Terremoto

We had to put my husband in an asylum. My daughter corrects me whenever I use this word; it’s a psychiatric clinic, Mother, she says. According to my daughter… More

A Wonderful Thing

1. The streetlights cast a hazy yellow glow on the cobblestone road, reflecting lazily off the mist-covered bricks. The scent of confederate jasmine was in the air, along with the… More

Blood Brothers

Morris Rybeck lowered his eyes from the mute storm clouds in the west, inky with smothered thunderbolts. He leaned forward in the high-cantled saddle and wriggled his hips a… More

Lessons

Well, I originally contemplated about trying to sugarcoat what I had to say; but in the end, I arrived to the conclusion that it was best to not mince… More

The Little Prisoner

I was one of the luckiest prisoners ever because I’d done eight months in prison and I don’t remember a single second of it. I was spared the hardship… More

Brother’s Peeper

It began with a collect phone call, a crosscountry Greyhound ride, and a one-meal-a-day budget. Jeffery Digger got off at night, picking his teeth with a ticket stub. Nobody… More

Lines

lines that bind or tie together our shared histories meander like the mighty Mississippi intricate web—emit the life of our times, flow organically as tree branches etch a map upon our brows, cheeks … visual reminders to all… More

Feather

A single feather fell from my ceiling I certainly was not expecting that Nor was I expecting such a feeling From inside this jail cell where I’ve sat Minute after day after month,… More

salsa meditation

my hands will smell for days of onions, garlic and jalapeños despite repeated washings after slicing, dicing and mincing with my trusty lid-o-matic and plastic picnic knife essential utensils of a prison… More

Longings

I miss the feeling of weightlessness while floating in the ocean and staring at the clear blue sky, gently bobbing to the rhythm of events beyond the horizon. I miss the salt stinging my… More

Get the Free Speech News You Need

protesters in face masks carrying old Belarusian national flags

PEN America has a new weekly newsletter, PEN Points, bringing you a digest of the biggest free expression news of the week, plus the analysis and insights you trust from PEN America experts.