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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

This past weekend was the LA Times Festival of Books and we’re so grateful to those who came out to celebrate literature with us! Now the festival may be over but there are still plenty of literary events to attend this week for all ages and interests. Here are a few that caught our eye.

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(1) April 25, 2017, 6:30 pm, Santa Monica, CA, FREE – Red Hen Press Reading at Annenberg Community Beach House

Join Red Hen Press at the Annenberg Community Beach House in Santa Monica on April 25, 2017 at 6:30 pm for an evening full of vibrant poetry read by the very poets who put pen to paper and brought the poems to life.  Authors Douglas Manuel, Safiya Sinclair, and Jane Mead will be reading and members of the Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra will be performing.  The event is free, but RSVPs are required.

Find out more on our Facebook event.

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(2) April 27, 2017, 11:15 am, Santa Monica, CA, FREE – Cake Time: A Reading at SMC Spring Literary Series

Red Hen Press author and Santa Monica College professor Siel Ju will be reading at Santa Monica College’s spring literary series. She will read from her recently released novel-in-stories, Cake Time.

Find out more here.

(3) April 29, 2017, 8 am, Oroville, CA, PAID ADMISSION – Andrew Lam Speaks at 6th Annual WordSpring Creative Writing Conference

WordSpring offers a full day of inspiring workshops for beginning to advanced writers, and is designed to give you hands-on techniques in writing poetry and fiction including marketing, plot, character, voice and style.
Writers, craft your way to success at the 6th annual WordSpring Creative Writing Conference on Saturday, April 29 at the Butte College main campus, Learning Resource Center from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. A free kick-off reading and reception takes place Friday evening, April 28 with authors Jael Richardson and Andrew Lam, from 7:30 to 9 at Roots Catering, 3221 Esplanade in Chico.

Find out more on their website.

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(4) April 29, 2017, 9 am, Santa Monica, CA, TICKETS REQUIRED – Yallwest Book Festival

YALLWEST is the non-profit behind the April 29th book festival of the same name, benefitting Los Angeles and Santa Monica school libraries. YALLWEST and their sister festival YALLFEST (Charleston, SC), are now the largest teen and middle grade book festivals in the US.

Over 100 authors and presenters will join readers of all ages for a full day of panels, signings, music, photobooths, food trucks, bookselling, cupcake parties, Quidditch gaming, giveaways and constant fun.

Find out more on their Facebook event.

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(5) April 30, 2017, 2 pm, Brentwood, CA, PAID ADMISSION –  April Literary Tea

Join the Los Angeles chapter of the Women’s National Book Association for an afternoon of reading, lunch buffet, and desserts. Acclaimed authors Kerry Kletter, Nina Revoyr and Rufi Thorpe will share their novels – stories that explore the coming-of-age search for identity.

Find out more on their Facebook event.

5 Literary Events We’re Looking Forward to This Week

We’re almost there! The LA Times Festival Books is just around the corner and we couldn’t possibly be more excited! This is the biggest literary festival in the U.S. with huge names and tons of events! The festival is being hosted by USC and is free to attend so we’ll see you there!
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(1) April 22-23, 2017, Los Angeles, CA, FREE – Los Angeles Times Festival of Books at USC

Come join us at the literary event of the year for readings and talks by some of the biggest names in literature like Margaret Atwood, Chuck Palahniuk, Laurel Ann Bogen, Roxanne Gay, T.C. Boyle and so many more! We’ll be there for poetry readings from our own authors Safiya Sinclair (April 22 at 5 pm), Amy Uyematsu (April 23 at 2 pm), and Kim Dower (April 23 at 2:40 pm) on the poetry stage. We’ll also be sharing a booth with the Los Angeles Review so come check us out at booth 934 where we’ll have a plethora of Red Hen titles for sale!


(2) April 21-23, 2017, Los Angeles, CA, TICKETS REQUIRED – the-green-heart project Performances and Booth at the Fabrik Expo

Join the-green-heart project founded by Red Hen author Petra Eiko seven years ago to promote wellness, hope, peace, harmony, and understanding between individuals and nations. Come enjoy a moving exhibit and performance which will surely remind you that “we are all one”

For tickets and more information, visit the expo website.

