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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

OUT NOW!

 

Bad Stories is OUT NOW! And on this official day of release, one last Bad message:

You can’t advocate for serious discourse and simultaneously participate in the trivialization of discourse. Or rather, you can. But the story is going to end badly.” (Bad Stories 246).

Steve Almond’s Bad Stories is a reflection on how we, as a country, got here. Read it, devour it, but most importantly, understand it. Only when we’re all on the same page, when we all understand how this came to be, can we move, as Steve likes to say, onward, together.

Buy Bad Stories on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Indiebound, and everywhere books are sold!

1 Last Bad Stories Chance!

1 Day left until Bad Stories is released!

Today is the last day for the Goodreads Giveaway! Enter for a chance to win one of 100 copies!

Pre-order Bad Stories on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Indiebound, and everywhere books are sold!

2 ‘Bad’ Blurbs

2 Days left! Is everyone excited for Steve Almond’s Bad Stories? Here are 2 advanced praises to whet your appetite!

(1) “It’s a rare writer who has the power to make one aware in every paragraph of the moral necessity of literature, but in Bad Stories, Steve Almond has done just that. With fierce intelligence, moving candor, and dazzling insight, Almond draws on everything from The Grapes of Wrath to the voting practices of his babysitter to dismantle the false narratives about American democracy that got us into the political pickle we’re in. I was enlightened and spellbound by Bad Stories, outraged and consoled. This is a profound and essential book for all time, but especially for now.”
Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild

(2) “Steve, I’m sorry but I’ve completely destroyed my copy of Bad Stories. Seriously, there was something in every chapter that inspired furious underlining or dog-eared pages or the scribbling of hasty notes in the margins. The upside is that I feel like I have a much better grasp of the tortured American psyche. The downside is that I can’t loan the book to anyone, because they’ll think I’m a madman. Thanks for the thrilling read.”
Nathan Hill, author of The Nix

Pre-order Bad Stories on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Indiebound, and everywhere books are sold!

3 ‘Bad’ Reviews

All right readers, get excited! Only 3 more days until Steve Almond’s book Bad Stories comes out. Check out these three fantastic reviews for it!

(1) Publishers Weekly delivers a raving review about Bad Stories. Check it out here.

(2) Portland Mercury discusses Steve Almond’s take on the American Myths that got Trump elected.

(3) A in-depth review from Betsy Robinson about her thoughts and excitement about Bad Stories.

 

Pre-order Bad Stories on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Indiebound, and everywhere books are sold!

4 ‘Bad’ Interviews

Only 4 more days until Steve Almond’s Bad Stories comes out! Here are 4 interviews to get you excited for its release!

(1) On southflorida.com, Steve talks about his book with contact reporter Jack Cline. They discuss Steve’s thoughts on his book and the different recent events that have happened around the country.

(2) In August of 2003, Steve talks about his previous two books: My Life in Heavy Metal and Candyfreak: A Journey Through the Chocolate Underbelly of America with bookslut.com.

(3) Steve Almond read from Bad Stories and chatted with Seattle author Peter Mountford and the audience at The Fireside Room at Hotel Sorrento on February 28.

(4) Get to know more about Steve in this article from April 2010 as he talks about himself and his books.

 

Pre-order Bad Stories on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Indiebound, and everywhere books are sold!

5 ‘Bad’ Influences

5 days to go! Are you excited for Bad Stories?

Steve expertly and poignantly threads literary influences throughout the book, connecting the worlds, words, and lessons of fiction with our own reality. Here are five quotes featured in Bad Stories — and somehow, these quotes mean more now than they ever have before.

(1) “We have never let ourselves think about our being a minority and now it’s hard to get used to the fact.” –John Webb of Ray Bradbury’s short story “And the Rock Cried Out” (featured on page 44 of Bad Stories)

(2) Steve cites a particular scene in Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 – a botched book club, where the protagonist, Guy Montag, interrupts his wife, Mildred’s, gathering of friends. Mildred and her friends, occupied by the frivolity of around-the-clock on-screen entertainment, cannot fathom when Guy pulls out a contraband poetry book and reads “Dover Beach” aloud. “Mildred is so shaken that she locks herself in the bathroom and downs sleeping pills.” “I often felt a mild version of this dynamic playing out when I tried to talk with friends and relatives and even strangers about the 2016 election,” Steve writes. We’d become so sensitive to discussion of worldly topics, debate, facts, that we, like Mildred, would rather down sleeping pills than face it. (Bad Stories 63)

