Red Hen Press Celebrates 25 Years of Independent Publishing in Pasadena

L to R: Mark E. Cull, Publisher and Co-founder; Kate Gale, Managing Editor and Co-founder; Tobi Harper, Deputy DirectorWITS Student Stephania Santana with her parentsL-R: Red Hen authors: Percival Everett, author of Trout\'s Lie; Elizabeth Bradfield, author of Toward Antarctica; Steve Almond, author of Bad Stories. Photo credit for all photos: Mandy BellRed Hen Press staff and interns L to R: Tobi Harper, Amanda De Vries, Elizabeth Correll, Collin Spinney, Stephanie Panozzo, McKinley Ebert, Norma Gomez, John Paul Sawan, Monica Fernandez, Nicolas Niño, Caitlin Sacks, Rebeccah Sanhueza, Joann Kong, Perrin Shyne, Tansica Sunkamaneevongse, Mark E. Cull, Natasha McClellan, Kate GaleChampagne Tower

STAFF REPORT | Photography by MANDY BELL

3:55 pm | October 28, 2019


This past Sunday, October 27, local literary nonprofit Red Hen Press hosted 275 authors, supporters, and community members at their 25th Benefit Champagne Luncheon at NOOR at The Paseo in Pasadena. This annual fundraiser supported the press’s publishing initiatives, Writing in the Schools (WITS) program, community outreach, and celebrated twenty-five years in the publishing industry.

Red Hen authors exclusively headlined the event with readings from author of Bad Stories and former co-host of the Dear Sugars podcast, Steve Almond, renowned researcher and author of Toward Antarctica, Elizabeth Bradfield, and author of Trout’s Lie and recipient of the Academy Award in Literature, Percival Everett. The event also featured readings from students from the WITS program, Paola Morales and Stephania Santana, and speeches from Deputy Director, Tobi Harper and press co-founder and Managing Editor, Kate Gale.

The luncheon kicked off at 11:00 a.m. at NOOR, where guests were able to mingle with complimentary champagne, purchase books and exclusive custom-made broadsides, and place bids in the silent auction, which featured baskets, travel packages, and experiences.

Bestselling author and author of upcoming Red Hen title Glorious Boy, Aimee Liu, recounted, “Red Hen’s 25th Benefit was like a family celebration, except the family includes literary luminaries such as Steve Almond, Percival Everett, Sandra Tsing Loh, and Elizabeth Bradfield. Every conversation resonated with a sense of community and creative encouragement — a wonder in these times!”

Ann Beman, chair of the Red Hen Press Board of Directors, raved: “The location at Noor, the readings by Red Hen authors Elizabeth Bradfield, Steve Almond, and Percival Everett, not to mention the triumphant student poems read by newly-minted poets from Red Hen’s Writers in the Schools: These all combined to make this 25th Anniversary Benefit a delightful success. I so much enjoyed being part of the meaningful connections made by the guests at my table. It ended too soon.”

Other notable guests included poet, essayist, translator, and publisher Kazim Ali; Poet Laureate of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, John Brantingham; Former 12 year Regional Director of the Poetry Society of America and Executive Director for the AVK Arts Foundation, Elena Karina Byrne; Guggenheim Fellow, Victoria Chang; Lambda Literary Award winner, Henri Cole; author of Dementia, My Darling and Bouncy Bounce, Brendan Constantine; former Poet Laureate of West Hollywood, Kim Dower; Poet Laureate of West Hollywood, Charles Flowers; winner of the American Library Association Barbara Gittings Prize for Literature, David Francis; poet, musician, and founder of The Asheville Poetry Review, Keith Flynn; bestselling cookbook author, George Geary; recipient of the 1994 Bill Whitehead Award for Lifetime Achievement from Publishing Triangle, Judy Grahn; Vice Mayor of Pasadena, Tyron Hampton; Eloise Klein Healy, inaugural Poet Laureate of Los Angeles; South Pasadena Poet Laureate, Ron Koertge; Pasadena poet and clinical psychologist, Lisa C. Krueger; New York Times 100 Notable Books author, Sandra Tsing Loh; Co-founders of the Los Angeles Review of Books, Tom Lutz and Laurie Winer; award-winning poet and author of Testify, Douglas Manuel; Poet Laureate of Malibu, Ricardo Means-Ybarra; Viet Thanh Nguyen, author of Pulitzer prize-winning The Sympathizer; maestro Carlo Ponti of the Los Angeles Virtuosi Orchestra; environmental activist and author of Eat Less Water, Florencia Ramirez; former Los Angeles Poet Laureate, Luis Rodríguez; Latina Advocate Award recipient, Trini Rodríguez; former Poet Laureate of West Hollywood, Steven Reigns; screenwriter and author, Howard Rodman; composer and musician, Michael Roth; and winner of the Pen/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay, Michelle Tea.

$158,000 was raised from the event.

Unsold items from the silent auction are available for purchase here at highly discounted rates starting today through the end of Cyber Monday on December 2.

Red Hen Press, one of the few literary presses in the Los Angeles area, was founded in 1994 by Kate Gale and Mark E. Cull with the intention of keeping creative literature alive. Red Hen Press is committed to publishing works of literary excellence, supporting diversity, and promoting literacy in our local schools. We seek a community of readers and writers who are actively engaged in the essential human practice known as literature.

Red Hen Press is staffed by Kate Gale, Managing Editor; Mark E. Cull, Publisher; Tobi Harper, Deputy Director; Monica Fernandez, Media Manager; Nicolas Niño, Development Associate; Natasha McClellan, Production Associate; Rebeccah Sanhueza, Editorial and Development Assistant; Tansica Sunkamaneevongse, Marketing Assistant; and Amanda De Vries, Bookkeeper. The Press thanks all of the interns and volunteers who assisted in the event.

Next year, Red Hen Press will celebrate its 26th anniversary on October 25, 2020 at NOOR, featuring Rivka Galchen, Allison Joseph, and Maurice Carlos Ruffin.