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(3) April 21, 2017, 2 pm, Claremont, CA, FREE – 25th Anniversary Poetry Marathon at the Honnold Library

Join the award-winning Kingsley & Kate Tufts poets for an afternoon of poetry.  Featured readers include Vievee Francis, Phillip B. Williams, Marianne Boruch, Atsuro Riley, Heidy Steidlymayer, John Koethe, Jennifer Clarvoe, Tom Sleigh, Henri Cole, Charles Harper Webb, Katherine Larson,Catherine Bowman, and more! Light refreshments will be provided.

Find out more on their Facebook event.

(4) April 22, 2017, 1 pm, Great Barrington, MA, $45 – So Much Is In Bud: Cultivating Hope in an Age of Fear.

Join Red Hen Press author Ellen Meeropol along with Jennifer Browdy and Jana Laiz at the Berkshire Fesitval of Women Writers for readings and an invitation to spirited writing!

Find out more on their event page.

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(5) April 25, 2017, 6:30 pm, Santa Monica, CA, FREE – Red Hen Press Reading at Annenberg Community Beach House

Join Red Hen Press at the Annenberg Community Beach House in Santa Monica on April 25, 2017 at 6:30 pm for an evening full of vibrant poetry read by the very poets who put pen to paper and brought the poems to life.  Authors Douglas Manuel, Safiya Sinclair, and Jane Mead will be reading and members of the Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra will be performing.  The event is free, but RSVPs are required.

Find out more on our Facebook event.


5 Literary Events We’re Looking Forward to This Week

This is an exciting month to be a fan of literature in Southern California. National Poetry Month is upon us and on April 22nd the LA Times Festival of Books comes to USC for all to enjoy! While we all wait for the Festival, check out these 5 events happening this week here in California.

(1) April 12, 2017, 7:30 pm, Los Angeles, CA, FREE – Jesse Johnson Reads from his Debut Novel at Skylight Books

Jesse Johnson will be reading from his debut novel Yearbook at Skylight books. Go support this hilarious and moving debut novel about learning to believe in yourself again. Whether you have yet to start high school or you graduated decades ago, you’re sure to love Yearbook and the whip-smart Lester Smith.

Find out more on their event page.


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(2) April 13, 2017, 7 pm, La Canada Flintridge, CA, FREE – Diversity of Desire, Writing Queer Perspectives hosted by Flintridge Bookstore and Coffeehouse

Come enjoy a panel moderated by Erin Judge with Catie Disabato, Dan Lopez, and Martin Pousson bringing together Southern California’s most exciting emerging LGBT voices in conversation about writing novels that feature LGBT characters in diverse contexts and environments, from Louisiana to Chicago to Boston to Florida. Each of these writers deals with the specificities of individual characters and their circumstances, as well as navigating the overarching politics of our society and the evolution of social perspectives.

Find out more on their Facebook event.


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(3) April 15, 2017, 3 pm, West Hollywood, CA, FREE – Red Hen Press Reading hosted by Book Soup

Join Red Hen Press for a fantastic line up of exquisite authors at the cozy Book Soup bookstore in Los Angeles. Enjoy an afternoon full of breath-taking stories read by the brilliant authors who brought them to life. The event will feature Elizabeth Powell, Angela Palm, and Siel Ju.

Find out more on our Facebook event.


(4) April 15, 2017, 5 pm, Los Angeles, CA, FREE – CALARTS MFA Students Read from their Work at Skylight Books

Join Skylight Books for NEXTWORDS, the annual reading series organized, curated by and featuring graduating MFA students of CalArts’ Creative Writing Program. Go out and support these talented new writers!

Find out more on their event page.

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(5) April 19, 2017, 7 pm, Bakersfield, CA, FREE – Brendan Constantine Reading at CSU Bakersfield

Join Red Hen Press author Brendan Constantine as he reads his work in celebration of National Poetry Month. Don’t miss Brendan read! He’s an incredible performer and poet!

Find out more on his Facebook post.

5 Literary Events We’re Looking Forward to This Week

For this week’s spotlight, we have events coming up featuring our own authors as well as a few other literary events we think you’ll enjoy!

