header login

PEN America Blog

October 29, 2014

[W]riters have to write, even under threat. I think often of Tahar Djaout’s words: “If you speak, you die / If you are silent, you die / So speak and die.”

More »

October 29, 2014

Today I pumped in the Atlanta airport women’s restroom / At the sink while ppl walked past / And I wore one of those bras for hands free pumping / Which also meant I wore a tinge of shame I knew I shouldn’t feel

More »

October 24, 2014

I sometimes used to describe my time in Montreal as an unmitigated catastrophe, but that was untrue. I got a novel out of it.

More »

October 23, 2014

He "died" "in the" battle, then fear / "And" sadness infected my milk / "My" baby "died," "on" "the" boardwalk / I "died" when "you" / Turned "your" car into "the" crowd, "I / Died" "in" a cage

More »

October 22, 2014

I think that publishers and editors have a great deal of responsibility, but I’m not sure that writers do. Write the best book you possibly can. That’s it.

More »

October 20, 2014

Is the conscience the soul’s surveillance of the self? When are observations neutral? Does a writer, even without knowing, intend to “use” observations for the benefit of the writing in a way that is markedly different from the way advertisers track the inclinations of internet users in order to sell them something?

More »

October 17, 2014

There is no time in this slow eternity / He makes a cup of black coffee, / and puts on a Fairouz song

More »

October 15, 2014

First an army destroys a temple, the limbs of men and statues are demolished, their names disappear, the soldiers become a hero, then a number, then a statue is re-erected to pay homage to all the fallen, a parade drums by. Fireworks deafen our heads, if we have them

More »

October 14, 2014

I fear it is fashionable for many writers to think that they have to be right. I want to be wrong but true. Our task is to be human.

More »

October 9, 2014

It’s said that losing a language is “like dropping a bomb on the Louvre.” When a language is lost, it’s the people that are betrayed.

More »

Pages