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!
December 2011 – January 2018
John Burnham Schwartz is the author of the acclaimed novels Bicycle Days, Reservation Road, Claire Marvel and The Commoner, which was made into a motion picture based on his screenplay. His writing has appeared in many publications, including The New York Times and The New Yorker, and his books have been translated into over two dozen languages. He has taught at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Harvard University, and Sarah Lawrence College, and he is currently the Literary Director of the Sun Valley Writers’ Conference. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife, screenwriter and food writer Aleksandra Crapanzano, and their son, Garrick.
Helen Schulman is the author of the novels This Beautiful Life, A Day At The Beach, P.S., The Revisionist and Out Of Time, and the short story collection Not A Free Show. P.S. was also made into a feature film starring Laura Linney and was written by Helen Schulman & Dylan Kidd. She co-edited, along with Jill Bialosky, the anthology Wanting A Child. Her fiction and non-fiction have appeared in such places as Vanity Fair, Time, Vogue, GQ, The New York Times Book Review and The Paris Review. She is presently the Fiction Coordinator at The Writing Program at The New School where she is a tenured Associate Professor.
Simon Van Booy grew up in rural Wales. He is the author of The Secret Lives of People in Love and Love Begins in Winter, which won the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award. He is the editor of three philosophy books, titled Why We Fight, Why We Need Love, and Why Our Decisions Don’t Matter, and his essays have appeared in the New York Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, and on NPR. He lives in New York City with his family, where he teaches at the School of Visual Arts and is involved in the Rutgers Early College Humanities program for young adults living in underserved communities. A finalist for the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise, his work has been translated into thirteen languages. His debut novel, EVERYTHING BEAUTIFUL BEGAN AFTER was released in July 2011 from Harper Perennial.
Born in 1950, poet Marie Howe received her MFA from Columbia University in 1983. Her debut volume, The Good Thief, was selected by Margaret Atwood as winner of the 1987 Open Competition of the National Poetry Series. Since then, she has published two more collections, What the Living Do (1998) and The Kingdom of the Ordinary (2008). She also co-edited the anthology In the Company of My Solitude: American Writing from the AIDS Pandemic.
Her awards include a fellowship at the Bunting Institute, as well as a Guggenheim Fellowship and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. She has served on the faculty of several schools, including Tufts University and Dartmouth College. She currently teaches at Sarah Lawrence, New York University, and Columbia University in New York City, where she lives with her daughter.
Brooklyn Poet Laureate, Tina Chang is the author of the poetry collections Half-Lit Houses and Of Gods & Strangers and co-editor of the anthology Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia and Beyond. Her poems have appeared in American Poet, McSweeney’s, Ploughshares, and The New York Times among others.
Anthologized in Identity Lessons, Poetry Nation, Asian American Literature, Asian American Poetry: The Next Generation, From the Fishouse: An Anthology of Poems and in Poetry 30: Poets in Their Thirties, she has received awards from the Academy of American Poets, the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund, the Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation, the New York Foundation for the Arts, Poets & Writers, the Van Lier Foundation among others. The mother of two, she currently teaches poetry at Sarah Lawrence College.
Joanna Smith Rakoff is the author of the novel A Fortunate Age, which won the Goldberg Prize for Jewish Fiction by Emerging Writers, was a New York Times Editors’ Pick, a winner of the Elle Readers’ Prize, a selection of Barnes and Noble’s First Look Book Club, an IndieNext pick, and a San Francisco Chronicle bestseller. As a journalist and critic, she’s written for The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Washington Post Book World, the Boston Globe, Vogue, Time Out New York, O:The Oprah Magazine, and many other newspapers and magazines. Her poetry has appeared in The Paris Review, Western Humanities Review, Kenyon Review, and other journals. She has degrees from Columbia University, University College, London, and Oberlin College. This is her second appearance at Pen Parentis.
Evan Smith Rakoff‘s poems have appeared in the Paris Review, Ploughshares, Green Mountains Review, and elsewhere; a native of North Carolina, he has been a fellow at the Millay Colony, Ragdale, Yaddo, and the MacDowell Colony. Evan and Joanna live on the Lower East Side of Manhattan with their two children.
with Martin MacKinnon
Martin MacKinnon was raised in the Island of Skye off the northwest coast of Scotland where he spent most of his schoolyears pestering girls with silly notes and rhymes. He now resides in Queens with his wife Kim and her 6 year old son Kal who refers to Martin as Bonus-dad.
Amelia Kahaney’s short stories have appeared in Best American Non-Required Reading, One Story, Crazyhorse, and other publications. She has recently ghostwritten three bestselling young adult novels, but her next book will have her name on its cover. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and son.
Austin Ratner returns to the Pen Parentis stage to teach us the value of persistence. His first novel, The Jump Artist, is the 2011 winner of the Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature. It was praised as “a remarkable work” by Harper’s Magazine and featured in Publishers Weekly in 2009 as one of ten promising debuts.
His work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine and has been honored with the Missouri Review Editors’ Prize in Fiction. He attended the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Before turning his focus to writing he received his M.D. from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and he is co-author of the textbook Concepts in Medical Physiology.
He grew up in Cleveland, Ohio and now lives in Brooklyn, New York with his wife and two sons.
Stephen Stark is the author of the recently published novel The Final Appearance of America’s Favorite Girl Next Door, which was a USA Today Indie Top 10 pick. His other novels are Second Son and The Outskirts. Second Son was a New York Times Book Review Notable Book of the Year, and a Barnes & Noble Discover New Writers pick. He is also a bestselling ghostwriter. His essays, short stories, and criticism have appeared in The New Yorker, Poets & Writers, The Washington Post and the New York Times Book Review, among other journals.
Honors include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and Bread Loaf, where he has also taught. He has taught and worked in the administration of the creative writing program at the University of Houston.
Stark currently lives in Virginia and is a graduate of George Mason University and the writing program at Hollins University. He raised three daughters while writing his third novel, which (perhaps not so coincidentally) is written from the female perspective. He also has a teenaged son with whom he bounces ideas for his next novel–about a man who meets his alternate-universe self.
Eleanor Henderson was born in Greece, grew up in Florida, and attended Middlebury College and the University of Virginia, where she received her MFA in 2005. Her stories and essays have appeared in Agni, North American Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, Ninth Letter, Poets & Writers, The Wall Street Journal, and on NPR. Her story “The Farms” was selected by Alice Sebold for The Best American Short Stories 2009, and Ecco published her first novel, Ten Thousand Saints, in June 2011. An assistant professor at Ithaca College, she lives in Ithaca, New York, with her husband Aaron, three-year-old son Nico, and new baby Henry.
Myfanwy Collins was born in Montreal, Canada, grew up in the Adirondack Mountains of New York State, and now lives on the North Shore of Massachusetts with her husband and son. Her work has been published in The Kenyon Review, AGNI, Cream City Review, QuickFiction, and Potomac Review. Her debut novel, Echolocation, is forthcoming from Engine Books in March 2012. A collection of her short fiction, I AM HOLDING YOUR HAND, is forthcoming from PANK Little Books in August 2012. She and her husband, Allen, have been married for nine years and have one son, Henry, who is 4, and a geriatric dog who is almost 14. Learn more about Myfanwy at her author site.
Suzzy Roche is a singer, songwriter, author, and founding member of the singing group The Roches. She has recorded over fifteen albums, written music for TV and Film, and toured extensively for thirty years all across the U.S. and Europe. Suzzy has been an associate member of The Wooster Group; the experimental theater company based in New York City, and performed with them off and on for years throughout Europe. Her children’s book HOW TO BE IN A BAND will be published in January 2013. WAYWARD SAINTS is her first novel.
Ann Napolitano is the author of the novels A Good Hard Look and Within Arm’s Reach. A Good Hard Look was published in July 2011, and was an Indie Next Pick, an Okra Pick and spent several weeks on the Southern independent bestseller list. Her nonfiction has been published in Poets & Writers and The Millions. She received her MFA from New York University, and lives in New York City with her husband and two sons.
Deborah Copaken Kogan is the author of Shutterbabe, the bestselling memoir of her years as war photographer; the novel Between Here and April, an Elle Reader’s Prize finalist; and Hell is Other Parents, a book of humorous essays. Her work has appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Times, O: The Oprah Magazine, Paris Match, Newsweek, Time, Elle, Géo, L’Express, and PHOTO, and on ABC News, Dateline NBC, and CNN. She lives in New York with her husband and three children. This is her second appearance at Pen Parentis.
Tara Altebrando is the author of several novels for adults (writing under her maiden name McCarthy) and teenagers, including, most recently, Dreamland Social Club (Dutton Books), named by Kirkus Reviews as one of the Best Books for Teens of 2011. A graduate of Harvard University who has also worked as a music journalist and copywriter, Tara lives in Astoria, Queens, with her husband and two daughters—four-year-old Ellie and one-year-old Violet.
Anna Solomon’s fiction has appeared in One Story, The Georgia Review, Harvard Review and elsewhere. Her stories have twice been awarded the Pushcart Prize, have won The Missouri Review Editor’s Prize, and have been nominated for a National Magazine Award. Her essays have been published in The New York Times Magazine, Slate’s Double X, and Kveller.
Anna holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers Workshop and has taught writing at the Sackett Street Writers Workshop and Manhattanville College. She lives in Providence, Rhode Island with her husband and daughter. We are pleased to welcome her back for her second appearance at Pen Parentis.
Christine Schutt is the author of two short story collections, Nightwork and A Day, a Night, Another Day, Summer. Her first novel, Florida, was a National Book Award finalist; her second novel, All Souls, a finalist for the 2009 Pulitzer Prize. A third novel, Prosperous Friends, is forthcoming from Grove/Atlantic in fall of 2012. She has published fiction in such magazines as Harper’s, The Alaska Quarterly Review, and The Kenyon Review.
Among other honors, Schutt has twice won the O.Henry Short Story Prize, as well as Pushcart and Mississippi Review fiction prizes. She is the recipient of NYFA and Guggenheim Fellowships. Schutt is a senior editor of NOON, a literary annual, and lives and teaches in New York.
AND AN EXCITING ADDITION TO THE PROGRAM: acoustic guitarist Ben Lahring will again provide live music!
Josh Rolnick’s debut collection, “Pulp and Paper,” won the 2011 John Simmons Short Fiction Award. His short stories have also won the Arts & Letters Fiction Prize and the Florida Review Editor’s Choice Prize. They have been published in Harvard Review, Western Humanities Review, Bellingham Review, and Gulf Coast, and have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best New American Voices. Josh holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and an MA in Writing from The Johns Hopkins University. He is working on a novel. He lives with his wife and three sons, dividing his time between Akron, Ohio, and Brooklyn, New York.
Theodore Hamm is the founding editor of The Brooklyn Rail and director of the Journalism and New Media Studies program at St. Joseph’s College-NY. His books include Pieces of a Decade, and The New Blue Media. He lives in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, with his wife Toni and their toddler son Ellis.
John Reed, author of the novels, A Still Small Voice, The Whole, the SPD bestseller, Snowball’s Chance, All The World’s A Grave: A New Play By William Shakespeare, and Tales of Woe, he holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia University. His publications include Paper Magazine, Popmatters, the New York Press, Timeout New York, Artforum, Bomb Magazine, Playboy, the Wall Street Journal. He is a current member of the board of directors of the National Book Critics Circle. He lives with his wife and two young children in Hell’s Kitchen. (photo by: Dustin Luke Nelson) www.johnreed.org
René Steinke is the author of the novel, Holy Skirts, which was a finalist for the 2005 National Book Award, a finalist for the Virginia Book Award, and listed among the Best Books of 2005 by the Chicago Tribune and the Washington Post. The novel has been translated into Italian and Spanish. She is also the author of the novel, The Fires. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, Vogue, Bookforum, TriQuarterly, and elsewhere. She teaches writing at Fairleigh Dickinson University, and she lives in Brooklyn with her seven-year-old son.
Julia Fierro is the Founder and Director of The Sackett Street Writers’ Workshop, which, in the last ten years, she has grown from eight writers in a cramped kitchen to a creative home for over 1400 short-story writers, novelists, memoirists and essayists. Julia is a graduate of The Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she was a Teaching-Writing Fellow. She has taught Literature and Creative Writing in the Honors Program at Hofstra University and at the University of Iowa. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two small children, and is busy absorbing material for her novel-in-progress on contemporary Brooklyn parenting.
Lewis Gross, holistic dentist, a member of Community Board 1, founder and president of Manhattan’s Downtown Little League, and self-described ‘Mayor of Tribeca’ migrates seasonally between the coasts of Tribeca and Montauk with his wife and two sons. He has written one book Montauk Tango: From the Ashes of 9/11 to the Frying Pan of a Hampton’s Restaurant to local acclaim. In between tango lessons and dentistry, he finds time to work on his second book, The Amalgamist – the Da Vinci Code of Dentistry, a medical mystery exposing the mercury cover-up in dentistry.
