November 13, 2018 @ 7:00 pm – 9:30 pm
November Salon: Betrayal

In continued celebration of their Tenth Anniversary of Literary Salons, Pen Parentis presents authors Helen Benedict, Carla Du Press and Herta Feely at Andaz Wall Street on Tuesday November 13th from 7pm to 9:30pm. The authors will all read on the theme of betrayal. Q&A will follow centering around work-life balance. All authors presented at Pen Parentis are also parents. Co-hosts M. M. De Voe and Christina Chiu will also introduce the new 2018-2019 Pen Parentis Writing Fellow, Jennifer Fliss of Seattle, WA, who will read her winning story, The Balloon Animal Artist Goes to a Funeral, and receive a $1000 check to use towards furthering her writing career.


Helen Benedicta professor at Columbia University, is the author of seven novels, including her latest, Wolf Season, which was reviewed as “required reading”; and Sand Queen, named a “Best Contemporary War Novel” by Publishers Weekly and reviewed by The Boston Globe as “The Things They Carried for women.’” A recipient of both the Ida B. Wells Award for Bravery in Journalism and the James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism, Benedict is also the author of five nonfiction books and a play. Her writings inspired a class action suit against the Pentagon on behalf of those sexually assaulted in the military and the 2012 Oscar-nominated documentary, The Invisible War. She has published in The New York Times, The Nation, Slate, Salon and numerous other publications. Wolf Season was just named a 2018 recommended read for book clubs by the Women’s National Book Association.

Carla Du Pree is the executive director of CityLit Project, a literary nonprofit whose festival won a 2017 Best of Baltimore Award. She’s the recipient of a Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Award in Fiction, a 2016 Rubys Artist Project grant for her novel, a 2017 Poetry Foundation and Virginia Center for the Creative Arts fellow. Excerpts of her work have been published or are forthcoming in several literary journals, including Callaloo, Potomac Review and a special issue of the Pierian Literary Journal, She’s a former adjunct professor at The Johns Hopkins University part-time graduate program, executive director of HoCoPoLitSo, and producer of The Writing Life. She holds an MA from JHU’s Writing Seminars. Two months into her long-awaited graduate program, while fiercely prolific and in the throes of writing a story, a sip of coffee in the wee morning revealed a metallic taste that led to the strong possibility of being pregnant. She quickly learned she was pregnant with triplets, and finished her degree while on bedrest for two months. Carrying very healthy twin boys, she wasn’t able to cross the stage with her peers for fear that through the excitement of it all, she’d have them right then and there…find out more at our salon!

Herta Feely is the author of numerous short stories and essays. She received two fellowships for a novel in progress – the James Jones First Novel Fellowship and an Artist in Literature from the DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities – and an American Independent Writing Prize in Personal Essay (about immigration). Saving Phoebe Murrow is her first published novel. She has also ghostwritten three memoirs and is the co-editor and publisher of an anthology titled Confessions: Fact or Fiction? She founded Chrysalis Editorial in 2007, where she works with a wide array of authors and writers. She is also the co-founder of Safe Kids Worldwide, an organization dedicated to saving children from unintentional injuries, the leading killer of children in the US. Born in the former Yugoslavia, she and her parents emigrated to Germany when she was three, and then to the United States at age seven. She now lives in Washington, DC, with her husband, Jim Feely, and two cats. She is the proud mother of two employed and extremely good-looking adult sons, and believes in arranged marriages, especially for the two of them.

The only regular literary event in the Financial District, Pen Parentis Literary Salons have been a public art project since 2009, inspiring writers who are also parents to stay on creative track by presenting a selection of the creative diversity of work written by such authors. All readings are followed by lively moderated discussions about work-life balance. Wine and other refreshments are generously provided by Andaz Wall Street where the Tuesday night events are hosted.

These events are free and open to the general public (21+ only) with a suggested donation of $10 per event. Donation is automatically waived for supporting Title Members of Pen Parentis, and a limited number of complimentary student and senior tickets are also available. (All writers who are parents are eligible to become Title Members.) Tickets can be reserved at penparentis.org/calendar.

The long-running reading series has recently won a Creative Engagement Grant from New York City and New York State, administered by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. You do not have to be a parent or a writer to enjoy these neighborhood-friendly book events.