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Celebrating Pride Month 2019

In celebration of Pride Month 2019, which also marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, PEN America has curated a selection of the best poetry, interviews, readings, and more from some of the greatest LGBTQIA+ writers, past and present, across the globe.

Explore the Digital Archives for gems discussing lesbian literature, silenced voices, and modern love. Check out our Recommended Reading list featuring titles by our incredible PEN America Literary Award winners, finalists, and judges, including Michelle Tea’s Against Memoir (winner of the 2019 PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay), Carmen Maria Machado’s Her Body and Other Parties (finalist for the 2018 PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction), and 2019 PEN/Jean Stein Book Award judge Brenda Shaughnessy’s The Octopus Museum.

From our PEN Poetry Series, read works by acclaimed poets Danez Smith, Tommy Pico, and Jonah Mixon-Webster, as well as graphic narrative excerpts by Rob Kirby and Sandrine Revel from the Illustrated PEN. From the PEN World Voices Festival, hear LGBTQIA+ icons Binyavanga Wainaina, Jennifer Finney Boylan, Edmund White, and others discuss queer representation in the media, writing gay fiction, and more. Glean insight from celebrated authors like Carmen Maria Machado and Trifonia Melibea Obono in our PEN Ten interview series.

We are also honored to present an original essay by Nigerian poet Romeo Oriogun in remembrance of Kenyan author and LGBTQIA+ activist Binyavanga Wainaina, who passed away earlier this year. Read “Goodbye From This River” here.

Keep reading for all this and more by outstanding LGBTQIA+ artists and authors from PEN America’s storied history.


Recommended Reading

pride month reading list book covers

Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi
How to Write an Autobiographical Novel by Alexander Chee
The Octopus Museum by Brenda Shaughnessy
Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado
In The Wake: On Blackness and Being by Christina Sharpe
Slow Lightning by Eduardo C. Corral
Boy Erased by Garrard Conley
Looking for Lorraine by Imani Perry
Stereo(TYPE) by Jonah Mixon-Webster
We the Animals by Justin Torres
Against Memoir by Michelle Tea
When My Brother Was an Aztec by Natalie Diaz
What It Means When a Man Falls From the Sky by Lesley Nneka Arimah
Night Sky with Exit Wounds by Ocean Vuong


2018 Emerging Voices Fellow Jubi Arriola-Headley: Final Reading

2015 PEN World Voices Festival Opening Night: The Future Is Now—Binyavanga Wainaina


The PEN Ten with Carmen Maria Machado

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