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Red Hen Press, a Los Angeles independent publisher founded by Kate Gale, offers poetry readings, poetry contests, book awards, and more.

Chicken Scratch: The Red Hen Press Blog

5 Literary Events We’re Looking Forward to This Week (07/18/17)

Looking to get literary this summer? Here are some events we at Red Hen press are looking forward to this week!


(1) July 18, 2017 at 7:30 pm, Los Angeles, CA FREE – Nicole J. Georges discusses her graphic novel memoir Fetch at Skylight Books

Dog lovers rejoice! Nicole J. Georges is doing a reading from her new graphic novel Fetch: How a Bad Dog Brought Me Home. The memoir-in-pictures chronicles the story of her relationship with Beija, a shar-pei/corgi mix with a troublesome temper she adopted when she was sixteen. For the next fifteen years Bejia is the one constant in Georges’ life. Through rocky relationships, depression and the Portland punk scene, Bejia was present with her “Don’t Pet Me” bandana.

Read more about the event here.

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(2) July 20, 2017 at 6:00 pm, Chicago, IL FREE – Forms & Features at Chicago Public Library: Rhyme

Join the Chicago Public Library in a discussion about and creative workshop about rhyme in poetry, moderated by Poetry Foundation Library Coordinator Maggie Queeney.

All experience levels are welcome to a discussion and creative workshop .

Learn more about it on the event page.

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(3) July 22, 2017 at 11:00 am, Los Angeles, CA FREE – Poetry Postcards III at Beyond Baroque

Love poetry and unhappy with our current administration? Do something about it! Join the Beyond Baroque community in writing and mailing protest poems to political representatives. All supplies are provided, including a list of local and national representatives. Donations are accepted but not required.

Get more information on the Beyond Baroque website calendar.

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(4) July 22, 2017 at 1:00 pm, Berkeley, CA FREE – Reading from The Man Who Lit Lady Liberty at the Berkeley Public Library

Richard Schwartz will discuss and read from his new book The Man Who Lit Lady Liberty. It is the story of actor M.B. Curtis who funded the lighting of the Statue of Liberty. Curtis reached the pinnacle of celebrity fame, as well as the depths of failure in his long career as an actor, producer, real estate developer, promoter, hotelier, benefactor, and even murder suspect.

Learn more about the event here.

(5) July 22, 2017 at 8:00 pm, Los Angeles, CA FREE – The Late Show: An Evening with Michael Connelly at the Last Bookstore

Join the Last Bookstore as they host Michael Connelly, New York Times bestselling author of 29 books, including The Wrong Side of Goodbye and The Crossing. Connelly will discuss his newest novel, and introduce his brand new character, LAPD Detective Renée Ballard. The story follows her as she investigates the murder of a prostitute left for dead in a parking lot and the killing of a young woman in a nightclub shooting.

It’s sure to be an interesting evening. Make sure you arrive early to get a spot. Learn more about the evening and the book itself here.

5 Literary Events We’re Looking Forward to This Week

We at Red Hen Press have a few suggestions for things to do in an attempt to escape the heat this week. We hope to see you at some of these events!

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(1) June 21, 2017 at 7:15 pm, Los Angeles, CA FREE – Daring to Drive: A Saudi Woman’s Accidental Activism at the Los Angeles Library’s Mark Taper Auditorium

From growing up as a devout woman from a modest family in Saudia Arabia to becoming an unexpected leader of a courageous movement to support women’s right to drive, Manal al-Sharif recounts her life’s journey in her ferociously intimate new memoir Daring to Drive: A Saudi Woman’s Awakening. When working in the male-dominated field of computer security engineering in her twenties, al-Sharif was labeled a slut for chatting with male colleagues. Her teenage brother chaperoned her on business trips, and while she kept a car in her garage, she was forbidden from driving down city streets behind the wheel. No longer able to tolerate the Saudi kingdom’s contradictions, al-Sharif stood up to a kingdom of men—and won. Discussing her powerful story of resilience with Kelly McEvers, co-host of NPR’s All Things Considered, al-Sharif explores the difficulties, absurdities, and joys of making your voice heard.