(3) Steve cites Neil Postman’s Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Showbusiness: “Like Bradbury, [Postman] sees the gradual abdication of moral and intellectual rigor as the greatest risk to American democracy. Postman outlines the deterioration of our national standards with such eerie precision that Trumpism comes to seem not only plausible, but inevitable.” (Bad Stories 64)

(4) “It is in fact a crime for an American to be poor, even though America is a nation of poor. Every other nation has folk traditions of men who were poor but extremely wise and virtuous, and therefore more estimable than anyone with power or gold. No such tales are told be the American poor. They mock themselves and glorify their betters.” –Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse Five (featured on pages 230-231 of Bad Stories)

(5) “I couldn’t forgive [Tom Buchanan] or like him, but I saw that what he had done was, to him, entirely justified. It was all very careless and confused. They were careless people, Tom and Daisy — they smashed up things and creatures, and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together and let other people clean up the mess they had made.” –Nick Carraway of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby (featured on page 231 of Bad Stories)

 

Pre-order Bad Stories on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Indiebound, and everywhere books are sold!

6 ‘Bad’ Articles

Can’t wait the 6 days until Bad Stories comes out? Check out these 6 articles that Steve Almond wrote to tide you over until then!

(1) Steve Almond is a frequent contributor to the Globe Magazine. Check out this article he wrote about lies told by the rich in January.

(2) In February, Steve had this to say in the New York Times about sports and how they relate to politics.

(3) Just recently Steve Almond asks what it was like to write a novel 5 years before the Trump candidacy ever existed. This article helps you get an insight on that. Also, check out the second article that Steve wrote about the political comedians Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert.

(4) On February 28, read an exciting conversation between Steve Almond and William Giraldi with the Los Angeles Review of Books. It is sure to start a conversation of your own about the politics of today.

(5) An online exclusive, Steve Almond gives us an excerpt from his book Bad Stories. It talks about how stories makes us feel and how they shape what we think.

(6) Learn more about Steve Almond in this article he wrote in Southwest The Magazine about his love for the game of pinball and its revival.

 

Pre-order Bad Stories on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Indiebound, and everywhere books are sold!

7 ‘Bad’ Events

To kick off our countdown to Steve Almond’s Bad Stories, here are 7 events that he will be attending around the country!

(1) Steve Almond and Mitchell Kaplan @Books and Books in Coral Gables | Monday, March 26, 8:00p.m.

Please join Steve Almond and Mitchell Kaplan for an exciting interview about his new book! Bad Stories tries to explain what happened in the 2016 Presidential election and why the outcome was not as surprising as everyone thinks it was. Click here for more info.

(2) Steve Almond and Alastair Moock @ Porter Square Books | Monday, April 2, 7:00p.m.

You’re in for a musical treat with Steve and musician Alastair Moock! It will be a night for reading, agitation and protest music. Here is a link for more details.

(3) Book Talk with Colin McEnroe @ Real Art Ways | Friday, April 6, 7:30p.m.

Join author Steve and WNPR host Colin McEnroe in a discussion inspired by Almond’s new book: Bad Stories: What the Hell Just Happened to Our Country! Click here for more info.

(4) The Muse and the Marketplace with Steve Almond @Park Plaza Hotel | Friday – Sunday, April 6-8

This will be an exciting 3 day writing conference event, where you will hear from authors, literary agents, editors, and other industry professionals. Here is more information about the event. Steve Almond will be speaking at two panels on April 7.

(5) Steve Almond and Ron Currie @ Longfellow Books | Saturday, April 14

An exciting event at Longfellow Books with Steve Almond and Ron Currie. You don’t want to miss it. Click here for more info.

(6) Los Angeles Times Festival of Books @ USC | Saturday, April 21, 1:30p.m. | Free

One of the most exciting book festivals in the country! Meet with authors and celebrities who will be reading and selling their books. Steve will be on an exciting panel called Trump: The First Year with Sarah Kendzior and David Kay Johnston, moderated by Christina Bellatoni! Here is more info.

(7) “Bad Stories” Discussion @ First Church | Sunday, April 22, 10:00a.m.

