PEN Presents

PEN Presents celebrates the power of words to inform, entertain, inspire, and foster a vital literary culture.

PEN Presents X Artists’ Books
This evening’s event will include a stage reading and conversation with X Artists’ Books co-founders Alexandra Grant and Keanu Reeves, and playwright and artist Sylvan Oswald and will be moderated by Jon Robin Baitz. The event will be followed by a book signing and reception.

X Artists’ Books is a small publisher of artist-centered books that create nontraditional entry points into narratives. Grant and Reeves will read from Grant’s The Artists’ Prison with drawings by artist and poet Eve Wood. Oswald will read from his adults’ picture book High Winds with images by Jessica Fleischmann.

Alexandra Grant is a Los Angeles-based artist who uses language, literature, and exchanges with writers as the basis for her work in painting, drawing, sculpture, and photography. She is both the author of The Artists' Prison and a co-founder, with Keanu Reeves, of X Artists' Books.

Sylvan Oswald is an interdisciplinary trans artist who creates plays, texts, publications, and video. His work explores the ways we forge our individual and national identities through sexuality, gender and humor. His work High Winds was published by X Artists' Books in 2017.

Keanu Reeves is a celebrated actor and writer whose many films include My Own Private Idaho (1991), Speed (1994), The Matrix (1999) and John Wick 2 (2017). He has published two artists' books with Alexandra Grant: Ode to Happiness and Shadows and is the co-founder of X Artists' Books.

LA native Jon Robin Baitz is a Guggenheim and NEA fellow, an American Academy of Arts and Letters fellow, and a founding member of the Naked Angels theater company. His plays Other Desert Cities and A Fair Country were finalists for the Pulitzer Prize. He created the TV show Brothers & Sisters, and most recently wrote and produced the miniseries The Slap for NBC. 

Previous PEN Presents

Tuesday May 9, 2017


After the Event You’re Invited

Membership Month Kick Off Party

Drinks! Good Eats! DJ Mstrbrwn!
Hosted by:
Franklin Leonard, Natashia Deón and Karolina Waclawiak
 *members receive drink tickets, entry to the raffle

PEN Presents celebrates the power of words to inform, entertain, inspire, and foster a vital literary culture. This evening’s event will feature a conversation with Roxane Gay and Randa Jarrar followed by a signing.

Roxane Gay’s writing appears in Best American Mystery Stories 2014, Best American Short Stories 2012, Best Sex Writing 2012, A Public Space, McSweeney’s, Tin House, Oxford American, American Short Fiction, Virginia Quarterly Review, and many others. She is a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times. She is the author of the books Ayiti, An Untamed State, the New York Times bestselling Bad Feminist, and Difficult Women and Hunger forthcoming in 2017. She is also the author of World of Wakanda for Marvel.

Randa Jarrar’s work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The Utne Reader,, Guernica, The Rumpus, The Oxford American, Ploughshares, The Sun, and others. Her first book, the Arab-American coming of age novel, A Map of Home, is now on many college syllabi. Her new book, Him, Me, Muhammad Ali, was named one of the Most Anticipated Books of 2016 by The Millions, and one of Electric Literature‘s 25 best collections of the year. She runs RAWI (the Radius of Arab-American Writers) and loves coordinating events and strengthening communities.

*contact for discount code

PEN Presents
Joyce Carol Oates
with Henri Cole
Tuesday Feb 28, 2017

The Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever
6000 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA
Doors: 7:00 PM
Show: 8:00 PM
Tickets: $25 - $43 with a book.
PEN Members receive early seating and signing line priority

PEN Presents celebrates the power of words to inform, entertain, inspire, and foster a vital literary culture. This evening’s event will include a brief reading by Joyce Carol Oates followed by a conversation between Oates and award-winning poet Henri Cole.

Joyce Carol Oates, a New York Times bestselling author will read from and then discuss A Book of American Martyrs, her powerfully resonant and provocative new novel. In this moving, insightful portrait, Joyce Carol Oates fully inhabits the perspectives of two interwoven families whose destinies are defined by their warring convictions.

Joyce Carol Oates is a recipient of the National Humanities Medal, the National Book Critics Circle Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award, the National Book Award, and the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction. She has written some of the most enduring fiction of our time, including the national bestsellers We Were the Mulvaneys, Blonde (a finalist for the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize), and the New York Times bestsellers The Falls (winner of the 2005 Prix Femina Etranger) and The Gravedigger’s Daughter. She is the Roger S. Berlind Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at Princeton University and has been a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters since 1978. In 2003 she received the Common Wealth Award for Distinguished Service in Literature, and in 2006 she received the Chicago Tribune Lifetime Achievement Award.

Henri Cole was born in Fukuoka, Japan, in 1956. He has published nine collections of poetry including Middle Earth, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry. He has received many awards for his work, including the Jackson Prize, the Kingsley Tufts Award, the Rome Prize, the Berlin Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Lenore Marshall Award, and, most recently, a fellowship from the Radcliffe Institute at Harvard. His ninth collection, Nothing to Declare, was published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux last spring. He teaches at Claremont McKenna College.

A portion of the event proceeds will benefit PEN Center USA's Freedom To Write programming, including the Emergency Writers Fund. For more info:

Books provided by Chevalier’s Books.