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. 

Jump to:
PEN Poetry Series •  Prison WritingThe PEN Ten InterviewsIllustrated PEN

backlit silhouetter of a woman

Young Girl Twenty

"The type of chick that young thugs’ll wait on, / and older catz lose they weight on / Modestly fly, sour chicks couldn’t play Dawn" More

Ravenous

"I always run toward the sound of shouting, metal crunching / and glass shattering" More

black and white image of a forest

The Week

"Besides, wasn’t life full of these exciting moments, something fresh and novel every day, now that we were adults?" More

Triple Sessions

"I grew up at perhaps the tail end of the “spare the rod, spoil the child” generation, so violence was normalized and mitigated with life lessons." More

broken glass with a blue sky in the background

The Thaw

"You had to have something you wanted from life before you came to prison." More

black and white photo of a beach

Two Birds, One Stone

"Brady's toes squirm in the sand. His eyes stare downward at the shifting grains, barely noticing the warmth seeping into his feet." More

Poker Face

"He would sit me at the table right next to him during his weekly poker games with the boys and teach me all about my poker face. I never… More