We Will Emerge: Imagining the Future

Courtesy of freestocks, Unsplash

“ We will emerge with a better vision.

“Not until this moment are we seeing the people who make this world work: the myriad invisibles, the anonymous, the undocumented, the overworked and underpaid professionals—some of whom we don’t even grace with the status of ‘professionals’ or pay them a living wage or take care of their health.” Julia Alvarez, We Will Emerge: Awareness


PEN America launched We Will Emerge, a collection of 111 short essays from writers and actors, politicians and reporters, artists and poets, together urging readers to imagine a future beyond the current crises. Sparked by a conversation between Wajahat Ali and Dave Eggers, the project asked participants to briefly respond to the prompt “We will emerge…and find a better way.” Participants include Chelsea Clinton, Roxane Gay, Julia Alvarez, Min Jin Lee, Lynn Nottage, Peter Sagal, Ishmael Reed, Jelani Cobb, Reza Aslan, Alyssa Milano, Mayor Michael Tubbs, Maya Wiley, and dozens more.
“There is no one way to understand how the multiple crises of our current moment will forge the future of this country,” said Wajahat Ali, curator of the We Will Emerge project. “We designed this project with a sense of hope, or perhaps a delusion, that somehow we will emerge from this chaos. We gave no set motives or restrictions on how to respond. Some entries are bleak, some are fueled by righteous rage, others are humbled, and few imagine and prescribe how we can achieve a freer and more equitable future. But all the contributions are grounded in the reality that there will be a day after our current crises, and we all need to prepare and grapple with the once-in-a-century lessons of a deadly pandemic, our overdue reckoning over white supremacy, and the deliberate attacks on our democracy.”We Will Emerge immerses readers in the thoughts and stirrings of some of the greatest thinkers of our current moment. The digital experience is broken into chapters, where the 111 contributions are categorized into five thematic categories that capture the connective threads among the dozens of contributions.

  • Julia Ioffe, in the chapter of essays centered on awareness, writes that we will emerge “humbled and more respectful of science.”
  • In the section on community and unity, Rep. Val Demings quotes Dr. Martin Luther King, “In a real sense, all life is interrelated.”
  • Another section of essays focuses on the themes of gratitude and empathy, where Gary Shteyngart muses on culinary ambition: “We will emerge…and be yummier.”
  • Challenging economic inequality, Mehdi Hasan in the section on liberation writes, “We will emerge and be less forgiving.”
  • Imam Abdullah Antepli, in the section on action, calls for a more engaged democracy: “What if we all renew and significantly increase our ownership of our democracy and act accordingly a result of it?”

“We Will Emerge is an effort to think beyond our cascading crises and elevate insights that can point us toward a healthier, more equal, just, and sustainable future,” said Suzanne Nossel, CEO of PEN America and author of Dare to Speak: Defending Free Speech for All. “These micro-essays throw down gauntlets, unmask truths, and issue calls to action to take responsibility for the ways we’ve failed one another. Recognizing that there is no panacea for all that ails our society, these contributions collectively offer ideas, pathways, and building blocks aimed to spark new thinking and action, all in a direction forward.”

Throughout the coming weeks, PEN America and contributors from the project will be sharing their essays across social platforms under the hashtag #WeWillEmerge. Visit pen.org/we-will-emerge to read and share.

PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open expression in the United States and worldwide. It champions the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Its mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible.


Jamie Dedes:

Your donation HERE helps to fund the ongoing mission of The Poet by Day in support of poets and writers, freedom of artistic expression, and human rights.

Poetry rocks the world!


“Every pair of eyes facing you has probably experienced something you could not endure.”  Lucille Clifton

PEN America Unveils Fall 2020 Pen Out Loud Lineup

Copyright PEN America

All-virtual rethinking of PEN America’s landmark event series features Yaa Gyasi, Roxane Gay, Ayad Akhtar, Ben Rhodes, Claudia Rankine, Marilynne Robinson, and Alexander Chee


PEN Out Loud’s fall 2020 season will feature conversations with Yaa Gyasi and Roxane Gay, Ayad Akhtar and Ben Rhodes, Claudia Rankine, and Marilynne Robinson and Alexander Chee. PEN Out Loud is co-presented with Strand Book Store and Scripps Presents.“We’re delighted to offer up a rethinking of our PEN Out Loud series, not just for our all-digital moment, but rather rethinking how conversations are happening in our current all-digital moment,” said PEN America’s Clarisse Rosaz Shariyf. “But we’re still holding fast to our belief that PEN Out Loud is the hallmark national literary series that amplifies diverse voices and convenes the most vital conversations with poets, journalists, artists, and activists.”“We’re delighted to be partnering on the PEN Out Loud series. PEN America’s mission to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible is vital, most especially in this moment,” said Corrina Lesser, artistic director of Scripps Presents.PEN Out Loud Fall 2020 Lineup We Don’t Know What We Don’t Know*
Yaa Gyasi
, author of the forthcoming book Transcendent Kingdom, in conversation with Roxane Gay
Tuesday, September 1 at 5pm PT/8pm ET
*This is a book launch event America Is My Home*
Ayad Akhtar
, author of the forthcoming book Homeland Elegies, in conversation with Ben Rhodes
Tuesday, September 1 at 5pm PT/8pm ET
*This is a book launch eventJust Listen
Claudia Rankine
, author of the forthcoming book Just Us: An American Conversation, with a conversation partner to be announced
Wednesday, September 30 at 5pm PT/8pm ETGuilt and Grace
Mariynne Robinson
, author of the forthcoming book Jack, in conversation with Alexander Chee
Tuesday, October 6 at 5pm PT/8pm ET



Tickets on sale now . . .

