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“Can I Give You A Tattoo?”

Nobody slapped me, but I got few odd looks as I handed out our tattoos in front of the KR table at the AWP Book Fair over the last three days:

We gave them to famous writers and avid readers and everybody in between. A few people turned them down, and one woman looked me right in the eye and told me exactly where she planned to wear it. But most people just laughed, enjoying it in the spirit of fun we intended. “Ah, the venerable Kenyon Review,” one man said, as he paused in front of our table, so we gave him a tattoo and he laughed. That was the point we wanted to make. You’ll be surprised what you can find at The Kenyon Review. We have many new subscribers this evening, so now I pose a challenge to everyone: send us a photo of yourself wearing your KR tattoo! We’ll post the best photos on the blog. (You can send it to But let’s keep it clean, okay?)

After we sold out our last subscriptions and finished putting our mark on everyone within reach, we shut down the booth and went to see Jess Lacher, who worked with the KR Young Writers program last summer, perform with her children’s theater group, The Striking Viking Story Pirates. They go into elementary schools around New York City and run writing workshops for kids, then turn their stories into musical theater which they perform at The Drama Book Shop on W. 40th Street. The young authors are in the audience, their original stories are printed in the program, and the shows are just terrific. Here’s a taste.

Safe home, everyone. It was nice to see you. We’ll look forward to hearing from you. In the meantime, wear your tattoos with pride!

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