This recording comes from the PEN America Archives. Consisting of over 1800 hours of audio and video material, the PEN America Archives showcase the intersection of literature and free expression through the voices of some of the most prominent writers, intellectuals, and activists from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities and in collaboration with Princeton University, the archives not only illustrate the institutional trajectory of PEN America, but also highlight the voices and words of poets, essayists, novelists, and others who resist the infringement of free expression. The entirety of the PEN America Archives will be made available online to the public this summer.

“the soul is no more than an old saw / But the terrifying suspension of a breath, of alienation.”

In this NSFW recording, poet Wayne Koestenbaum reads from Antonin Artaud’s Artaud le momo at the PEN World Voices event “Erotic and Forbidden.”