– we have a surprise for you  –

A Summer Encore Popup Salon!



it’s the last Salon until September!


“Better Beach Books”

Mat Johnson*            Leslie Gray Streeter*


Anne D LeClaire*


MODERATED BY co-hosts M. M. De Voe & Christina Chiu


click here now to buy or browse their books!

(through the magic of the internet, books bought through that link will benefit the author as well as Pen Parentis and a local brick-and-mortar store near you!)


*first time appearing at a Pen Parentis Salon


A Note about our Salons:

We have proudly moved to a digital format – meetings are LIVE at 7pm (ET) and available nationwide: three authors and our moderators are streamed directly to YouTube and Facebook where anyone can watch the magic happen! There is a playback available on a few days/weeks after each event. Follow @PenParentis on Social Media to be alerted when that is live.

Audience questions can be submitted during the event itself if you are logged on to your Facebook or YouTube account. Great comments are pulled up onscreen for a live-audience experience in real time, without the bother of being on video (or of going outside!). You can also email questions in advance to with the subject “Salon Question.”

While there is a $10 suggested donation per attendee (which is tax-deductible and sustains our programs), Friends and Title Members of Pen Parentis and writers in financial crisis are always free. Donations are used to give honoraria to the featured writers so please be generous and if you have the means, please buy your tax-deductible ticket for “THE FRONT ROW”! All Salons live forever on our YouTube channel for your at-leisure viewing or reviewing! 

You can get each featured author’s latest books and explore their other works through this Bookshop link – just look for the “shelf” that corresponds to this month’s salon. If you purchase it, the book will come from an independent brick-and-mortar bookstore in YOUR area, will help the author, and will also generate a small donation to our nonprofit. Win-win-win!

The Pen Parentis Literary Salon is a unique 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 online! Chat with our authors, be heard! Participate in discussions with writers in real time.

Readings by small groups of exemplary authors, writers, and poets (all are parents, usually organized by a theme) are followed by lively roundtable discussions moderated by Pen Parentis founder M. M. De Voe and Salons curator Christina Chiu. Come join the fun! You don’t have to be a parent or even a writer to enjoy these events – all lovers of the written word are welcome to join us!

Trust Kirkus?  Click here to get Christina’s award winning novel, Beauty! a 2020 Best Book of the Year

M. M.’s new book about Pen Parentis won first prize at the Indie Book Awards and is filled with advice and tricks learned from the writers at our salons about getting your novel written. Midwest Book Review called it “a mandatory read” for all writers who have kids of any age! Click here to get  it.

Scroll down past the mailing list signup to view archives of photos and livecasts from past Salons.

SPRING 2022 – Season 27
Feb 2022/ Oral Storytelling
Devan Sandiford*
Regina Stoops*
Lily Be*
March 8, 2022/Unspoken Histories
Catherine Kapphahn*
Stephanie Han*
Sandell Morse*
April 2022/Resistance
Michelle Herman*
Lauren Francis Sharma*
Susanna Horng*
May 2022/Power — Season Closer!
Jacquelyn Mitchard*
Sadeqa Johnson*
Marie Myung-Ok Lee
*first time at Pen Parentis!

$10 donation is optional (but please give if you can!)

This season of PEN PARENTIS LITERARY SALONS is made possible in part with public funds from Creative Engagement, supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and administered by LMCC.

Through your generosity, this series pays writers and remains free for audiences – make a donation by clicking here.


Sign up to be on our Salons mailing list to be the first to hear of Salons news, even if you’re not a writer-parent!


Miss anything??

ALL SALON PLAYBACKS ARE AVAILABLE ON – subscribe and never miss a thing!

FALL 2021 – Season 26

Sept 14/Back to School
Peter Lerangis*
Jennifer J Chow*
Jennie Englund*
Elizabeth Pagel-Hogan

October 2021/Searching for Safety
Tommy Dean*
Maya Shanbhag Lang*
Andrew Altschul*
November 9, 2021/The Haves & The Have Nots
Jotham Burrello* (textile)
Amy Shearn
Sara Schaff*
December 14, 2021/Holiday Season Closer
David Ebenbach
David Mura*
Rion Amilcar Scott*
January 2022/Annual Poetry Salon
Julie Bloemeke*
Sean Hill*
Jennifer Franklin*

“Writing with kids underfoot” – May 2021 – END OF OUR 25th Season

25th Season Closer with literary powerhouses premiering new work: Livecast on May 11, 2021 featuring Joshua Henkin, Sergio Troncoso & Alice Elliot Dark. Watch the playback. Browse their BOOKS.

“Love & Loss” – April 2021

April 13, 2021. Marion Winik, Melanie S. Hatter and Marian Fontana read from new work and discuss many aspects of loss. Marian lost her firefighter husband in 9-11. Melanie wrote of the loss of a sister. Marion rounded out the evening with a loss that was not only communal, but hilarious. Watch the playback of the Livecast. And purchase their books through this link.

“Identity” – March 2021

March 9, 2021. Bryan Van Dyke,  Dylan Landis, and Angela Himsel read from new work and Dylan actually premiered an unpublished novel! Discussion centered on Identity: who gets to define who we are, or do we actually get to choose for ourselves? What happens when the world disagrees with our opinions of who/what we are. Who has the final word? Click to browse or purchase THEIR BOOKS. And here is a link to the Livecast recording.