Find out more on their event page.

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(2) June 22, 2017 at 7:30 pm, Los Angeles, CA FREE – The Grim Sleeper: The Lost Women of South Central by Christine Pelisek at The Last Bookstore

The Last Bookstore is hosting award-winning investigative reporter Christine Pelisek and her new book, The Grim Sleeper. Join them to learn more about the hunt to find the most ruthless serial killer in Los Angeles’s history. Christine will be interviewed by Associated Press reporter Sandy Cohen.

Find out more on their event page.

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(3) June 23, 2017 at 8:00 pm, Venice, CA PAID ADMISSION – Christopher Merrill Reads with David St. John at Beyond Baroque

Christopher Merrill has published six collections of poetry, including Brilliant Water, and Watch Fire, for which he received the Lavan Younger Poets Award from the Academy of American Poets; translations of Aleš Debeljak’s Anxious Moments and The City and the Child; and has edited several volumes. David St. John is the author of twelve collections of poetry including Study for the World’s Body, nominated for The National Book Award in Poetry. Join them for a reading and discussion at Beyond Baroque.

Find out more on their calendar page.

(4) June 24, 2017 at 4:00 pm, Los Angeles, CA FREE – Sitting in Bars with Cake – Audrey Shulman – Recipe Tasting at The Last Bookstore

The Last Bookstore will host Audrey Shulman for a complimentary cake tasting of recipes from her memoir, Sitting in Bars with Cake: Lessons & Recipes from One Year of Trying to Bake My Way to a Boyfriend this Saturday. Audrey will be handing out free cake (and maybe even free stories) based on her year long adventure barhopping around town with dessert.

Find out more on their event page.

(5) June 25, 207 at 4:00 pm, Los Angeles, CA FREE – Cari Lynn with Saul Sarabia, Antoinette Carter, and Tiffany Jonhson Discuss BECOMING MS. BURTON at Skylight Books

Joing Skylight Books for a discussion of this story of one woman’s remarkable odyssey from tragedy to prison to recovery-and recognition as a leading figure in the national justice reform movement.

Find out more on their event page.


Gift Ideas for Father’s Day

This Saturday is Father’s Day, and just like for Mother’s Day, Red Hen has got your last-minute gift needs covered! Whether your father is a fan of literature or you are just hoping to share a good read with him, we have some amazing books for your dad to sit back and relax with. Here are a few of our titles that are perfect for all the fantastic fathers out there!

For the comic-book lover:
Oldguy Superhero by William Trowbridge and Suicide Hotline Hold Music by Jessy Randall
Both Oldguy and Suicide Hotline are books of poetry accompanied by illustrations. These poems will have your dad laughing and crying at the same time. Filled with fun poems about aging and introspective poems that leave the reader asking tough questions, Trowbridge and Randall are definitely collections to add to your father’s library!
For the boyscout at heart:
Lessons from Summer Camp by Jim Tilley
How many times have you sat with your father and discussed his boyscout days, or his youth during which he ran wild with his friends climbing trees and scraping knees? In Lessons from Summer Camp, Jim Tilley takes a fifty-year retrospective look at a ten-year period during his childhood and adolescence to discover what summer camp was really about. If your dad has even a drop of adventurous spirit in him, he will love this book!
For the too-busy-to-finish-a-novel:
Birds of Paradise Lost by Andrew Lam and The Mighty Currawongs by Brian Doyle
Lam and Doyle’s collections of stories touch on subjects ranging from the trials of war, questioning faith to what it might be like to sing in a ska band. These collections of short stories are perfect for the fathers who enjoy short but impactful stories. Gift your dad with one of these titles and he’ll thank you before he’s finished the first chapter.
For the philosopher:
Song of Two Worlds by Alan Lightman
If you ever find yourself getting into long debates with your father over the larger questions in life, Lightman’s collection is a must read that your dad will thank you for every day! Following a mysterious personal tragedy, the narrator awakens one morning revitalized and begins a Dante-like journey to find something to believe in, turning to the worlds of science, philosophy, religion, and human life. Song of Two Worlds‘ message reached across the world to Bangalore, India where Derek Domnic D’souza was so enraptured by Lightman’s work, he began illustrating each chapter. This reprinting features D’souza’s brilliant work!
For the devoted husband
The Love Project by Wanda Coleman and  Austin Straus and Sex World by Ron Koertge
The Love Project and Sex World are perfect for the father that wants to stay up to date and learn about the numerous view-points that exist on love. While Coleman and Straus’s work covers the strain politics puts on their relationship, Koertge’s collection covers a wide array of stories that discuss heartbreak, a secret in Lois Lane’s diary and how mother and father met. These collections will keep your father turning pages long into the night.

