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

Cut off the Ears of Winter

Cut Off the Ears of WinterCut off the ears of winterthey have overheard too much,where incinerators burn,where rubble-strewn streetsare covered in dust from the remodeling.Again, the doe-man in mauve… More

Ms. Body

Dear Ms. Body,I want to start this letter by telling you that I am only writing this because I have to. I know there are a lot of things… More

Todros Abulafia (1247 – after 1300)

A distant relative of Meir HaLevi Abulafia, but no relation to Avraham, Todros Ben Yehuda Abulafia was born in Toledo in 1247 and spent most of his life in… More

Yehuda Halevi (c. 1075 – 1141)

An unrivalled master of Hebrew and its prosody, Yehuda Halevi is perhaps the most famous and certainly the most revered of all the medieval poets. “The quintessence and embodiment… More

Avraham Ibn Ezra (c. 1093 – c. 1167)

With the departure of Yehuda HaLevi for the Land of Israel and, several years later, the first wave of invasions by the North African Almohads, the Golden Age of… More

Shelomo Ibn Gabirol (1021/22 – c. 1057/58)

Philosopher, misanthrope, and spectacular fly in the ointment of the refined eleventh-century Andalusian-Jewish elite, Shelomo Ibn Gabirol, the second major poet of the period, comes down to us as… More

Shmu’el Hanagid (993 – 1056)

The major poets of the period emerge in the third generation, and they are masters of their art in every respect and giants in the history of Hebrew literature.… More

August

The nation at war was not a permanent landscape: Bonnie’s New York, the real New York, was a distant, gleaming city in a lost decade. A lost Bonnie existed… More

Dancing in the Dark

Act One(1873-1903)It is February 1903 and at present he is impersonating Shylock Homestead in the musical In Dahomey, but only after dark. He shambles about as though unsure what… More