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Some of the greatest works of literature have emerged from times of crisis, and with most of the world in lockdown, we have more time to write than ever before. But where can we find inspiration?

Look no further than PEN to Paper, a video series of original writing exercises from authors of the PEN America World Voices Festival. Writers we love share short prompts to stir the imagination in these home videos. Our online audiences gain intimate insights into their favorite writers and their unique approaches to craft while putting their own pens to paper.

Ananda Naima GonzálezUnsure of what to write or how to express what you’re feeling, especially in this moment? Let your unconscious lead the way with this exercise from poet and fiction writer Ananda Naima González, who guides us in a lesson on achieving total freedom from the conventions of literary expression. Not all emotions can be expressed with words; let asemic writing, or the practice of following your intuition to interpret gaps and absences in meaning, fill the void.

Follow Ananda and her work on Instagram @ananda._panda.93.

About Ananda Naima González

Ananda Naima González is a writer residing in Harlem, NY. She carries a BA and an MFA from Columbia University, in poetry and fiction respectively, and she is currently at work on a collection of short stories. Her work is finely tuned to the tender and brutal realities of humanity, feral and natural energies, dreamscapes, and mythological worlds. Her mission is to honor the inherently sacred ritual of living. In addition to writing, she is also an accomplished dancer, choreographer, and filmmaker.