5 Literary Events We’re Looking Forward to This Week (06/13/2017)

In case you’re still searching for that perfect mid-June read, check out this various literary events we’re excited for in the next week here in Los Angeles!

(1) June 13th, 2017 at 7:00 PM, DTLA, CA $16.99 – Rachel Ballinger Reading and Signing at The Last Bookstore

Join The Last Bookstore in welcoming YouTube sensation, Rachel Ballinger, for a reading and signing of her newest book 101 Things That Piss Me Off, based off her sit YouTube series You Know What Pisses Me Off? Tickets for the event include the cost of the book, so all ticket holders will receive a copy of the book upon arrival.

Find out more on their event page.

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(2) June 14th, 2017 at 7:30 PM, Los Angeles, CA FREE – Daniel Riley & Rosecrans Baldwin Reading at Skylight Books

Enjoy a free reading at Skylight Books in Los Feliz, LA featuring Daniel Riley and Rosecrans Baldwin! Riley will be reading from his new book, Fly Me, while Baldwin will be reading from his newest offering, The Last Kid Left.

Find out more on their event page.

(3) June 16th, 2017 at 7:30 PM, DTLA, CA FREE – SO MUCH I WANT TO TELL YOU by Anna Akana Reading at The Last Bookstore

Join The Last Bookstore in launching Anna Akana‘s newest book, So Much I Want to Tell You, a collection of letters to Akana’s younger sister.

Find out more on their event page.

(4) June 17th, 2017 at 6:00 PM, DTLA, CA FREE – Sisters in Crime Los Angeles Presents LAst Resort at The Last Bookstore

The Los Angeles chapter of Sisters in Crime, celebrating 30 years supporting women authors, proudly presents the latest anthology from our members: LAst Resort, a convergence of the schemes and misdeeds of characters drawn to the cultural panoply that is Los Angeles. Join them at The Last Bookstore in Downtown LA for the launch!

Find out more on their event page.

(5) June 19th, 2017 at 7:30 PM, DTLA, CA FREE – The Ghost Daughter: The Shaker of Truth – Reading and Music at The Last Bookstore

The Last Bookstore is please to present Venice-based musicians and artists k-blamo and Sacramento author Maureen O’Leary in their performance The Ghost Daughter: The Shaker of Truth. Join us for music, sweets, and a reading of The Ghost Daughter, inspired by the Loma Prieta earthquake the author and artists survived in 1989 downtown Santa Cruz.

Find out more on their event page.


5 Literary Events We’re Looking Forward to This Week (6/6/17)

June is a great time to pick up a new book, so with that in mind here are five literary events Red Hen Press would like to suggest in this upcoming week! Make sure to stop by and enjoy readings and signings by authors and get inspired to start a new book.

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(1) June 8th, 2017, 7:30 PM, Brooklyn, NY FREE – Red Hen Press Reading at Greenlight Bookstore

Enjoy an evening with three Red Hen authors, Ellen Meeropol, Siel Ju, and Amy Hassinger!

Ellen Meeropol presents her latest book Kinship of Clover, the story of a young man caught between political activism and extremism. Siel Ju presents her novel-in-stories Cake Time, about a young woman exploring the dark and complex undertones of her sexual encounters. Amy Hassinger presents After the Dam, a lyrical novel set in the wilds of the Wisconsin north woods about the transformative power of motherhood.

