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PEN American Center

The PEN Ten

The PEN Ten is PEN America's weekly interview series.

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  »

April 21, 15

"I believe it's the writer's job to tell society what it pretends it doesn't know." Read More  »

April 14, 15

"We are no longer living in an era of the printed word radiating outward from author toward readers. Words come in short bursts, ideas ping-pong, thinking itself has become collective. The group thinks together. Sometimes this is good." Read More  »

April 7, 15

"Are they influences? My obsessions are numerous and varied and therefore lead me to my greatest obsession: to be still, to know silence within, to be so still that in the words of that poet—I forget his or her name—shy creatures will come close to...Read More  »

March 31, 15

"Every word becomes dangerous when words fall into a wave of social movements." Read More  »