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Keep the beautiful pen busy.


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Handwritten is a place and space for pen and paper. We showcase things in handwriting, but also on handwriting. And so, you'll see dated letters and distant postcards alongside recent studies and typed stories. 

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Filtering by Category: News & Reviews

The ____ ___ of Handwriting: A Handwritten Contest

Brett Rawson

BY HANDWRITTEN

In September alone, there were over seventy articles written about handwriting. While some were only secondarily about handwriting (handwritten ransom notes, for example), too many of them had headlines that had us smashing our foreheads on the nearest walls. They contained combinations of these words: handwriting, lost, death, dying, art, myth, doesn't matter, etc. See three examples below:

We disagree wildly. So much so that we're writing a response to these articles, podcasts, and books. And we thought, why not have some fun in the process? So hand-writers, hand-thinkers, and hand-holders out there, help us breathe a little life into these headlines. Tell us what you think these headlines should say. We'll be picking our favorite five to include in the article, and hey, who knows, maybe yours will end up being the headline we use for our article. If so, due credit will be loudly given.

Riff off the ones above, or if "Fill in the Blank" is more of your style, then choose from the below and get silly, serious, or inspired.

Handwriting is a _____ _____.

The ____ ____ of Handwriting.

Handwriting ______________.

We look forward to hearing from you. Feel free to comment here on the post, or send us your submission to info@handwrittenwork.com.

 

Pints & Postage at Berg'n (8/17)

Brett Rawson

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"I don't always write a letter, but when I do, I do it at a bar." 
—Unknown

BY HANDWRITTEN

On Wednesday, August 17th, join Handwritten & Smithsonian's Archives of American Art for a free-ish evening of lagers & letters. For one hundred and twenty minutes, we'll be posting up at Berg'n, writing drafts, drinking draught beer, and sealing letters to distant lovers and friends. 

There will be plenty of postage provided by Handwritten, ornate stationary provided by Princeton Architectural Press, and discounted beers thanks to Berg'n! Come early, drop by anytime, or linger longer. Details:


Wed, August 17 at 7 PM - 9 PM
Berg'n, 899 Bergen St,
Brooklyn, New York 11238

"OUT LOUD" is Back at Flatiron Plaza (7/28)

Brett Rawson

BY HANDWRITTEN

On June 30th, Handwritten held OUT LOUD, an afternoon of bearing witness through writing, for the first time. We set up a microphone in one of the most iconic, and busiest, intersections in New York City and began reading from letters, journals, and deep storage. We're happy to be invited back by the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership's Summer Series and, in partnership with Pen + Brush Gallery, bring the private once against into the public. Details are:

Public Plaza
Broadway, 5th Avenuve, And 23rd St
12-2pm, Thursday, July 28, 2016

"OUT LOUD" is about bringing our private lives to the public. It is about smudging the borders between ourselves and others that keep us from sharing who we are and learning more about those around us. We invite people to share those thoughts formerly kept to themselves, whether written in diaries or letters, in the open. Because, to adjust an Adrienne Rich quote, when one person tells the truth, it creates the possibility for more truth around them.

In a city of 8.5 million of people, it's easy to feel anonymous, alone, and apart. Authentic intimacy can seem difficult to come by. We find that writing down our thoughts and reflections whether in journal entries or letters to friends and family is a helpful way to process what it is to be alive today. At "Out Loud," we want you to share these confessions, meditations, and reflections with the larger public. 

You can read excerpts of things you've written or things someone else has written to you. And for those of you who can't make the event or want to partake but not speak, you can still participate: send us your excerpt and allow it to be read by those in the audience, or our roster of performers.

Email us at info@handwrittenwork.com to let us know how you'd like to partake.

"OUT LOUD" A Handwritten and Pen & Brush Event (6/30)

Brett Rawson

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BY HANDWRITTEN

As part of the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership's Summer Series, and in partnership with Pen & Brush, Handwritten brings you "Out Loud," an afternoon of bearing witness through writing. The details are below: 

Public Plaza
Broadway, 5th Avenuve, and 23rd St
12-2pm, Thursday, June 30, 2016

"OUT LOUD" is about bringing our private lives to the public. It is about smudging the borders between ourselves and others that keep us from sharing who we are and learning more about those around us. We invite people to share those thoughts formerly kept to themselves, whether written in diaries or letters, in the open. Because, to adjust an Adrienne Rich quote, when one person tells the truth, it creates the possibility for more truth around them.

In a city of 8.5 million of people, it's easy to feel anonymous, alone, and apart. Authentic intimacy can seem difficult to come by. We find that writing down our thoughts and reflections whether in journal entries or letters to friends and family is a helpful way to process what it is to be alive today. At "Out Loud," we want you to share these confessions, meditations, and reflections with the larger public. 