Lucille Lang Day author of the memoir Married at Fourteen: a true story, has published creative nonfiction in numerous journals. She is the recipient of the Willow Review Award in Creative Nonfiction and a Notable Essay citation in Best American Essays. She is also the author eight poetry collections and a book for children. Her first poetry collection, Self-Portrait with Hand Microscope, received the Joseph Henry Jackson Award.
She received her M.A. in English and M.F.A. in creative writing at San Francisco State University, and her M.A. in zoology and Ph.D. in science and mathematics education at the University of California at Berkeley. The founder and director of a small press, Scarlet Tanager Books, she also served for 17 years as the director of the Hall of Health, an interactive children’s museum in Berkeley. Mother of two grown daughters and grandmother of four, Lucy currently baby-sits often and lives in Oakland with her husband, writer Richard Michael Levine. For more info, please visit her website.
Karl Taro Greenfeld is the author of the novel TRIBURBIA, as well as five nonfiction books: BOY ALONE (about his autistic brother, Noah), SPEED TRIBES, STANDARD DEVIATIONS, and CHINA SYNDROME. A long time writer and editor for The Nation, Time and Sports Illustrated China. He currently lives in TriBeCa with his wife, Silka, and their two daughters, Esmee and Lola.
Amy Sohn’s newest novel, MOTHERLAND, was published by Simon & Schuster on August 14, 2012. She is the New York Times bestselling author of RUN CATCH KISS, and MY OLD MAN. She has been a columnist for New York Magazine and has written for The Nation, Harper’s Bazaar, The New York Times, and Playboy. She lives with her husband and daughter in Brooklyn. PROSPECT PARK WEST, the prequel to MOTHERLAND, was published in 2009 to critical acclaim. This is her second appearance at Pen Parentis; like the moms in her most recent books, she lives in Brooklyn.
Joshua Henkin returns to Pen Parentis as the author of the novels MATRIMONY, a New York Times Notable Book, and SWIMMING ACROSS THE HUDSON, a Los Angeles Times Notable Book. His new novel, THE WORLD WITHOUT YOU, was recently published by Pantheon. His short stories have been published widely, cited for distinction in BEST AMERICAN SHORT STORIES, and broadcast on NPR’s “Selected Shorts.” He lives in Brooklyn, NY, and directs the MFA program in Fiction Writing at Brooklyn College.
Robin Black began writing seriously at the age of thirty-nine after being at home with her three kids for nearly fifteen years. She took an MFA at Warren Wilson College. Her collection, IF I LOVED YOU, I WOULD TELL YOU THIS was published in seven countries. The collection was also a finalist for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Prize, a Summer Reading pick in O. Magazine, and the recipient of many other mentions and awards. Currently, Robin is the Distinguished Visiting Writer at Bryn Mawr College and is at work at her first novel.
David Ebenbach has a PhD in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an MFA in Writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. He has been awarded the Drue Heinz Literature Prize; fellowships to the MacDowell Colony, the Virginia Center for Creative Arts, and the Vermont Studio Center; and an Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council. David currently teaches at Georgetown University and very happily lives in Washington, D.C.
with his wife and son, both of whom are a marvel and an inspiration.
Gae Poliser is a writer of young adult and women’s fiction. Her debut YA novel THE PULL OF GRAVITY is on shelves now. When she’s not writing she is hanging with her two great boys or swimming. She swims a lot. In her spare time she is a lawyer.
Patricia Dunn’s debut novel, REBELS BY ACCIDENT tells the story of a troubled teen sent to Cairo who finds revolution is everywhere, including in ourselves. She has an MFA in creative writing from Sarah Lawrence College where she also teaches. She has traveled throughout the Middle East, and lived in Jordan and Egypt before settling back down in New York where she lives with her teenage son and her toddler dog.
Gae Poliser is a writer of young adult and women’s fiction. Her debut YA novel THE PULL OF GRAVITY is on shelves now. When she’s not writing she is hanging with her two great boys or swimming. She swims a lot. In her spare time she is a lawyer.
Patricia Dunn’s debut novel, REBELS BY ACCIDENT tells the story of a troubled teen sent to Cairo who finds revolution is everywhere, including in ourselves. She has an MFA in creative writing from Sarah Lawrence College where she also teaches. She has traveled throughout the Middle East, and lived in Jordan and Egypt before settling back down in New York where she lives with her teenage son and her toddler dog.
Thaddeus Rutkowski grew up in central Pennsylvania and is a graduate of Cornell University and The Johns Hopkins University. He is the author of the innovative novels Haywire,Tetched, and Roughhouse. He teaches literature at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn and fiction writing at the Writer’s Voice of the West Side YMCA in Manhattan. He was awarded a 2012 fellowship in fiction writing from the New York Foundation for the Arts. He lives with his wife, Randi Hoffman, and their daughter, Shay, in Manhattan.
Emily Raboteau is the author of a novel, The Professor’s Daughter, and the newly-published book Searching for Zion, about which Dave Eggers has written, “I doubt there will be a more important work of nonfiction this year.” She teaches creative writing at City College, in Harlem, and lives uptown with her husband, the novelist Victor LaValle, and their toddler, Geronimo. She is presently eight months pregnant with their second child.
Her stories and essays have been widely published and anthologized in places such as The Believer, The Guardian, The Oxford American, Guernica, The Huffington Post, Best American Nonrequired Reading and Best American Short Stories.
Raboteau’s awards include a Pushcart Prize, a literature fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Chicago Tribune’s Nelson Algren Award. A consummate world-traveler, she recently visited Antarctica to research her upcoming novel, Endurance.
Sean Ferrell’s fiction has appeared in journals such as Electric Literature’s “The Outlet” and The Adirondack Review. His short story “Building an Elephant” won The Fulton Prize. His debut novel “Numb” was published by Harper Perennial in 2010, and “Man in the Empty Suit,” was published in 2012 by Soho Press. Sean has lived for almost sixteen years in Brooklyn, and he’s been a dad to an amazing boy for almost 8 of those years.
Victor LaValle is the author of the short story collection Slapboxing with Jesus, three novels, The Ecstatic, Big Machine, and The Devil in Silver, and a novella, Lucretia and the Kroons. He has been the recipient of numerous awards including a Whiting Writers’ Award, a United States Artists Ford Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship and the key to Southeast Queens. He was raised in Queens, New York. He now lives in Washington Heights with his wife (Emily Raboteau) and son and impending daughter. He teaches at Columbia University. He can be kind of hard to reach, so show up to his readings. He will be happy to see you.
L. Annette Binder was born in Germany and grew up in Colorado Springs. Her fiction has recently appeared or is forthcoming in One Story, American Short Fiction, The Southern Review, Third Coast, Fairy Tale Review, and others. Her story “Nephilim” will be included in The Pushcart Prize XXXVI. She has an AB from Harvard in Classics, an MA from Berkeley, and a JD from Harvard Law School and an MFA in Fiction from the University of California, Irvine.
David Ebenbach has a PhD in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an MFA in Writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. He has been awarded the Drue Heinz Literature Prize; fellowships to the MacDowell Colony, the Virginia Center for Creative Arts, and the Vermont Studio Center; and an Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council. David currently teaches at Georgetown University and very happily lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife and son. We are delighted to be able to reschedule him after Hurricane Sandy caused us to postpone his initially scheduled appearance.
Austin Ratner’s first novel THE JUMP ARTIST was winner of 2011 Sami Rohr Prize for excellence in Jewish Literature ($100,000 prize) It was praised as “a remarkable work” by Harper’s Magazine and featured in Publishers Weekly in 2009 as one of ten promising debuts. His work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine and has been honored with the Missouri Review Editors’ Prize in Fiction. He attended the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Before turning his focus to writing he received his M.D. from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and he is co-author of the textbook Concepts in Medical Physiology. He grew up in Cleveland, Ohio and now lives in Brooklyn, New York with his wife and two sons. This is his third appearance at our Salon.
Sarah Gerkensmeyer‘s short story collection, What You Are Now Enjoying, was selected by Stewart O’Nan as winner of the 2012 Autumn House Press Fiction Prize. A Pushcart Prize nominee and a finalist for the Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Short Fiction and the Italo Calvino Prize for Fabulist Fiction, Sarah has received scholarships to the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, Ragdale, Grub Street, and the Vermont Studio Center. Her stories have appeared in Guernica, The New Guard Literary Review, The Massachusetts Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, and Cream City Review, among others. Sarah, a mother of two little ones, is the 2012-13 Pen Parentis Fellow. She received her MFA in fiction from Cornell University and now teaches creative writing at State University of New York at Fredonia.
Kelly Link is the author of three collections, Pretty Monsters, Magic for Beginners and Stranger Things Happen. She was born in Miami, Florida, and once won a free trip around the world by answering the question “Why do you want to go around the world?” (“Because you can’t go through it.”) Link lives in Northampton, Massachusetts, where she and her husband, Gavin J. Grant, run Small Beer Press. They have a three-year-old daughter, Ursula.
Leigh Newman returns to the Pen Parentis Salon as deputy editor of Oprah.com, where she writes about books and life and editor-at-large for the indie press Black Balloon Publishing. Premiered while still in manuscript format at one of the earliest Pen Parentis events, her hilarious memoir about her Alaskan childhood, Still Points North, is forthcoming from Dial in 2013. Her essays and short stories have appeared a variety of magazines and newspapers, including One Story, Tin House, Fiction, the New York Times, Modern Love. She believes in making her own popcorn, embarrassing her kids by writing I LOVE YOU in red frosting on their lunch sandwiches, and owning dogs that are just way too big to fit in the bed. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, two boys and many, many light sabers. Her work can be found at leigh-newman.com Read more of her work.
Anne Korkeakivi is the author of An Unexpected Guest, about which Kirkus Reviews said, in a starred review, “A beautifully modulated first novel… a knowing comedy of manners, a politically charged thriller and a genuinely moving study of the human heart.” Her short fiction has been published by The Atlantic, The Yale Review, The Bellevue Literary Review, and Consequence magazine, among others, and in 2011 she was made a Hawthornden Fellow. Her nonfiction has appeared in many publications in the US and UK. More about her writing, etc., can be found on her website. A native New Yorker, she is married to a human rights lawyer with the UN, whose current posting is in Geneva, Switzerland. They have two daughters.
Helen Phillips is the author of the novel-in-fables And Yet They Were Happy and the children’s adventure novel Here Where the Sunbeams Are Green. She is the recipient of a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award and her work has been featured on NPR’s Selected Shorts. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, artist Adam Douglas Thompson, and their baby daughter Ruth, born in June 2012.
Jennifer Cody Epstein is the author of The Gods of Heavenly Punishment and the international bestseller The Painter from Shanghai. She has written for The Wall Street Journal, The Asian Wall Street Journal, Self, Mademoiselle and NBC, and has worked in Hong Kong, Japan and Bangkok, Thailand. She lives in Brooklyn, NY with her husband, two daughters and an especially needy Springer Spaniel.
Joanna Hershon is the author of four novels: Swimming, The Outside of August, The German Bride and A Dual Inheritance. Her writing has been included in the literary anthologies Brooklyn Was Mine and Freud’s Blind Spot, short-listed for the 2007 O. Henry Prize Stories, and has appeared in (among other places) The New York Times, One Story, Five Chapters and The Virginia Quarterly Review. She is an adjunct assistant professor at Columbia University and lives in Brooklyn with her husband, the painter Derek Buckner, and their twin sons.
Amy Shearn is the author of the novels The Mermaid of Brooklyn and How Far Is The Ocean From Here. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The New York Times, Real Simple, Martha Stewart Living, Poets & Writers, and The Millions, and she regularly writes for Oprah.com and the Huffington Post. She received her MFA in creative writing from the University of Minnesota, and has taught writing for NYU, Sackett Street Writers Workshops, and Gotham Writers Workshops. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, two children, and a lazy mutt named Quimby the Mouse.
Liz Rosenberg is the author of four books of poetry, more than twenty award-winning books for young readers, and two adult novels including, most recently, THE LAWS OF GRAVITY, a best-selling novel here and in the UK about the ways in which family pulls together and tears itself apart. Her work has won an IRA Children’s Choice Award, the Center for the Book Prize, The Patterson Prize, The Agnes Starrett Prize, an Atlantic First Award and 2014 Fulbright. She is the mother of a 25 year old son, Eli, who has performed as a magician for Pen Parentis in the past, and 10 year old daughter Lily, adopted from China, who will probably do magic in the future. Liz often writes about family, and frequently teaches a class called “Telling the Family Story.”
Will Allison is the author of two novels, the New York Times bestseller Long Drive Home (2011) and What You Have Left (2007), a San Francisco Chronicle Notable Book and Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers pick. A contributing editor for One Story, he has also served as the executive editor of Story and editor at large of Zoetrope: All-Story. He lives outside New York City with his wife and 11-year-old daughter in South Orange, New Jersey.
John Jodzio’s stories have appeared in One Story, Barrelhouse, The Tampa Review, and numerous other places in print and online. He’s the author of two short story collections, “If You Lived Here You’d Already Be Home” (Replacement Press) and “Get In If You Want To Live” (Paper Darts Press). He lives in Minneapolis with his wife Kate and his two-year old son, Theo. Find out more at www.johnjodzio.net
Ben Greenman is an editor and writer at the New Yorker and the author of several acclaimed books of fiction, including Superbad, Please Step Back, and What He’s Poised To Do. His most recent books are The Slippage, a novel, and Mo’ Meta Blues, co-written with Questlove. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and two sons.