“First Generation” – February 2021

February 9, 2021. Esther Amini, Kris Jansma, and Tina Chang read memoir, a novel excerpt and poetry respectively, and engaged in vibrant discussion about first generation Americans. Highlights include an exchange about honor and a conversation about respecting heritage vs. embracing freedoms. Here’s a link to the Livecast recording.
THEIR BOOKS can be browsed and purchased through this link.

13th Annual Poetry Salon

January 12, 2021. Three outstanding poets, each a talent unto themselves: Anselm Berrigan, Mary Harpin, and Artress Bethany White read many poems, told many stories, and kept the audience enraptured for our Annual Winter Poetry Salon. Moderated by M. M. De Voe and Christina Chiu. Livecast recording right here!

24th Season Closer

December 8, 2020. A star-studded night with American Book Award winner Trey Ellis discussing his Emmy nominated scripts, with Mermaids-novelist and Pen Parentis favorite Patty Dann presenting her newest novel The Wright Sisters, and National Book Award winner Julia Glass reading from her unpublished forthcoming novel! Moderated by M. M. De Voe and Christina Chiu. Livecast recording now available! Here are their many, many books to peruse!

“The F Word (Feminism)”

November 10, 2020. Bushra Rehman, Matt Jakubowski and Robert Levy and introducing our new Pen Parentis Writing Fellow: DAWN RYAN! co-hosts M. M. De Voe and Christina Chiu led the discussion about allies, the publishing industry, tastemakers, and what constitutes prestige. THE NOVEMBER BOOKS  link allows you to buy from an indie bookstore near you and Pen Parentis gets a donation too! Video on Facebook (unedited and we are SO sorry about the tech issues).

“Across the USA”

October 13, 2020. We reached out “Across the USA” with a highly intellectual salon featuring the incredible talents of Wendy S Walters, Darin Strauss, and Andrew Simonet. They talked with Christina Chiu and M. M. De Voe about metaphysics, fine arts, family-balance, and the reasons they adore fictional realities. Video recording is available here. Follow this link for October’s books

“New York, New York”

September 8, 2020: Pen Parentis speaks to three native New Yorkers who write and live New York City, including the co-editor of Empire City. David S. Dunbar, Carol LaHines, and Beverly Gologorsky chat with Christina Chiu and M. M. De Voe on a Livecast about loving New York, its energy, synergy, and then there is a fascinating digression about serendipity and whether you can cause it. Click here to see the video recording!  SEPTEMBER’s books

“Alumnae of Pen Parentis”

July 2020: Pen Parentis revisits New York Times-acclaimed novelists Gae Polisner, Joanna Hershon and Elizabeth Kadetsky in an interactive summer Livecast celebration of excellent novels by powerful literary women who also happen to have kids. Click here to see the video recording with Christina Chiu and M. M. De Voe !


June 9, 2020: Helen Schulman  Deborah Paradez  and Davon Loeb discussed Technology in a LiveCast from their homes with hosts Christina Chiu and M. M. De Voe . In addition to reading from new work, they discussed writing during quarantine, having kids at home 24/7, staying on creative track, Black Lives Matter, diversity and how it affects them personally, and how writing intermingles with current events. The recording of the livecast is available here.

“Springtime Grand Slam”

May 12:  Gish Jen, Ted O’Connell, and Granville Wyche Burgess joined on a Livecast from a country home in upstate Vermont, a small town in Washington state, and the Deep South to talk baseball, Kafka, renewals, rejuvenations, and other beginnings–including their own! Moderated by M. M. De Voe and   Christina Chiu, whose book Beauty, was newly launched that week –Granville told us about his days of being an Emmy nominated screenwriters, and Gish explained where she got the ideas in her novel The Resisters. Ted even plays his guitar! Check out this recording of the livecast.

“Transforming Discouragement into Motivation”

April 14 – our Technology Salon was postponed to June 9th, so Christina Chiu rounded up some good friends of Pen Parentis to talk about a topic dear to the heart of all writers. This star-studded panel, with Sergio Troncoso, Marie Myung-Ok Lee, Charles Salzberg and M. M. De Voe, moderated by Chiu, originally presented on this topic in 2019 at the AWP Writing conference in Portland, OR. Reconvened online during the pandemic, this inspiring talk was recorded live on the date the Salon should have run. Watch the entire roundtable.


March 10 – with Kathryn Curto (because of Covid-19 related concerns, David Ebenbach and Caroline Hagood were unable to make it)  — what should have been a full house was instead an intimate roundtable!

To see our photos from the event, click here.

To watch the Livecast recording (from the day before New York City closed its public spaces), click here.


February 11: with Richard Peabody and Dawn Raffel (Jose de Pierola was unable to make the event)

Photos from the event, click here!

To watch the Livecast recording, click here.


January 14: “Annual Poetry Salons” with poets Sarah Kain Gutowski, Tim Donnelly, Diane Mehta (canceled due to illness), Len Lawson, and Nancy Hoch.

Check out the photos! 

Watch Livecast Recording. (thanks for recording this, Lisette!)


September 10: “Freedom” with Renee Simms, Virginia Hartman & Jess DeCourcy Hinds   —  


October 8: “Alternative Lives” with Amy Edwards, Janice Eidus, and Randon Billings Noble

Watch the livecast recording

November 12: “Small Towns, USA” with Marie Lee, Jimin Han, and Keetje Kuipers

See the photos

Watch the livecast recording

December 10: Annual Author Mingle & Season Closer – “All in the Family,” with Terese Svoboda, Susan Van Sciver, and Huda Al-Marashi

See the photos

Watch the livecast recording