An in depth discussion with Steve, Reverend Molly, and Marvin K. White on how the stories we listen to, and the sacred and secular stories we choose to remember instead, can shape our souls, our psyches, and our future.  Here is more information.

Stay tuned tomorrow for the next Bad Stories countdown feature!

Pre-order Bad Stories on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Indiebound, and everywhere books are sold!

Five Literary Events We’re Looking Forward To This Week (12/5/2017)

It’s been a busy holiday season getting ready for the excitement of the new year! We want to thank all of you little hens for sticking with us, whether you’ve been at the Hen House for years or for days, we’re excited to have you and appreciate you all for your neverending support!

Can you believe 2017 is almost over? But don’t worry; the literary community doesn’t slow down for anything! There are so many fantastic literary events coming up over the next few weeks! Take a night away from the holiday shopping madness and step in for some time appreciating the beauty of words, music, and artists. It’s easy to forget how much things like that matter, especially in the rush of the holidays, but spending time with your loved ones amongst wordsmiths and musicians is the perfect way to remember that the most important part of life is love and connections with others.

Here are five events we’re really looking forward to checking out this week:

(1) Florencia Ramirez and Janet Fitch @ VROMAN’S | Wednesday, December 6, 7:00pm | FREE

Join Florencia Ramirez and Janet Fitch at the legendary Vroman’s Bookstore in Pasadena for a fantastic reading and signing afterwards! Florencia’s EAT LESS WATER is a relevant and extremely insightful book about the opportunity for water conservation within the food industry, and how you can help both water and food sustainability with her fantastic recipes and scientific analysis! Both personal and analytical, Eat Less Water is a moving plea to help the water conservation efforts in every way we can.

Click here for more information!

 

(2) Lunch Poems: Rita Dove @ UC BERKELEY | Thursday, December 7, 12:00pm | FREE

UC Berkeley’s Lunch Poem series features Pulitzer Prize winner and former U.S. Poet Laureate Rita Dove! Join her at noon at the Morrison Library in the Doe Library for a fantastic reading of her prolific work.

Click here for more information!

 

(3) Forms & Features Part I: Daughters of Revolution: 100 Years of Russian Posters and Poetry @ SMART MUSEUM OF ART | Thursday, December 7, 6:00pm | FREE

In this two-part series (with part two taking place next Thursday at the Poetry Foundation), come together and explore the extraordinary work of women artists and writers from the Bolshevik Revolution spanning a century. Part One, this Thursday, features a tour of the Soviet posters on display at the Smart Museum of Art as well as a hands-on poster-making workshop. Next week you’ll reconvene at The Poetry Foundation for a poetry workshop and discussion dedicated to the work of Russian women poets.

This is a great and exciting opportunity to explore and analyze historic work from brave women from our pasts!

The event is free but registration is REQUIRED, and you’re expected to attend both parts! Don’t miss out, register here!

 

(4) Literary Salon with David Rocklin, Gayle Brandeis, and Steve Leder @ THE LAST BOOKSTORE | Saturday, December 9, 7:00pm | FREE

Hang out at the historic Last Bookstore in Los Angeles and be a part of their monthly literary salon series with fantastic writers David Rocklin, Gayle Brandeis, and Steve Leder in reading and conversation with author and editor Shilpa Agarwal!

More info can be found here!

 

(5) Poetry Through Voice @ THE BROAD STAGE | Sunday, December 10, 4:00pm | $40

Red Hen Press is proud to present Poetry Through Voice: a fusion of Grammy-Award winning music and moving poetry, performed at the historic Broad Stage in Santa Monica! Featuring Grammy-Award winning composers and artists and prolific poets Douglas Manuel, Elise Paschen, and California Poet Laureate Dana Gioia, this is set to be an unforgettable night you won’t want to miss. Enjoy a beautiful Sunday night along the coast of California with us!

Get your tickets here!

CHICKEN SCRATCH SPECIAL EDITION: 5 Items in the Red Hen Press Benefit’s Silent Auction We’re Looking Forward To This Week

I’m sure you’ve heard about Red Hen’s 23rd Benefit Champagne Luncheon, coming up on November 12th in Pasadena, but did you know about the silent auction? We have over forty-five amazing items up for bid, every single one of them an incredible steal, from resort stays in the Bahamas to fully-guided tours in Europe to autographed memorabilia and experience tickets. Here are five items we’re uber excited about! For the complete list, click here!