Meeropol, Ju, and Hassinger read from their work, followed by a discussion and Q&A.

Find out more on our Facebook event.

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(2) June 13th, 2017, 6:30 PM, Los Angeles, CA FREE – Red Hen Press Reading at Annenberg Community Beach House

Join Red Hen Press author Cynthia Hogue and local poet David St. John for a reading in our Annenberg series at the Annenberg Community Beach House off the Pacific Coast Highway in Santa Monica. Also enjoy a musical performance by Justin Jackson. This event is being hosted in collaboration with the Poetry Society of America.

Read more about the authors on our website or find out more on our Facebook event.

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(3) June 11, 2017, 5:00 PM, Venice, CA $10 – Voice in the Well cultural programming at Beyond Baroque

Join Beyond Baroque, a literary arts center in Venice, for an evening of cultural arts programming hosted by Eric Vollmer. Enjoy the talents of authors, poets, musicians, and comics as they explore literary and cultural themes in a thought provoking and entertaining way.

Find out more on their event page.

(4) June 15, 2017, 7.30pm, DTLA, CA FREE – The Last Bookstore hosts Mark As Spam: An Email Game Show

Join five comedians as they “leak” their emails onstage to the Last Bookstore. If you can guess whether the emails are real ones they’ve sent, or just made up, you could win big! Prizes include a You’ve Got Mail Tote Bag, an autographed copy of Best American Emails, or even a list of thousands of email addresses bought off ebay. The event features Danielle Radford (Screen Junkies), Jamie Loftus (Cracked), Brodie Reed (@midnight), and Allegra Ringo (Vice), and is hosted by Joey Clift from Cartoon Network, with Special Guest Laura Silverman from Bob’s Burgers. It’s an event not to be missed!

For more information, or to RSVP check out the Last Bookstore’s event page here

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(5) June 10th, 2017, 5:00 PM, Los Feliz, CA FREE – Nicholas Bredie & Andrew Wessels Reading and Discussion at Skylight Books

Join author Nicholas Bredie as he discusses his forthcoming novel Not Constantinople with poet Andrew Wessels at favorite Northeast Los Angeles bookstore, Skylight Books.

Find out more on their event page.

5 Literary Events We’re Looking Forward to This Week (5/30/17)

As we near the end of May and start feeling the summer heat, we at Red Hen Press would like to suggest a few literary events! Go enjoy readings and signing by these brilliant authors while you escape from the sun a while.

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(1) June 1, 2017, 2 pm, Los Angeles, CA FREE – PEN In The Community: POPP Anthology Reading at The Last Bookstore

The Last Bookstore presents students from the Police Orientation & Preparation Program (POPP), who will read from their anthology of poetry and creative non-fiction titled Stories Out of the Blue. Stories Out of the Blue is the result of a ten-week Pen In The Community residency taught by writer and teaching artist Carlos Castellanos. Please join The Last Bookstore as students share original work which reflects their communities, memories, origins, and more.

Find out more on their Facebook event.

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(2) June 1, 2017, 6:30 pm, Santa Monica, CA FREE – Publication Party! Nadine Jolie Courtney discusses and signs Romancing the Throne at DIESEL, A Bookstore

DIESEL, A Bookstore in Brentwood will host Nadine Jolie Courtney to the store to discuss her Young Adult novel, Romancing the Throne, on Thursday, June 1st at 6:30 pm. This will be her publication party and all are welcome and encouraged to attend!

Find out more on their event page.

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(3) June 2, 2017, 12 pm, Pasadena, CA FREE – PMCA 1234: First Free Friday & 15th Birthday!

On Thursday Red Hen Press will join PMCA in celebration of the museum’s fifteenth anniversary. This free, all-ages event will welcome the community to explore the museum, participate in arts and crafts, and enjoy complimentary refreshments. The evening will conclude with a reading by Red Hen authors William Archila, Douglas Manuel and Lisa C. Krueger, beginning at 6:00 p.m.

Find out more on the Facebook event.

