With its twentieth anniversary approaching in 2014 Pasadena-based Red Hen Press, one of the largest literary presses on the West Coast, has launched a Kickstarter campaign to finance an anniversary anthology showcasing the depth of its catalogue.
The campaign, which hopes to raise $35,000, kicks off with "Poetry Prom," a free public festival celebrating literature and the arts at Pasadena’s La Pintoresca Library on August 3 from 4:00-5:30pm. Attendees are encouraged to come dressed in prom or mock-prom attire; poets Laurel Ann Bogen and Douglas Kearney will serve as Prom Queen and King. A book drive will be conducted to support community literacy projects throughout Southern California. Refreshments, a photo booth, dancing, and a raffle drawing for prizes will also be featured.
The Twentieth Anniversary Anthology will be a collection of nearly 200 stories, poems, and essays from many of Red Hen’s authors, including. Ron Carlson, Chris Abani, Eloise Klein Healy, Camille Dungy, and Percival Everett. An introduction and commentaries about some of the press’s imprints and editorial foci – Los Angeles writers, Arktoi Books, Boreal Books, literature in translation, and its writers who have gone on to be Poets Laureate – will be written by Red Hen’s co-founder and managing editor, Kate Gale. The Anthology will be central to the book drive, with many copies donated to retirement homes, schools, and literacy programs. “Engaging the community has always been a part of what we do at Red Hen,” says Gale. “That’s why we’re wrapping these things together, the Anthology and the festival and the literacy programs.”