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  • The PEN Ten with Warren Adler

    BY PEN America
    My obsession is to get it right, plot, characters, atmosphere, logic. I never go to sleep without figuring out what I will write tomorrow.

  • Prison Memoirs

    “The girls and the women here wanted to hear about my time in freedom outside the prison walls, but I could not wait to share my stories about my freedom inside the prison walls.”

  • Knockemstiff

    BY Donald Ray Pollock
    Though she’s rotten to the core, I reckon I’ve always loved Tina Elliot, from the first time I laid eyes on her. She came in the store with her mother right after I started working there, just a...

  • Finalists Reading: Debut Fiction from the 2014 PEN Literary Awards

    Join PEN staff, awards judges, and supporters on Sept 28 for an evening of drinks, celebration, and readings by the five finalists for the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction.

PEN America Blog »

September 17, 2014

If it please the court, I ask that it be stricken from the record that I ever mocked/denigrated John Updike for his devotion to Doris Day, which I have come to share, though perhaps not with the same lambent intensity.

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September 17, 2014

Unrested we said to others to leave / us pleased, not far along our track, still much // we want, half the slower good death / of cities too off your bristling map.

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September 16, 2014

Then the moon came in / and hung motionless over the plate. / Panousis’s arm on the blanket / was a severed plane tree.

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September 16, 2014

Suddenly seeing myself as a writer-of-facts changed the way I looked at reality—so it was sort of a double-edged occasion. Guaranteed impediment to having a good time: knowing you'll have to write about it.

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September 15, 2014

There wasn’t a minute to lose. All about them people were beginning to whisper. The whispers became murmurs, the murmurs a hubbub, the hubbub an outcry, and the outcry the roar and riot of a thousand feet.

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September 11, 2014

The first cop told him to go to the checkpoint one block east of here and he did this and there were military police and troops in Humvees and a convoy of dump trucks and sanitation sweepers moving south through the parted sawhorse barriers.

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September 10, 2014

Blood moon whoever / calls you this lived stupidly / forgets god yearning

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September 9, 2014

My mother is the goddess of the seas. My fetus still floats in her womb. Perhaps I am a goddess, too. My mother guides the waves and the whirlpools. She guides the ships to shore … the fogs to the sky.

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September 9, 2014

After hearing from readers who told me how the book touched and influenced them, I realized that what I say does have an impact. Of course, I need to write as truthfully and deeply as I know how, but there are moments when a book can give hope to someone in despair, and I am aware of that possibility.

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September 8, 2014

NEW YORK—PEN American Center announced today that author Louise Erdrich will receive the 2014 PEN/Saul Bellow Award for Achievement in American Fiction. Established in memory of Nobel Prize-winning author Saul Bellow, the $25,000 award is presented biannually to a living American author whose scale of achievement in fiction, over a sustained career, places him or her in the highest rank of American literature. 

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