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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.

July 28, 15

"As a newspaper reporter, I'm quite used to being called names. You may have heard that we're not the most popular people." Read More  »

July 21, 15

"There was a time in my twenties when I didn’t write because it was too difficult. I had elevated the concept of “being a writer” to a status I felt I didn’t deserve, and the cheeky teenager who wrote those 27 pages without blinking lost her way...Read More  »

July 14, 15

"I have to take care of what I was given. I am aware of carrying a gift that belongs to my people. It doesn’t belong to me. It’s ancient yet moves into the raw and unknown future." Read More  »

July 7, 15

"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." Read More  »

June 30, 15

"[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." Read More  »

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  »