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

Insanity

"Purple mountains rise in the distance, / Disrupted by coils of razor wire / Freedom only time can purchase / Brought here, branded a liar." More

The Storm

"Like the clouds are killing each other: / Battleships, anvils, Jesus Christ. / Blind with awe, I cannot sleep, / Beholding worlds within worlds, afire." More

Conflagration

"I felt a line of saliva fall out of my numbing mouth while I stared at the bright red bumps of the stings on my ankles. I don't remember… More

sYmantyX

"You've created a program that mines and tracks collective consciousness. Do you realize what this could mean to group dynamics?" More

The Swallow War

"This singular edifice sits in the center of the prison; it's open air and we call it the plaza. There are a couple of trees, some sickly grass, and… More

Freedom Feather

"I don't know if inmate Sanchez turned into a bird or not. It is interesting to imagine, isn't it, spending your life soaring where the air tastes the way… More

An Ungodly Godlike Man

"Not only can I hear everything, but I can feel the vibration against the thin metal wall as they wrestle with the prisoner inside the sardine can of a… More