L.A. Story II Photos


Los Angeles, CA: Continuing its collaborative reading series, PEN Center USA will present L.A. STORY II at Hollywood Forever on February 1, 2014. Doors for the event will open at 8 PM. The reading will begin at 9 PM and will feature Natashia Deón, Amelia Gray (AM/PM, Museum of the Weird, THREATS), Traci Kato-Kiriyama, Claire Bidwell Smith (The Rules of Inheritance), and Amber Tamblyn (Free Stallion, Bang Ditto). A book signing will follow the reading.
Natashia Deón is a Los Angeles attorney, the creator of the reading series Dirty Laundry Lit, and has an MFA from UC Riverside. Deón has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and is a PEN Center USA Emerging Voices alum, a Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference scholarship recipient, and a VCCA Fellow. Her stories and essays have appeared in The Rumpus, The Rattling Wall, Asian-American Lit Review, B O D YThe Feminist Wire, and You: An Anthology of Second Person Essays, among other publications. Deón has taught creative writing for Gettysburg College, PEN Center USA, and 826LA. 
Amelia Gray is the author of AM/PM (Featherproof Books) and Museum of the Weird (FC2), for which she won the Ronald Sukenick Innovative Fiction Prize. Her first novel, THREATS, (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), was longlisted for the University of Wales Dylan Thomas Prize and shortlisted for the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. Her fiction, poetry, and nonfiction has appeared in Lucky Peach, FLAUNT, Tin House, Poets & Writers, American Short Fiction, GOOD, Guernica, Annalemma, Sonora Review, VICE, McSweeney’s, the Los Angeles Review of Books and DIAGRAM, among others. She received a BA from Arizona State University and an MFA from Texas State University. She has given writing and composition lectures and workshops at the University of Illinois, Bowling Green State University, Hamilton College, and Roosevelt College, among others. She has served on editorial boards at Hayden’s Ferry Review and Front Porch Journal. She is currently at work on a collection of short stories and a novel.   
Traci Kato-Kiriyama is a writer/actor/multi-platform artist/educator/organizer.  She is an actor for East West Player's new touring show, Our American Voice, and is half of the award-winning PULLproject ensemble, whose show PULL: Tales of Obsession has toured from Los Angeles to Toronto. She is the organizer of the Generations Of War oral history & peace education project and is Director/Co-Founder of Tuesday Night Project - which just celebrated its 15th year of "Tuesday Night Cafe," acknowledged in LA Weekly's Best of L.A. 2013 list as the "Best Free Downtown Performance Series."  Traci has facilitated writing, performance, and arts activism workshops over the last 15 years and most recently taught "Wellness & Expression in the Asian American Community" for the Claremont Colleges.  Her second book of poetry & writing is slated for publication in 2014 by Writ Large Press.

Claire Bidwell Smith is a therapist specializing in grief and is the author of the memoir The Rules of Inheritance, currently being adapted for the screen, starring and produced by Jennifer Lawrence. Claire lives in Los Angeles and is currently working on her second book, which focuses on her personal journey to better understand the afterlife.
Amber Tamblyn is a Venice, California, native.  She has been a writer and actress since the age of 9.  She has been nominated for an Emmy, Golden Globe, and Independent Spirit Award for her work in television and film.  In 2005 Simon & Schuster published her debut collection of poetry, Free Stallion.  Her second book of poetry and prose, Bang Ditto (Manic D. Press), was released in the fall of 2009. She is the creator of the annual poetry series The Drums Inside Your Chest in Los Angeles and co-founded the nonprofit Write Now Poetry Society (writenowpoets.org). She has a poetry review column in Bust Magazine and her third book of poetry is a collection about the lives and deaths of child star actresses, with accompanying art by David Lynch and Marilyn Manson, amongst others.  She lives in Brooklyn. 
PEN Center USA, a literary nonprofit based in Beverly Hills, has a membership of more than 600 professional writers. PEN Center USA strives to protect the rights of writers around the world, to stimulate interest in the written word, and to foster a vital literary community among the diverse writers living in the western United States. PEN Center USA has a long, successful history planning literary events in and around Los Angeles.
Tickets for L.A. Story II are $10 online and $15 at the door. For more information on L.A. Story II, please contact Michelle Meyering, Director of Programs and Events, at PEN Center USA: michelle@penusa.org.