Writers Rising: #LouderTogether
Over the last year, we’ve witnessed unprecedented attacks on free expression in the U.S.—from repeated threats and denigration directed at the press, to the chilling of dissent and protest rights, to the continued stifling and endangerment of specific marginalized communities. Through it all, PEN America—powered by you, our Members and allies—has led the charge to defend this most basic right, the right to free expression, so essential to our country’s democracy and progress.
We’ve worked to rally support for NFL players’ protest rights. We’ve delivered programs that uplift the stories driving immigrant and racial justice movements. And we’ve produced research, petitions, awareness-building, and community-based activity to address threats like fraudulent news and breakdowns in civil discourse.
There is still much more to do. On January 20, one year after our inaugural Writers Resist event, please join us as we return to the steps of the New York Public Library to mobilize for 2018. There will be a sundown reading with powerful literary voices and advocacy leaders, featuring texts that radically reimagine community and mutual aid in the face of xenophobia, hatred, and threats to the value of truth. We will also have music by Imani Uzuri of Revolutionary Choir, light display by The Illuminator and NYC Light Brigade, and a public art action presented by Brick x Brick.
Our exciting and growing lineup so far includes:
Justin Vivian Bond
George Emilio Sanchez
reading work by Gloria Anzaldúa, James Baldwin, Leslie Feinberg, Joy Harjo, and many others
The right to free expression has been at the core of coalitional action over the last year. And it is sure to play a vital role in the year ahead. Join us as we celebrate and defend our right to resist, to access truth, to voice our experiences, and to effect change through our stories.
Writers Rising: #LouderTogether is a free, public event open to all. Registration is encouraged but not required. Register here.
This event is being coordinated with other public art actions through The Federation. We’re proud and grateful to also partner with a number of organizations, so far including: the Academy of American Poets, the Asian American Arts Alliance, Bowery Poetry, The Brooklyn Rail, the Center for Fiction, CLMP, Kundiman, Lambda Literary, the 2018 Women’s March on NYC, Poets House, Revolution Books and VIDA: Women in Literary Arts.
André Aciman is the author of eight books including Call Me By Your Name, winner of a Lambda Literary Award; Out of Egypt, which won a Whiting Award; and most recently Enigma Variations: A Novel. Born and raised in Alexandria, Egypt, he is currently distinguished professor at the Graduate Center of City University of New York where he teaches the history of literary theory.
Jennifer Bartlett is the author of four books of poetry, most recently The Hindrances of a Householder (Chax 2018), and co-edited Beauty Is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability with Sheila Black and Michael Northen. Bartlett has received fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, Fund for Poetry, and the Dodd Research Center at the University of Connecticut. She is currently writing a biography on the poet Larry Eigner.
Mx Justin Vivian Bond is a trans-genre artist living in New York City. As a performer both on and Off-Broadway, Mx Bond has received numerous accolades including an Obie (2001), a Bessie (2004), a Tony nomination (2007), the Ethyl Eichelberger Award (2007), The Peter Reed Foundaton Grant, and a New York Foundation for the Arts Grant for Artists. V is also the author the Lambda Literary Award winning memoir TANGO: My Childhood, Backwards and in High Heels.
Anne Carson is a poet, essayist, translator and professor of Classics. She has published numerous poetry and cross-genre works, including Float, Red Doc, and Autobiography of Red, as well as translations of Sappho and Euripides.
Tina Chang is the Poet Laureate of Brooklyn. The first woman named to this position, she was raised in New York City. She is the author of the poetry collections Half-Lit Houses and Of Gods & Strangers, and co-editor of the anthology Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia and Beyond.
Álvaro Enrigue is the award-winning author of two books of short stories and five novels, including Muerte súbita (Sudden Death) and most recently Decencia (Decency). He has been a Cullman Center Fellow and received the 31st Herralde Novel Prize in 2013.
Suzanne Gardinier is the author of 12 books, most recently Amérika: The Post-Election Malas, Notes from Havana, and Carta a una compañera. Gardinier has taught at Sarah Lawrence College since 1994 and has served as resident director of the study abroad program in Havana.
Sahar Muradi is the author of a poetry collection, [ G A T E S ], and co-editor of One Story, Thirty Stories: An Anthology of Contemporary Afghan American Literature. She directs the Poetry Program at City Lore, and has been the recipient of the Stacy Doris Memorial Poetry Award, a Kundiman Poetry Fellowship, and an Asian American Writers’ Workshop Open City Poetry Fellowship. saharmuradi.com
George Emilio Sanchez is a writer and performance artist. In December 2017, he initiated BANG, BANG GUN AMOK, a 24-hour performance filibuster on gun violence at Abrons Arts Center. His work has been presented at The Public Theater, La MaMa, Dixon Place, and El Museo del Barrio, among others. He has received a Fulbright and 2 NYFA awards. He directs Emergenyc, a performance project for young art activists under the Hemispheric Institute, and as an artistic associate under JoAnne Akalaitis he created the Latino Lab at the New York Shakespeare Festival/Public Theater.
Sapphire is the author of two bestselling novels, Push and The Kid. Push was made into the Academy Award-winning major motion film Precious, and the film adaptation received the Academy Award for Best Screenplay and Best Supporting Actress. Sapphire’s work has been translated into thirteen languages and has been adapted for stage in the United States and Europe. Her poetry, fiction, and essays have appeared in The Black Scholar, The New York Times Magazine, The New York Times Book Review, The Teacher’s Voice, The New Yorker, Spin, and Bomb.
Anne Waldman is the author of more than 40 books including Fast Speaking Woman, Marriage: A Sentence, the multi-volume Iovis project, and Voice’s Daughter of a Heart Yet to Be Born. She served as Director of the Poetry Project at St. Mark’s for more than a decade, and in 1974 with Allen Ginsberg, founded the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at the Naropa Institute.