Jessica Francis Kane’s first novel, The Report, was a Barnes & Noble “Discover Great New Writers” selection and a finalist for the Center for Fiction’s 2010 Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize, the Indie Booksellers’ Choice Award, and the Grub Street Book Prize for Fiction. A story collection, This Close, was published in March 2013 and longlisted for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Prize. She is a contributing writer for The Morning News and lives with her husband, daughter and son in New York City.
Danielle Lazarin’s fiction has been published by Five Chapters, Boston Review, and Michigan Quarterly Review. Her story “Spider Legs” won first prize in Glimmer Train‘s Family Matters competition and is forthcoming in Glimmer Train in 2013. A graduate of Oberlin College’s creative writing program, she received her MFA from the University of Michigan. She is a three-time recipient of an individual artist grant from The Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance. She lives in her native New York, where she is raising her daughters and working on a novel and a collection of short stories.
Reservations are strongly recommended for this event, click “read more” for details
Aleksandra Crapanzano is a screenwriter and food journalist. She was awarded the M. F. K. Fisher Award for Distinguished Writing from the James Beard Foundation for her work in Gourmet; she has written for The New York Times Magazine, Food and Wine, Saveur, Travel & Leisure and Marie Claire and she has a dessert column in The Wall Street Journal. She is currently writing a feature film on the life of Alinea chef Grant Achatz and she has a film on John Ruskin in pre-production in the U.K.
Edward Lewine writes regularly for the New York Times, Smart Money, Salon, Glamour, Premiere, Stuff, Arena, Detroit News, Newark Star-Ledger, the Art Newspaper, and Golf & Travel. He is the author of Death and the Sun and lives in Brooklyn with his family.
Caroline M. Grant is co-editor, with Lisa Catherine Harper, of The Cassoulet Saved Our Marriage: True Tales of Food, Family, and How We Learn to Eat (Roost Books, 2013). She is also Editor-in-Chief of Literary Mama, named one of Writer’s Digest’s Best Websites for Writers, and the Associate Director of the Sustainable Arts Foundation. She co-edited the anthology Mama, PhD: Women Write about Motherhood and Academic Life and has published many essays. She grew up in suburban New York, eating only produce grown in the backyard and now, with her two young sons, raises what vegetables she can in San Francisco. She blogs regularly about food and books at her website, carolinemgrant.com
John Donohue The cartoonist and writer John Donohue, an editor at the New Yorker, has been passionate about food all his life. He is the editor of Man with a Pan: Culinary Adventures of Fathers Who Cook for Their Families. John lives in Brooklyn with his wife and two daughters and blogs about the writing he does for his family at www.stayatstovedad.com
This December the elegant ANDAZ Wall Street opens its doors with holiday cheer to authors and fans alike – expect live music and lots of camaraderie, and perhaps a few surprises!
Daphne Uviller is the author of the novels Hotel No Tell and Super in the City, which are currently optioned for television, and is the co-editor of the anthology Only Child: Writers on the Singular Joys and Solitary Sorrows of Growing Up Solo. She is a former Books and Poetry editor at Time Out New York, and her reviews, profiles, and articles have been published in The Washington Post, The New York Times, Newsday, The Forward, New York Magazine, Oxygen, Allure, and Self, for which she wrote an ethics column.
Gabriel Roth was born and raised in London and educated at Brown University and at San Francisco State University, from which he received a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing. For several years he was employed as a reporter and editor at the San Francisco Bay Guardian. He now works as a writer and software developer and lives with his family in Brooklyn, New York. The Unknowns is his first novel.
We are delighted to present live music by Wilson Montuori – a guitarist who bills his style as “very eclectic.” He holds a BFA in music from City College of New York, where he won the prestigious “Sidney Zolot Award,” given each year to a graduating music major who has demonstrated excellence as a performer. He has toured worldwide with Livio Guardi; they recorded two CDs, the latest titled, Diomedee, a collection of songs and instrumentals inspired by the Mediterranean Sea. He records extensively for 2soul Music Incorporation, plays lead guitar in the folk-rock band of Irish singer-songwriter Allen Gogarty, in the Italian musical group “I giullari di piazzi”, and with famous remo percussionist Alessandra Belloni. He also teaches at the nonprofit music school Church Street School for Music and Arts in Tribeca.
Pen Parentis welcomes the New Year with an intimate and lively evening of poetry and conversation, featuring five acclaimed poets: James Arthur, Timothy Donnelly, Miranda Field, Lynn Melnick, and KC Trommer. Each author will read from their work and then talk about their writing and parenting lives in an informal roundtable. With this many poets on the stage, you can expect an animated, sharp, and witty discussion covering a wide variety of topics! It’s sure to be fun and thought-provoking, and we hope that you will join us.
January’s Salon takes place on Tuesday, January 14th at the elegant Hotel Andaz at 75 Wall Street, which graciously provides happy hour specials on beer on wine. The night kicks off at 7:00 pm, and admission is free. RSVP is recommended, but not required—the Pen Parentis Literary Salon is open to adults over the age of 21. The authors’ books are available for purchase from The Park Slope Community Bookstore.
January 14th’s Literary Salon features:
James Arthur’s poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The New Republic, Poetry, Ploughshares, and The American Poetry Review. He has received the Amy Lowell Traveling Poetry Scholarship, a Wallace Stegner Fellowship, a Hodder Fellowship at Princeton, a Discovery/The Nation Prize, and a residency at the Amy Clampitt House. His first book, Charms Against Lightning, was published by Copper Canyon Press in 2012 as a Lannan Literary Selection. He teaches in the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University, and lives in Baltimore with his wife and son.
Timothy Donnelly is the author of Twenty-seven Props for a Production of Eine Lebenszeit (Grove, 2003) and The Cloud Corporation (Wave, 2010; Picador, 2011), winner of the 2012 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. With John Ashbery and Geoffrey G. O’Brien he is the co-author of Three Poets published by Minus A Press late last year. His poems have appeared such magazines as A Public Space, Fence, Harper’s, Harvard Review, The Iowa Review, The Nation, The New Republic, and The Paris Review, among others. He is a recipient of The Paris Review’s Bernard F. Conners Prize and fellowships from the New York State Writers Institute and the Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. He is the poetry editor of Boston Review and teaches in the Writing Program at Columbia University’s School of the Arts. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and two daughters.
Miranda Field is the author of Swallow (Houghton-Mifflin). Her work appears in various journals and several anthologies, including Legitimate Dangers: American Poets of the New Century (Sarabande), and Not For Mothers Only (Fence Books). She has received a Katherine Bakeless Nason Literary Publication Award, a Discovery/The Nation Award, a Pushcart Prize, and a Teaching Fellowship at Bread Loaf Writers Conference. Born and raised in North London, UK, she lives in Manhattan with her husband, poet Tom Thompson, and their two sons—the younger of whom calls her “my robot that makes crepes.”
Lynn Melnick is the author of If I Should Say I Have Hope (YesYes Books, 2012). Her poetry has appeared in BOMB, The Brooklyn Rail, Guernica, Gulf Coast, jubilat, The New Republic, The Paris Review, A Public Space, and elsewhere. Her fiction has appeared in Opium and Forklift, Ohio, and she has written essays and book reviews for Boston Review, Coldfront, LA Review of Books, Poetry Daily, and VIDAweb, among others. She grew up in Los Angeles and currently lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two daughters.
A graduate of the MFA program at The University of Michigan, KC Trommer has been the recipient of an Academy of American Poets Prize and has been awarded fellowships from the Table 4 Writers Foundation, the Center for Book Arts, the Vermont Studio Center, the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, and the Prague Summer Program. Her poems have appeared in AGNI, The Antioch Review, Coconut, MARGIE, Octopus, The Sycamore Review, Poetry East and a number of other journals. She is currently seeking a publisher for her first collection of poems and is at work on her second collection. A chapbook of her poems, The Hasp Tongue, is forthcoming from dancing girl press in 2014. She lives in Jackson Heights, Queens with her family.
On February 11th, we are delighted to welcome three writers from the acclaimed literary journal Tin House: Cari Luna (The Revolution of Every Day), Elissa Schappell (Blueprints for Building Better Girls, contributing editor at Vanity Fair and editor-at-large at Tin House), and Matthew Specktor (American Dream Machine, optioned for television by Showtime).
Cari Luna received an MFA in fiction from Brooklyn College. Her debut novel, The Revolution of Every Day, was named one of the Top 10 Northwest Books of 2013 by The Oregonian. Her work has appeared in Salon, failbetter, Avery Anthology, PANK, and Novembre Magazine. New York-born, she now lives in Portland, OR.
Elissa Schappell is the author of two books of fiction, most recently Blueprints for Building Better Girls, which was chosen as one of the “Best Books of the Year” by The San Francisco Chronicle, The Boston Globe, The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, and O Magazine, and Use Me, runner up for the PEN Hemingway award, a New York Times “Notable Book” and a Los Angeles Times, “Best Book of the Year” She is co-editor with Jenny Offill of two anthologies, The Friend Who Got Away and Money Changes Everything. Her fiction, non-fiction and essays have appeared in publications including, The Paris Review, Bomb, The New York Times Book Review, and SPIN, as well as anthologies such as, The Mrs. Dalloway Reader, The Bitch in the House, Lit Riffs and Cooking & Stealing. Currently, she is a Contributing Editor at Vanity Fair, and a Founding-editor, now Editor-at-Large of Tin House magazine. She teaches in the MFA program at Columbia University and the low-residency MFA program at Queens, in Charlotte, N.C. and lives with her family in Brooklyn. This is her second appearance at Pen Parentis.
Matthew Specktor is the author of the novels American Dream Machine and That Summertime Sound, as well as a nonfiction book of film criticism. His writing has appeared or is forthcoming in The Paris Review, The Believer, Tin House, and other publications. He is a founding editor of The Los Angeles Review of Books. (photo credit: Lisa Jane Persky)
Pen Parentis is excited to welcome three acclaimed authors for a night of lively conversation about parenting, writing, and the passions that feed their spirits: Ann Hood, author of the novel The Obituary Writer and editor of the anthology Knitting Yarns, will discuss her love of knitting; novelist Rick Moody, author of On Celestial Music, will talk about his music writing and making, and journalist Max Watman, author of the forthcoming Harvest, will share his love for good food.
Rick Moody is the author of five novels, including THE ICE STORM which was made into a successful movie, three collections of stories, a memoir, and, most recently a volume of essays entitled On Celestial Music. Since 2009 he has written on music at The Rumpus. He teaches at New York University and Yale. (photo by Thatcher Keats)
Pen Parentis is thrilled to announce an evening of writers on the verge, featuring three rising literary stars – acclaimed short story author and New York Fellow for the Arts Sara Lippmann, prolific Chicago writer Ben Tanzer, author of the novel Orphans and the essay collection Lost in Space, and Caeli Wolfson Widger, whose debut novel Real Happy Family comes out in March. As a special treat, Julia Fierro, director of The Sackett Street Writers’ Workshops and author of the forthcoming novel Cutting Teeth, will co-host.
Ben Tanzer is the author of the books My Father’s House, You Can Make Him Like You, So Different Now and the forthcoming Orphans and Lost in Space, among others. He also oversees day to day operations of This Zine Will Change Your Life, directs Publicity and Content Strategy for Curbside Splendor, and can be found online at This Blog Will Change Your Life, the center of his growing lifestyle empire.
Caeli Wolfson Widger’s work has appeared in such publications as the New York Times Magazine, Another Chicago Magazine, and the Madison Review, as well as on NPR and CBS Radio. She earned her MFA from the University of Montana and has taught creative writing at the Sackett Street Writers’ Workshop, University College
London, and Johns Hopkins University. Real Happy Family is her first novel. A Florida native, Caeli now lives with her husband and three children in Santa Monica, CA.
Special Guest Host:
Julia Fierro’s debut novel, Cutting Teeth, will be published by St. Martin’s Press in May 2014. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she was a Teaching-Writing Fellow, her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Guernica, The Millions, Poets & Writers Magazine, Flavorwire, and other publications. She has been profiled in The L Magazine, Brooklyn Magazine, The Observer, and The Economist. In 2002, she founded The Sackett Street Writers’ Workshop, a creative home for over 2000 writers. She lives on the Brooklyn waterfront with her husband and two children.
The eleventh consecutive Pen Parentis Literary Salon season comes to a close with an evening of reading and discussion featuring four acclaimed novelists: Miranda Beverly-Whittemore, author of The Effects of Light and Bittersweet, which publishes the day of the salon, Andre Dubus III, author of the bestsellers House of Sand and Fog and The Garden of Lost Days, and Dirty Love, Andre Aciman whose distinguished list of publications includes the excellent novel Harvard Square and the award-winning memoi,r Out of Egypt, and Alexi Zentner, author of Touch and the forthcoming The Lobster Kings. Each author will read from their work and then participate in an informal, salon-style roundtable about their writing and parenting lives. It’s sure to be an insightful, lively evening, and we hope that you will join us.