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(1) April 4, 2017, 7pm, Brooklyn, NY, FREE – CLMP Presents Poets Read Fiction at Berl’s Brooklyn Poetry Shop

Join CLMP at Berl’s Brooklyn Poetry Shop to hear four genre promiscuous poets read their fantastic prose. A fiction reading during Poetry Month? Radical, we know. We’ll see you there.

Find out more on their Facebook event.


WeHo Arts: As Far As The Eye Can See-Sunset Strip...

(2) April 6, 2017, 7pm, West Hollywood, CA, FREE RSVP – As Far as You Can See . . . Sunset Strip through the Eyes of Poets

Join us for a reading of both original work and work by poets who captured a time we hold dear. Celebrate National Poetry Month and experience a rainbow of colors, emotions, and memories, through words that are certain to evoke your own electric visions!  Organized by Kim Dower, West Hollywood City Poet Laureate as part of National Poetry Month and the City of West Hollywood’s celebration of the 50th anniversary of the counterculture era ‘There’s Something Happening Here…’

This reading features poets: Laurel Ann Bogen, Elena Karina Byrne, Brendan Constantine, Kim Dower, Yvonne Estrada, Bill Mohr, and Lynne Thompson.

For more information and to RSVP visit the event site.


(3) April 8, 2017, 9am, Pasadena, CA – Pasadena Festival of Women Authors

This festival celebrated the authorship and success of women writers since 2009. This year’s event is the biggest yet and we can’t wait to see all of these incredibly talented authors share their work. The festival is being held at the Pasadena Hilton Hotel and books will be sold throughout the event with all authors available for signings.

Find out more on their Facebook event.

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(4) April 8, 2017, 1pm, Easthampton, MA, FREE – Ellen Meeropol Reading with Jacqueline Sheehan at Easthampton Bookfest

Celebrate the release of Ellen Meeropol’s latest novel, Kinship of Clover and Jaqueline Sheehan’s  Tiger in the House at White Square Books during the Easthamption Book Fest!

Find out more on their Facebook event.

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(5) April 9, 2017, 4pm, Los Angeles, CA, FREE – “Angels Flight” literary west Salon With Chiwan Choi & José Luís Peixoto

Please join us for a very special Poetry salon, featuring Saramago Prize winning author Jose Luis Peixoto (The Piano Cemetery, Antidote) reading from his new translation, A CHILD IN RUINS (Writ Large Press), and Chiwan Choi, reading from his new book, THE YELLOW HOUSE (CCM). The two will participate in a conversation and Q&A around their new books, followed by selected guest poet readings by Rocío Carlos, Rachel McLeod Kaminer, Armine Iknadossian and more.

Find out more on their Facebook event.

5 Literary Events We’re Looking Forward to This Week

Last week Red Hen went international with exciting events in London and wonderful authors! We’re so grateful for the success of the events and the authors who participated in them. This week, we’d like to highlight some readings and other events happening in Southern California as well as invite you to some of our own events that we’re looking forward to!

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(1) March 30, 2017, 6:30 pm, Pasadena, CA, FREE – RHP Open Mic Poetry Night at Der Wolfskopf

Come and enjoy an evening of poetry with Red Hen Press this Thursday. Join us as we showcase readings of our intern and staff’s original works and share your own. The evening will be filled with laughter, life stories and no doubt some rather nervous first time readers. Help us support our budding authors and poets by coming out and sharing a drink and a poem or two. We hope to see you there!

One drink minimum.

Find out more on our Facebook event.

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(2) March 30, 2017, 7pm, West Hollywood, CA, FREE RSVP – Lloyd Sachs on T BONE BURNET at Book Soup

Book Soup hosts a discussion and book signing for Llyod Sachs this Thursday. Go hear him talk about his book and his incredible influence in the music industry.

Find out more on their Facebook event.

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(3) March 31, 2017, 6pm, Pasadena, CA, FREE – Meet Emily Dickinson and Kick off National Poetry Month at Vroman’s Bookstore in Hasting’s Ranch

In celebration of National Poetry Month and Sierra Madre Playhouse’s production of The Belle of Amherst by William Luce. Enjoy a scene from the play, the poetry of local students inspired by Emily Dickinson, a group writing exercise, and free refreshments.

Find out more on the Facebook event.

