Sunset Salons: Authors

  • 06:00 PM

A mid-week dose of inspiration, five vibrant evenings at the crossroads of interesting people and fresh ideas. Join us for animated conversations about matters that shape our lives.

Calling all bibliophiles and wordsmiths! Area authors come together to share pointers for publication and insights into their writing process; together, we’ll try our hands at writing our own stories utilizing panelist techniques. What better way to spend a winter night than with a good book?

Featured Panelists:

mark-curnutteMARK CURNUTTE covers Race and Communities for The Cincinnati Enquirer. He took a buyout from the Enquirer at the end of 2014, after 21+ years at the newspaper. Then, as Vice President of Marketing and Communications at the Greater Cincinnati Urban League, he edited and produced “The State of Black Cincinnati 2015: Two Cities.” He returned to The Enquirer in January and has since written about Black Lives Matter and police-community relations, the work of the NAACP, Islamophobia and immigration. He was twice selected as top reporter in Ohio for work produced in 2012 and 2013. A 1984 Miami University graduate with degrees in English and Geography, he is the author of “A Promise in Haiti: A Reporter’s Notes on Families and Daily Lives” (Vanderbilt University Press, 2011).   Foreword Reviews selected “Promise” as a national silver medal-winning book in social sciences for 2011.
pauletta-hanselPAULETTA HANSEL was recently named Cincinnati’s first Poet Laureate. Her poems and prose have been featured in journals including Atlanta Review, Talisman, Kudzu, Appalachian Journal, Appalachian Heritage and Still: The Journal, and on The Writer’s Almanac and American Life in Poetry. She is author of five poetry collections, most recently Tangle (Dos Madres Press, 2015), What I Did There (Dos Madres Press, 2011) and The Lives We Live in Houses (Wind Publications, 2011).  Pauletta is managing editor of Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel, the literary publication of Southern Appalachian Writers Cooperative. Pauletta leads writing workshops and retreats in the Greater Cincinnati area and beyond. Read more at

josephine-rascoe-keenanJOSEPHINE RASCOE KEENAN grew up in Arkansas’s oil patch, El Dorado, city of “black gold.” After working many years in theatre and film as a director and as a professional actress, she retired to focus on writing novels and short stories for young people.  This year Pen-L Publishing launched her debut novel, In Those First Bright Days of Elvis, Book I of a series entitled The Days of Elvis, about a young girl with an absentee father.  Book II, In Those Dazzling Days of Elvis, launches in the spring of 2017. Two of Josephine’s stories have appeared in the teen magazine, Cricket, and her poem, A Ride on Grandpa’s Foot appeared in Modern Maturity magazine. Her plays have toured with Artreach Touring Theatre; and one was chosen as a winner of Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati’s New Play Contest. Visit Josephine at, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter.
rick-penderRICK PENDER is an award-winning arts journalist, magazine and newspaper editor, theater critic, communications professional and occasional urban tour guide. He’s been writing about Cincinnati entertainment and history for more than 30 years for local publications including the alternative newsweekly CityBeat. An Ohioan (but not a native Cincinnatian), he became an ardent admirer of all of the Queen City’s many attractions — more than most people expect to find in a midsized city. Cincinnati definitely punches above its weight, and Rick’s book, 100 Things To Do in Cincinnati Before You Die, points to where the best blows are landing. Released in early September, it’s already gone to a second printing!

david-pepperDAVID PEPPER was unanimously elected Chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party on December 17, 2014 and began his term on January 1, 2015. David was first elected to public office in 2001 when he served on the Cincinnati City Council, finishing first out of a field of 26 candidates, and was reelected for a second term in 2003. David earned his B.A. magna cum laude from Yale University, and later earned his J.D. from Yale Law School. In 1999, David clerked for the Honorable Nathaniel Jones of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Since 2000, David has also worked in the Cincinnati offices of major law firms Squire Sanders and Blank Rome, focusing his practice on commercial and business litigation, and appellate litigation. David also teaches election and voting rights law as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Cincinnati College of Law.  Pepper is also the author of a forthcoming novel, “The People’s House,” an Ohio-based political thriller.  Read more at
kevin-reynoldsKEVIN REYNOLDS has worked for more than 30 years in the non-profit sector. Following positions with the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation, Butler County United Way and leading Summerfair Cincinnati for nine years, Kevin joined the marketing team at Cincinnati Public Radio in 2005. In the ever-morphing position of Community Relations Manager, Kevin is responsible for public and media relations, station events, social media, media partnerships, and produced the weekend version of Cincinnati Edition and the currently on-hiatus show, The Book Club @91.7. He has served on the Marketing Committee of Books by the Banks since its inception 10 years ago and is a volunteer Ambassador for the LifeCenter Organ Donor Network.

grace-dobushGRACE DOBUSH is a freelance journalist and creative entrepreneur in Cincinnati. A polymath with a wide range of interests, her editorial experience includes everything from politics and history to graphic design and craft business. Grace loves working on stories that give historical context to modern events, and loves parsing data to create engaging infographics.  Grace has written for publications including Wired, Quartz, The Economist, the Washington Post, Roll Call, Writer’s Digest, and Cincinnati Magazine, and she’s worked on the editorial staffs of HOW, Print, Family Tree Magazine, The Artist’s Magazine and the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. She also does content strategy, editing and writing for companies and agencies including the Consumer Tech Association and Robert Half International. Grace also wrote the Crafty Superstar business guides for part-time crafters, and co-founded the Crafty Supermarket craft show in Cincinnati. She loves speaking at conferences around the world about DIY business and entrepreneurship, and is part of the trifecta putting together Midwest Craft Con.


6:00 p.m. – Doors open for heavy hors d’oeuvres and mingling over striking art
6:30 p.m. – Featured panel conversation + group activity
8:00 p.m. – Final bites, thoughts, and farewells


$10/advance | $12/door| $45/season subscription

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