May 13th’s Literary Salon features:
Miranda Beverly-Whittemore is the author of Bittersweet (Crown, 2014); Set Me Free (Warner Books, 2007), which won the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize for the best book of fiction by an American woman published that year, and The Effects of Light (Warner Books, 2005). Her short story Pertussis won the Crazyhorse Fiction Prize. Camera Obscura (2010), the short film adaptation of The Effects of Light, which she co-wrote and co-produced, starred Mary Lynn Rajskub. She lives and works in Brooklyn.
Andre Dubus III is the author of six books, including The New York Times bestsellers House of Sand and Fog, The Garden of Last Days, and his memoir, Townie. Mr. Dubus has been a finalist for the National Book Award, and has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, The National Magazine Award for Fiction, two Pushcart Prizes, and is a 2012 recipient of an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature. He teaches full-time at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, and he lives north of Boston with his wife, Fontaine, a modern dancer, and their three children. His latest book, Dirty Love, was published in the fall of 2013.
Alexi Zentner is the author of the novels, Touch, and The Lobster Kings. He has been shortlisted for The 2011 Governor General’s Literary Award, The Center for Fiction’s 2011 Flahery-Dunnan First Novel Prize, the 2012 VCU Cabell First Novelist Award, and the 2011 Amazon.caFirst Novel Award, and longlisted for the 2011 Scotiabank Giller Prize, and the 2013 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. His short fiction has appeared in The Atlantic, Tin House, Glimmer Train, Narrative, and many other magazines, and he is the winner of both the O. Henry Prize and the Narrative Prize, and has been shortlisted for the Best American Short Stories and the Pushcart Prize. Alexi is an Assistant Professor at Binghamton University and a member of the faculty in the Sierra Nevada College low-residency MFA program. Before becoming a writer, Alexi was a stay-at-home-dad. He lives in Ithaca, NY with his wife and two daughters. www.alexizentner.com
and the exciting addition of André Aciman who was born in Alexandria, Egypt, and is an American memoirist, essayist, novelist, and scholar of seventeenth-century literature. His work has appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Review of Books, the New York Times, the New Republic, Condé Nast Traveler, the Paris Review, and Granta, as well as in many volumes of The Best American Essays. Aciman received his Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Harvard University and is chair and distinguished professor of Comparative Literature at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He is the author of the Whiting Award–winning memoir Out of Egypt (1995) and of three novels, Harvard Square (2013), Eight White Nights (2010), and Call Me by Your Name (2007), for which he won the Lambda Literary Award for Men’s Fiction (2008). He is also the author of two essays collections,False Papers (2001) and Alibis (2011).
The reading takes place on Tuesday, May 13th at the elegant Hotel Andaz at 75 Wall Street, which graciously provides happy hour specials on beer on wine. The night kicks off at 7:00 pm, and admission is free. RSVP is recommended, but not required—the Pen Parentis Literary Salon is open to adults over the age of 21. The authors’ books are available for purchase from The Park Slope Community Bookstore.
Transportation info: Take the 2/3/4/5/J/M to Wall Street. The Salon takes place in the soaring lobby of the Andaz Hotel, at 75 Wall Street.
SAVE THE DATE:
Our 12th season kicks off on September 9th, 2014 with David Gilbert (&Sons), Julia Fierro (Cutting Teeth), and Mira Jacob (The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing), and will also include the presentation of the 2014-2015 Pen Parentis Writing Fellow.
The Pen Parentis Literary Salon is thrilled to announce our first event outside of New York City: a night of readings and discussion at Head House Books in historic downtown Philadelphia, featuring Stephanie Feldman, author of the debut novel The Angel of Losses, Brian Gresko, editor of the anthology When I First Held: 22 Critically Acclaimed Writers Talk About the Triumphs, Challenges, and Transformative Experience of Fatherhood, and Marco Roth, author of the memoir The Scientists: A Family Romance and a founding co-editor of the magazine n+1. Each author will read from their work and then participate in an informal, salon-style roundtable about their writing and parenting lives. It’s sure to be an insightful, lively evening, and we hope that you will join us.
The reading takes place on Thursday, June 19th at the independently owned and operated Head House Books at 619 South 2nd Street. Event begins at 7:30pm. Free.
Stephanie Feldman grew up in Philadelphia and studied writing at the University of Pennsylvania and Barnard College. She lives in the greater Philadelphia area with her husband and daughter. The Angel of Losses (Ecco, July 2014) is her first novel.
Brian Gresko is the editor of When I First Held You: 22 Critically Acclaimed Writers Talk About the Triumphs, Challenges, and Transformative Experience of Fatherhood (Berkley Books, 2014). His work has appeared in Poets & Writers Magazine, The Brooklyn Rail, Glimmer Train Stories, and online at Salon, TheAtlantic.com, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and many other sites. He grew up just outside of Philadelphia, and now lives in Brooklyn with his wife and son.
Marco Roth is the author of The Scientists: A Family Romance (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2012) and a founding co-editor of the magazine n+1. He lives in Philadelphia with his daughter.
Mark your calendars!! We proudly launch our twelfth season on Tuesday, September 9th, with an extraordinary line-up of popular authors, including two debut novelists that are all the buzz in the industry: Julia Fierro and Mira Jacobs. They will share the stage with David Gilbert whose newest novel, & Sons, was highly acclaimed by the New York Times, New Yorker and on NPR. Each author will read from their work and then talk about their writing and parenting lives in an informal roundtable. Jess deCourcy Hinds, the 2014-2015 Pen Parentis Writing Fellow, will also present her winning short story and accept her award.
The readings take place on Tuesday, September 9th at the elegant Hotel Andaz at 75 Wall Street, which graciously provides happy hour specials on beer on wine. The night kicks off at 7:00 pm, and admission is free with no bar minimums. RSVP is recommended, but not required—the Pen Parentis Literary Salon is open to adults over the age of 21.
The authors’ books will be available for purchase from The Park Slope Community Bookstore.
Mira Jacob is the founder of the very popular Pete’s Reading Series in Brooklyn and earned her MFA from the New School for Social Research. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, film-maker Jed Rothstein, and their son. The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing is her first novel. (Photo credit: In Kim.)
DAVID GILBERT is the author of Remote Feed, The Normals and his current New York Times and New Yorker – acclaimed novel, & Sons. His stories have appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s, GQ, and Bomb. He lives in New York with his wife and three children. (Photo credit: Susie Gilbert)
Julia Fierro has been profiled in The L Magazine, Brooklyn Magazine, The Observer, and The Economist. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she was a Teaching-Writing Fellow, her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Guernica, The Millions, Poets & Writers, and Flavorwire. In 2002, she founded The Sackett Street Writers’ Workshop, a creative home for over 2000 writers. She lives on the Brooklyn waterfront with her husband and two children. This is her third appearance at Pen Parentis, her second as a reader. Cutting Teeth is her first novel.
The Pen Parentis Literary Salon welcomes four celebrated authors whose brilliance knows no bounds. These writers range across genre, from fiction to memoir, poetry, and theater. Featuring Nick Flynn, author of, most recently, The Replacements, and Another Bullshit Night in Suck City; Elizabeth Kadetsky, author of the memoir First There Is a Mountain, Darin Strauss, author of Chang & Eng and the National Book Critics Circle Award winning memoir Half a Life; and Rachel Zucker, author of MOTHERs and The Pedestrians. Each author will read from their work and then participate in an informal, salon-style roundtable about their writing and parenting lives. It’s sure to be an insightful, lively evening, and we hope that you will join us.
Nick Flynn’s most recent book, The Reenactments, completes a trilogy begun with Another Bullshit Night in Suck City. His previous book, The Captain Asks for a Show of Hands, was a collection of poems linked to the second book of the trilogy, The Ticking is the Bomb. Another Bullshit Night in Suck City won the PEN/Martha Albrand Award, was shortlisted for France’s Prix Femina, has been translated into fifteen languages, and was adapted into the film Being Flynn, starring Robert De Niro, Julianne Moore, and Paul Dano. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, the Paris Review, NPR’s This American Life, and The New York Times Book Review, among others. He is a professor in the creative writing program at the University of Houston, and spends the rest of his year in or near Brooklyn. (Photo credit: Geordi Wood)
Elizabeth Kadetsky is author of a memoir (First There Is a Mountain, Little Brown), a story collection (The Poison that Purifies You, C&R Press) and, forthcoming, a novella (On the Island at the Center of the Center of the World, Nouvella Books). Her fiction has been included in the Pushcart Prizes, Best New American Voices, and the Best American Short Stories notable citations, and her personal essays have appeared in the New York Times, Antioch Review, and elsewhere. She is assistant professor of creative writing at Penn State, has a child, and can be found at www.elizabethkadetsky.com
A recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship and a winner of the American Library Association’s Alix Award and The National Book Critics Circle Award, the internationally-bestselling writer Darin Strauss is the author of the novels Chang & Eng, The Real McCoy, and More Than It Hurts You, and the NBCC-winning memoir Half a Life. These have been New York Times Notable Books, Newsweek, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Amazon, Chicago Tribune, and NPR Best Books of the Year, among others. Darin has been translated into fourteen languages and published in nineteen countries, and he is a Clinical Associate Professor at NYU’s creative writing program. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and two sons.
Rachel Zucker is the author of nine books, most recently, a memoir, MOTHERs, and a double collection of prose and poetry, The Pedestrians. Her book Museum of Accidents was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. She received a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in 2013. Zucker teaches poetry at New York University. She is the mother of a lovely boy (pictured in an NYC subway).
The readings take place on Tuesday, October 14th at the elegant Hotel Andaz at 75 Wall Street, in a private room on the Lower Level. The night kicks off at 7:00 pm, and admission is free. RSVP is highly recommended — the Pen Parentis Literary Salon is open to adults over the age of 21. The authors’ books will be available for purchase from The Park Slope Community Bookstore for signings.
Transportation info: Take the 2/3/4/5/J/M to Wall Street.
Tuesday, November 11th: Risqué Writing with Paula Bomer, Vica Miller, Jonathan Papernick, and Amy Sohn.
We feature only authors who are parents – and one of the unique questions parents who write must ask themselves is “how do I write a sex scene knowing that my kids might read this?” Our November Salon will discuss these and other touchy subjects with these four brave authors — whose excellent books sizzle with risqué scenes. Join us on Veteran’s Day at the Andaz Wall Street, Lower Level at 7pm, Tuesday, November 11th.
Paula Bomer is the author of the collection, Inside Madeleine, the novel Nine Months, which received exuberant reviews in The Atlantic, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, The Minneapolis Star Tribune and elsewhere. Her collection, Baby and Other Stories, received a starred review in Publishers Weekly, calling it a “lacerating take on marriage and motherhood…not one to share with the Mommy and Me group”, Kirkus Review deemed it “a worthy, if challenging, entry into the genre of transgressional fiction”, and O Magazine referred to it as a “brilliant, brutally raw debut.” She also is the publisher of Sententia Books and edits Sententia: The Literary Journal.
Jonathan Papernick is the author the story collections There Is No Other and The Ascent of Eli Israel. His work has appeared in Night Train, Exile: The Literary Quarterly, Nerve, Folio, Failbetter, The Drum, Confrontation, The Reading Room and Post Road as well as numerous anthologies. He is currently at work on his third collection of stories Gallery of the Disappeared Men and is revising a novel about a con man who sells the Brooklyn Bridge. He recently released a limited-edition mini-collection of erotic stories entitled XYXX. His novel The Book of Stone will be published by Fig Tree Books in 2015. He is Senior Writer-in-Residence at Emerson College in Boston.
Vica Miller is a native of St. Petersburg (Russia) and a New Yorker for over two decades. She is the author of the debut novel, Inga’s Zigzags, and the founder of the Vica Miller Literary Salons, a chamber reading series held at select NYC art galleries, featuring both published and unpublished authors. She has written for Vogue Russia,Internet, Matador and Tennis Week. Her short stories have appeared in The Jet Fuel Review, Asymptote, The Linnet’s Wings and Thrice Fiction literary journals. She has also published a book of poems, and is currently at work on her second novel, The Shadow of a Blue Doll.
Amy Sohn is the author of the novels The Actress, Motherland, Prospect Park West, My Old Man, and Run Catch Kiss. She has written for The New York Times, Slate, Details, Harper’s Bazaar, and many other publications, and penned columns for The New York Press and The New York Post. She was a contributing editor to New York Magazine for six years, where she wrote the columns “The Naked City,” “Mating,” and “Breeding.” She has written screenplays and television pilots, and also co-created, wrote, and starred in one of the first shows on the Oxygen network, Avenue Amy. This is her second appearance at Pen Parentis. (Photo credit for Amy: Piotr Redlinski)
Join us in celebration of the holiday season with a mingling soirée, wine compliments of the Hotel Andaz Wall Street, and four prolific authors at varying points in their parenting lives and writing careers. Featuring Marie Myung-Ok Lee, author of the novel Somebody’s Daughter, Yona Zeldis McDonough, author, most recently, of the novel You Were Meant For Me, Bushra Rehman, author of the novel Corona and co-editor of the anthology Colonize This! Young Women of Color on Today’s Feminism, and Raina Wallens, young adult novelist who has written for a variety of online publications, including The Huffington Post. Each author will read from her new work and then participate in an informal, salon-style roundtable discussion about work and life. It’s sure to be an insightful, lively evening, and we hope that you will join us.
