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The PEN Ten

The PEN Ten is PEN America's weekly interview series. Founded by Lauren Cerand and Antonio Aiello, the current guest editors are Alex Segura, Randa Jarrar, Nicole Sealey, Natalie Diaz, and Ken Chen.

June 16, 15

"Being uninhibited is not the only imaginative state that artists should seek to be all the time." Read More  »

June 9, 15

"I’m obsessed with urban neighborhoods, the ideas of identity and tribe that shape and are shaped by them, the hope, conflict, and heartbreak of the ethnic, racial, and socio-economic villages of cities such as Chicago and New York, Paris and...Read More  »

June 2, 15

"I write to show that being weak is strong, is daring. As of a year ago, I have begun to write about being a victim of sexual violence at a young age—something that many children, unfortunately, experience. Looking inward has been daring." Read More  »

May 26, 15

"Although writers are like any other people, they are a small being in the real world, and can easily be manipulated or used, but they should always have the ambition to exceed reality." Read More  »

May 19, 15

"I think that great stories are inherently much smarter than the people who wrote them, because they are not about inventing something but rather about uniquely exposing something that was already there." Read More  »

May 11, 15

"I think literature has a collective purpose, which is to process the reality of lived experience, in much the same way that dreams process the reality of waking life." Read More  »

May 5, 15

"Storytellers and artists serve as funhouse mirrors that show us versions of ourselves and the world, not as they are but as they could be. We point the way with whatever tools we have at our disposal to that place, as either invitation or warning...Read More  »

May 2, 15

"It seems that total exposure is now a form of concealment, especially in regards to women’s sexuality. We can show everything and nothing at once." Read More  »

April 28, 15

"So often we are stuck in contracted stories, or keeping others in manageable narratives. We look, but what are we looking for?" Read More  »

April 26, 15

"Workers writing poems, as Jacques Rancière says in Proletarian Nights, is still a pretty radical idea." Read More  »