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PEN America Blog

May 29, 2015

Kelly was a thief too but he told himself he only stole what no one wanted. What he could tell himself hurt no one. A hierarchy of opportunity and morality.

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May 29, 2015

The Illustrated PEN is a weekly online series that aspires to be at the intersection of literature, journalism, and visual storytelling, where images and words come together in an ever-emerging and essential creative form. We’ll feature fiction and nonfiction graphic narratives, comics journalism and illustrated reportage, stories of social justice and personal stories that can’t be told through words alone.

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May 28, 2015

If there was discomfort among conference organizers or attendees, it wasn’t evident.

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May 27, 2015

I don't know if it was I / or the wind that lifted her forelocks but / what a mess her face was what a / traveling elsewhere / it was not here / I wanted to squeeze her face to make it stay / and maybe I did and maybe I helped her / but it just kept drifting / farther out like barge lights to sea

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May 26, 2015

"Although writers are like any other people, they are a small being in the real world, and can easily be manipulated or used, but they should always have the ambition to exceed reality."

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May 25, 2015

"One of the most wonderful experiences of being here in this castle, besides watching Lars Lauman’s cigarette smoke snake its silvery way from the tower and ramparts up among the stars at night, is the musical disaster of all the fellows’ languages when we communicate."

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May 22, 2015

We've teamed up with Bob Mankoff, cartoon editor at The New Yorker, and cartoonist Liza Donnelly to ask the world’s foremost satirical cartoonists to create cartoons about Khadija Ismayilova and her fight for freedom of expression.

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May 20, 2015

CYAB Committee member Meghan Nuttall Sayres on the Turkish calligrapher Ömer Basdag and the ancient art of handwriting.

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May 20, 2015

Information doesn’t need to be true / to grow itself in your body like a peach / & be given as food to whoever, much later / What the world is / is making currency / from an ever-expanding meaningfulness / that carries no weight

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May 19, 2015

"I think that great stories are inherently much smarter than the people who wrote them, because they are not about inventing something but rather about uniquely exposing something that was already there."

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