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Join PEN America Today

Defend free expression, support persecuted writers, and promote literary culture.

As PEN America celebrates its 100th year, we are proving every day that each generation must rise to the challenge of defending the cherished rights to write, speak, and express ourselves freely. The threats around us are unprecedented: book bans, authoritarians worldwide targeting authors, even with physical violence, while ideas and history itself are censored in classrooms. You can help PEN America celebrate and defend free expression, and unite the community that cares deeply about it. Show your support by participating in our events, taking action on the local level, and reading the groundbreaking research that drives our mission.


Celebrate

Keishel Williams on Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie’s Half of A Yellow Sun: “There need to be spaces for Americans to learn about Blackness outside of an American context.”

Editor, literary writer, and book critic Keishel Williams speaks to PEN America about the harm done by banning books like Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie’s Half of A Yellow Sun from classrooms. “Denying students age-appropriate opportunities to read Half of a Yellow Sun in classrooms because the truth is too violent is denying them the opportunity to understand the truth of their friends, their neighbors, and in some cases, their own history.”

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Defend

Read PEN America’s Latest Report, “Banned in the USA: The Growing Movement to Censor Books in Schools.”

Banned in the USA Sept 22 coverBanned Book Week 2022 may be over, but PEN America is still hard at work responding to the ongoing wave of book bans across the country. This report on school book bans offers a comprehensive look at bans, challenges, and restrictions on books in libraries and classrooms throughout the 2021–22 school year.  It also sheds light on the role of organized efforts to drive many of the bans.

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Unite

Bringing Together Writers and Readers for Events, Panels, and Demonstrations Across the Country

Join PEN America’s Prison and Justice Writing team, Tin House, and P&T Knitwear in celebration of Prince Shakur’s debut memoir, When They Tell You To Be Good—the first acquisition by Tin House Editor-at-Large Hanif Abdurraqib. After a brief reading, Shakur will be joined in conversation with Jamal Joseph, author of Panther Baby: A Life of Rebellion and Reinvention (Algonquin Books, 2011). A Q&A and book signing will follow. Thursday, October 6 at 7 PM.

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