PEN America Blog
What pulls us forward, and keeps us from feeling like mice in a spinning wheel, are a few important deadlines: One, the distribution of the manuscripts to a committee of judges; two, the return of the committee’s results; and three, the mailing out of notification letters to all of the winners. This last task marks the unofficial culmination of our year’s work.
They stared in amazement for a long time at the trucks of the special operations units, which they had never before seen in their town. These, however, remained purely for effect. A young guy who tried to use an unauthorized megaphone was led away. Vasisualiy heard later that the place had been “crawling with people in plain clothes,”...
Leading up to and throughout the Sochi Winter Olympic Games, we will be exploring through poetry, fiction, and nonfiction the implications of growing restrictions on freedom of expression in Russia since President Putin returned to office in 2012. The pieces were written for a special issue of The Dissident Blog, published by Swedish PEN.
On February 27th, PEN Members and special guests gathered together for a reading of award-winning prose and poetry from the 2014 PEN Prison Writing Contest. Readings from Jackson Taylor, Randall Horton, Susan Rosenberg, and others. Featuring special readings by men and women incarcerated around the country.
Writers or rather our works begin the conversations about the difficult, unanswerable subjects of life, and often our works keep the conversations going when everyone else would rather forget. We are the antidote to bread and circuses.