The concept of free expression is very near and dear in my heart. My parents came from China, and growing up we were taught that we could never take for granted a newspaper, that the idea that you could express yourself freely was something that was precious, and that we should look to new authors and new ideas constantly to broaden our world.”
Patty Chang Anker, author of Some Nerve: Lessons Learned While Becoming Brave 

I wrote the first words of The Residue Years while I was in prison, so I know firsthand the transformative power of literature and literary arts.”
Mitchell S. Jackson, author of The Residue Years

I can say that all of us who have created a book probably work hundreds to thousands of hours to create and shape and make sure that our book is published and out in the world. And in that, the idea of a room of one’s own is really important; we each need that solitude to shape that book. But what if a room of one’s own was without pen, without computer, without the permission to express oneself freely? Then the idea of that room becomes quite different.”
Tina Chang, Poet Laureate of Brooklyn 

Everyone who grapples with the blank page every day knows the feeling of searching for the words, searching for the truth, feeling the pain of getting at it on a daily basis. What many of us might not know is what that feeling is when living in another country where that pain and that truth is not only psychologically and emotionally challenging, but can also lead to consequences limiting freedom of expression and the safety of you and your family. PEN sends this beacon into the world so that writers in other countries have this feeling of knowing that maybe they can take the chance and we are behind them.”
Dani Shapiro, author of Devotion

What a writer writes may be of great importance; or it may be utterly worthless. But it should always be between the writer and the reader.”
B.J. Novak, Screenwriter/Actor/Director/Producer, The Office

I grew up in a totalitarian society where I was not allowed to express myself. I’m talking about Hebrew school in Queens! But I escaped. Seriously though, when I grew up in Russia the word ‘pen’ really meant something. Writing is important work, and the people who you are helping with it are forever, forever a part of what you do.”
Gary Shteyngart, author of Absurdistan