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(4) April 1, 2017, 5:30pm, Denver, CO, FREE – Poetry Reading by Jessy Randall, Jane Hilberry, and Rosemary Trommer hosted by BookBar in Denver

Come join us at BookBar on Saturday for wine and readings from Jessy Randall, Jane Hilberry, and Rosemary Trommer.

Find out more on the Facebook event.

(5) April 1, 2017, 5pm, Los Angeles, CA, FREE – Ron Rege Jr and Maja D’Aoust discuss CARTOON UTOPIA and WHAT PARSIFAL SAW at Skylight Books

Join us at Skylight Books where Ron Rege Jr and Maja D’Aoust will discuss the ideas that influenced them and read from their work Cartoon Utopia and the new graphic novel What Parsifal Saw.

Find out more on the Skylight Books event page.

Happy World Poetry Day! 5 Poems to Read

In celebration of World Poetry Day, here are five poems from five of our forthcoming titles.

Circling the Dome of the Sky

By Lena Khalaf Tuffaha
From Water & Salt
Available April 27, 2017


What she called home was a jar of olives
shaken from the tree by hand
sorted and stabbed
then pressed one against the other
doused in lemon and salt.

What she called home was an old photograph
corners curling in the acid of time’s passage
summer skirts fading to sepia.

What she called home was a fig tree leaning
against the wall, fruit sweetening slow
in summer heat.

What she called home was a blessings bowl
flower-scented water swirling over etched prayers,
chasing away phantoms.

What she called home was a prayer call
ache let loose from the highest minaret
circling the dome of the sky.



how to get over
               for Chaka

By t’ai freedom ford
From how to get over
Available May 4, 2017


consider scream. remember urge
surging amber through marrow and bruised veins.
harness that gnawing yearn into timbre,
hide swollen ache behind lovely white teeth.

consider risk whiskeying your throat warm.
the truth and Rufus’s musk perfuming
husks of lyrics you hide under wild wigs—
swig. remember wrong words to your songs
the ugly of your mouth, a moth
longing for light; flight through wild pitch.

refuse to lip-synch on Soul Train
nevermind. do it badly. on purpose.
scratch the sunlight off your tongue like
lottery ticket. consider yourself
lucky. use the wicked gift of your voice
to fracture scream. sing me something: good.


When She Can’t Breathe

By Lisa C. Krueger
From Run Away to the Yard
Available May 9, 2017


Monarchs and hollow-
boned treeswifts

fly crooked
in the drought,

their fine gristle
of color razors

her eyes. Pain is not
an epiphany, ok?

she says aloud,
studying the thought

that she did this
to herself.

From her bed
she imagines flying

imagines forgiveness
as ruptured sky.




By Ruth Irupé Sanabria
From Beasts Behave in Foreign Land 
Available April 11, 2017


My grandfather asked me: could I remember
him, the park, the birds, the bread?
I’ll be dying soon, he said.

His voice would stretch the ocean and end there,
inside the olive phone in our tiny kitchen.
My mother would stretch the green shell to my ear,
speak, say something, speak. My fingers tugged the cord
across our red wooden table. Listening to the dark adios,
I carved half moons into the wood with my fingernails.
In case I am dead by your next birthday, hija, remember…

We ate without him, without any elders
and the world was fine.

We have yet to bury our bones in this foreign land.
When we do, where will we come from then?
Already, home is a carnation pinned to our cold breasts.




By Douglas Manuel
From Testify
Available April 25, 2017


I tell you all the reasons we shouldn’t be
together: (None of them involve race or the face
I gave you the first time I saw your parents’ crib.)

my immeasurable desire,
my dreams of other women riding me,
the ebb and flow of daily routine

that could lull our love to sleep. You tell me
sober up, but my mind is clear
as Canyon Lake when our canoe

twirled us in circles as though the two of us
were one leaf spinning
with nothing beneath but wide sky.



Redford Goes . . . to the Huntington Library


The Spring Equinox is March 20th, and what better way to celebrate the start of spring than by visiting the Huntington Library and Gardens. It is magical.

Redford spent a beautiful day wandering the gardens, reading by the lily pond, and taking lots of bench breaks. He’s 23 years old. In publishing years, that’s basically 80!

He had lunch at Freshwater Dumpling in the Japanese Tea Garden. The Nepalese Vegetable Dumplings were delicious, and went perfectly with Last Train to the Missing Planet by Kim Dower and a Lucky Buddha beer.