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(4) June 4, 2017, 4 pm, West Hollywood, CA FREE – Renate Stendhal discusses and signs Kiss Me Again, Paris at Book Soup

Book Soup will have Renate Stendhal in for a discussion and signing of her book Kiss Me Again, Paris this Sunday. We encourage you to go and enjoy these incredible stories and recollections of her life in Paris.

Find out more on their Facebook event.

(5) June 2, 2017, 7:30 pm, Los Angeles, CA FREE – Tommy Pico reads from his new book of poetry Nature Poem, together with Melissa Broder at Skylight Books

Join Skylight Books as they host a reading by Tommy Pico and Melissa Broder from Pico’s book of poetry Nature Poem. Nature Poem follows Teebs―a young, queer, American Indian (or NDN) poet―who can’t bring himself to write a nature poem. For the reservation-born, urban-dwelling hipster, the exercise feels stereotypical, reductive, and boring. He hates nature. He prefers city lights to the night sky. He’d slap a tree across the face. He’d rather write a mountain of hashtag punchlines about death and give head in a pizza-parlor bathroom; he’d rather write odes to Aretha Franklin and Hole. But Teebs gradually learns how to interpret constellations through his own lens, along with human nature, sexuality, language, music, and Twitter. Even while he reckons with manifest destiny and genocide and centuries of disenfranchisement, he learns how to have faith in his own voice.

Find out more on their event page.

5 Literary Events We’re Looking Forward to This Week (5/24/17)

We at Red Hen Press are hoping that you’re having a wonderful week and that your Memorial Day weekend is shaping up to be relaxing. We have a number of events coming up this week that we are very excited about! With a few of our poets reading in Chicago and New York in addition to the fabulous California events, this week is a literary wonderland!

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(1) May 25, 2017, 7 pm, Chicago, IL FREE – Poetry off the Shelf: Elise Paschen & Laura Kasischke at Poetry Foundation & Poetry Magazine

Elise Paschen is the author of Bestiary (2009), Infidelities (1996), winner of the Nicholas Roerich Poetry Prize, and Houses: Coasts (1985). The Nightlife, her new collection, will be published by Red Hen Press in Spring 2017. Paschen teaches in the MFA Writing Program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Poet and novelist Laura Kasischke has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as the National Book Critics Circle Award, among other honors. Her latest novel is Mind of Winter (2014) and her new collection is Where Now: New & Selected Poems (2017).

Read more information on the Poetry Foundation event page!

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(2) May 25, 2017, 7:30 pm, Los Angeles, CA FREE – Golden State 2017 Anthology Release Party at The Last Bookstore

The Last Bookstore will be presenting a reading celebrating the release of the anthology Golden State 2017: Best New Writing from California, the fourth volume in the series formerly known as California Prose Directory! Editor Lisa Locascio will host, and contributors Lou Matthews, Michael Jaime-Becerra, Anthony J. Mohr, Vincent Poturica, Elizabeth Hall, Seth Fischer, Ashton Politanoff, Rebecca Baumann, Ron Gutierrez, Anne-Marie Kinney, and Jasper Henderson will read. Authors will be on hand to sign copies of the book after the reading. Don’t miss this unique gathering of local voices!

The store has limited capacity, a mere 300, so get there early!

Find out more on their Facebook event.

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(3) May 27, 2017, 4:00 pm, Los Angeles, CA $10 – The Wandering Song Publication Reading with Tia Chucha Press at Beyond Baroque

Beyond Baroque is excited to celebrate the publication Tia Chucha Press’ landmark anthology The Wandering Song. The first-ever comprehensive literary survey of the Central American diaspora by a U.S. publisher, The Wandering Song captures the complexity of a rapidly growing community that shares certain experiences with other Latino groups, but also offers its own unique narrative. This reading – like the book – will showcase writers who render a multiplicity of experiences, as refugees from the wars of the 1980s to those who barely remember the homeland or who were born in El Norte. The event will be hosted by Leticia Hernandez Linares who, who is joining us from San Francisco. Tia Chucha Press publisher Luis Javier Rodriguez will also be attending.

