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PEN Mingle with La Casa Azul Bookstore

143 E. 103rd Street, New York, NY 10029


This is a FREE event but reservations are required. Please RSVP here.

PEN American Center is thrilled to co-host our September PEN Mingle with La Casa Azul Bookstore. PEN Mingles are social gatherings hosted at venues throughout the city. We hope you can join us for an evening of drinks, engaging conversation, and updates on PEN’s work defending free expression at home and abroad.

Sign up to become a PEN Member or renew your Membership at the event and receive a 25% discount, or click here to sign up online.

With Co-hosts:

Michele Carlo
Dahlma Llanos-Figueroa
Vicky Grise
Sergio Troncoso

Featured Parnter:

La Casa Azul Bookstore is dedicated to providing cultural, and educational programs via literature and art in East Harlem. It is our vision to foster public awareness and appreciation of the arts by being a focal point where people come to find unique art and books; and participate in culturally-based programs that celebrate Latino traditions and literature.


Featured Co-hots:

Michele Carlo is a native New Yorker, a Nuyorican, a natural redhead and the author of the memoir Fish Out Of Agua: My life on neither side of the (subway) tracks, (Citadel/Kensington). As a storyteller, she’s appeared across the U.S., including the MOTH’s GrandSlams and Mainstage in NYC, and on NPR with Latino USA. Her essays and stories can be also be found in Mr. Beller’s Lost & Found: Stories From New York, SMITH magazine’s Next Door Neighbor, Huffington Post and Story Club magazine, among others. Michele was also featured in the 2015 Emmy award-winning PBS documentary “Latino Americans of NY & NJ,” and her latest solo show “There Goes The Neighborhood” will debut later this fall. Like her on FB, follow her on twitter…because why not? www.michelecarlo.com & @Michele_asShell 

Ms. Llanos-Figueroa was born in Puerto Rico and raised in New York City.  She is a product of NYC public schools and the Bronx Puerto Rican community. As a child she was sent to live with her grandparents in Puerto Rico where she was exposed to the rural Puerto Rican experience including the storytelling that came naturally to the women, especially the older women, in her family. Much of her work is based on her experience during this time. Ms. Llanos-Figueroa is a novelist, memoirist and short story writer whose work is grounded in the Puerto Rican communities on the island and in New York City.  Her longer narratives, though universal in nature, are heavily influenced by West African mystical symbology and 20th Century Latin American magical realism while her shorter pieces are grounded in urban realism. A 2006-7 Bronx Council on the Arts Literary Fellow and three-time BRIO/ACE award winner, her novel Daughters of the Stone was shortlisted for the prestigious 2010 PEN America Bingham Award and her work has been included in Breaking Ground/Habriendo Caminos, an Anthology of Puerto Rican Women Writers in New York 1980-2012, Gorwing up Girl, When Last on the Mountain, Woman’s Work and Narrative Magazine, among others.  She has completed her second novel, A Woman of Endurance and is now working on her third novel in a series of five.  For a list of other publications please refer to her web site at www.llanosfigueroa.com.
From panzas to prisons, from street theatre to large-scale multimedia performances, from princess to chafa – Virginia Grise writes plays that are set in bars without windows, barrio rooftops, and lesbian bedrooms. Her published work includes blu (Yale University Press), The Panza Monologues co-written with Irma Mayorga (University of Texas Press) and an edited volume of Zapatista communiqués titled Conversations with Don Durito (Autonomedia Press). Virginia is a recipient of the Whiting Writers’ Award, the Princess Grace Award in Theatre Directing, the Yale Drama Series Award, the Playwrights’ Center’s Jerome Fellowship and is a Time Warner Fellow Alum at the Women’s Project Theatre Lab. She has taught writing for performance at the university level, as a public school teacher, in community centers, women’s prisons and in the juvenile correction system. Virginia holds an MFA in Writing for Performance from the California Institute of the Arts and currently lives in the Bronx, NY.
Sergio Troncoso was born in El Paso, Texas and now lives in New York City. After graduating from Harvard College, he was a Fulbright Scholar to Mexico and studied international relations and philosophy at Yale University. Troncoso was inducted into the Hispanic Scholarship Fund’s Alumni Hall of Fame and the Texas Institute of Letters. The El Paso City Council voted unanimously to rename the Ysleta public library branch in honor of Sergio Troncoso. He is a resident faculty member of the Yale Writers’ Conference in New Haven, Connecticut, and an instructor at the Hudson Valley Writers’ Center in Sleepy Hollow, New York. Among the numerous awards Troncoso has won are the Premio Aztlan Literary Prize, Southwest Book Award, Bronze Award for Essays from ForeWord Reviews, International Latino Book Award, and Bronze Award for Multicultural Fiction from ForeWord Reviews. He is serving as a judge for the 2016 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. Troncoso is the author of five books. He co-edited Our Lost Border: Essays on Life amid the Narco-Violence (2013), a collection of essays on how the bi-national, bi-cultural life along the United States-Mexico border has been disrupted by recent drug violence. Publishers Weekly called it an “eye-opening collection of essays.”