Tom & Gerry

TOM: (reminiscing) River Lethe, baby. The dreariest task was a silent epiphany. Slooow motion. Even something like laundry had a purpose and a passion—as part of the plan. It… More

The Meridian

It’s obvious she’s wrong. When the men reach them, the men will kill them both, who cares if they’re supposed to be able to. They’ve killed others. The Man… More

Little Sunshine

BETH: Dad storming around the house, demanding to know who let chickens into the house. (Mimicking her father as she takes the shaker from her mother) Chickens are food,… More

Crabtree

Crabtree shakes his hand at the two boys. Sound, dreadful, repeated thunk of two dead rabbits striking the window as they dangle from Crabtree’s hand. More

Somewhere Between

A lone figure on the yard: an Orderly pushing a sheet-covered body on a gurney. The gurney hits a bump on the sidewalk. An arm pops out from beneath… More

The Stew of Discontent

Part of the perennial problem with the Texas prison system stems from an inherent comprehension deficit. To use an idea of Alexander Solzhenitsynts, it seems we’ve lost capacity for… More

Illinois Abolishes the Death Penalty

The governor of Maryland, Martin O’Malley, argued in 2007 that the money could be better spent on providing drug treatment or extra police, which actually prevent crime. Such an… More

Commissary Day

The unthinkable happens: They call for another shot. There are not even ten people in the hyena den to fill a shot. All of us are either stack-holders or… More

Beauty

On July 4th the temperature was 97 degrees. I had no costume, no mask, and no sweatshirts. However, I was behind the shield and helmet. Jumping, dodging, running, weaving.… 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.