Introducing the Pen + Brush Blog

Usually when I write to anonymous readers about Pen + Brush, it’s in the editorial note at the beginning of an issue of Pen + Brush In Print. In fact, I was expecting to be doing that now: to be writing to you – all of you, whoever you are – to introduce you to a new issue’s worth of emerging fiction writers and poets. Instead, I’m writing from my apartment’s kitchen table in a decidedly unergonomic chair. I’m sure you might find yourself in a similar position.

As you probably all know (some of you personally), New York City has severely limited the amount of activity available to many residents. And, as you might expect, a public space that runs over 30 public events a year is going to be a little taken aback by the need to run fully remotely for several months! Our exhibition schedule and our regular programs are on hiatus and while we’re prepared to jump back in where we started when we are confident it is safe to open our doors, we don’t know what that will be. So we have to say farewell (for now!) to Pen + Brush Presents and to our thriving ArtTalks series.

That said, we didn’t get to 125 years in operation by letting global crisis stop us! We are more committed than ever to supporting women and nonbinary artists and writers, and we have all turned our attention to the tools we can use to find you at a socially-distanced remove. In my search for the new normal I have had a meeting Zoom bombed, taken semi-staged pictures of my cat, convinced a handful friends to tune in while I nervously talked on Facebook Live about a book I had just finished (Meg Wolitzer’s The Female Persuasion; strongly recommended). But I’m excited that all this can be in service of bringing you closer to our writers.

I’m also excited to introduce you to our new blog, which will be one grounding point for the literary program. In the coming weeks we’ll be sharing words from authors we have worked with and others we admire, and we’ll be making some of our published content available in case you need anything to read while you’re indoors. And we’ll be lining up some other fun, multimedia work: audio recordings from our poets, a writing workshop via Zoom, a book launch, and conversations you can hop into – and that’s just what I’ve been able to start planning now.

We’re trying as an organization to bring together P+B’s community at a time when we are far apart. I know that the abrupt stop of daily life has brought lost income, difficult changes in family care, and many other challenges, but I hope you can join us when and if you’re ready. We are all here, and we’re excited to talk to you!

Watch this space. Take care of yourselves. Be safe. Let’s hold on together until it can be just about the art.

Lisbeth Redfield
Literary Arts Manager