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PEN America Blog

August 3, 2015

"Never refuse to hear the cry of the anguished, or the laughter in the blues."
Nikki Giovanni pays tribute to James Baldwin. Listen to this week's #PENpodcast in honor of what would have been his 91st birthday.

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August 3, 2015

In his latest dispatch, Bronx Writers Center Director Charlie Vázquez shares more about the Bronx Memoir Project, as well as literary and artistic events in NYC's northernmost borough.

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July 31, 2015

Read an essay from Ian Buruma's Theater of Cruelty, winner of the 2015 PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay.

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July 30, 2015

Marilynne Robinson reads from "Wilderness," a chapter from her 1998 book, The Death of Adam: Essays on Modern Thought. From the 2007 PEN World Voices Festival.

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July 29, 2015

In exile from circles of protest on the square. / In exile from an oxymoron spotlighted above. / In exile from the neo-alphabet of a first love. / In exile from pozzolan mixed with fly ash.

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July 28, 2015

"As a newspaper reporter, I'm quite used to being called names. You may have heard that we're not the most popular people."

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July 22, 2015

You had to buy a good monkey, to know where it came from, for at least five years of guaranteed love, you had to know what it had or hadn’t done, as if you were getting married.

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July 22, 2015

We celebrate the acclaimed writer's life and work as both a literary master and fierce advocate for fellow writers and artists.

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July 22, 2015

In memory of E.L. Doctorow, who passed away on July 21 at the age of 84, PEN features a piece from our archives. In this podcast Doctorow reads from his novel City of God at the 2011 PEN event "Viva" at the Belarus Free Theatre.

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July 22, 2015

And I trust people // to make good choices / so I don’t have to impale them // on the tines of my pitchfork. Or otherwise // govern them. Why do you need so much / government, if you don’t like government why // do you insist upon making / these bad choices.

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