The reading takes place on Tuesday, December 9th at the elegant Hotel Andaz at 75 Wall Street. The night kicks off at 7:00 pm, and admission is free. RSVP is recommended, but not required—the Pen Parentis Literary Salon is open to adults over the age of 21. The authors’ books are available for purchase from The Park Slope Community Bookstore.
Marie Myung-Ok Lee is the author of the novel Somebody’s Daughter. Her next novel is forthcoming with Simon & Schuster and has been excerpted in Five Chapters and The KGB Bar Lit Journal. Marie’s essays, many about parenting a child with special needs, have appeared in The New York Times, Slate, The Guardian, The Nation, The Atlantic, and Salon. She was the first recipient of a creative writing Fulbright Fellowship to South Korea and has won the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts fiction fellowship and the Richard Margolis award for social justice reporting. She has been a judge for the National Book Awards and teaches creative writing at Columbia University, where she is the Our Word Writer-in-Residence. She is a founder and the former board president of the Asian American Writers Workshop in New York City.
Yona Zeldis McDonough was raised in Brooklyn, NY and educated at Vassar College and Columbia University. She is the award winning author of six novels for adults and 23 books for children and her essays, articles and short fiction have appeared in a number of literary and national publications. She has also edited two essay collections and is the fiction editor of Lilith Magazine. She lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn with her husband and their two children.
Bushra Rehman’s first novel Corona, a dark comedy about being South Asian in the United States, was included in Poets & Writers Best Debut Fiction issue of 2013, was a LAMBDA finalist for 2014, and featured in the LA Review of Books among a new wave of radical South Asian American Literature. Rehman co-edited the anthology Colonize This! Young Women of Color on Today’s Feminism, included in Ms. Magazine’s 100 Best Non-Fiction Books of All Time.
Raina Wallens is the author of seven young adult books, published under pseudonyms. Her writing has appeared in The Huffington Post, The Rumpus, and Ozy.com, amongst others. A mother of one and stepmother of two, Raina splits her time between New York and New Jersey.
As seen in the New Yorker, NY Times, Time Out NY and Four Seasons Magazine
January 13th’s WINTER POETRY Salon features readings by five notable poets — Diana Whitney, Adam Penna, Sarah Gutowski, Jared Harel, and Jennifer Michael Hecht — followed by discussion on the balance of active family life and creative career moderated by novelists M. M. De Voe (founder of Pen Parentis, Ltd) and Christina Chiu (2015 Pen Parentis curator). Please RSVP to this event.
Diana Whitney’s first collection of poetry, Wanting It, was released in August 2014 by Harbor Mountain Press. She graduated from Dartmouth College and Oxford University, where she was a Rhodes Scholar, and attended the Warren Wilson College MFA Program for Writers. Diana’s essays and poems have appeared in many publications, including The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, Numero Cinq, Dartmouth Alumni Magazine, and the Crab Orchard Review. Her irreverent parenting column, Spilt Milk, was syndicated for four years in several newspapers, garnered a loyal readership, ran as a commentary series on VPR, and is now being collected into a book. Diana lives in Brattleboro, VT with her husband, two daughters (ages 7 and 9), and fourteen chickens. www.diana-whitney.com
Adam Penna is the author of two books of poems, Little Songs & Lyrics to Genji and The Love of a Sleeper. His forthcoming book, Talk of Happiness, will be published by S4N press in late 2015. He has twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and has been featured on Verse Daily. He is an associate professor of English at Suffolk County Community College and lives in East Moriches with his love, six cats and two wonderful stepchildren.
Sarah Kain Gutowski is the author of Fabulous Beast: The Sow, a chapbook published by Hyacinth Girl Press, and an Associate Professor of English at Suffolk County Community College. Her work has been published in Stirring: A Literary Collection, Verse Wisconsin Online, Verse Daily, The Gettysburg Review, The Southern Review, Epiphany, The Threepenny Review, and So to Speak: A Feminist Journal. She keeps a record of her writing life, experience in academia, and motherhood at http://mimsyandoutgrabe.
Jared Harel is the author of ‘The Body Double’, a narrative long poem published by Brooklyn Arts Press. His poems have recently appeared in such journals as Tin House, American Poetry Review, The Southern Review and The Threepenny Review. He teaches writing at Nassau Community College, plays drums for the rock band, The Dust Engineers, and lives in Astoria, NY with his wife and two-year old daughter.
Jennifer Michael Hecht is a poet, intellectual historian, and commentator. She has published three books of poetry, most recently Who Said, with Copper Canyon in 2013. Her first book, The Next Ancient World won the Poetry Society of America’s Norma Farber First Book Award, and Publisher’s Weekly called her second poetry book, Funny, “One of the most original and entertaining books of the year.” She has also written award-winning history and philosophy books. She has been a guest on Hardball MSNBC, The Brian Lehrer Show, and On Being, and her work appears in The New Yorker, The New York Times, Poetry, American Poet, Politico, and The Washington Post. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, NPR puzzle guru John Chaneski, and their son Max, 10, and daughter, Jessie, 8, where they all await further news on Max’s middle school picks.
Andrew Lewis Conn is the critically acclaimed author of the novels O, AFRICA! and P. He has also written essays, short fiction, and reviews on subjects ranging from James Joyce to Martin Scorsese, Bob Dylan to Sherlock Holmes. Conn has been a resident at Yaddo and the Ledig House International Writers’ Colony. He also has participated in the National Arts Club’s writing program to support New York City public schools and PEN Center USA’s Summer Writing Institute Workshop. A Phi Beta Kappa, magna cum laude graduate of Cornell University, Conn currently serves as a member of the Young Professional Committee of the YMCA of Greater New York. Intensely loyal to his native Brooklyn, Conn lives in Park Slope with his wife, daughter, and their twenty-year-old turtle, Marty.
Stephanie Lehmann was born and raised in San Francisco. She reluctantly moved to Manhattan for the graduate program in fiction writing at New York University, where she ended up receiving her MRS degree (got married). She wound up staying in NYC, giving birth to two children, and eventually publishing five novels: Thoughts While Having Sex, Are you in the Mood?, The Art of Undressing, You Could do Better, and Astor Place Vintage. Lehmann has taught writing classes at The Writer’s Voice, Mediabistro, and online at Salon.com, where her essays on sex, daughters and millionaires have been published. www.StephanieLehmann.com www.AstorPlaceVintage.com
Nic Esposito, Chris Tarry, and Cara Hoffman: three fantastic authors who are also parents read from their newest creative works at PERSONAL MONSTERS, the March Pen Parentis Literary Salon. The night begins at 7pm with networking over wine, compliments of Andaz Wall Street. Readings and signings will be followed by Q&A moderated by Pen Parentis founder M. M. De Voe and its new Salons curator, novelist Christina Chiu. Come join the fun! Pen Parentis Literary Salons were founded to celebrate the creative work of writers that are also parents, and are a great place to meet industry notables.
The event takes place on Tuesday, March 10th at the elegant Hotel Andaz at 75 Wall Street. The night kicks off at 7:00 pm, and admission is free. RSVP is recommended, but not required—the Pen Parentis Literary Salon is open to adults over the age of 21. Books will be vended and proceeds go to Community Bookstore in Brooklyn.
CARA HOFFMAN’s critically acclaimed novel Be Safe I Love You was named one of the Five Best Modern War Novels by the London Telegraph, and one of the Ten Best Books of Summer by the USA Today. The New York Times heralded it as “a reminder that art and love are all that can keep us from despair.” Hoffman’s first book So Much Pretty was named the New York Times Book Review’s Best Suspense Novel of 2011. This is her third appearance at Pen Parentis. She has been a visiting writer at St. John’s, Columbia and Oxford Universities. Her essays have appeared in the New York Times, Salon, Marie Claire, and on NPR. Originally from upstate New York, she lives in Manhattan with her partner, the artist Marc Lepson. Her son records music under the name Nervous. (PHOTO CREDIT: Constance Faulk)
CHRIS TARRY is a Canadian writer and musician living in Brooklyn. His work has appeared in The Literary Review, On Spec, Grain, The G.W. Review, PANK, Monkeybicycle, and many other cool places. He holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of British Columbia, is a four-time Juno Award winner (the Canadian Grammy), and one of New York’s most sought-after bass players. His debut story collection How To Carry Bigfoot Home is out March 17, 2015 from Red Hen Press. He is also the father of two great kids, Chloe three, and one-year old Lucas. You can find him at http://christarry.com
After developing urban farm projects throughout Philadelphia, NIC ESPOSITO and his wife Elisa now operate Emerald Street Urban Farm as well as their own homestead populated by their son, Luca, a dog, a cat, and a whole bunch of chickens. He writes about social change, urban farming and sustainability for blogs and magazine and spoke on urban farming at the 2010 TED X conference in Philadelphia. He is the author of novel Seeds of Discent and the essay collection Kensington Homestead. Nic is the founder of The Head & The Hand Press and The Head & The Hand Workshop.
The event takes place on Tuesday, April 14th at the elegant Hotel Andaz at 75 Wall Street. The night kicks off at 7:00 pm, and admission is free. Books will be vended for signings and proceeds go to Community Bookstore in Brooklyn.
PLEASE RSVP THROUGH THIS LINK!
Marly Youmans has been called “the best-kept secret among contemporary American writers” by John Wilson, editor of Books and Culture. Her recent books are: an epic adventure in blank verse, Thaliad (Montreal: Phoenicia Publishing, 2012); several collections of poems, The Foliate Head (UK: Stanza Press, 2012) and The Throne of Psyche (Mercer University Press, 2011); and a novel, A Death at the White Camellia Orphanage (Mercer, 2012 / The Ferrol Sams Award + Silver Award, ForeWord Book of the Year Awards.) She has published with a wide range of houses (FSG, Bard, Harcourt, Penguin/Firebird, LSU, etc.) and won The Michael Shaara Award, a NYFA fellowship, and others. Marly is the mother of two sons and a daughter. Glimmerglass is Marly’s twelfth book. Marly Youmans / The Palace at 2:00 a.m. Photo credit: Rebecca Beatrice Miller.
Lev Grossman is the book critic and lead technology writer for Time magazine and a widely published cultural critic. He is also the author of the bestselling novels The Magicians and The Magician King. His most recent novel The Magician’s Land debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. A graduate of Harvard and Yale, he lives in Brooklyn with his wife and three children. You can learn more about Lev Grossman on his website www.levgrossman.com and follow him on Twitter @leverus.
KELLY LINK is the author of the collections Get in Trouble, Stranger Things Happen, Magic for Beginners, and Pretty Monsters. She and Gavin J. Grant have co-edited a number of anthologies, including multiple volumes of The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror and, for young adults, Monstrous Affections and Steampunk! She is the co-founder of Small Beer Press. Her short stories have been published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, A Public Space, Tin House, One Story, Conjunctions, The Best American Short Stories, and Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards. She has received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Link was born in Miami, Florida. She currently lives with her husband and daughter in Northampton, Massachusetts.
John Langan’s new collection of stories, Sefira and Other Betrayals, is forthcoming from Hippocampus Press in early 2016. He is the author of two previous collections, The Wide, Carnivorous Sky and Other Monstrous Geographies and Mr. Gaunt and Other Uneasy Encounters, as well as a novel, House of Windows. With Paul Tremblay, he co-edited Creatures: Thirty Years of Monsters. He has new stories forthcoming in publications including Lois Gresh’s Innsmouth Nightmares, Christopher Golden’s Seize the Night, Ellen Datlow’s The Monstrous, and Paul Guran’s The Mammoth Book of Cthulhu. He is one of the founders of the Shirley Jackson Awards, for which he was a judge during its first three years. He lives in upstate NY with his wife, younger son, an assortment of animals, and whatever his son fishes out of local lakes and streams. His website: https://johnpaullangan.wordpress.com/ This is his second appearance at Pen Parentis.
Veronica Schanoes is a scholar, a writer, and a life-long New Yorker. Her fiction has appeared in Queen Victoria’s Book of Spells, Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, and Strange Horizons and has been anthologized in Queen Victoria’s Book of Spells and The Doll Collection. Her novella, “Burning Girls,” published on Tor.com, was a finalist for the Nebula award. She is an Associate Professor in the Department of English at Queens College – CUNY. She has an adorable newborn. Visit her blog: http://vschanoes.livejournal.com (photo credit: Ellen Datlow)
Sarah Langan is an American horror author and three-time Bram Stoker Award winner. Holding an MFA from Columbia University, she has written three celebrated horror novels: The Missing, The Keeper, and Audrey’s Door, and multiple award-winning short stories. Langan was also one of the judges for the inaugural Shirley Jackson Award and is currently on the Board of Directors. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two daughters. She and John Langan are not married or related, despite the name thing. Her website is www.sarahlangan.com This is her second appearance at Pen Parentis.
