“Break Out” illustration in background; on top, Kaveh Akbar’s headshot and name

Break Out: An Interview with Kaveh Akbar

A conversation with Kaveh Akbar, who will be performing Terry Hedin’s “El Reno” in our “Break Out” awards celebration, about the privilege and responsibility of performing another person’s work. More

PEN America Prison Writing Award Winners: 2020

Perhaps now, more than ever, the work of this contest is needed: to help melt calcified perceptions of who is incarcerated, to uplift the incredible literary voices stifled by… More

Prison Writing Committee

Our PEN America Prison Writing Committee is a group of dedicated volunteers whose primary task, among other engagements, is mining over 1,200 entries per year to judge the annual… More

Breakout: Voices From the Inside

Featuring award-winning prose and poetry from the 2015 PEN Prison Writing Contest, read by Khalil Cumberbatch, Rachel Eliza Griffiths, Siri Hustvedt, Mitchell S. Jackson, Dawn Lundy Martin, Jeffrey Toobin,… More

On left: Headshots of Nikole Hannah-Jones, Viet Thanh Nguyen, Imbolo Mbue, and Maria Hinojosa. On right: “Power to the People” and list of participant names on top of assorted colorful shapes

TONIGHT: Join us for opening night of the 2021 PEN World Voices Festival!

Featuring Viet Thanh Nguyen, Nikole Hannah-Jones, Imbolo Mbu, and Maria Hinojosa, this conversation confronts questions of how to reconcile our collective pasts, challenging and reframing contested histories underlying today’s inequities.

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