Oil on Water

So, yes, there was an accident, a fire. An explosion in the barn with the oil drums. The fire flew on the wind from house to house, and in… More

Poems from Water Puppets

I will admit I was in favor of war and now look what’s happened. / At the end of the road the man driving the truck will eat /… More

Sophia’s Childhood

Her rejection as a child helps to explain her constant search as a woman for what she had missed. Even as Empress Catherine, at the height of her autocratic… More

Cross-Country Skiing

In November, before the snow, I’d got lost in these woods and spent part of a chilly night curled up in wet leaves. After it snowed, however, I could… More

Moby-Duck

At the outset, I felt no need to acquaint myself with the six degrees of freedom. I’d never heard of the Great North Pacific Garbage Patch. I liked my… More

A Good Dude

The whites are loosely arranged by hometown and run together as a car, or collective. It’s like a gang, but with no real structure. White power inmates largely call… More

Drums That Talk

Here was a messaging system that outpaced the best couriers, the fastest horses on good roads with way stations and relays. Earth-bound, foot-based messaging systems always disappointed. Their armies… 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.