PEN America Blog
"That is why The Bluest Eye is dangerous and always situated on a banned books list. It exposes the violence that besets the human condition as a result of white supremacist lies, misogynist thirst and the greed that extracts every ounce of goodness out of American life."
Paradoxically, the Metropole affair both silenced Lisnyanskaya as a poet in the USSR and liberated her from the restrictions imposed by publishing (self-censorship being an obligatory tool in the Soviet writer’s kit), ultimately affording an inner freedom that shaped her poetry and biography.
Graham Greene was denied entry to the United States because of his short stint as a member of the Communist Party of Great Britain. As we celebrate Greene's birthday tomorrow, listen to Russell Banks read "The Virtue of Disloyalty," where he talks about a poet's responsibility to be disloyal.
I uncover here a responsibility I feel—to attempt disinhibition, to include affective knowledge, to be inside the body, to report from a place of personal discomfort or unease. Ursula LeGuin says in coming years we’re going to need writers who can remember freedom. I am answerable to that, and for me right now, this is its terrain.
Long time children's and young adult librarian, judge for children's book awards, Trustee of the Storylines Children’s Literature Charitable Trust of New Zealand, and literary agent Frances Plumpton discusses unprecedented censorship in New Zealand.
This book, this author, this girl body said: Make art. A girl is born and we make a story of her. Daughter. Lover. Wife. Mother. In Kathy Acker’s books, a girl body is the site of irreducible resistance.
Paul Valéry said something like: the purpose of poetry is to re-create the poetic spirit in the reader. That feels pretty right to me as a real reason I read poetry. Poets often fret that only poets read poetry; but in fact that seems to me inherent to the transactive practice it is. Poetry makes poets.