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Banned Books Week 2019: Ann Arbor

Literature Locked Up Banned Books Week 2019 image

In honor of Banned Books Week 2019 and PEN America’s Literature Locked Up campaign, please join us in Ann Arbor on Sunday, September 22 for a reading exploring how to disrupt labels and qualifiers attached to writers, including those who are currently or formerly incarcerated. Featuring PEN America Writing for Justice Fellow Justin Rovillos Monson, 2019 PEN/Osterweil Award for Poetry honoree, Jonah Mixon-Webster, and other local writers. This event is free and open to the public.

The event will include individual readings as well as a short panel discussing the topic at hand, and will provide an opportunity for participants to sign a petition calling for the right to read in American prisons. Please stay tuned for more information, and reach out to Katie Zanecchia, National Outreach Program Director, if you’d like to stay in touch for all confirmed event details.


Justin MonsonJustin Rovillos Monson, a first generation Filipino-American artist, was the winner of the inaugural 2017 Kundiman/Asian American Literary Review/Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center Mentorship in poetry. A love poet, he seeks in his writing to catalog the body incarcerated, to misbehave, and, most of all, to conjure a poetics of reaching. He was born and raised outside of Detroit, Michigan, in Oakland County, and is currently serving a sentence in the Michigan Department of Corrections, from which he hopes to be released in 2027.

PEN/Osterweil Award for Poetry Winner: Jonah Mixon-WebsterJonah Mixon-Webster is a poet-educator and conceptual/sound artist from Flint, MI. His debut collection, Stereo(TYPE), was selected by Tyrone Williams for the 2017 Sawtooth Poetry Prize from Ahsahta Press. He is completing his Ph.D. in English Studies at Illinois State University, and is the recipient of fellowships from Vermont Studio Center, The Conversation Literary Festival, and Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop. His poetry and hybrid works are featured or forthcoming in MuzzleCallalooSpoon River Poetry Review, Assaracus, Voluble, Best New Poets 2017, and Best American Experimental Writing 2018. He is 1/6th of the Detroit-based multidisciplinary Black arts collective CTTNN Club (Can’t Take These Niggas Nowhere).