Visit their Facebook event to find out more!

(4) May 28, 2017, 5:00 pm, Los Angeles, CA FREE – Kelly Lytle Hernandez Discusses Her Book City Of Inmates at Skylight Book Store

Los Angeles incarcerates more people than any other city in the United States, which imprisons more people than any other nation on Earth. This book explains how the City of Angels became the capital city of the world’s leading incarcerator. But City of Inmates is also a chronicle of resilience and rebellion, documenting how targeted peoples and communities have always fought back. This book recounts how the dynamics of conquest met deep reservoirs of rebellion as Los Angeles became the City of Inmates, the nation’s carceral core. Join Skylight as Kelly discusses dark but enthralling history of Los Angeles that led to The City of Angeles becoming the City of Inmates.

Learn more about Kelly on Skylight’s event page.

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(5) May 30, 2017, 7:00 pm, New York, NY FREE – Reading at Book Culture

Join Red Hen Press authors Kate Gale, Kim Dower, and Carol Becker as they share their amazing works of poetry and essays!

Kate Gale’s The Goldilocks Zone, according to Billy Collins, former U.S. Poet Laureate, explores the world around us using “clipped jumpy rhythm” and “sudden bursts of syntax.”

Kim Dower’s Last Train to the Missing Planet is described by Richard Blanco, Presidential Inaugural Poet, as examining “that space where the soul and the truest self live.”

Carol Becker’s Losing Helen is a first-person narrative essay of a daughter’s journey through the process of losing her ninety-eight-year-old mother. Marianne Hirsch, author of The Generation Of Postmemory, called Becker’s essay “a gift of courage amidst inconsolable loss for which her readers will be grateful.”

Learn more about the authors by visiting our website.

5 Literary Events We’re Looking Forward to This Week (5/16/17)

We at Red Hen Press are hoping your week is treating you well and that all of you enjoyed a meaningful Mother’s Day! This week there are quite a few readings happening here in California as well as a very special event hosted by one of our own authors that we think is going to be fun, unique, and unforgettable. We hope to see you there!

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(1) May 16, 2017, 6 pm, San Francisco, CA FREE – Everywhere Home: An Evening with authors Fenton Johnson and Andrew Lam at the San Francisco Public Library

Authors Fenton Johnson and Andrew Lam will be at the San Francisco Public Library tonight for a discussion of their works. Fenton Johnson’s most recent book is Everywhere Home: A Life in Essays, which are new and selected essays from 30+ years of essay publishing. Many of these are set in San Francisco, where he was a staff writer for the New York Times based in SF during part of those years—and there’s a section (“Journals of the Plague Years”) of essays set in the first years of the AIDS epidemic.  Andrew Lam is a senior editor at New American Media and author of three books, including a very fine collection of short stories Birds of Paradise Lost published by Red Hen Press.

Find out more on their calendar page.

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(2) May 18, 2017, 7:15 pm, Los Angeles, CA FREE – Black Hole Blues and Other Songs from Outer Space at the Los Angeles Central Library

Head over to the Los Angeles Central Library on the 18th to hear two physicists and writers discuss their books and the science behind them. Janna Levin, one of today’s most eminent theoretical astrophysicists and an award-winning writer, recounts the fascinating story of the surprises, disappointments, achievements, and risks of the scientists who embarked on an epic endeavor to capture the first sounds from space in her latest book, Black Hole Blues and Other Songs from Outer Space. Join the Central Library as Levin explores this radical scientific campaign to record the soundtrack of our universe with cosmologist Sean Carroll.

Find out more on their event page.

(3) May 19, 2017, 7:30 pm, Los Angeles, CA FREE – Guy Delisle Discusses his Nonfiction Graphic Novel Hostage, with David Ulin at Skylight Books

Join award-winning cartoonist Guy Delisle at Skylight Books for the launch of his highly anticipated, non-fiction page-turner: Hostage. Set in the Caucasus region in 1997, Hostage tells the true story of Doctors Without Borders administrator Christophe Andre who was held captive for over three months. Recounting his day-to-day survival while conveying the psychological effects of solitary confinement, Delisle’s storytelling doesn’t just show André’s experiences, but brings you into the room alongside him. Hostage is a thoughtful, intense, and undeniably moving graphic novel that takes a profound look at what drives our will to survive in the darkest of moments.