Elisa Albert is the author of After Birth (2015), The Book of Dahlia (2008), How This Night is Different (2006), and the editor of the anthology Freud’s Blind Spot (2010). Her fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Tin House, Post Road, Gulf Coast, Commentary, Salon, Tablet, Los Angeles Review of Books, The Believer, The Rumpus, Time Magazine, Guernica, on NPR, and in many anthologies. Albert grew up in Los Angeles and received her MFA from Columbia University. A recipient of the Moment magazine emerging writer award and a finalist for the Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature, she has received residencies and fellowships from The Virginia Center for Creative Arts, Djerassi, Vermont Studio Center, and The Netherlands Institute for Advanced Studies in Holland. She is an adjunct assistant professor at Columbia’s School of the Arts and was recently Visiting Writer at The College of Saint Rose. She lives in upstate New York with her family.
Lucinda Rosenfeld (photo credit: Phillip Angert) is the author of four novels, including I’m So Happy For You, and The Pretty One. Her fifth novel, Class, will be published by Little Brown in late 2016. Her fiction and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, the New York Times, Glamour, Redbook, and Slate. Buzzfeed recently named her first novel, What She Saw in… as #2 on its list of Required Reading in Your Twenties; it has been optioned for film. A graduate of Cornell University, Rosenfeld is married to economics writer John Cassidy of The New Yorker. They live in Brooklyn, New York and have two young daughters.
Will Chancellor grew up in Hawaii and Texas. A Brave Man Seven Storeys Tall (Harper, 2014) is his first novel. In 2004 he collaborated on a conceptual art installation for the New Museum, which resulted in an invitation to exhibit at the 2011 Festival of Ideas for a New City. With his collaborator, conceptual artist Daniel Subkoff, he created a 14-foot sculpture that visitors removed from the gallery, one handful at a time. He is currently working on a second novel, To Test the Meaning of Certain Dreams.
As seen in the New Yorker, NYTimes, Time Out NY (Critic’s Pick) and Four Seasons Magazine:
Please join us at the annual Holiday Author Mingle — the festive December Pen Parentis Literary Salon in New York featuring live acoustic guitar by Wilson Montuori. Our Salons are free and open to the public (21+). The Holiday Author mingle doubles as our end-of-year fundraiser. Terrific prizes and giveaways from Brain, Child Magazine. Books will be available for signings by donation. Complimentary wine and light refreshments are provided by Andaz Wall Street. Join us in their beautiful hotel at 75 Wall in New York City on Tuesday, December 8th at 7pm.
Nelly Rosario was born in the Dominican Republic and raised in Brooklyn, NY circa its era of affordability. She’s the author of Song of the Water Saints (Pantheon), winner of a PEN/Open Book Award. Other pen honors include a Sherwood Anderson Award in Fiction and a Howard Foundation Fellowship. She earned an MFA in writing from Columbia University, where she was a classmate of M. M. De Voe and Christina Chiu. Rosario’s work has appeared in various anthologies and in Chess Life, Americas Review, el diario/La Prensa, meridians, and Callaloo. Rosario was formerly on the MFA Program faculty at Texas State University and a recent Visiting Scholar in the MIT Comparative Media Studies/Writing Program. Currently, she serves as assistant director of writing for the Blacks at MIT History Project and working on independent writing projects. Rosario lives in a Brooklyn with her teenaged daughter Olivia, who begs not to attend readings.
Scott Nadelson is the author of three story collections, most recently Aftermath, and a memoir, The Next Scott Nadelson: A Life in Progress. Winner of the Reform Judaism Fiction Prize, the Great Lakes Colleges Association New Writers Award, and an Oregon Book Award, he teaches at Willamette University. His novel Between You and Me was published by Engine books in November 2015. He lives in Salem, Oregon, with his wife, the artist Alexandra Opie, and their young daughter.
Kamy Wicoff is the author of Wishful Thinking and the nonfiction book I Do But I Don’t: Why The Way We Marry Matters (DaCapo 2006). She is the founder of one of the world’s largest communities for women writers, www.shewrites.com, with 30,000 members worldwide. She is also the founder, with Brooke Warner, of She Writes Press, a “third way” publisher leading the way in creating alternative publishing companies for authors. Kamy lives in Brooklyn with her two boys, Max and Jed. Max is 11 and still thinks it is possible to become a professional poet with a fabulous life in Manhattan; she has not yet had the heart to disabuse him of this notion.
Wilson Montuori (guitar) holds a BFA in music from City College of New York, where he won the prestigious “Sidney Zolot Award,” given each year to a graduating music major who has demonstrated excellence as a performer. He has toured worldwide and recorded two CDs with Livio Guardi, the latest titled “Diomedee” is a collection of songs and instrumentals inspired by the Mediterranean Sea. He records extensively for 2soul Music Incorporation, plays lead guitar in the folk-rock band of Irish singer-songwriter Allen Gogarty, in the Italian musical group “I giullari di piazzi”, and with famous remo percussionist Alessandra Belloni, and comes to us courtesy of the Church Street School of Music and Art, a local nonprofit school, where he has many students.
(Morowa Yejide had to cancel due to family conflict – we will reschedule her soon!)
The reading takes place on Tuesday, January 12th at the elegant Hotel Andaz at 75 Wall Street, which graciously provides wine and light refreshments. The night kicks off at 7:00 pm, and admission is free. RSVP is recommended—the Pen Parentis Literary Salon is open to all adults over the age of 21. You do not have to be a parent or a writer to enjoy our Salons! All book lovers are welcome!
January 12th’s Literary Salon features:
Amy Dryansky’s second book, Grass Whistle (Salmon Poetry, Ireland) received the 2014 Massachusetts Book Award for poetry. Her first, How I Got Lost So Close to Home, was published by Alice James, and individual poems appear in a variety of anthologies and journals, including Harvard Review, New England Review, Orion and The Women’s Review of Books. She’s received honors/awards from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, MacDowell Colony, Vermont Studio Center and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. She lives in a tiny town in western Massachusetts, is currently the assistant director of the Culture, Brain & Development Program at Hampshire College, and tries very hard to maintain a blog called Pokey Mama, about her attempts to navigate the territory of mother-poet. Her kids are now 14 and 17, and they remain unimpressed with the fact of her being a poet. (photo credit: Trish Crapo)
On February 9th, the Pen Parentis Literary Salon’s theme is Fame and Fortune – readers will include the President and Publisher of Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Jonathan Galassi, the fashion-insider and bestselling novelist, Tia Williams, and Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus, co-authors of the internationally best selling books (and movie) The Nanny Diaries and nine subsequent novels.
RSVP LINK : RSVP is strongly recommended – use this link!
You can expect an animated, sharp, and witty discussion covering a wide variety of topics! It’s sure to be fun and thought-provoking, and we hope that you will join us.
The reading takes place on Tuesday, February 9th at the elegant Andaz Wall Street at 75 Wall Street, and the hotel graciously provides wine and light refreshments. The night kicks off at 7:00 pm, and admission is free. RSVP is recommended—the Pen Parentis Literary Salon is open to all adults over the age of 21. You do not have to be a parent or a writer to enjoy our Salons! All book lovers are welcome!
Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus met in the Great Books program at New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study, where they both graduated with concentrations in Arts in Education. Nanny Diaries was a international best-seller and became a box-office hit as a movie. They have appeared numerous times on CNN, MSNBC, The Today Show, Good Morning America, Entertainment Tonight and The View. Their work and partnership have been covered in The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, TIME, Elle, Vogue, Town & Country and Harper’s Bazaar. In addition to multiple magazines, they have contributed to The London Times and The New York Times as well as two short story collections to benefit The War Child Fund: Big Night Out and Girls’ Night Out. They recently partnered with Teen Vogue to create branded content for a national campaign for Estee Lauder, Their novel, So Close, will be Cosmopolitan magazine’s first serialized fiction. In addition to writing for stage, television and film, they travel the country speaking about the creative process, media literacy, and professional collaboration. They have now co-written ten books, and are both mothers.
Jonathan Galassi is the president and publisher of Farrar, Straus & Giroux and the author of three collections of poetry, as well as acclaimed translations of the Italian poets Eugenio Montale and Giacomo Leopardi. A former Guggenheim Fellow and poetry editor of The Paris Review, he also writes for The New York Review of Books, The New Republic, and other publications. He has two grown daughters and a new novel.
Tia Williams is the ultimate fashion insider. For fifteen years, she was a magazine beauty editor (at Elle, Lucky, Glamour, Teen People, and Essence.com), and created one of the first style blogs, the award-winning Shake Your Beauty. She’s the best-selling author of THE ACCIDENTAL DIVA and the IT CHICKS series, and co-writer of Iman’s THE BEAUTY OF COLOR. She also wrote a chapter in the anthology, WHERE DID OUR LOVE GO: LOVE AND RELATIONSHIPS IN THE BLACK COMMUNITY. Her latest novel, THE PERFECT FIND, hits shelves in Spring 2016. Currently a copy director at Estee Lauder Companies, Tia lives in Brooklyn with her 7-year-old diva daughter and all of their various accessories.
Pen Parentis Literary Salons include: mingling, networking, wine-drinking, food-noshing, book signings, intense readings, interesting discussions, crazy revelations, and lots and lots of laughter. Everyone 21+ is welcome.
Every month on the second Tuesday, trios of professional authors come together in an exquisite location to share new works and join in a moderated roundtable discussion of the life/work balance–when your life includes children and your work is writing books, you need community. Come join ours!
Roundtables are moderated by Pen Parentis founding director M. M. De Voe and curator Christina Chiu.
Rumaan Alam’s stories have appeared in StoryQuarterly, American Short Fiction, the Gettysburg Review, and elsewhere. His novel Rich and Pretty will be published in 2016. He lives in New York City with his husband and their two sons.
Lauren Acampora is the author of The Wonder Garden, a collection of linked stories published by Grove Atlantic in May 2015. Her short fiction has also appeared in the Paris Review, Missouri Review, Prairie Schooner, New England Review, and Antioch Review. Raised in Connecticut, she now lives in Westchester County, New York, with her husband, artist Thomas Doyle, and their daughter. (photo credit: Sarah Landis)
Helen Phillips is the author of the novel The Beautiful Bureaucrat, a New York Times Notable Book of 2015, and the short story collection And Yet They Were Happy, named a notable collection by The Story Prize. She is the recipient of a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award and the Italo Calvino Prize in Fabulist Fiction. Her work has been featured on Selected Shorts and in Tin House. An assistant professor at Brooklyn College, she lives in Brooklyn with her husband, artist Adam Douglas Thompson, and their three-year-old daughter and one-year-old son. Her collection Some Possible Solutions is forthcoming in June.
This Salon takes place on Tuesday, March 8th at the elegant Andaz Wall Street at 75 Wall Street, and the hotel graciously provides wine and light refreshments. The night kicks off at 7:00 pm, and admission is free. RSVP is recommended—the Pen Parentis Literary Salon is open to all adults over the age of 21. You do not have to be a parent or a writer to enjoy our Salons! All book lovers are welcome!
CLICK HERE TO RSVP for this event!
Morowa Yejidé had to postpone her appearance at Pen Parentis until 2017.
Marika Alzadon was born in the Philippines during Marcos’ reign and spent the first eleven years of her life under Martial Law before immigrating to the United States. Foregoing a possible medical career for a life in the arts, she spent some time in the business of editing and designing books for Simon & Schuster before receiving her MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia University. A professional graphic artist and photographer, Marika lives in New Jersey with her husband and their three children. She is currently at work on her first novel.
Anjali Mitter Duva is an Indian-American writer raised in France, and the author of Faint Promise of Rain. Trained as an urban planner, she is also a co-founder of Chhandika, a non-profit organization dedicated to kathak dance, a storytelling art form of North India. She runs a children’s book club (featured in the Boston Globe) and the Arlington Author Salon. Educated at Brown University and MIT, she lives near Boston with her husband and two daughters. Visit her at www.anjalimitterduva.com and on Twitter @AnjaliMDuva
Rick Moody’s newest book, Hotels of North America, was published in 2015 to great acclaim including a glowing review in the New York Times. His five previous novels include The Four Fingers of Death, The Diviners, Purple America, The Ice Storm (made into a feature film of the same name) and Garden State, and he is the author of an award-winning memoir and multiple collections of short fiction. Moody is the recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship, and his work has been anthologized in The Best American Short Stories, The Best American Essays, and the Pushcart Prize anthology. He has a young daughter and lives in Brooklyn with his wife and impending baby.
Our 16th Season starts strong with three incredible authors who return to the Pen Parentis Stage at the Andaz Wall Street to share their current novels and update us on their lives! This season opener will also feature the 2016-2017 winner of the Pen Parentis Writing Fellowship for New Parents! Marcelle Soviero, Editor-in-Chief of Brain, Child Magazine will be in attendance to present the award to our newest fellow: Elizabeth Pagel-Hogan of Pittsburgh, PA.
