Goodbye From Cupcake

Dearest Cupcakes,

We're sad to inform you that April was the final edition of Cupcake. In the nearly two years that the series existed, we were proud to have presented readings by some of New York's best women writers. The time has now come for each of us to move on to pursue other endeavors.

We thank you for having made Cupcake one of the many reasons that people look to downtown New York for cutting-edge arts and culture, and hope that you will continue to support talented women writers wherever you may find them.

Warmest regards,


I am being kept quite busy working with so many talented clients and friends! Here's what going on this weekend. Hope you can join us!

In tonight's special event, entitled "Southern Girls Do It Better!", Georgia native Tayari Jones - winner of the Hurston/Wright Award for Debut Fiction for "Leaving Atlanta" - reads from her new novel, THE UNTELLING (Warner Books, April 2005) with Texas-born, Florida-raised New Yorker Maud Newton, who reads from her novel-in-progress about fundamentalist Christians in 1980's Miami and how extremism can pass from one generation to the next. 7PM, FREE.

The Untelling was recently given a glowing review by The Washington Post, and in addition to tonight's absolutely-can't-miss reading at our home away from home, Bluestockings, she'll also be uptown tomorrow night for the Chocolat Literary Series.

On Sunday, Katherine Lanpher is taping a pilot of LIBERAL ARTS, a new arts and culture program in development for Air America, at my other favorite New York venue, Housing Works. Steve Earle and Allison Moorer are her guests, and details on that fabulous happening are just a click away.


As you may recall, the coverage of last year's National Book Awards was rather shady and we were not amused. Much of the insult centered on the description of the five nominees as "parochial", attributed to National Book Awards Executive Director Harold Augenbraum.

He recently emailed me to say that he was misquoted, and after I asked, said it would be fine to excerpt his original email:
Every few days I check out the literary blogs to remind myself how much I don't know about what is going on.

Today I was reading your blog, "cupcake" and I came across your re-print of my "quotation" about last year's fiction finalists for the National Book Award. I want to set the record straight: I never said that the fiction finalists were "parochial", never used that word at all in a 15-minute interview.

How did it get into the story? Well, it didn't come from me, it was just attributed to me and it seems to be following me around like an old, wet dog.
As a person who has worked in public relations for the past few years, I can honestly say that happens all the time. Cupcakes: Ask the reporter to record the conversation if you're interviewed. That way, your words will be more accurately conveyed, and you can always go back and force the publication to run a correction if that's not the case in the final piece.

Either way, Harold, we here at Cupcake are both quick to judge and quick to forgive and forget, and so, for what it's worth, you can consider your name cleared as far as we're concerned.


As you know, I spend much of my time working with clients on literary publicity projects. Right now I'm really blessed to be working with two amazing women writers whose books, quite serendipitously, are both being officially released today: Quinn Dalton, author of Bulletproof Girl, and Tayari Jones, author of The Untelling.

Quinn and Tayari both took part in a conversation, along with Carrie A. A. Frye and Gwenda Bond, that was published by Dan Wickett and the Emerging Writers Network yesterday. Entitled, "Emerging Southern Women Writers and Bloggers Discuss...Labels", the discussion playfully yet unflinchingly explored some of the extra adjectives that writers -- and most often women writers -- can get saddled with early in their careers.

Tayari will be in town this Friday to read at Bluestockings with Cupcake alum Maud Newton at 7pm. She'll be uptown on Saturday night for the Chocolat Literary Series, and in San Francisco on May 22. Quinn will be in DC on May 5 for a reading at the 12th Street Barnes & Noble.

I plan to be at at least three of those fabulously free events (lots more are listed at each of their sites), happily taking in some of the lively, nuanced, quality fiction that seems all too rare these days.
A big Cupcake fan writes in:
As a devotee of flavorpill (which has from time to time included the Cupcake reading series among its weekly “picks”), I decided to add, Boldtype (an e-mail newsletter published by flavorpill), to my already overflowing inbox.  Boldtype is hyped as “an email-based book review based on a simple guiding philosophy: to cover every month 5-7 books worth reading. Like a well read friend's picks, each issue is compiled by editors and contributing reviewers who suggest only works that they have read and that they themselves personally recommend.”  What a surprise when I received my first issue—of the 22 books mentioned, only 3 were by female authors.  Someone needs to be cupcake-d.  With frosting.
The moral of the story? Cupcakes count, so should editors.



Must read this Times article on apalling sexism in academia. Check it out:

At Harvard, for example, there are 149 men with tenure in the natural sciences and just 13 women. Cynthia Friend, the chairwoman of the chemistry department, remains the only woman who has ever received tenure in chemistry at Harvard.(By comparison, women have done better in the humanities departments at Harvard, where 39 women and 98 men have tenure.)
Bold is mine, natch.

Did you catch that: 39 tenured women, 98 tenured men in the humanities at Harvard. I'm sorry--isn't that what the Fox newsroom is supposed to look like? Yikes.

It's all about the numbers--we don't even have to make an argument at this point.



A big thank you to Rene Steinke and Paula Kamen for giving such fine performances last night--what a special Cupcake it was! These two are fabulous: do check out Paula's new book, ALL IN MY HEAD, and Rene's new novel, HOLY SKIRTS, asap.

These writers have inspired a new venture (in my mind, for now, at least): the Cupcake Brain Trust. Both are writing such important parts of our history: Rene imagining and chronicling the intensely neccessary (think of her as a revolutionary, wild, proto-Bjork) Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven and Paula so heroically putting an invisible epidemic that effects a disproportionate number of women on the map. I feel so lucky to have basked in their genius.



Hey everybody--so we'll see you tonight at Lolita (266 Broome St. at Allen) at 7:30 pm for Rene Steinke and Paula Kamen--don't miss it. We can't wait to see you and say hi.


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