parentis Literary Salons are a great place to meet book-loving neighbors as well as industry notables. You don’t have to be a parent or even a writer to enjoy these events – join us!

See below for details of who is reading next and to RSVP!

Modern Family at the Pen Parentis Literary Salon
Oct 10 @ 7:00 pm – 9:30 pm

Tuesday, October 10th at 7pm, Pen Parentis Literary Salons brings together three authors representing variously “modern” families—Lori Jakiela, Sheila Sweeny Higginson, and Ami Sands Brodoff—who will present readings from their new works followed by a panel discussion about writing and the contemporary family unit moderated by Columbia University MFA alumnae Christina Chiu and M. M. De Voe in the prestigious downtown hotel Andaz Wall Street.



Sheila Sweeny Higginson is an award-winning author who has worked in children’s and educational media for over twenty years. She has written more than 100 books for children, magazine and Web articles for parents and teens, teacher’s guides, plays, and scripts. She will speak to her interracial marriage and what she has learned as the white mother of black children. Sheila lives with her husband Felipe and their two children in Brooklyn, New York, on the same street where she grew up playing manhunt and stickball.
Ami Sands-Brodoff is the author of three novels and a volume of stories. Her second novel, “The White Space Between” won The Canadian Jewish Book Award for Fiction. Her latest, “In Many Waters,” grapples with the current refugee crisis and the making and remaking of families. She is the proud mom of a gay son and a transgender son and her life as a mom has been “a joyous roller-coaster ride.” Visit her website:

Lori Jakiela is the author of the memoir Belief Is Its Own Kind of Truth, Maybe, which received the 2016 Saroyan Prize for International Literature from Stanford University, was a finalist for the CLMP Firecracker Award and the Housatonic Literary Award, and named one of 2015’s Not-to-Miss Books of Nonfiction by The Huffington Post. Jakiela is the author of an essay collection, Portrait of the Artist as a Bingo Worker, as well as two other memoirs — Miss New York Has Everything and The Bridge to Take When Things Get Serious. She is also the author of the poetry collection (Spot the Terrorist) and several limited-edition poetry chapbooks. Her latest poetry chapbook, Big Fish, was published in 2016. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, The Rumpus, Brevity and more. Her essays have been nominated for The Pushcart Prize many times, and she received the 2015 City of Asylum Pittsburgh Prize, which sent her to Brussels, Belgium on a month-long writing residency. She has also received a Golden Quill Award from the Press Club of Western Pennsylvania, was a working-scholar at The Bread Loaf Writers Conference, and was the winner of the first-ever Pittsburgh Literary Death Match. A former flight attendant and journalist, she now directs the undergraduate writing program at The University of Pittsburgh-Greensburg, where she is Professor of English and Creative/Professional Writing. She is a co-director of Chautauqua Institution’s Summer Writers Festival, teaches community writing workshops at a yoga studio in her hometown of Trafford, Pa., and curates the Saturday Poem feature at The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. She lives in Pittsburgh with her husband, the writer Dave Newman, and their children. She will speak to the experiences of adoption.