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PEN America Blog

September 4, 2015

The third dispatch from PEN Member and poet Natalie Diaz's residency at the Civitella Ranieri castle in Italy. She shares about the animals she encountered, and pays tribute to the wondrous curls of artist Jon Kessler.

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September 4, 2015

New social studies textbooks being used in Texas public school classrooms this fall barely address racial segregation—nor do they mention Jim Crow laws throughout American history, or the existence of the Ku Klux Klan.

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September 3, 2015

Kiran Desai, whose birthday is today, reads from The Inheritance of Loss at Town Hall Readings: Writing Home, part of the 2007 PEN World Voices Festival. The Inheritance of Loss was awarded the Man Booker Prize in 2006.

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September 2, 2015

We feature an excerpt by Marissa Acocella Marchetto, a cartoonist for The New Yorker, from her upcoming graphic novel Ann Tenna, set in the bizarre world of New York-based gossip media.

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September 2, 2015

To Wall / Street, which saw / across the continent plot / by plot & which brought / west ledgers. // The discovery / of writing, Lévi-Strauss says, begets / wherever it arises oppression. // From such / ruin tulips blossomed.

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September 1, 2015

"When I look within, I only see that thin man who miraculously withstood fifty lashes, while a group of people celebrated his pain, repeatedly chanting Allahu Akbar. All for the articles you’re about to read."

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September 1, 2015

"Erasure happens when it comes to the history/lives/contribution/resistance/survival of people of color in America, and so with my pen I make sure that they exist and are remembered in my stanzas, in between the lines, and on every space of my paper. Writers of color deserve to take up space and record our lives and record our communities because no one else will."

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August 31, 2015

In today’s #PENpodcast, Ann Goldstein, New Yorker editor and translator extraordinaire, discusses how she goes about translating a writer who uses different registers of language as a theme of the text and, more specifically, how “smarginatura” became “dissolving margins.”

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August 29, 2015

In this second of two blog posts commemorating the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, Fatima Shaik reflects on the work of PEN's Children's and Young Adult Book Committee in New Orleans, gentrification, and the state of education and free expression in the city post-Katrina.

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August 27, 2015

To commemorate the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, educator and poet Dr. Mona Lisa Saloy discusses how New Orleans is rebuilding, and shares two poems about the disaster and its aftermath.

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