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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PEN Poetry Series •  Prison WritingThe PEN Ten InterviewsIllustrated PEN

Raw Bones (Live and Encaged!)

Raw Bones (Live and Encaged!) Darkness has settled in now. All day long their area was highlighted. Their loud, uneven snores are indicative of the grueling tasks that befell these… More

10-Minute Shakespeare

10-Minute Shakespeare   THE PLAYERS   Chris BJ JT Ralph Frost Dave Jeff Savage Richard John M   Shakespeare 1 Shakespeare 2 Othello Emilia Desdemona Duke of Venice Cassio Montano Edward De Vere Brabantio Desdemona Iago Roderigo CHRIS:   We waited a year for you to get here—And now let’s be      perfectly clear In our… More

Not Guilty

FADE IN: EXT. A BLUE SKY - MORNING 7:02 A.M. Flying over an isolated campus, sprawled across 45 acres of green grass, wooded countryside and hills, a hawk spots a… More

Escape Risk

CAST   SKULL LESTER TOOTY BUZZARD ERSKINE GRANGER BETTY JEETER   A madman A fool A blimp An old pervert A runaround A guard A nurse An off-stage voice SCENE: A four-man CELL, open toward the audience, back of the cell are vertical steel bars, with a center… More

The Secret of the Sky

The Secret of the Sky CHARACTERS   The PRISONER: The JAILER: The MONK:     a man in his early 30s—bearded, disheveled, dressed in a long-sleeved T-shirt, gray sweat pants, and (when standing) sandals. a man of… More

Beasts of Autumn

FADE IN: EXT. FRANCE - NIGHT - WINTER SUPERIMPOSE over HOWLING WIND and snow: “FRANCE, 13TH CENTURY” Gradually revealed, an eminent well-built castle crowning a prominent hill. A lord’s residence and a… More

Second Chance

FADE IN:  INSERT: A collage of photos and headlines covering a century of Hollywood’s fame and splendor. EXT. LOS ANGELES CITYSCAPE - NIGHT The vast black carpet unfolds below. The speckled… More

A Neighborhood Rite of Passage

The game was walking the plank, only this game was enacted over a ten story silo in a abandoned chocolate factory, at one time the employment epicenter of the… More

Boo to a Goose

I saw that phrase again: “He wouldn’t say boo to a goose.” It gets to me every time when I read it in some book, and thank God I… More

Shimmers of Light

Where do I go from here? That can be a tough question to answer for the 2.2 million Americans who are currently incarcerated. Nevertheless, there are serious consequences for… More