Wednesday (2/1) at Pen and Brush, 29 East 22nd Street between Broadway and Park Avenue. 7:00 pm. Free
Two falls ago, on the second round of drinks at the late lamented Puck Fair, a friend and I found ourselves talking—as often happens when two women writers sit down at a bar—about VIDA’s yearly count that tallies up the gender ratio in publishing and book reviews and the dismal numbers it often reveals. As my friend is the director of a nonprofit for poetry and I’m an editor at an independent press, the conversation eventually meandered into discussing the many amazing women we know in publishing. When we realized that no one had yet compiled a comprehensive list of the organizations, presses, and journals run by women, we began scrawling out our own. I spent a few more weeks crowdsourcing to find more names and eventually gave the list to VIDA to be published as a ever-updating community resource.
Around the same time that I was researching this list, I finished up a stint guest editing for Pen and Brush, the 122-year-old nonprofit for women in the literary and visual arts, who had just launched their publishing wing and moved to a new space, a beautiful art gallery in the Flatiron district of Manhattan. With the VIDA list in hand, I began Pen and Brush Presents, a monthly reading series that features women, non-binary, and genderqueer writers who read work in honor of the female editors who have nurtured and supported their work by publishing them in the past.
This Wednesday, Feb. 1st, we will be honoring the important work done for the literary community by Stacey Harwood, our gracious host here at the Best American Poetry blog, as well as Laura Cronk’s editing work for the wonderful literary food journal The Inquisitive Eater and Melinda Wilson’s work for the invaluable poetry resource Coldfront. Our readers will be the brilliant Elaine Equi (reading for BAP), Jen Huh (The Inquisitive Eater) and Crystal Curry-Vassilakis (Coldfront).
I would like to invite those of you who are in or near New York, to come join us this Wednesday (2/1) at Pen and Brush, located at 29 East 22nd Street between Broadway and Park Avenue. We'll lift a glass (or two or three!) to the talented poets who'll be reading and the amazing editors who have published them. The evening begins at 7 and extends as long as poetry and wine allows. All are welcome.