Executive Board

Milda M. De Voe

Founding President,
Milda M. De Voe has been developing Pen Parentis, Ltd, since January 2009. Incorporation as a New York State nonprofit in early 2013 was the realization of a dream. De Voe, herself an award winning writer of short stories and parent of two, has been the recipient of four years of Manhattan Community Arts Fund Grants and one year of grants from The Fund For Creative Communities, as well as grants from Poets & Writers, Inc. and the Sustainable Arts Foundation in support of her work with Pen Parentis Literary Salons, co-founded with colleague, classmate and friend, Arlaina Tibensky. It is De Voe’s hope that Pen Parentis, Ltd, can encourage all writers who are parents to stay on creative track to realize the amazing, thoughtful works of fiction they had been planning before starting a family.

Her author website: www.mmdevoe.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/mmdevoe

Twitter: @mmdevoe

Emily R. Speer

Founding Treasurer, Emily Speer is the Director of Customer Success Operations at Boost Media.  She is focused on scaling a great customer-centric team, creating the processes required for excellent communication and growth at Boost.  Prior to her work in the tech industry, Emily was an independent film and media producer in New York City.  She considers herself a New Yorker (a title she earned after living in Manhattan for eleven years) even though she grew up in the wilds of northern Idaho near the Canadian border and lives in San Francisco.  Emily is a classically trained vocalist and attended the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City.  She has a degree in Musical Theater from The New School University.  When she has some time available, Emily trains for triathlon, enjoys indoor rock climbing, traveling, backpacking and keeping her voice well-tuned singing in San Francisco choirs. Emily has worked with several non-profits and has served on the board as treasurer for Canticorum Virtuosi, Inc. prior to working with Pen Parentis.

Michael Del Castillo

Founding Secretary, Michael Del Castillo is the cofounder and president of Literary Manhattan.  After graduating from Mercer University, Michael studied for one year at Oxford University.  He then moved to New York and worked at the Library Hotel in Manhattan, where the idea for Literary Manhattan was born.  He earned his M.S. from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and splits his time between Literary Manhattan and reporting on innovation and entrepreneurship for The Business Journals.

http://www.bizjournals.com

http://www.literarymanhattan.org 

Laura Larsen

Laura Larsen is an associate in the New York office of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy and a member of the firm’s Leveraged Finance Group. She represents banks and other financial institutions in a broad range of senior lending transactions. Working with partner organizations such as Lawyers Alliance for New York, she has represented several non-profit organizations including Pen Parentis Ltd. in a pro bono capacity in seeking incorporation, implementing by-laws and conflicts of interest policies and applying for 501(c)(3) federal tax exemption status. Prior to joining Milbank, Ms. Larsen worked on a variety of in-house legal and corporate matters at NYSE Euronext. She avidly reads in both English and French and was one of the first “regulars” at a Pen Parentis Salon.

Jamie B. Clarke

Jamie B. Clarke’s volunteer experience is diverse; for the past fifteen years she has been working full-time at home as well as on numerous boards and committees, and since the inception of its reading series in 2009, she has volunteered for Pen Parentis as event photographer and general right-hand helper. As former recording secretary and currently member-at-large on the Allentown Public Library Association’s Board of Directors (the non-profit funding organization which is the private part of a public-private partnership with the Monmouth County Library System) Jamie was responsible for funding nearly everything to do with the physical structure of the library—listed as a Historic Landmark–as well as the on-going operational expenses for the property. Prior to this, she was publicity director for the Saturday Evening Dance Club, a social club established in 1890.

Arlaina Tibensky

Arlaina Tibensky is the author of the novel And Then Things Fall Apart (Simon & Schuster) and a parent of two young boys. Her short fiction and nonfiction have appeared in such places as One Story, Inkwell, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, the Madison Review, and The Dinner Party Download on NPR. A recipient of a New York Foundation for the Arts Artists’ Fellowship in Fiction, she holds a BA from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and an MFA in fiction from Columbia University. An experienced teacher and workshop instructor, she is a co-founder of the Pen Parentis Literary Salons and curatted the series through the 2013 fall season.

Advisory Board

Arthur Phillips

Arthur Phillips is the NY Times notable author of five novels: Prague, named a New York Times Notable Book and recipient of The Los Angeles Times/Art Seidenbaum Award for best first novel; The Egyptologist, an international bestseller on more than a dozen “Best of 2004” lists, Angelica, which made The Washington Post best fiction of 2007 and led that paper to call him “One of the best writers in America,” The Song Is You, a New York Times Notable Book, on the Post’s best of 2009 list which inspired Kirkus to write, “best American novelist to have emerged in the present decade,” finally, The Tragedy of Arthur, published in 2011 to critical acclaim, including being named a New York Times Notable Book. The play taken from that book received its world premiere reading at New York’s Public Theater in 2011 and was fully produced in 2013 by the Guerrilla Shakespeare Project. Three films based on his works are currently in development.  Photo Credit: Barbi Anne Reed
http://www.arthurphillips.info/index.php

Darin Strauss

Darin Strauss is a recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship, a winner of the American Library Association’s Alix Award and The National Book Critics Circle Award, and the internationally-bestselling 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 is a Clinical Associate Professor at NYU’s creative writing program. http://www.darinstrauss.com

Emily Raboteau

Emily Raboteau is the author of a novel, The Professor’s Daughter, and a work of creative nonfiction, Searching for Zion. Raboteau’s awards include a Pushcart Prize, a literature fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, first prize in Spain’s world-class $20K international flash fiction competition (judged by Ambassadors from all over the world) and the Chicago Tribune’s Nelson Algren Award. A consummate world-traveler, she recently visited Antarctica for research. She teaches creative writing at City College in Harlem.   http://www.emilyraboteau.com

Jenna Kalin­sky

Jenna Kalin­sky has pub­lished fic­tion, non­fic­tion and poetry in EM Lit­er­ary, The Okla­homa Review, Eleven Bulls, NYC BigC­ityLit,12 Mag­a­zine, So To Speak, Fam­ily Out­look Mag­a­zine, The Jew­ish Mag­a­zine, Des­cant, and the LA Times best­selling The Mod­ern Jew­ish Girl’s Guide to Guilt (Pen­guin), win­ner of the National Jew­ish Book Award. Her awards and schol­ar­ships include the Toronto Arts Coun­cil, Bread­loaf Writ­ers’ Con­fer­ence, and Eden Mills Lit­er­ary Festival.

