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PEN America Blog

July 7, 2015

"My responsibility now feels to be, among two thousand other things, to explore what is lovely and necessary and to be adored and cared for and held up."

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July 7, 2015

The Writers in the Schools program has a lot to celebrate. Highlights from the past month include a vibrant field trip to the PEN World Voices Festival this spring, a student literary publication in its second successful year, and students discussing advocacy and social justice on the weekends.

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July 2, 2015

Jonathan Safran Foer reads quotes from President George W. Bush from the 2004 PEN event State of Emergency: Unconventional Readings.

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July 1, 2015

I died for Easter day and resurrected just / Like him for a week at the hospital I was high on morphine / And the nurses all laughed at me because they thought I was addicted / To ketamine...

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June 30, 2015

"[Tell] it straight, tell it slant—just tell all of it. Anything that can be done on the page, probably should be. It doesn’t matter whether or not we, as readers, like it or agree with it."

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June 26, 2015

Bademosi writes about his life as a renowned Pentecostal preacher boy and exorcist, who fails to cure his twin sister of insanity or himself of homosexuality, until he finally comes out as gay.

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June 25, 2015

A satirical piece by poet Meena Kandasamy and artist Samita Chatterjee about the violence that erupted after the 2012 Hyderabad Beef Festival organized by lower-caste Dalit students at Osmania University.

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June 24, 2015

she would pull her headscarf off / and strike the floor seven times / cursing the heavens and the Tyrant / I was in the cave / where convicts read in the dark / and painted the bestiary of the future on the walls

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June 23, 2015

This is a fascinating time for literary translators into English, and a critical one. Where does the work of the PEN America Translation Committee fit into this changing landscape?

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June 19, 2015

I think if I popped you a bunch of snakes would wriggle out. Well go on then, you can say something, I think. I’m giving you permission, I said, knowing exactly how much it would irk you. So we kill each other tomorrow—nothing passionate there.

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