Join us for RESPITE: A Pit Stop for Writing With Art

RESPITE gives participants the opportunity to slow down amidst the chaos of this city and appreciate art. Join us bimonthly as workshop facilitator UGBA uses the brilliant artwork (like the one in the image above) within Pen + Brush as prompts for creative writing of any genre. This is a generative in-person creative writing workshop with the intention of helping you relax and release.

Our next RESPITE event will take place on Wednesday, May 29 from 6:00 – 8:00 pm (ET) at Pen + Brush (29 E 22nd St)

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Image artwork courtesy of the Artist and Pen + Brush.

“The Last Trumpet" Crystal Marshall. Oil on paper.(2023). Photo courtesy of Crystal Marshall and Pen + Brush.

“THE NOW: Fever Dreams,” is Pen + Brush’s current exhibition, (May 16 – August 16). a group exhibition features vignettes of work by artists: Antonia Bara, Heather Brammeier, Martha Bone, Sandra Cavanagh, Angela Fraleigh, Crystal Marshall, Tara Sabharwal, Heather Marie Scholl, and Jia Sung. This is P+B’s fourth iteration of Now exhibitions, an ongoing series that brings focus to artists who are the undiscovered “ones to watch” and are creating works that capture the pulse of today. THE NOW: Fever Dreams builds on this evolving nature of “the now” as it pertains to contemporary art and temporality by bringing together works by eight artists that share more than just a dream-like quality—they share in their intensity and feverish depictions of liminal space and time. Works on view merge visions of unsustainable pleasure, anxieties, and the mythological feminine. Hallucinatory scenes lacking reason are met with skillful compositions that refute traditional hierarchies of order and, like a fever dream, react to an untenable environment. The Now: Fever Dreams tests limits of definitions surrounding “established” contemporary art while bringing together current socially relevant themes of feminism, crisis, globalism, and indeed, psychoanalysis to inform its aesthetic. Visit to learn more about this exhibition. (Credit: Pen + Brush)

Visit at Pen + Brush to see this artwork and many more in-person.


Ungrateful Black Artist (UGBA – ‘oog ba’)  (pronoun inclusive) is a queer poet, rapper, playwright, actor, and activist based out of Brooklyn, NY. His essays and poetry can be found in The Rumpus, The Root, Afropunk, Black Youth Project, The Grio, THEM and elsewhere. UGBA is the founder/host of CEREMONIES—a Brooklyn based monthly Black-Queer artist showcase held in honor of Essex Hemphill. UGBA is also the founder of “Dark-Skin Support Group" a virtual support network for dark-skin Black Americans in need of a space to discuss the realities of colorism. In the summer of 2018, UGBA debuted his one-man show NEPTUNE as the headliner for Dixon Place’s annual “Hot Festival.” Following rave reviews and sold-out performances, NEPTUNE was then restaged as the 2019 kick-off event for Brooklyn Museum’s acclaimed “1st Saturday" series. In 2020, UGBA was named a “Black LGBTQ+ playwright you need to know " by Time Out NY. UGBA is the current script assistant for the Pulitzer Prize winning Broadway show Fat Ham. He is an alumnus of the Public Theater’s #BARS program. He is a current member of the Public Theater’s Emerging Writers Group 2020-2023 cohort. He is a 2023 Artivism Fellow through Broadway Advocacy Coalition, a 2022 MAP Grant recipient, a 2020-2021 BAM Resident, and current Artistic Director at NY Writers Coalition.