Find out more on their event page.

(4) May 21, 2017, 2 pm, Pasadena, CA, RSVP ONLY – Garden Poetry & Art Walk Hosted by Red Hen Press

To celebrate the release of local author Lisa C. Krueger’s new collection of poetry, Run Away to the Yard, Red Hen Press will host a Garden Poetry and Art Walk at Krueger’s Pasadena home on May 21 from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. This unique, intimate event will feature artwork and poetry from over a dozen local poets and artists, all of which will be displayed throughout Krueger’s garden. Guests will be welcomed to peruse the pieces at their leisure and refreshments will be served. The walk is open to the public, but names of attendees must be sent to publicity@redhen.org with the subject “GardenWalk RSVP” to receive the address.

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(5) May 23, 2017, 7:30 pm, Beverly Hills, CA FREE – An Evening with Dennis Lehane at the Writers Guild Theater

Dennis Lehane is an international bestselling author and screenwriter best known for his edgy, morally complex, and effortlessly masterful stories that often take place in his hometown of Boston. Now a resident of Los Angeles, many of Lehane’s novels have been adapted into award-winning films, including Mystic River, Shutter Island, Gone, Baby, Gone, and the recently released prohibition-era drama Live by Night. His new book, Since We Fell, follows the psychological drama of Rachel Childs, a former journalist who after an on-air mental breakdown, must reckon with the truths of her new reality. Join the Writers Guild Theater for a special evening with Lehane as he discusses his latest work, his dynamic storytelling, and genre-breaking career with fellow book and screen writer Attica Locke.


A Few Gift Ideas for Mother’s Day

This Sunday is Mother’s Day and we here at Red Hen Press have your back when it comes to (admittedly last minute) gift ideas! Whether the person you’re buying for loves literature or you’d like to share a favorite collection or novel with them, these are three of our own titles that we think are perfect for the occasion due to their honest (and sometimes brutal) depiction of experiences of motherhood:


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Run Away to the Yard is a unique collection of poems that addresses personal identity within the contemporary culture. Krueger’s poems challenge old notions of self, asking readers to reconsider what brings meaning to daily life. Through the lens of close observation—much like a photographer—Krueger examines the complexity of our responses to a convoluted world. Poems ask us to consider who we are when our lives become stripped of the ordinary and expected, whether that be material commodities, health, daily routines, relationships, even memory. These poems aim toward greater compassion—for other people and ultimately for ourselves. Here is one of our favorite poems from the collection:

Donating the Cake Dome

She couldn’t stop–she did it

almost every afternoon while

they napped or later sat

upstairs with homework.

She listened to the scrape

of desk chairs on the ceiling

while she measured and blended,

hummed from oven

to sink, redolence rising

in a sweet promise she thought

was required, didn’t know

how to live without,

all her life afraid

to be empty handed.

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Undone by motherhood, judged by her husband, thirty-two-year-old Rachel Clayborne flees with her baby in the middle of the night for the one place on earth that’s been her refuge: her grandmother’s lakehouse in northern Wisconsin. Hoping to reconnect with a former, healthier self, she instead faces a confused and dying grandmother, her ever-present nurse who seems bent on thwarting each of Rachel’s desires, and a changed ex-boyfriend—her first and most passionate love. As a constant rain threatens the nearby dam, Rachel struggles to discern what’s happened to the past, who she’s become, and what kind of a life she will make for herself now—one that clings to ghosts or opens bravely to a wild new geography.

