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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The Maias

One dreary December day of heavy rain, Afonso da Maia was sitting in his study reading, when the door flew open; he looked up and saw Pedro standing before… More

The Septembers of Shiraz

CHAPTER 27Isaac stretches his legs, tapping them with his fingers to help his blood circulate. He is glad to have a sink in his room; he rinses his face… More

Conversations in Tusculum

Tusculum, a town in the Alban Hills, fifteen miles southeast of Rome, is home to many country villas owned by wealthy and politically well-connected Romans. More

The Clean House

CHARACTERSLane: A doctor, a woman in her early fifties. She wears white.Matilde: Lane’s cleaning lady, a woman in her late twenties. She wears black. She is Brazilian. She has… More

Tomaz Salamun: Poems

From Otrok in Jelen and Morje.Translated from the Slovenian by Brian Henry and Tomaž Šalamun.FrontierBut you know, suffering also decaysand remains dust.The frontier is my living body.When a peasant… More

How She Penetrates

According to family lore, there was a great bonfire in which all of Jane’s possessions perished. Her journals, her clothes, her scrapbooks, her books, her typewriter, her school papers,… More

The First Novel

The First NovelBe my heroine, whispers the Novel to the Novelist.Love me and die for me! orders the Novel to the Novelist.Poetry, please lend me your blade, cries the… More

The Last Iraq

The Last IraqEach night I sit Iraq on my tableand pinch his earsuntil his eyes fill up with tearsof joy.Another cold winter, crisscrossed by jet fighters.Soldiers sit on a… More