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


"Of 260 respondents, 117 say they have had work published by someone else or a publishing house, or have published their own comics. Of our 117 respondents, 21 claim… More

But That’s Not Censorship!!

How do we commonly define censorship? It depends who you ask. Here, artist and writer Anne Elizabeth Moore gives voice to the concerns of artists who claim to experience… More

What Would Be Up

The I / the guy / retouched / like a billboard / or some kink / you crossed / the line / into bearded / disappearance / you… More

Calling the Water

perhaps the limits of my erotic imagination are boring and predictable // but I will die grateful // for the adolescence I got to have offline // that pines… More

Things That Go Bump in the Night

In this installment of The Illustrated PEN, artist and writer MariNaomi recalls a traumatic encounter she suffered as a teen, and describes how, years later, she still grapples with… More

You Surround Me

I’m not the same as myself // I’m not the opposite of myself // I’m downstream from the values of some ancient warrior class that got to decide what… More