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

Left Behind

“Everybody lock up!” The guard barked over the intercom. “Get in your cells, now!” “Oh God, what now?” one of the girls asked, picking up her plastic bowl and gathering… More

Inmate Jane Doe

If one is to believe all the reports that the media broadcast or prints, one would think that 99% of all offenders were male. With the exception of a… 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

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

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