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PEN America Blog

December 5, 2016

"If we have a responsibility as writers—and I’m not sure we do—ours is to see ourselves as clearly as we think we see the world, to, in the pursuit of our craft, pursue a truth that includes ourselves in its scope. Writers tell the truth. Writers tell lies to tell the truth. Writers invent new worlds to tell the truth about this one."

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November 30, 2016

"And about this time i had a vision—and I saw white spirits and black spirits engaged in battle, and the sun was darkened—the thunder rolled in the Heavens, and blood flowed in streams, and I heard a voice saying, 'Such is your luck...'"

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November 30, 2016

Millions of taxpayer dollars have been allotted to immortalizing the glory of those who fought to preserve slavery, yet few are willing to speak out for a man who died to end slavery.

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November 30, 2016

An attempt was made. I told S that we are not / the sum total of our mistakes. I said it / as I believe I am the sum total of my mistakes. / I consulted Lisa Robertson for guidance: / “The truth is, everything that isn’t poetry bores me.” / I think this must be true because some days / I state its opposite.

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November 21, 2016

"Love. I know it's cheesy but I am obsessed with love and how it shapes a reality between two individuals, a reality that others sometimes cannot fully perceive but can sense because of how the lovers' energies interact with one another. I think about romantic love every day, unless I'm sick or something."

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November 17, 2016

Artist and musician Annie Mok pays touching tribute to the man behind the Muppets, summing up the trajectory of his life in brief, key vignettes, and effectively capturing his gentle, creative spirit.

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November 16, 2016

I was gone and when I came back / you’d voted for the wrong politicians! So many men! / Had I slept for five minutes and found you / on the subway saying all the wrong things or / in the meadow to the starlings?

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November 10, 2016

“Mirjama” is an eerily rendered, quite literally haunting tale of the Holocaust, as remembered by one woman–a native of Riga, Latvia–as she experienced it.

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November 10, 2016

Now, I have always loved the sea. I save whom I can. A baby be damned without a mother. A mother be damned without her child. A man be damned without a country. A country be damned without a people. A nation of no one trickle north and the long arm of empire it whips back. I am a good swimmer. I’ve always loved the sea.

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November 9, 2016

PEN America remains committed to defending free expression, elevating marginalized voices, and fostering dialogue across boundaries.

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