CLICK HERE TO RSVP for this star-studded event!
Daphne Uviller is the author of the Zephyr Zuckerman Series: Super in the City, Hotel No Tell and, just arrived January 2016, Wife of the Day. The television rights to the series were optioned jointly to Paramount Television and Silver Lake Entertainment. A former Books/Poetry editor at Time Out New York, Daphne’s reviews, profiles, and articles have been published in The Washington Post, The New York Times, Newsday, The Forward, New York Magazine, Oxygen, Allure, and Self, for which she used to write an ethics column. A third-generation Greenwich Villager, Daphne lives in the Hudson Valley and New York City with conservation ecologist Sacha Spector, two children, and one dog. She is happy to be returning to Pen Parentis. (image credit: Lucy Schaeffer)
Thelma Adams is an established figure in the entertainment industry. In addition to her new novel about Mrs. Wyatt Earp, The Last Woman Standing, for two decades she has penned celebrity features and film criticism for high-profile publications. Her portfolio of actor interviews includes Julianne Moore, George Clooney, Jessica Chastain, and Matthew McConaughey, among many others. While covering film for the New York Post, US Weekly, and Yahoo Movies, Thelma became a regular at film festivals from Berlin to Dubai, Toronto to Tribeca. She sits on the Hamptons International Film Festival Advisory Board and twice chaired the prestigious New York Film Critics Circle. Her debut novel, Playdate, published by Thomas Dunne Books, won high critical acclaim. Adams has been invited to share her expertise on many broadcast outlets, including appearances on NBC’s Today Show, CBS’sEarly Show, and CNN. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a history degree from UC Berkeley and earned an MFA from Columbia University. She lives in Hyde Park, New York, with her family. This is her second appearance at Pen Parentis.
Simon Van Booy was born in Great Britain and grew up in rural Wales. He is the author of The Secret Lives of People in Love, Love Begins in Winter (winner of the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award) and the novel, Everything Beautiful Began After. His last The Illusion of Separateness was a national bestseller and his current novel Father’s Day is garnering terrific reviews. He is the editor of three philosophy books. His essays have appeared in the New York Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Times, The Guardian, and ELLE Men, (China), where he has a monthly column. He has also written for the stage, National Public Radio, and the BBC. Van Booy teaches part-time at SVA in Manhattan, and is involved in the Rutgers Early College Humanities Program for young adults living in under-served communities. In 2013, he founded Writers for Children, an organization which helps young people build confidence in their talent, through annual writing awards. He was a finalist for the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise, and his work has been translated into more than fifteen languages. He lives in the NYC area with his daughter and his wife. He is delighted to return to Pen Parentis.
Jamie Duclos-Yourdon, a freelance editor and technical expert, received his MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona. His short fiction has appeared in the Alaska Quarterly Review, Underneath the Juniper Tree, and Chicago Literati, and he has contributed essays and interviews to Booktrib. He lives in Portland, Oregon, with his wife and two children. Froelich’s Ladder is his first novel.
Courtney Zoffness’ work has appeared in The Rumpus, Indiana Review, Washington Square, Tampa Review, the Fish Prize Stories anthology, and elsewhere. She’s received fellowships or awards from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Vermont Studio Center, and Yale University, and was a 2013 Writing Fellow at the Center for Fiction. Courtney has taught at numerous institutions, including at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Freiburg in Germany, where she was a writer-in-residence. Visit Courtney’s website to read some of her recent work. Currently she teaches at Drew University and cares for her sons, ages 1 and 4, who wake before the sun.
Born and raised in New York City, Aidan Donnelley Rowley graduated from Yale University and received her law degree from Columbia University. She is the author of a previous novel, Life After Yes, and the creator of the Happier Hours Literary Salons. Her current novel is THE RAMBLERS, A NOVEL which is published by William Morrow and hits bookstores October, 2016. She lives in Manhattan with her husband and three daughters. (photo credit: Elena Seibert)
Eleni Gage’s life has been shaped by family, fate, and fiction. After graduating with a degree in Folklore and Mythology from Harvard University, she worked in magazine journalism for six years before moving to the small Greek mountain village where her father was born to rebuild her grandparents’ home, hang out with retirees, have her fortune told in coffee grounds, and write a travel memoir, North of Ithaka, which was published by St. Martin’s Press in 2005. In 2008, while pursuing an MFA in Fiction at Columbia University, and researching her first novel, Other Waters (St. Martin’s 2012), the story of an Indian-American psychiatrist who thinks her family has been cursed, Eleni met an Indian astrologer who told her she’d marry “a soft-hearted businessman who was not born in the U.S.” in October, 2010. On 10.10.10 she wed a Nicaraguan coffee trader on the Greek island of Corfu. While living with him and their daughter in Granada, Nicaragua, Eleni wrote the first draft of her second novel, The Ladies of Managua, inspired in part by her grandmother-in-law’s checkered past. Called “spellbinding,” “a smart page-turner,” and “a vibrant story about radical acts of womanhood,” The Ladies of Managua was released by St. Martin’s Press in 2015, with the paperback following in July, 2016. A magazine journalist who has been on staff at Allure, Elle, InStyle, People, and Martha Stewart Weddings, and a freelance writer who has contributed to Condé Nast Traveler, Travel+Leisure, Town&Country Travel, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Real Simple, Elle Decor, and Dwell, among others, Eleni now lives in New York with her husband and their two Greekaraguan kids.
Christine Rice’s debut novel, Swarm Theory (April, 2016), was recently included in Powell’s Books Midyear Roundup, the Best Books of 2016 So Far and was called “a gripping work of Midwest Gothic” by Michigan Public Radio’s Desiree Cooper. Most recently, her short stories have been published in Farleigh Dickinson University’s The Literary Review, American University of Beirut’s Rusted Radishes, F Magazine, and online at Roanoke College’s Roanoke Review, Chicago Literati, and Bird’s Thumb. Her essays and long-form journalism have appeared in the The Big Smoke, The Millions, the Chicago Tribune, Detroit’s Metro Times, The Good Men Project, The Urbaness.com, CellStories.net, and her radio essays have been produced by WBEZ Chicago. Christine teaches at Columbia College Chicago, is the managing editor of Hypertext Magazine (www.hypertextmag.com), and the director of Hypertext Studio Writing Center (www.hypertextstudio.org).
Elizabeth Isadora Gold’s writing about motherhood, books, music, and feminism has appeared in The New York Times, The Believer, Tin House, The Rumpus, Time Out New York, and many other publications. Her piece about her postpartum anxiety, “Meltdown in Motherland,” was featured on the New York Times Opinionator blog. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband and young daughter. Please visit her at www.elizabethisadoragold.com.
With Special Guest: WILSON MONTUORI, Jazz/Latin Guitar
Wilson Montuori is a versatile guitarist who performs styles ranging from pop/rock,world, and jazz to classical music. He has recorded for many labels, including Universal Records, Sony Music, Def Japan, and many more and has performed throughout the world with various musical ensembles. Wilson holds a degree in classical guitar from the Accademia of Music in Florence, Italy, a BFA in jazz performance from City college, and Masters in Music from Boston University. His latest cd titled “Viaggio” has received positive reviews in the guitarist community.
We are excited to welcome one and all to the seventh annual Winter Poetry Night on Tuesday January 10th, 2017 at Andaz Wall Street (75 Wall, enter at Water). Free.
RSVP through this link.
Christina Cook is the author of A Strange Insomnia (Aldrich Press, 2016), Ricochet (Casa de Cinco Hermanas Press, 2016), and Lake Effect (Finishing Line Press, 2012), winner of the Jean Pedrick Chapbook Prize. Her poems have been included in two anthologies, Poet Showcase: An Anthology of New Hampshire Poets (Hobblebush Books, 2015) and Not Somewhere Else but Here: A Contemporary Anthology of Women and Place (Sundress Publications, 2014), and her poems, translations, essays, and book reviews have appeared widely in journals including the New Ohio Review, Prairie Schooner, The Rumpus, and Crazyhorse. Christina holds an MA in English and American Literature from the University of Cincinnati and an MFA from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. She works as a writer in the Office of University Communications at the University of Pennsylvania.
Matthew Thorburn’s most recent book is Dear Almost: A Poem (Louisiana State University Press, 2016). He is also the author of five previous books and chapbooks of poems, including A Green River in Spring (Autumn House Press, 2015) and This Time Tomorrow (Waywiser Press, 2013). His interviews with writers appear on the Ploughshares blog as a monthly feature. He lives in Riverdale with his wife and son, and works in corporate communications in Midtown.
Stella Padnos-Shea has many identities, among them: poet, social worker, mama, Scorpio, and suicide survivor. Her poetry appears in various literary journals and forums, including Women’s Studies Quarterly, Mommikin, and Lady Parts, a Barbie-themed collaboration with jewelry artist Margaux Lange. Stella currently works as a political organizer and therapist in New York City. Her first book, In My Absence, was released last summer from Winter Goose Publishing. Her poetry is public and personal, neck and neck.
Three experts on writing about race relations and cultural identity are presented in a moderated panel discussion with refreshments compliments of Andaz Wall Street.
PLEASE RSVP THROUGH THIS LINK
THIS EVENT HAS BEEN POSTPONED DUE TO SNOWSTORM STELLA.
OPEN TO THE PUBLIC, 21+ only.
NEW: Allison Scollar is heading up a PEN PARENTIS BOOK CLUB! Sign up to read THE RED CAR, then meet author Marcy Dermansky in an exclusive private session before our salon. Click here to get more book club information or to sign up.
WHEN: Tuesday, March 14th, 7:00 pm
WHERE: Hotel Andaz at 75 Wall Street.
RSVP LINK: Click here
Marcy Dermansky is the author of Bad Marie, Twins, and, most recently, The Red Car (the March 2017 Pen Parentis Book Club pick). Marcy’s short fiction has been widely published and anthologized, appearing in McSweeney’s, Guernica, The Indiana Review, and elsewhere. Her essay “Maybe I Loved You” appeared in the best-selling anthology Goodbye to All That: Writers on Loving and Leaving New York. Marcy has received fellowships from The MacDowell Colony and The Edward Albee Foundation. She lives in Montclair, New Jersey with her daughter Nina, and has often been featured at Pen Parentis. (photo credit Whitney Larson)
Susan Daitch is the author of five novels, a collection of short stories. Her short fiction and essays have appeared in Black Clock, Conjunctions, Slice, LitHub, Bomb, McSweeney’s, Tin House, and elsewhere. She has been the recipient of a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Fiction and two Vogelstein awards. Her first novel, L.C., was a recipient of a National Endowment of Arts Heritage Award. Her novella, Fall Out, published by Madras Press, and all proceeds are given to Women For Afghan Women. She’s a cool mom.
Wendy Lee is the author of the novels The Art of Confidence, Across a Green Ocean, and Happy Family, which was named one of the top ten debuts of 2008 by Booklist and received an honorable mention from the Association of Asian American Studies. A graduate of New York University’s Creative Writing Program, she has worked as a book editor and an English teacher in China. She and her family live in Queens, New York.
Alice Kaltman is a writer and surfer who splits her time between Brooklyn and Montauk, New York.Staggerwing (Tortoise Books October 2016) is her first collection of short stories. Her work appears in numerous journals including Joyland, Whiskey Paper ,Storychord, The Stockholm Review, the Atticus Review, and Chicago Literati, and in print anthologies including The Pleasure You Suffer and On Montauk: A Literary Celebration. She’s a mom!
Stewart Lewis has published five novels and his work has been translated into five languages. He is also an acclaimed singer-songwriter, a professor of writing at the University of Maryland, and a proud husband/father who published a series for Gay Parent Magazine called “Diary of a Gay Dad.”
OPEN TO THE PUBLIC, 21+ only.
BOOK CLUB: Allison Scollar is heading up a PEN PARENTIS BOOK CLUB! Sign up to read THE RED CAR, then meet author Marcy Dermansky in an exclusive private session before our salon. (This book club meeting is rescheduled from the one canceled due to Snowstorm Stella) Click here to get more book club information or to sign up.
Marcy Dermansky is the author of Bad Marie, Twins, and, most recently, The Red Car (the March 2017 Pen Parentis Book Club pick). Marcy’s short fiction has been widely published and anthologized, appearing in McSweeney’s, Guernica, The Indiana Review, and elsewhere. Her essay “Maybe I Loved You” appeared in the best-selling anthology Goodbye to All That: Writers on Loving and Leaving New York. Marcy has received fellowships from The MacDowell Colony and The Edward Albee Foundation. She lives in Montclair, New Jersey with her daughter Nina, and has often been featured at Pen Parentis. (photo credit: Whitney Larson)
Indoor activities curated by Mutha Magazine
As part of the Empire State Center for the Book Festival Pop-up on Governors Island, join Pen Parentis and Mutha Magazine for a whole day of interactive, literary-themed activities great for all ages on Governors Island. Bring the kids if you have them. Or not. Your call. This is a about YOU. Drop in or stay all day. No admission fees.
