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  • Call for Submissions for 2017 Literary Awards

    In 2017 PEN will confer over $250,000 to writers and translators in the fields of fiction, science writing, essays, sports writing, biography, children’s literature, drama, and poetry.

  • Un jardin, en attendant: Two Translations

    BY Abdellah Taïa
    This week in the Guernica/PEN Flash series, we feature an original piece by Moroccan poet and autobiographical writer Abdellah Taïa, juxtaposed by two different translations by Chris Clarke and Emma...

  • Dear Friend

    BY Summer Pierre
    "In 'Dear Friend,' Summer Pierre writes movingly about the meditative pleasures of a solo, mostly silent road trip."

  • Five Poems by Danez Smith

    BY Danez Smith
    light fell on a door, & in the door / a me i didn’t know & knew, the now me / whose blood blacks & curls back like paper / near an open flame. I walked towards the door / as I walked...

  • The PEN Ten with Jean Guerrero

    BY PEN America
    "Censorship of others is a form of violence. It is unacceptable unless the speech or information flow would somehow lead to worse violence."

PEN America Blog »

In the opposite of woods, in the red ever, I am hungry and you are. // I used to have this job, the bodies entered all at once in a line, towing their essentials. / Workers left, as I, it’s hard to say whether it was for love. More »

Featuring award-winning prose and poetry from the 2015 PEN Prison Writing Contest, read by Khalil Cumberbatch, Rachel Eliza Griffiths, Siri Hustvedt, Mitchell S. Jackson, Dawn Lundy Martin, Jeffrey Toobin, John Wray, and Sunil Yapa. More »

Sarajevo was liberated in April of 1945. A month or two later they came for Opapa to take him to a camp, from which he, like all his compatriots, would later be deported to Germany. More »

My first years were spent behind the shutters, in a room without engravings, in an archaeological silence a thousand years in the making... More »

Of course, Mother assumed I was a virgin. She insisted I ride the flower sedan, that I was not to miss out on a prerogative so cherished. More »

do ghosts remember? which ones do? which / ones don’t? and if they do, which organ // might they use? More »

This might sound odd, but there are times when a last chance can seem less of a boon and more of a burden, because the tension in a situation is immediately diffused once there is no hope left. More »

Not a trace, then, of the sky of lost civilization, like a fire or volcano, that I remember. Not a trace of the magical-realist sky, nor of the farmers pointing at the cloud of ash, reacting as by habit. Not a trace of the feathers, as if the nonnas of the village have swept them up in anticipation of the street-view team and their futuristic vehicle, and now remain, trapped in a fold of time, waiting for nightfall so they can raise the blinds again. More »

He had to finish his books, this book he had written and rewritten, destroyed, renounced, destroyed once more, imagined once more, created once more, shortened and stretched out for ten years More »

The car is heated by the afternoon sun, and I, pervaded through and through by a pain known as love, I don’t know it because I’m twelve, and so I just try to bear it somehow and not die, like when I’m sitting at the dentist’s with my mouth wide open and outside the window of milky glass people are walking by as if nothing were the matter and there’s not a thing you can do about it… More »

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