 

(1) 7-9 Nights at Pineapple Beach Club in Antigua

The simple, unadorned pleasures of the Caribbean await at the Adults-Only Pineapple Beach Club Antigua. Set on 30 acres of tropical paradise, with a spectacular quarter-mile white sand beach, two freshwater swimming pools, non-motorized water sports, comfortable accommodations, three dining options, tennis, fitness center & more, this resort is perfect for those seeking laid back fun in the sun, a romantic hideaway or looking to explore the beautiful island of Antigua.

This resort certificate provides 7 to 9 nights accommodation (double occupancy) for 2 rooms (valued up to $1,050 per room depending on dates of travel) at Pineapple Beach Club.

Value: $2,100 || Opening Bid: $315

Click here for more information!

 

 

(2) Experience Paris Package: 6 Days/5 Nights

Enjoy a guided tour of the famous Louvre Museum and marvel at highlights such as the priceless Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo. Travel in style by Seine River Cruise to the iconic Eiffel Tower. Enjoy lunch at Altitude 95, the restaurant of the first floor of the Eiffel Tower. Visit Notre Dame Cathedral and gain insight into the history and heritage of Paris’ attractions.

This experience for two people includes:

  • 6 days/5 nights Deluxe Hotel Accommodations close to major attractions in the heart of Paris, inclusive of room-related taxes and VAT
  • Lunch at Altitude 95, restaurant on first floor on Eiffel Tower
  • Cruise on the River Seine
  • Chauffeured Paris tour highlighting the Louvre and Notre Dame Cathedral
  • Round trip air travel from any major metropolitan airport in the US/48

Value: $10,900 || Opening Bid: $6,815

Click here for more information!

 

(3) 4 Disneyland Parkhopper Tickets

(4) 1-day Park Hopper Tickets to Disneyland and California Adventure

Experience the Disney magic with a family four-pack of 1-day Park Hopper Tickets to both Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure! Take photos at the castle, go on an adventure with Indiana Jones, get spooky at the Haunted Mansion, and then head over to California Adventure to Soar Around the World, visit your automotive friends in Cars Land, get soaked in Grizzly Bear Rapids, and watch the fantastic light and water show World of Color! It’s guaranteed to be a day worth a spot in the family albums.

Value: $628 || Opening Bid: $125

Click here for more information!

 

(4) Hamilton Tickets + Dinner For Two

The historical Hamilton is Broadway’s hottest show, a musical about the life of America’s Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, with lyrics and book by Lin-Manuel Miranda. In the heart of Hollywood, on Hollywood Boulevard, right down the block from Vine Street, stands the Pantages Theatre. The Pantages has become one of the greatest landmarks of Hollywood, signifying both the glorious past and adventuresome of the world’s entertainment capital.

This package includes:

  • Dinner for two at popular upscale restaurant of choice.
  • Two Hamilton tickets, to a show date of choice, subject to availability.
  • Concierge booking service to assist in arranging this exciting experience.

Value: $3,350 || Opening Bid: $2,125

Click here for more information!

 

 

(5) Champagne Brunch for 6 and 2 Tickets to Harbor Cruise

Champagne Sunday Brunch for 6 at Ports O’ Call Waterfront Dining in San Pedro and 2 certificates for a 1 hour Harbor Bay Cruise from Spirit Cruises.

This professionally narrated cruise visits over 50 Points-of-Interest including the Federal Breakwater, Super Cargo Terminals, Tankers, Freighters and Ships from Ports around the world. See Sea Lions, beautiful Private Yachts, Coast Guard Facilities, the “Love Boat” Cruise Terminal, newly restored Angel’s Gate Lighthouse, and our newest attraction – the Battleship Iowa (LA Harbor only). Weekly departure from Los Angeles and Long Beach Harbors.

Join us for our Champagne Sunday Brunch, voted best Sunday Brunch in the South Bay! Enjoy free-flowing champagne, with so much to choose from! Grab a plate, a glass of champagne, and relax on our waterfront patio. There’s no better place to have Sunday Brunch than on the water.

Value: $357 || Opening Bid: $70

Click here for more information!