- Meet Comic Book Artists In Residence
- Hear amazing readers and buy a book if the mood strikes you
- Learn more about Mutha Magazine and Pen Parentis
- Ask Pen Parentis Writing Fellows how it changed their lives to win the fellowship
- Open Mic from 4pm – 5pm! Sign up during the day!
- ALL DAY – (outside) Participate in the Living Lexicon
- ALL DAY (inside): Writing on the Wall: Mutha Secrets
From 10am – 2:30 pm all sessions are all ages appropriate, with special programming for the very young
From 2:30 – 5pm sessions are PG+ content (kids are allowed, but note that programming is adult-oriented)
- 11am – 1pm Former Fellows Jess DeCourcy Hinds, Frank Haberle, and Orli Van Mourik
- 11am -1pm Spellbound Theatre: drop-in storytelling puppetry workshop (for the very young and their parents)
- 1pm – 2:30pm Ginny Wiehardt runs a poetry workshop for kids – drop ins welcome (parents and adults too!)
- 2:30 – 4pm Live-drawing by Lauren Weinstein, creator of the comics series Normel Person (The Village Voice) from your Mutha Secrets
- 2:30 – 4pm Comics Storytelling Workshop (drop-in) with Joanna Herman and Lisa Wilde and Anna Mudd, beginners are welcome! Learn to draw comics even if you never thought you could. Prompts available.
- 4pm – 5pm Readings by featured readers Elizabeth Isadora Gold, Gabriella Belfiglio, Meg Lemke, and discussion with comic artists and others – Open Mic! Sign up during the day.
When: July 8, 2017
Where: House 4B in Nolan Park
Time: 10am to 5pm (drop in or stay all day!)
Other: $2 Ferries depart from Brooklyn and Manhattan. Show IDNYC for a free ride. Morning ferries (to 11am) also free. Click here for ferry info.
NYC Salons are off for the summer months so that M. M. and Christina can get to their own writing. Judging is also going on for the Pen Parentis Writing Fellowship. We will see you at our July 8th House of Lit Party on Governor’s Island or at our season opener on September 13th at Andaz Wall Street – we will have Writers Writing War!
Pen Parentis Salons are on Summer Hiatus.
We will resume on Tuesday, September 12, 2017 at the glamorous Andaz Wall Street with new themes and new groups of incredible writers who happen to be parents. We have a fantastic line-up of authors; some new, some returning. And on that Tuesday, we will present the $1,000 fellowship to our 2017-2018 Writing Fellow! Watch this space for more information!
On September 12th, 2017, launching the sixteenth season of Pen Parentis Literary Salons in Lower Manhattan, JESSICA SHATTUCK, KARA KRAUZE and WHITNEY TERRELL, share the spotlight to discuss their own experiences writing about war. Refugee to soldier, using embedded journalistic techniques, personal experience, and research, these three authors know the topic of War inside and out. Join us to hear how these writers, who are all also parents, balance an intense creative writing career with an active home life without losing touch with the outside world.
Whitney Terrell’s novel, The Good Lieutenant (FSG), was selected as a best book of 2016 by The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, and Refinery 29. It was long-listed for the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction. He is also the author of The Huntsman (Viking), a New York Times notable book in 2001, and The King of Kings County (Viking), which was selected as a best book of 2005 by the Christian Science Monitor. His nonfiction has appeared in The New York Times, Harper’s Magazine, The New Republic, Literary Hub, and other publications. He was an embedded reporter in Iraq during 2006 and 2010 and covered the war for The Washington Post Magazine, Slate and NPR. He is currently an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, where he teaches Creative Writing. He has also taught fiction at Princeton University and was the Hodder Fellow for 2008-2009. He was born and raised in Kansas City.
Xavier Trevino is a writer, storyteller, and sometime Mr. Fixit. He is currently working on a memoir of addiction in the ‘80s. He has one son, Javier, who lives in of all places, Omaha, Nebraska. Xavier Trevino is a war veteran, and has preformed at various storytelling venues in the Northeast. PLEASE NOTE, Xavier is unable to make the reading and will be replaced by the marvelous KARA KRAUZE, founder of Voices From War.
Jessica Shattuck is the New York Times Bestselling author of the novels “The Women in the Castle,” (winner of the 2017 New England Book Awards), “Perfect Life,” and “The Hazards of Good Breeding” (New York Times Notable Book, Boston Globe Best Book of the Year, and finalist for the Pen Winship Award). Her short fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, Glamour, and Open City among other publications. Her nonfiction has appeared in The New York Times, Mother Jones, Wired, The Believer Magazine, and The Boston Globe. She lives in Brookline MA with her husband, three children, and dog.
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: amisandsbrodoff.com
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.
Michael Greenberg, Joanne Jacobson, and Diana Geffner-Ventura
Michael Greenberg’s memoir, Hurry Down Sunshine, has been translated into eighteen languages and was named a best book of the year by Time Magazine, Library Journal and Amazon.com. A collection of his “intrepid, darkly comic” essays, Beg, Borrow, Steal: A Writer’s Life, was published in 2009. From 2003-2009, Greenberg wrote the “Freelance” column in the Times Literary Supplement. In 2010-2012 he was the author and creator of “The Accidentalist” column in Bookforum. He teaches in the MFA program at Columbia University and is a frequent contributor to the New York Review of Books, where he writes about literature, politics and New York.
His eldest son lives in Myanmar in Southeast Asia, his daughter lives in rural Vermont, and his “baby” son is about to depart for college in Minnesota – which will leaves Michael both bereft and at peace in his eerily silent Brooklyn home. This is his first appearance at our Salons.
Diana Geffner-Ventura has been writing since she held her first #2 pencil, and has been published in on-line magazines including Brick Underground, Purple Clover, Prime Number, and Culture Catch, and most recently, on her kitchen Dry-Erase board. After receiving her degree in Journalism at New York University, she worked in advertising, dabbled in stand-up comedy, traveled around the world and worked for many years in theatrical production and performing arts management. Diana also sells real estate, and she is currently writing a memoir about life, love, family, oh, and cancer. She lives in Manhattan with her dog and her two beautiful sons, both who are still in school and on her payroll. First time on our stage.
Joanne Jacobson is a Chicago native, transplanted New Yorker, academic turned writer of creative nonfiction. She holds a doctorate in American Studies, and her scholarly writing—a 1992 monograph on the politics of letter writing in the turn-of-the-century U.S., Authority and Alliance in the Letters of Henry Adams, and a series of critical essays in such publications as The Nation and Massachusetts Review—has focused on American autobiographical forms. Her 2007 memoir, Hunger Artist: A Suburban Childhood, evokes the unraveling of one middle-class family’s hopes of starting fresh on post-World War II suburban ground; essays from it have been published in New England Review, BOMB, and Alimentum, among other journals. Her current book project, Extraordinary Time, is an exploration of chronic illness and its disruptions of time and identity; work from it has appeared most recently in Southwest Review, Tampa Review, Florida Review, New England Review, and Gulf Coast. Jacobson has taught at the University of Iowa; the University of Angers, France (as a Fulbright lecturer); Middlebury College; and Yeshiva College, where she is Professor of English and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.
Click HERE to RSVP.
Bringing their successful 16th Season to a close on Tuesday, December 12th at 7pm, Pen Parentis hosts its annual Holiday Author Mingle. Three distinguished alumni of the Salons—noted novelists René Steinke, Ellen Umansky, and John Reed—will present readings from their newest works followed by the characteristic highly-entertaining discussion about literature, life-work-balance, and other contemporary topics. Celebrated Jazz/Latin guitarist Wilson Montuori will entertain with live music, and as a special treat for the holidays, Pen Parentis Founder M. M. De Voe will be joined by celebrity guest-host Leigh Newman to moderate the conversation.
FREE TICKETS ARE LIMITED, please RSVP through this link.
Ellen Umansky has published fiction and nonfiction in a variety of venues, including the New York Times, Salon, Playboy, and the short-story anthologies Lost Tribe: Jewish Fiction from the Edge and Sleepaway: Writings on Summer Camp. She has worked in the editorial departments of several publications, including the Forward, Tablet, and The New Yorker. She grew up in Los Angeles, and lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two daughters. (author photo: Sam Zalutsky)
René Steinke is a 2016 Guggenheim Fellow. Her most recent novel, Friendswood (Riverhead), was named one of National Public Radio’s “Great Reads” of 2014. Friendswood was shortlisted for the St. Francis Literary Prize, and it was an Amazon Book of the Month. Her previous novel, Holy Skirts, an imaginative retelling of the life of the artist and provocateur, Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, was a Finalist for the National Book Award. Her first novel is The Fires. Her essays and articles have appeared in The New York Times, Vogue, O Magazine, Redbook, Houstonia, Salon, Bookforum, and in anthologies. She is the former Editor of The Literary Review, where she remains Editor-at-Large. She has taught at the New School and at Columbia University, and she is currently the Director of the MFA program in Creative Writing at Fairleigh Dickinson University. She lives in Brooklyn with her family. (author photo: Michelle Ocampo)
John Reed is author of the novels, A Still Small Voice, The Whole, and the SPD bestseller, Snowball’s Chance; additional books: All The World’s A Grave: A New Play By William Shakespeare; Tales of Woe; and Free Boat: Collected Lies and Love Poems; fellowship Columbia University; MFA in Creative Writing, Columbia University; Artnet, the Brooklyn Rail, Tin House, Paper Magazine, Artforum, Hyperallergic, Bomb Magazine, Art in America, the PEN Poetry Series, the Los Angeles Times, the Believer, the Rumpus, the Daily Beast, Gawker, Slate, the Paris Review, the Times Literary Supplement, the Wall Street Journal, ElectricLit, Vice, The New York Times, Harpers; anthologized in Best American Essays, Devouring the Green, StoryScape Anthology V2, American Wasteland, The Brooklyn Rail Fiction Anthology, Vitamin PH, 100 Greatest Albums (VH1); Vice Magazine “Employee of the Month,” Longform’s #1 Most Entertaining Essay; works translated into German, French, Russian, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Korean, Latvian and others; performances, workshops and readings of plays in New York, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Maine, Texas, including at the Public Theater in NYC and the Brooklyn Books Festival; two-term member of the board of directors of the National Book Critics Circle; current faculty at The New School University and The New York Arts Program. He’s a decently cool dad. (author photo: David Shankbone)
CELEBRITY GUEST HOST:
Leigh Newman is the books editor of Oprah.com and editor-at-large at Catapult Publishing. Her memoir about Alaska Still Points North (Dial Press) was a finalist for the National Book Critic’s Circle John Leonard Prize. Her fiction, essays and book reviews have appeared in One Story, Tin House, The New York Times, Fiction, New York Tyrant, Vogue, O The Oprah Magazine, Bookforum,and others. She has received fellowships from Breadloaf and the Corporation of Yaddo. She has also read for Pen Parentis – where she premiered the manuscript for her award-winning memoir. We love her: she’s a literary powerhouse and she’s a Pen Parentis mom. (photo by: Sioux Nesi)
Wilson Montuori is a versatile guitarist who performs styles ranging from pop/rock, world, and jazz to classical music. He has recorded for many labels, including Universal Records, Sony Music, Def. Japan, and many more and has performed throughout the world with various musical ensembles. Recipient of the prestigious “Sidney Zolot Award” from City College, and a Masters in Music from Boston University. His compositions are also displayed in the soundtrack for the 2015 feature film “Shelter”.
Pen Parentis Literary Salon opens its eighteenth season with its annual Winter Poetry night. Four gifted poets ring in the new year— Gabriel Fried, Sarah Gambito, Marcia LeBeau and Ginny Wiehardt. They will read from new works and discuss how they balance a career in poetry with an active young family at home. The networking begins at 7pm with wine and light refreshments compliments of Andaz Wall Street. Pen Parentis Literary Salons were founded to celebrate the diversity of creative work by writers that are also parents, and is a great place to meet industry notables.
January 9th’s Salon features:
Gabriel Fried is the author of two poetry collections—the first of which, Making the New Lamb Take, includes a poem about his older son’s circumcision, the second of which, The Children Are Reading, does not (though it does include poems about Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, A Wrinkle in Time, and the Tales of Beatrix Potter). He is the longtime poetry editor at Persea Books.
Sarah Gambito is the author of the poetry collections Delivered (Persea Books) and Matadora (Alice James Books). She is Associate Professor of English / Director of Creative Writing at Fordham University and co-founder of Kundiman, a non-profit organization serving Asian American writers.
Marcia LeBeau‘s poems have been published in The Hiram Review, Moon City Review, SLANT, and elsewhere. Her work has also appeared in O: The Oprah Magazine and has been read on the radio. She has been anthologized in Challenges for the Delusional (Jane Street Press, 2012) and The Crack the Spine Anthology XIV (Crack the Spine Press, 2016).
Ginny Wiehardt’s chapbook Migration won the 2016 Gold Line Press Poetry Chapbook Contest. Her poems have appeared in literary journals including Bellingham Review, Spoon River Poetry Review, Southern Humanities Review, Subtropics, and Willow Springs.