7 p.m.

An Evening with Memoirist James Brown

In conversation with Barbara DeMarco-Barrett

Join us for an evening of conversation about the art, craft, and business of writing with James Brown.

JAMES BROWN is the author of the critically acclaimed memoirs The Los Angeles Diaries and This River. He is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship and the Nelson Algren Literary Award in short fiction. Brown’s work has appeared in GQ, The New York Times Magazine, Los Angeles Times Magazine, Ploughshares, New England Review, and many other publications. He lives in Lake Arrowhead, California.


“James Brown’s Apology to the Young Addict may be the closest linguistic facsimile to what it’s like to be in recovery: haunted, growing old, somehow not yet world-weary, but always a razor’s breadth—one day at a time—away from chaos. The third panel in Brown’s masterwork triptych on addiction from youth to sixty, Apology to the Young Addict also accomplishes at last a staggeringly rare mercy—on the ghosts of memory, the ravages of disease, the brutal hypocrisies of religion,
and finally—most shockingly—on himself.”
—Gina Frangello, author of Every Kind of Wanting and A Life in Men

Husband, addict, father, skeptic.

Now sixty—with years of sobriety under his belt—and the father of three sons, James Brown (author of The Los Angeles Diaries) writes about finding a new path
in life, how he has made peace with the family whose ghosts have haunted him so vociferously, and helping the next generation of addicts overcome their disease. Opening with the tragic tale of an elderly couple consumed by opioid addiction and moving through the horrors of a Las Vegas massacre, these essays draw on Brown’s personal journey of recovery to illustrate how an individual life, in all its messiness and charm, can offer a blueprint for healing. Haunting and hopeful, Apology to the Young Addict is a reinvention of the recovery memoir and a lasting testimony from a master writing at his peak.


Please note: We begin at 7pm sharp.
Latecomers risk losing their seats and may enjoy standing-room only.
No refunds.

Write up of speaker series event with Elizabeth Marro and T. Jefferson Parker

In case you missed it, writer Chelsey Drysdale did a detailed write-up. Right here.

Recap of speaker series/salon with Bret Anthony Johnston, Aline Ohanesian, and Lisa Glatt

Essayist and editor Chelsey Drysdale wrote this incredibly detailed recap of last Tuesday night’s event.  If you were there and didn’t take notes, or if you weren’t there but wish you had been, check out her blog. Right here. Thank you, Chelsey!

Author T. Jefferson Parker, two-time guest of the
Pen on Fire Writers Salon:

T. Jefferson Parker T. Jefferson Parker's new novel, The Jaguar "What a terrific evening with you at the gallery. You've got some really fine readers/writers/fans. It was an enjoyable night for me. I felt much appreciated and not a little spoiled!"

- T. Jefferson Parker
featured author at the Pen on Fire Writers Salon
January 18, 2011

Comments from Pen On Fire Writers Salon Attendees

"Thanks for Tuesday evening with Heidi Durrow and Danzy Senna. I hesitated when I paid my $20, as I was not sure this was the program for me. When I arrived to realize I was the only man, I was convinced of it. The only thing I remembered was that by far the majority of writers and readers are women. But I was committed, and sitting by the wall; leaving wasn't an option. But then the authors started talking and reading. Wow! It was then that I knew why I came. I listened to every word. And each word was valuable.

—Frederick R. Andresen

Past guests include authors, literary agents, and editors: Bret Anthony Johnston, Chris Bohjalian, Lisa See, Dani Shapiro, Seth Greenland, Diana Wagman, Jillian Lauren, Dana Johnson, Martin J. Smith, Susan Straight, Tatjana Soli, Jess Walter, Pam Houston, Suzanne Redfearn, Jane Porter, Anita Hughes, Kaira Rouda, Betsy Amster, Stacy Berlein, Eric Puchner, Claire Bidwell Smith, James Brown, Dinah Lenney, T. Jefferson Parker, Merrill Markoe, Karen Karbo, Heidi Durrow, Danzy Senna, Taylor Martindale, Sally van Haitsma, Elise Capron, Katie Arnoldi, Marisa Matarrazo, Lisa Fugard, Andrew Winer, Dan Smetanka, Dennis Palumbo, Daniel Pyne, Aimee Bender, Michael Jaime-Becerra, Jill Marr, Stacy Chilton Weiss, Gary Phillips, Mary Castillo, Martin J. Smith, Patricia McFall, Ron Carlson, Tod Goldberg, Victoria Patterson, Carolyn See, Norman Ollestad, Sarah Shun-Lien Bynum, Kelly Sonnack, Debra Ollivier, Aline Ohanesian.