You can read excerpts of things you've written or things someone else has written to you. And for those of you who can't make the event or want to partake but not speak, you can still participate: send us your excerpt and allow it to be read by those in the audience, or our roster of performers.

Email us at info@handwrittenwork.com to let us know how you'd like to partake.

Handwriting Gala at Pen + Brush Gallery this Saturday (3/5) from 2 - 7 pm

Brett Rawson

This coming Saturday, we will be at Pen + Brush hosting a Handwriting Gala, showcasing handwriting in all its glory. The day will begin with a letter writing playshop led by author and poet Karen Benke, and then unfold into a few presentations about where and how handwriting is surfacing in the world today. 

Come write a letter, get enveloped by the handwritten word, and explore all the nooks and crannies in this beautiful space. For a full list of details for the day, check out our Events tab or click here.

2/19 Conceptual Poetry Panel at Pen + Brush, Hosted by Sarah Madges

Brett Rawson

Conceptual Poetry: Practice, Production, & Reception
Friday, February 19 | 7:30-9:00pm
Pen + Brush gallery, 29 E 22nd St.

We at Handwritten like to look at creative production holisticallyfeaturing a series of drafts and the overall creative process, rather than simply publishing the final work with no evidence of its becoming. In that sense, conceptual poetry is a kindred spirit, a literary movement that focuses more on the initial concept than the final product of the poem, and that often appropriates found materials to create new works. 

Join us at Pen + Brush for a panel session devoted to conceptual poetry's special possibilities, and the ramifications of these possibilities. Sarah Madges, chief curator at Handwritten, has brought together five poets and scholars to discuss issues such as: what strategies or conceits constitute a conceptual gesture,the role of both author and reader when a text isn't quite "authored" or "readable" in the usual sense, conceptual approaches one might adapt to other genres or artforms as well as its hybrid and performative nature, the use of algorithms and coding in poetry production, and interrogating what we mean by the "conceptual" itselflooking especially at female writers of color for alternative understandings and definitions. 

The roster includes: Sarah Madges (moderator), Evie Shockley, LB Thompson, Elizabeth Guthrie, LaTasha Diggs, Buffy Cain, and Holly Melgard. Moderated by Sarah Madges, with a Q&A to follow the presentations. Bios for our panelists to come very soon. 

Did we mention there will be wine?

We hope to see you on Friday, February 19th.

87 Reasons Why January is the Best Month of the Year

Brett Rawson

HANDLED BY HANDWRITTEN

In January, there are eighty-seven reasons to celebrate. Statistically, that means you should be celebrating 2.81 times every day, or, 78.68 times so far this month. You might not have known that you had so many chances to be festive. Don't worry, neither did we. Tens of opportunities passed us by, which we've come to terms with, but some of the knowledge could have come in handy. For example, on January 6th, we woke up to a feeling of looming aloneness. Had we only known it was National Cuddle Up Day, we could have rolled over, grabbed anything nearby, and clutched it closely. Or when, on January 16th, we had nothing to do that night, who knew we were already observing National Nothing Day? It was, in fact, everyone else who weren't being festive. And knowing now that there are 87 national holidays in January, including the celebration of our spirit animal, Squirrel Appreciation Day, we'll have a much better start to 2017 than 2016. 

All this being said, there was one holiday we didn't miss: National Handwriting Day on January 23rd. Here at Handwritten, we hosted an International Handwriting Day, welcoming all the alphabets. We received words, shapes, and characters of all kinds, from invented languages to backwards cursive. But we were one of hundreds celebrating this beautiful day, which is the point of this post: the things others did to celebrate pen, paper, and personalities. And so, here is a list of creative things we came across, but also learned, on this fine day:

CURSIVELOGICThere is a mother-daughter team in Texas right now that has a patent-pending model for teaching cursive writing. They have, literally and figuratively, reshaped the way we learn cursive writing. We wrote about them before (You Can Stop Cursing at Cursive Now), but on National Handwriting Day, they once again did something great: they paired together with Boy Scouts of America and hosted a day of promise for the pen and paper. Students and families in the Dallas-Fort Worth area joined in on the festivities, where they had the opportunity to learn cursive, examine historical documents written in cursive, and hand-write letters to loved ones. Volunteers at the event included Dallie Clark from Collin College (who is creating an exhibit dedicated to the letter) and the manager of Paradise Pen. You can read more here.

 

GREER CHICAGOIn Chicago, Greer hosted their first annual Instagram Write-Off, "honoring the magical intersection of pen, paper, hand and thought." To enter, people had to: write a quote from Isaac Asimov ("Writing, to me, is simply thinking through my fingers") and post to Instagram with the hashtag #greerchicagowriteoff and a hashtag for the category they were entering: #cursive, #print, or #freestyle. Each entrant had the chance to win some pretty sweet swag, all of which was decided by a panelist of prolific people of the pen, one of whom (Kathy Zadrozny) is from Letter Writers Alliance, another beautiful site that serves to give people the resources online to get them offline.

