PEN America experts available for commentary about U.S. Senate hearing Tues., 9/12 on book bans

(WASHINGTON)– Ahead of a Senate hearing on Tues., Sept. 12 about the rise of book bans in schools nationwide, PEN America’s experts on this issue will be available today and following the hearing for commentary.

Please reach out if you are interested in speaking to PEN America’s Washington director, Nadine Farid Johnson, the co-author of our most recent report documenting book bans, state by state, along with co-authors Jonathan Friedman and Kasey Meehan, from PEN America’s Free Expression and Education team. The 10 a.m. hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee will be streamed live here.

PEN America has been at the forefront of documenting and defending against the unprecedented rise of school book bans nationwide. Texas, Florida and Missouri lead with the most books banned. Depriving students of exemplary literary works flies in the face of basic constitutional freedoms and PEN America is suing Escambia County, Florida, over its book bans. Black and LGBTQ+ authors and books about race, racism, and LGBTQ identities have been disproportionately affected in the book bans documented by PEN America in the last year and a half. The wave of book banning is worse than anything seen in decades with PEN America counting more than 4,000 book bans since the fall of 2021.

In the coming weeks, PEN America will be releasing a new report on book bans, reflecting the number of titles banned during the second half of the 2022-23 school year. You can read more about PEN America’s work on the topic here.

About PEN America

PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open expression in the United States and worldwide. We champion the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Our mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible. To learn more visit

Contact: Suzanne Trimel, [email protected], 201-247-5057