Then he went to admire the portraits in the Huntington Gallery.

Even the rest room is gorgeous. 

He made friends with a tall, dark, and handsome poetry lover… #hotdudesreading

And the Curator of the Gardens Tim.

Then it was time to go…

“Bye, bye Huntington Library. What a clucking good day. Until next time!” said Redford.  

Red Hen Press signs debut novel by Vietnamese-American author Thuy Da Lam

Red Hen Press is thrilled to announce the acceptance of a new novel: Thuy Da Lam’s gripping debut, Fire Summer, a book reminiscent of works by Viet Thanh Nguyen, Haruki Murakami, and George Saunders.

In the summer of 1991, twenty-three-year-old Maia Trieu eagerly accepts a research grant to study folklore in Vietnam, the country she once called home. When the grant sponsor presents a burdensome stipulation—that she transport plans to overthrow the government—Maia calls into question her patriotism, and must consult a colorful cast of characters before making her final decision. Maia and her entourage—a watchful government agent, an Amerasian singer, an American traveler, and a stray cat—struggle with the compromises that come with restoring the past and staying true to one’s beliefs. The stories of these four unlikely friends intertwine with those of dead Vietnamese to create a magical, fantasy-meets-philosophy novel about transformation and self-discovery.

Thuy Da Lam was born in Central Vietnam and raised in the United States. She holds a B.A. from Hamilton College where she helped translate Vietnamese sources for Thomas A. Bass’s Vietnamerica: The War Comes Home. Thuy also holds a Ph.D. from UH Manoa. Thuy has won the George A. Watrous Literary Prize for Fiction, the Myrtle Clark Writing Award and the John Young Scholarship in the Arts. Part of Fire Summer appeared in Lost Lake Folk Opera: Black April Issue, in commemoration of the fortieth anniversary of the Vietnam War. Thuy currently resides in Hawaii.

Red Hen Press, founded in 1994 by Kate Gale and Mark E. Cull, publishes poetry, fiction, and nonfiction of literary excellence. As one of few literary presses in the Los Angeles area, part of Red Hen’s mission is to promote literacy in schools, support diversity, and help educate at-risk youths in the community.

Thuy Da Lam is represented by Jennifer Lyons. The Jennifer Lyons Literary Agency, LLC, represents over eighty authors whose books have been placed with notable publishers such as HarperCollins, Alfred A. Knopf, Simon & Schuster, and now Red Hen Press, and have won the Pulitzer Prize, Nobel Prize, and the National Book Award.



5 Literary Events We’re Looking Forward to This Week

This week, Red Hen goes international. The London Book Fair runs from March 14th to the 16th; we are so excited to attend and are hosting an event with our UK imprint Pighog at the wonderful Book & Kitchen. Last week, our New York Reading Series kicked off and continues with a reading at Poets House on March 18th. We also wanted to highlight another indie press based in Los Angeles, Kaya Press, the local indie bookstore Skylight, and the thriving literary community in Long Beach, CA.

(1) March 13th, 7pm, Long Beach, CA, FREE – Rachel Kann and Sean Gunning at 2nd Mondays Poetry Party

On Monday, March 13th at 7pm, Sarah Thursday and G. Murray Thomas host 2nd Mondays Poetry Party at the Fox Coffee House with featured readers Rachel Kann and Sean Gunning and an open mic.

Read more on their Facebook Event



(2) March 15th, 7pm, London, England, FREE – Red Hen at the London Book Fair

Come join Red Hen Press and Pighog’s appearance at the London Book Fair, where authors will be reading their work at Book and Kitchen! Our extraordinary authors include: Katharine Coles, America Hart, Naomi Foyle, Vanessa Gebbie, Clare Best and John Barr.

Read about the authors and our other events at our website!

RSVP on our FB Event.

  • The London Book Fair is on from March 14th to the 16th. We are very excited to attend the conference.



(3) March 15th, 7:30pm, Los Angeles, CA – Kaya Press presents Kazim Ali, Hari Alluri, and Special Guest Abeer Y. Hoque

On Wednesday, March 15th at Skylight Books, Kaya Press hosts a reading by Kazim Ali, Hari Alluri, and special guest Abeer Y. Hoque. Kaya Press is a Los Angeles based publisher that focuses on producing literature by Asian and Pacific Island diasporic writers.