Orig­i­nally from Los Ange­les, Jenna received her MFA from Colum­bia Uni­ver­sity. She lives in Toronto, Canada, where she teaches writ­ing and works as a pri­vate writ­ing coach and edi­tor. She is in the final stages of a novel.

Jennifer Egan

Jennifer Egan is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of five books: The Invisible Circus, released as a feature film by Fine Line in 2001, Emerald City and Other Stories, Look at Me, nominated for the National Book Award in 2001, and the bestselling The Keep.  Her new book, A Visit From the Goon Squad was a national bestseller and won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction, and the LA Times Book Prize.  Also a journalist, she writes frequently in the New York Times Magazine. PHOTO CREDIT: Pieter M. Van Hattem.
http://jenniferegan.com

Maria Granovsky

Maria Granovsky uses her background as a cancer biologist and lawyer  to craft fast-paced, intricately plotted capers, where the protagonists rely on their wits rather than their brawn, and the body count rises only as much as is necessary.  She currently lives in New York City, but has lived a nomadic international existence. Her debut novel, Poison Pill, was published in October 2012. You can follow her on Facebook or Twitter. Photo Credit: Robbie Michaels.

Twitter account: twitter.com/MGranovsky

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/granovskym

Book page on Amazon: http://bit.ly/PoisonPill

Pang-Mei Natasha Chang

Pang-Mei Natasha Chang writes about identity, relationships, and the intersection of cultures, generations and the sexes. Her memoir, Bound Feet & Western Dress (Doubleday/Anchor), has been translated in ten countries, and made into a twelve-part television mini-series in China. Natasha’s writings has been included in the New York Times Magazine, New Haven Review, and Saveur magazine. She has taught writing at Yale University and Bard College. Presently at work on a novel, she lives in Union Square with her two daughters.

John Culloty, photographer

http://www.pmchang.com/

Renée Zuckerbrot

Renée Zuckerbrot has been a literary agent for many years. She worked previously as an editor at Doubleday and in the editorial department at G.P. Putnam’s Sons. She is on PEN’s Membership Committe and the Board of the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses (CLMP). photo credit: Sarah Shatz.

Todd Wellman

Todd Wellman helps people and organizations improve. He works as an editor, writer, and learning designer in several fields, including literary fiction and nonprofits. Recent highlights have been writing for NewFound/HotHouse; helping Boswell Books curate its Emerging Writers program; editing for Cream City Review; designing learning programs for Public Allies, Inc.; and judging the MIT IDEAS Global Challenge. http://toddw.wordpress.com

Allison Scollar

Allison Scollar is a lawyer at Meisel Real Estate. Previously a partner at Gold Scollar Moshan, specializing in the arts and real estate, she was listed in 10 years of Outstanding Women in Real Estate. She has always loved to watch individuals advance their careers and has been a gallery owner specializing in emerging artists, a volunteer at Lawyers for the Arts, and currently also serves on the board of Concert Artists Guild which helps young classical musicians launch careers, and is currently at work on a children’s book.

Leigh Newman

Leigh Newman is deputy editor of Oprah.com, where she writes about books and life and editor-at-large for the indie press Black Balloon Publishing.  Her memoir about her Alaskan childhood, Still Points North (Dial, 2013), premiered while still in manuscript format at one of the earliest Pen Parentis salons. Her essays and short stories have appeared a variety of publications including One Story, Tin House, Fiction, the New York Times, Modern Love. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, two boys and many, many light sabers. Her work can be found at leigh-newman.com

Emily Pulley

Emily Pulley, a famed soprano known for her radiant voice and electrifying acting, has won both national and international acclaim on the operatic stage. Up next, Ms. Pulley will see her role debut as Georgetta in Il Tabarro for the Opera Theatre of St. Louis, performs Julie in Showboat with Central City Opera in Colorado, and returns to the Metropolitan Opera for their production of Shostakovich’s The Nose. She is an avid reader.

Loretta Shapiro

Loretta Shapiro, having recently retired, is now devoting herself wholeheartedly to her painting. Bond Street in Tribeca recently held a retrospective exhibit of her works. As an ardent lover of literature she completed most of a Ph.D. in English Literature before deciding to get a fine arts degree from the School of Visual Arts. A resident of the Financial District for nearly three decades, she is delighted to have been an original attendee at the Pen Parentis Literary Salons, and has been a strong supporter of the series ever since. She also serves as a museum ambassador at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian.

Victor LaValle

Victor LaValle is the author of the short story collection Slapboxing with Jesus, three novels, The Ecstatic (PEN Open Book Award), Big Machine (Shirley Jackson Award for Best Novel, American Book Award), and The Devil in Silver, and a novella, Lucretia and the Kroons. He has been the recipient of numerous awards including several “best of” awards, a Whiting Writers’ Award, a United States Artists Ford Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship and the key to Southeast Queens. He now lives in Washington Heights with his wife, son and daughter. He is acting Fiction Director at Columbia University.