BookSwell is producing the WeHo Reads 2022 literary season!

Great news! BookSwell has been selected by the City of West Hollywood’s Arts Division to produce the 2022 WeHo Reads season. BookSwell founder and managing editor Cody Sisco proposed a series of eight online events on the theme of creating joy in the midst of sorrow that will take the audience on a memorable journey throughout 2022.

Literary communities have continued to struggle through difficult times and yet many writers are not only confronting sources of pain and injustice but also creating paths toward healing, lightness, and joy. We aim to recognize the contribution of writers and lift up their voices.

Stay tuned for more info!


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If you missed our events in 2020 and 2021, catch up on our YouTube channel or check out the highlights below:

  • Watch the replay of WeHo Reads: Pride & Joy in the Matrix

    We looked for joy in online spaces with Isle McElroy, Patrick Nathan, and Reuben “Tihi” Hayslett and guided writing with Amy Spies. About WeHo Reads: Pride & Joy in the Matrix LGBTQ+ authors are taking a hard look at society IRL and virtually, pinpointing the ways we come up short in connecting with and loving each other. Patrick Nathan examines the culture of fascistic images that pervade the online media landscape in his book Image Control (Counterpoint Press 2021). Reuben “Tihi” Hayslett uses short fiction, including his volume of short stories Dark Corners (Running Wild Press 2019), to illuminate the ways we can be marginalized as well as how we can fight back and lose some virtue in the process. Isle McElroy writes about diet culture, masculinity, nonbinary identity, basketball, scammers, books, and body dysmorphia. Their debut novel, The Atmospherians, was published in 2021 (Atria Books). Together, they’ll discuss online spaces, the challenges of creating joy online—is it even possible?—and the role of critique and creativity in shifting culture. A moment of guided meditation and mindful writing will be led by Amy Spies, a writer and teacher in the film, television, and new media industries. WeHo Reads is a literary series presented by the City of West Hollywood. More information Read More …


  • WeHo Reads: Pride & Joy in the Matrix


  • WeHo Reads: Explorations Beyond Borders


  • WeHo Reads: Trans | Future | Poetics


  • Meet Prominent Members of Women Who Submit

    Cody Sisco first heard about Women Who Submit from Sakae Manning, a brilliant writer and friend who he met through the Los Angeles Writers Critique Group. When he started BookSwell, he asked Sakae to join the advisory group to guide our efforts to lift up the voices of marginalized writers. That led to organizing our first event at Lambda Literary LitFest 2019 “Intentional Intersectionality: Amplifying Queer Voices of Color,” which included a discussion about advocacy and community featuring Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo, a co-founder of Women Who Submit. When Cody was developing the proposal for the Road to Joy for the City of West Hollywood Arts Department, he met Xochitl over drinks at Frogtown Brewery to brainstorm the event–the first time they had met in person since the AWP Conference in March 2020 before the full brunt of the coronavirus pandemic hit and when WWS launched their first anthology, ACCOLADES. Now it’s time to celebrate their second anthology, GATHERING. Women Who Submit seeks to empower women and nonbinary writers by creating physical and virtual spaces for sharing information, supporting and encouraging submissions to literary journals, and clarifying the submission and publication process. Meet some of the influential members who will be participating in Read More …


  • Spectrum 1 News SoCal Covers WeHo Reads Event with Women Who Submit

    Amy Paffrath from Spectrum 1 News SoCal spoke with Women Who Submit member and author Thea Pueschel about navigating creativity and healing during times of sorrow and the WeHo Reads event on March 16. Check it out!


  • WeHo Reads: How We Gather | A Celebration of Women Who Submit’s New Anthology Gathering


  • Continue the Road to Joy with WeHo Reads: Justice and Resilience: A Journey in Poetry


Storytelling and the Muslim Community

November 18, 2021 @ 6:00 pm

Join Red Hen Press and Mount Tamalpais College (virtually) on Thursday, November 18 at 6 p.m. for this special partnership event highlighting storytelling and the Muslim community.
The event will feature writers Ayeh Bandeh-Ahmadi, Umar Hanif, Tariq Luthun, and Faisal Mohyuddin from Red Hen’s New Moons: Contemporary Writing by North American Muslims anthology, anthology editor Kazim Ali, filmmaker R.J. Lozada, and Mount Tamalpais College alum Sajad Shakoor, we are proud to present an important and vital conversation on the power and necessity of storytelling from members of underrepresented and too-often neglected communities.

The event will feature brief readings, a short film screening, and a panel discussion.

Details

Date:
November 18, 2021
Time:
6:00 pm
Cost:
Free
Event Category:
Event Tags:
,
Website:
https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_eTQ2E8NdTtiHkynEXpR3NQ

Title: Hen House at Home: The New Moons Celebration

Red Hen Press is so honored to be publishing this important and vital anthology highlighting work by contemporary North American Muslims. In this special event, with an introduction by editor Kazim Ali, we celebrate this anthology with flash readings from over 20 contributors!

Join us LIVE on November 3 at 4:00pm PT, viewable at www.redhen.org/virtual, www.youtube.com/redhenpress, and www.facebook.com/redhenpress.

Nikki Giovanni in conversation with Miki Turner at 14th Annual Leimert Park Village Virtual Book Fair

The 14th anniversary of the Leimert Park Village Book Fair (LPVBF) will celebrate National Book Month in October 2020 with one of America’s most acclaimed poets – that is, Nikki Giovanni. During a special virtual event on Saturday, October 16, 2021, award-winning photojournalist Miki Turner, who also serves as associate professor of professional practice at USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, will chat with Giovanni about her latest collection of prose, titled “Make Me Rain.” The virtual book fair will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Virtual Talk with Nikki Giovanni and Miki Turner will take place at 11:00 am PST. Register today! For more information, visit www.leimertparkbookfair.com.

ArtNight Pasadena

We are so excited to return to ArtNight Pasadena this fall! This October, ArtNight Pasadena returns in a hybrid capacity. Red Hen’s activities will be held ENTIRELY ONLINE, so keep an eye out on October 8 for our dedicated web page on our website! We’ll be hanging out on Zoom and talking about publishing, and you can enter for a chance to win free books! Hope to see you on October 8 at 6:00pm PT!