November 9, 2011 | The National Arts Club | New York City

The 2011 PEN Prison Writing Program Fundraiser.

PEN Members and special guests gather for a reading of award-winning prose and poetry from the PEN Prison Writing Contest. Proceeds from the event help ensure that PEN’s hallmark program continues to promote the restorative and rehabilitative power of writing by providing hundreds of inmates with skilled writing mentors, free Handbooks for Writers in Prison, and a forum where inmates are encouraged to use the written word as a legitimate form of power.

This event features a special reading of poems and prose by incarcerated men and women everywhere from El Paso to Riker’s Island, from Ft. Leavenworth to San Diego.

In 2011, PEN’s Prison Writing Program:

• Distributed more than 8,000 copies of the PEN Handbook for Writers in Prison free of charge to men and women serving sentences throughout the United States
• Connected over 100 mentors with writers in prison for one-on-one instruction
• Judged over 1,500 manuscripts in our Prison Writing Contest
• Reprinted an Anthology Doing Time, with a new forward

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