 
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MOLESKINE. One of our favorites, Moleskine, hosted a handwritten tweet-off: anyone that hand-wrote a tweet with the hashtags #moleskin or #handwritingday appeared in their online gallery. And Fun Facts: Debra Messing, Gabrielle Hamilton, and Bruce Willis joined in the ink. But fame aside, one of our favorites from the hand-tweets:

 
Image from the online gallery for Moleskine's handwritten tweets.

Image from the online gallery for Moleskine's handwritten tweets.

EMMA HEMING-WILLIS. Relatedly, Emma Heming-Willis joined in on the celebration of pen and paper by blogging about the impact of writing by hand in her daily life, but also why she holds onto so many pieces from the past. And for those who haven't ventured into daily episodes of writing by hand, Emma suggests a few of her favorite brands as possible entrance stones for those in need of a little direction. Below, Emma shared with us two images from what her family wrote on National Handwriting Day, including a call to action by Bruce Willis for southpaws to stick together, and a note from Emma about seeing her daughter Mabel write her own name on paper. 

 

Writing Instrument Manufacturers Association. While WIMA did not do anything this year, we have them to thank for the holiday, as they were the ones who started it in 1977, says International Business article. Side note: IB also encouraged people to partake in the day in five ways, encouraging people to explore their creativity, using the handwritten word to express feelings sometimes lost in the cloud of our lives. To find out more about WIMA, follow them on Facebook or go to their great domain name (www.pencilsandpens.org), but if you're more curious about history, then go over to History for A Brief History of Penmanship.

 
From WIMA's post during National Handwriting Day on  Facebook

From WIMA's post during National Handwriting Day on Facebook

AMERICAN HANDWRITING ANALYSIS FOUNDATION. The AHA's arm-span reached into 16 states and 9 countries this year, culminating in their campaign to bring cursive writing back into the classroom. A short snippet of their announcement: "Members of the Campaign for Cursive (C4C), part of the nonprofit American Handwriting Analysis Foundation, are sponsoring 60 global events, articles and interviews in 16 US states and 9 countries. A growing grassroots effort, C4C has been gathering momentum in its quest to focus attention on the importance of returning cursive handwriting instruction to public schools." You can follow and like them on Facebookread more about this Campaign for Cursive here, or the Campaign for the Right to Handwrite here.

 
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NATIONAL WWI MUSEUM AND MEMORIAL. The National World War I Museum and Memorial brought out four letters from their archives to celebrate, which you can see here. And this is what they had to say about the day: "Penmanship is a true art form and one very identifiable way of expressing ourselves in the day-to-day. On ‪#‎NationalHandwritingDay‬, enjoy these beautiful examples from the Museum archives. We hope you're inspired to pick up a pen and write a letter!" We agree with a whole heart. 

 

FOXNEWS. And coming in at Number 10, even though there are only 7 others, is FoxNews. Even they decided to participate by testing their penmanship, which actually surprised us because we hadn't really thought of that news outlet, or any for that matter, as one to engage in the act of self-reflection. But, that they did: three anchors scribbled a sentence onto a chalkboard, which was then analyzed by handwriting expert, Kathi McKnight. One of the takeaways? If you leave little spacing between your written words, you manage your time poorly; whereas, if you have even spacing, you are aware of boundaries. Let's see how far they take this takeaway. 

Jokes and jabs aside, if you are curious about what you can do from now on to prepare for next year's National Handwriting Day, here's one great idea: check out our partners, Sketchbook Project, and either sign up for a sketchbook yourself, or send one to a friend who you know would benefit by the gift of energy and ideas. We received a Sketchbook this past year, which gave us a sense of purpose we didn't see coming. There are a few days left to register: give the gift of inspiration to that creative you know, even if it is yourself, and join the 162,010 others in the world who have participated to the passion.

 
 

Whatever you choose to do from here on out, whether it's celebrating an observed or unobserved holiday, keep that beautiful pen busy, planet.

 

 

Rozanne Gold Joins Handwritten as Curator of Handwritten Recipes

Brett Rawson

Handwritten is full of happiness to announce its newest curator, world-renowned chef and food-writer Rozanne Gold, to the team. She will be dishing up a new column, Handwritten Recipes. 

The column comes from a lifetime of experience: from the age of five, Rozanne was rarely without a cookbook in hand. Fast forwarding to now, she has written thirteen of her own, earning her international recognition, a collection of awards, and thousands of original recipes.

