Publications

Read Original Literature from PEN America Publications and Programs

PEN America produces a breadth of interviews, poetry, graphic narratives, essays, translation, and book excerpts through its online series, literary awards, Prison Writing Program, World Voices Festival, and other events throughout the year. 

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Poems

Reinstatement of the RoseIt’s time to reinstate the rose,banned too long for its multiple meanings.Without pseudonyms, the journalist has a nosefor his own noose. If only to adorn graves,It’s… More

Walla Walla IMU

The bread is moving. A small piece broken off of what was pushed through the narrow cuffport to me earlier that morning. A horde of tiny red ants have… More

Casine the Joint

We all seem to want something for nothing. Yet the convicts’ code decrees that we do not steal from each other. It’s an “honor amongst thieves” theme that almost… 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

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

Matthew

Matthew was a grave little boy. When I say that he was grave, what I mean is that he was not the type of little boy who would run… 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