Every month, New York’s best and brightest women writers come together for Women of Letters – a celebration of the lost art of letter writing. May’s event, held at Joe’s Pub at the Public, included writer and Senior Editor at Marie Claire Jen Ortiz, who is also a Girls Write Now mentor.
Jen performed a piece to fit with the night’s theme “to my never again.”
I just quit a terrible, no good, very bad job that paid way too little considering how many times I’d cried in the office bathroom and began a summer internship before starting graduate school in the fall. I can’t afford to live on my own, let alone pay off my student loans, both new and old. And so I’m a teenager-plus at 24 years old. Old enough to not live at home but doing it anyway.
Too old to be in the comfortable bubble of college that tricks you into thinking you’re untouchable, that you can ignore your limits, that you can get away with anything without any real consequences, but too young to have actually figured any of that out.
Jen told us she loved the experience and that the other readers were warm and inviting. The writers joining Jen included: Legendary groupie and author of I’m With the Band, Pamela Des Barres
Iconic poet, prolific author and cult figure Eileen Myles
Beloved playwright and creator of Ironbound, Martyna Majok
Award-winning poet and author of Our Andromeda Brenda Shaughnessy
Critically-acclaimed writer and author of Relativity Antonia Hayes
“The crowd was already on your side, you didn’t have to win them over,” Jen says. It helped that my friends had a table right by the stage.” A few days after the reading, Jen met with her mentee Cathioska Rodriguez, and shared her thoughts on performance anxiety. Jen was able to sympathize with her mentee about how hard it is to perform in front of a large crowd. (Her mentee had just read to a sold-out room at the Girls Write Now CHAPTERS Reading Series!).
Girls Write Now salutes Jen and all of the Women of Letters!