Rozanne Gold with Mayor Ed Koch, 1980

Rozanne Gold with Mayor Ed Koch, 1980

She's worked in some of the most legendary kitchens in New York City, such as Rainbow Room atop Rockefeller Center and Windows of the World, and just so happened to be the first executive chef for New York Mayor Ed Koch when she was only twenty-four years of age.

She's done just about everything, from creating her own catering business (Catering Artistique) to cooking up trend-setting concepts: as Chef-Director of Baum + Whiteman worldwide, she created the three-star Hudson River Club, New York's first pan-Mediterranean restaurant Cafe Greco, the highly-sought after "Cocktails and Little Meals" at the Rainbow Room, and her book Recipes 1-2-3, which gave rise to "The Minimalist Column" in The New York Times, turned into the internationally acclaimed series of 1-2-3 cookbooks. Her writing and recipes have surfaced in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Gourmet, Oprah, Bon Appetit, FoodArts and More), and she doesn't seem to be letting up: she's currently a guest columnist for Cooking Light and blogger for Huffington Post. It isn't surprising then to know Rozanne has been described as "New York's first lady of food" and "the food expert's expert."

Rozanne's Recipes, stacked together.

Rozanne's Recipes, stacked together.

On top of all this, Rozanne is an end-of-life doula, philanthropist, trustee of The New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care, and a poet. She is currently finishing up an MFA at The New School Creative Writing Program. Where she finds the time to make so many meals, we wish to know: a frequent guest on National Public Radio (earning Leonard Lopate a James Beard Award), Rozanne is a sought-after moderator – most recently of the New School’s 2015 program “Gotham on a Plate,” and “The Next Big Bite,” created by Les Dames d’Escoffier, a professional organization of women in food and wine, where Rozanne is a past President.

She's also a philanthropist: she saved Gourmet magazine's library by purchasing it and donating it to NYU, and after Hurricane Sandy, she established up a pop-up kitchen in Brooklyn to prepare and deliver 185,000 meals to those in need. Believing in the power of food to create community, she was one of Israel’s first “Women Chefs for Peace” and the recipient of the Jewish National Fund’s “Olive Tree Award” for her efforts in promoting Israel’s food and wine industry. 

As creator and curator of this column, Handwritten Recipes, Rozanne hopes to re-ignite the connection between generations through the exploration of food, cooking, and memory  most profoundly and poignantly though the power of the pen. The first recipe will launch February 1st. What will it be? A caramel custard, which she wrote in 1980 for her mother.  

To sign up for Rozanne's column, enter your email address below, and prepare your inbox for delicious, handwritten treats. Or, to submit your own recipe to Handwritten Recipes, email Rozanne at rozannegold@mindspring.com.

What Tonight Brought: A Class of History

Brett Rawson

For seven students, the first graduating class from the Zabuli Education Center, tonight brought the future, a dream, and tears. At 12:30am EST on December 12th, Razia Jan, the founder of ZEC, stood in the front of a room full of family, friends, and students and welcomed everyone to a very special day. "It's beyond my hope," she said in between the tears, "and my dream that we would be sitting here today with our first graduating class." 

The entire ceremony was live-streamed on YouTube, which was coordinated by Beth Murphy, director of the forthcoming documentary about the construction of this very dream, What Tomorrow Brings

The ceremony was as moving as it was historic, with readings, speeches, and dances from the youngest students to the girls' teachers. But there was also the unexpected: when the seniors were receiving their diplomas, one student rushed past the principal and Razia Jan toward her diploma out of seeming nerves. After some hugs and laughter, Razia Jan paused to tell the story in English: this student, age 14, was the youngest of the seven to graduate. After she sat down, a man stood up and spoke for a little while. What he said wasn't translated, but after the ceremony, Beth Murphy stood in front of the camera to tell us what had happened: her father had stood up to express his gratitude to the school and Razia Jan for providing his daughter with a future. His wife, and her mother, had died suddenly a few months earlier, but she was there in spirit, and in her daughter's strength. Though we couldn't understand the words he was saying, it was obvious the feeling he was conveying.

Watching this all from my Brooklyn apartment, it seems odd that the handwritten word is what connected us with this school and these students, but then I realize that this is exactly what the handwritten word does: it connects and conveys something deep and universal, translatable or not.

We were humbled and happy to publish the girls' story and letters, but also to provide people with the opportunity to write back to them. Please visit the exploration here, and if you feel as moved as we did by reading their handwritten personal statements to a college that didn't yet exist, write them a note back. We can't send snail mail, which is why we exist: to send Handwritten letters. 

A long-distance congratulations to these seven inspiring students, Razia Jan, Beth Murphy, and everyone in Deh'Subz, Afghanistan. Some live-streamed images captured below: