PEN Across America Austin Open House

Row of books; on top: “PEN Across America Austin Open House Chapter Event”

2021 PEN Across America Austin Open House

PEN America welcomes Members and others to an in-person open house event in Austin. We are so thrilled to host an evening of readings and cocktails with writers Kirk Walsh, Stacey Swann, Julie Poole, and Richard Santos. Join us on August 26 at 7pm CT at The Carpenter Hotel.

This is an outdoor event. We are monitoring regional COVID protocols and working closely with all our venues in order to ensure a series of safe and inspiring events. If circumstances require, our plans may change. We promise to keep you posted.

Attendance is free, but space is limited. Pre-registration is required. If you have any questions, please email William Johnson, PEN Across Program Director, at


S. Kirk Walsh headshotS. Kirk Walsh is the author of The Elephant of Belfast. The novel has generated praise from The New Yorker, The New York Times Book Review, The Christian Science Monitor, among others. She has also published essays and reviews in many publications, including Catapult, Texas Monthly, Longreads, and more. Walsh is the founder of Austin Bat Cave, a writing and tutoring center for kids.

Stacey Swann headshot

Stacey Swann’s debut novel Olympus, Texas was published in 2021 by Doubleday, W&N (UK), and Bompiani (Italy). She holds an MFA from Texas State University and was a Stegner Fellow at Stanford University. Her stories have appeared in Epoch, Memorious, Versal, and other journals, and she is a contributing editor of American Short Fiction.

Julie Poole headshotJulie Poole received a BA from Columbia University and an MFA from the New Writers Project at The University of Texas at Austin. Her first book of poems, Bright Specimen, was published by Deep Vellum Publishing in June. She is currently working on a memoir about mental health.

Richard Z. Santos headshotRichard Z. Santos is the author of Trust Me (Arte Público Press), which was named one of the 10 best debuts of 2020 by CrimeReads, and the editor of a forthcoming anthology of Latinx horror stories. His fiction, essays, and more can be found in Texas Monthly, PANK, Post Road, Kirkus Reviews, and many more. He’s a former high school teacher and political campaign operative. He is currently the executive director of the creative writing nonprofit Austin Bat Cave.

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