Evan Drennan

My whole life I’ve thought of myself as a writer. “Aspiring writer,” well, do you aspire to write…? Certainly. And that I did. So I see myself simply now as a writer, without the unnecessary prefix. What you do defines you but I don’t see myself as a victim of circumstance. I might have sold drugs and gone to prison, but that’s not who I am. I used that time to sharpen my sword — work on my craft— to a razor’s edge and use my mind to get out of those dark places. Writing helped me rise above oppression through expression and I want to instill that risky hope in others. Hopefully my writing lets you escape, too.

Winner, 2022 PEN America Prison Writing Contest – 3rd Place in Drama for “Chasing the Apex

Get the Free Speech News You Need

protesters in face masks carrying old Belarusian national flags

PEN America has a new weekly newsletter, PEN Points, bringing you a digest of the biggest free expression news of the week, plus the analysis and insights you trust from PEN America experts.