Read more about the event at Skylight Book’s website.



(4) March 16th, 7pm, Brooklyn, NY, FREE – Douglas Manuel, Ginny Wiehardt, Juliet Patterson, and Tina Cave

On Thursday, March 17th, Berl’s Poetry Shop – the only all poetry bookstore in NYC –  hosts a reading featuring Douglas Manuel, Ginny Wiehardt, Juliet Patterson, and Tina Cave.

Read more about the authors at Berl’s Poetry Shop website.


(5) March 18th, 4pm, New York, NY, FREE – Red Hen Press in NYC: Poets House

We are so excited for our reading at the Poets House as part of our New York Reading Series featuring authors t’ai freedom ford, Lisa C. Krueger, and Philip Schultz. We will be hosting the reading also on Facebook Live. Watch out for some powerful poetry on your news feed!

Learn more about our featured authors and other events at our website and visit the Poets House website to learn more about this fantastic organization.


Events compiled by Samantha Emily Evans, our Marketing and Publicity Assistant. She also goes by the Literary Pixie.  

5 Literary Events We’re Looking Forward to this Week

There are so many wonderful literary events all over the world happening this week. From Lambda Lit Fest to the Downtown BookFest to the launch of our Red Hen New York Reading Series, go out and appreciate your local literature.




(1) March 8th, 7:30pm, Pasadena, CA, FREE – Giving Tongue: A Celebration of Lesbian and Queer Poets

As part of Lambda LitFest 2017, the Boston Court Performing Arts Center hosts Giving Tongue, a reading that features a multi-cultural and multi-generational line-up of lebsian and queer-identified poets — Rocio Carlos, Olga García Echerverría, Eloise Klein Healy, Traci Akemi Kato-Kirayama, Damnyo Lee, Jo Paradigm Roberts and Terry Wolverton. This is a FREE event with a reception and book signing following the reading.

** This reading is part of Lambda LitFest, a celebration of contemporary voices honoring and expanding on the rich, diverse tradition of LGBTQ writers and readers in the Southland.There are events going all all weekend long in nearly every neighborhood in Los Angeles. They have programmed a week of fantastic events starting March 6th and finishing with a closing party at Akbar on March 12th. Check out the full calendar at their website, http://lambdalitfest.org/.



(2) March 9th, 6pm, New York City, NY, FREE – Red Hen at Cornelia St Cafe

Come join Red Hen Press at Cornelia Street Café and meet three of our extraordinary authors: Dan Vera, Ruth Irupé Sanabria, and Francisco Aragón. Get a better understanding of how they connect and diverge personal experience within a wider cultural and historical conversation through their latest poetry collections. Read more about our authors at our website, http://redhen.org/events/rhpinnyc2017/.

Check out our other events at and click attending on our Facebook Event



(3) March 10th, 7pm, New York City, NY – Red Hen at the KGB Bar

Join Red Hen Press at KGB Bar for our New York Reading Series featuring authors Cornelius Eady, Douglas Manuel, and William Trowbridge, moderated by t’ai freedom ford. Read more about our authors at our website, http://redhen.org/events/rhpinnyc2017/.

Invite your NYC friends to our Facebook Event!



(4) March 11th, 4pm, Los Angeles, CA, FREE – Red Hen Reading at the Downtown BookFest

On Saturday, March 11th at Grand Park, there is a full day of FREE exciting literary programs. Our friends Writ Large Press, Skylight Books, 826LA, Get Lit and other will be celebrating the Los Angeles voices. We’ll be there, of course!

From 4pm to 5pm, our Red Hen Poets Brendan Constantine, Kim Dower, Blas Falconer, Siel Ju, and Ron Koertge will be reading.

Come and roost with us! Check out the Facebook Event!



(5) March 12th, 4pm, West Hollywood, CA, FREE – No Cure for Madness: A Poetry Reading by 3 Queer Men of Color on Death, God and Desire

Three queer men of color – Miguel Murphy, Blas Falconer (the Poetry Editor of the Los Angeles Review), and Kazim Ali – will be reading at Book Soup in West Hollywood.

Read more about the event at Book Soup’s website.