16: Teachers

Teachers goes back to school with a global roster of writers and artists as they explore their literary and sentimental educations. Featuring Eileen Myles, Martha Cooley, Kimiko Hahn, Ron Padgett, Theresa Rebeck, Elissa Schappell, Paul La Farge, Dorothy Allison, and a look at PEN’s diverse programming. At the end of the issue we transport you back to 1922, PEN American Center’s founding year and the height of modernism. Borrowing from the pages of The Dial, The Crisis, and The Little Review, we offer you a taste of the literary scene, alongside a trove of photographs, drawings, advertisements, headlines, and commentary. The featured writers—including Joyce, Du Bois, Woolf, McKay, Crane, Cather, Fitzgerald, Mansfield, and Moore—remain some of our greatest teachers and literary loves.


Teachers: A Forum 

Lynne Tillman, Katharine Weber, Elissa Schappell, Paul La Farge, Wayne Koestenbaum, Dorothy Allison 


Eileen Myles, All This Light Flooding In
Nadia Kalman, Do Not Do Any of the Above
Alberto Chimal, Variations on a Theme of Coleridge
Herta Müller, The Hunger
Milen Ruskov, Where There’s Smoke
Mahmoud Dowlatabadi, The Colonel Waits
Martha Cooley, The Letter L
Harry Mathews, Family Recipes
Julio Cortázar, How to Wind a Watch
Óscar de la Borbolla, Wittgenstein’s Umbrella


Kimiko Hahn, four poems
Liu Xiaobo, Daybreak and An Eleventh Anniversary Offering
Ron Padgett, Advice to Young Writers
Yu Jian, Four Flash Cards
Christian Bök, Key to Speleological Formations
Margaret Atwood, Late Poems
Geoffrey Bankowski, Just Go to Sleep


Theresa Rebeck, Class Warfare
Jordan Harrison, Sans Serif


Liu Xia, two photographs

Graphic Narrative

David B. and Jean-Pierre Filiu, An Old Story
Brian Evenson and Zak Sally, Dread


Jamal Joseph, Sonia Sanchez, and Kathleen Cleaver, The Word as Revolution
PEN Readers & Writers, Confessions 
Peter Godwin, The Dictator’s Education
Mahmoud Dowlatabadi, After the Revolution
Ludmila Ulitskaya, Under Surveillance
Joe Wenderoth, Room
Etgar Keret, My Father
John Cage, Indeterminacies
Wisława Szymborska, Buttons


Larry Siems and Jeffrey Yang, Liu Xiaobo Remembers 
Herta Müller and Claire Messud, A Language of Hiding
Ron Padgett and Amy King, The Art of Engagement
Harold Bloom and Paul Holdengräber, What Think You of Falling in Love?
Emily Barton and Susan Bernofsky, Write What you Learn

1922: A Celebration of PEN’s 90th Anniversary 

James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, Evelyn Waugh, Claude McKay, Katherine Mansfield, W.E.B. Du Bois, Carl Sandburg, Hart Crane, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Malcom Cowley, T.S. Eliot, Gertrude Stein, Sherwood Anderson, Marianne Moore, Carl Van Doren, Ezra Pound, Willa Cather, Marcel Proust
PLUS: Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Charles Atlas, booze runners, hankey panks, flappers, & more!