From the acclaimed author Amy Hassinger comes a gripping novel that depicts the transformative power of motherhood with honesty, wit, and compassion. Here’s an excerpt we find to be both quiet and beautiful:

“When she’d finished assembling the crib, Rachel stretched out on the twin bed and sank immediately into a deep slumber which lasted fourteen minutes before Dierdre squeaked awake. Drowsily, Rachel lifted Dee from the crib mattress and fed her while she dozed a little while longer.  Eventually, Dee began squirming to be upright, so Rachel dragged herself out of bed, hooked Dierdre into her front pack, and shuffled downstairs to the kitchen, where she descended upon the rack of blueberry muffins cooling on the rack.  Diane caught her peeling the paper off the third muffin while she was still chewing the second.”

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Tess Taylor’s Work and Days is a collection of calendric poems heavily influenced by the year she spent in a cottage in the Berkshires. In that time she was outside the city for the first time in nearly a decade, interning on small farm, and trying to conceive her first child. In poems full of bounty, loss and the mysteries of the body, Taylor offers a rich, severe and memorable meditation about what it meant to try to connect to our bodies, and our time on Earth. Here is the collection’s poem for the month of May:

May Day

They go, the early flags, the glory maples–

so too the daffodils & Lenten roses.

Other petals swirl & nights warm.

Buds thicken & cast shadows:

in a thunderstorm

I almost forget the ice that was.

Narcissi suckle watery paths;

meadows heap up emerald masses.

How green & I want to delight

except this undertow–it pulls so fast

passing before I recognize it.

Like souls in Dante who can’t see the present,

white lilacs curdle in pre-summer heat.

The parade I barely noticed was beginning

is already halfway down the street.  

All of these titles can be purchased through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Indiebound, or your local independent bookstore!

5 Literary Events We’re Looking Forward to This Week (05/09/17)

Happy Tuesday Red Henners! We have an exciting week here in Southern California with two of our very own events and a plethora of other readings going on! Here’s some info on our events this week and a few others we think might interest you!

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(1) May 10, 2017, 7:30 pm, Los Angeles, CA FREE – Yumi Sakugawa Discusses her Book The Little Book of Life Hacks with Krista Suh at Skylight Books

The Little Book of Life Hacks is the perfect gift for recent graduates, young professionals or anyone looking to make their life a little happier, healthier, and more beautiful. Join Skylight books for a discussion about this book and how it could help you!

Find out more on their event page.

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(2) May 11, 2017, 7:15 pm, Los Angeles, CA FREE – In a Western Light: Poetry at the Edge of America at Aloud Library

Red Hen Press co-presents readings by poets Victoria Chang, Brendan Constantine, Kim Dower, Blas Falconer, Amy Gerstler, Douglas Kearney and Brynn Saito at the Aloud Library in Los Angeles.

California is about the magic of the land and the promise of possibility— yet the question remains, for whom? Seven contemporary California poets celebrate the diverse poetry of seven distinguished California writers, hoping to provide a lens through which to experience these visions of a life lived in the harsh clarity of a Western light.

Find out more on our Facebook event.

(3) May 12, 2017, 7:30 pm, Los Angeles, CA FREE – Jenny Han Reading at The Last Bookstore

Join the great people over at The Last Bookstore for a fabulous west coast book party for Jenny Han’s new novel Always and Forever, Lara Jean, featuring a hair station, nail station, and some delicious treats!

Find out more on their Facebook event.

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(4) May 12, 2017, 8 pm, Venice, CA, PAID ADMISSION – Eric Howard and S.A. Griffin Reading at Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center

Poet Eric Howard’s debut collection Taliban Beach Party addresses 9/11 and its aftermath in the context of Los Angeles history, beginning with satire, concluding with prophecy. The collection also makes an examination of office life. Eric is joined by legendary Los Angeles poet S.A. Griffin. $10 Regular admission. Members FREE.

Find out more on their eventbrite page.

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(5) May 15, 2017, 7:30 pm, San Diego, CA FREE – Warwick’s Reading with Lisa C. Krueger

Red Hen Press and Warwick’s are hosting a reading with Lisa C. Krueger, author of Run Away to the Yard. This event is free and open to the public. Reserved Seating is available when the book is pre-ordered from Warwick’s for the event. Only books purchased from Warwick’s will be signed.

Find out more on our Facebook event.