PEN Out Loud’s mission remains focused on amplifying diverse voices and convening vital conversations with authors, poets, journalists, artists, and activists.

This fall, these conversations are in direct response to the very specific moment we’re in culturally and politically. In the lead up to the 2020 presidential elections, the whole society is wrestling with the legacy of slavery, a reckoning with police brutality, the consequences of health and economic disparities in the midst of a pandemic, and attacks on press freedom and democracy.

Each author this season examines the fabric of our culture with deft insight and illuminates a wide range of themes such as whiteness, faith, interracial love, midwestern and southern culture, depression, and immigration.

$20 Admission | $35 Admission + Signed Book*
* $50 for international shipping

Flash sale until September 7. Use the code FLASHPOL at checkout.

The content of this post is courtesy of PEN.org.  

The New Republic is an official media partner of PEN Out Loud’s Fall 2020 season. This program is made possible in part by a grant from the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs.

PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open expression in the United States and worldwide. It champions the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Its mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible.



Jamie Dedes:

Your donation HERE helps to fund the ongoing mission of The Poet by Day in support of poets and writers, freedom of artistic expression, and human rights.

Poetry rocks the world!


“Every pair of eyes facing you has probably experienced something you could not endure.”  Lucille Clifton

Join in Angora Poets World Caffé Virtual Poetry Reading via Zoom, April 19th

Photograph courtesy of Artsy Vibes, Unsplash

“Like déjà vu, poetry
intimates that the past
is never quite over
and done with.”
Matthew Brevis, Poetry, March 2020 issue



ANGORA POETS WORLD CAFFÉ, VIRTUAL POETRY READING

SUNDAY, April 19, 2020 at 8 p.m. -11 p.m. UTC+2

An Invitation

Copyright Angora Poets World Caffé

Angora Poets Sunday April 19 at 20h – 8 p.m; Paris time. Join Zoom Meeting // Poets, Prose, Spoken Word, Performance Artists. All languages welcome. Connect on Facebook HERE for more details.

“When I say All Languages welcome: our poets present in English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Russian, Italian. We are truly a world caffé.” Moe Seager



Jamie Dedes:

Your donation HERE helps to fund the ongoing mission of The Poet by Day in support of poets and writers, freedom of artistic expression, and human rights.

Poetry rocks the world!



FEEL THE BERN

For Peace, Sustainability, Social Justice

Maintain the movement.

“Democracy is not a spectator sport.” Bernie Sanders



“Every pair of eyes facing you has probably experienced something you could not endure.”  Lucille Clifton

PEN America in the time COVID-19 moves Lit Festival from May to September; decries Trumps attack on journalist

American Museum of Natural History (NYC) courtesy of IngfbrunoCC BY-SA 3.0

Momentous Event at the American Museum of Natural History Brings Together the PEN America Community of Writers, Activists, and Cultural Luminaries to Support the Organization’s Increasingly Essential Advocacy of Truth-Telling and Free Expression



As a global public health crisis underscores the importance of credible, vital information, PEN America has confirmed a new date for the 2020 PEN America Literary Gala, its annual celebration of free expression and open discourse. The organization has rescheduled the event for September 15 (from May 19) and looks forward to convening its diverse, international community of writers, activists, and cultural luminaries in person to advance PEN America’s fundamental principles and honor the individuals who embody and uphold them.

“Denial, repression of facts, and disinformation have accelerated the spread of COVID-19 and impaired an effective response to it. Reliable truth—a prerequisite for assessing and ameliorating the crisis—is yet another casualty of this pandemic,” said Suzanne Nossel, CEO of PEN America. “We stand in solidarity with all truth-tellers at home in the U.S. and abroad and are mobilizing to shore up a literary community hard-hit by this unfolding crisis. The 2020 PEN America Literary Gala is an opportunity for the literary and free expression communities to stand up for their values and raise support to defend them. We regret having to postpone but are determined to mount a forceful stand together in the fall.”

Note: Trump also bragged about not distributing The New York Times or the Washington Post in the White House. For my own reasons, I’m not crazy about either paper, but the Times is traditionally consider the newspaper of record in the U.S. / J.D.



Trump Attacks NBC Reporter, Peter Alexander, When Asked To Assuage Fear

PEN America CEO Suzanne Nossel issued the following statement after President Trump chided a reporter for asking about what he would say to frightened Americans in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak:

NBC’s Peter Alexander interviewing Senator Chris Coons / public domain photograph courtesy of Senator Coons office

“President Trump’s shoot the messenger strategy of combating the coronavirus by attacking a reporter who did nothing more than point out the terror it is wreaking across America is shameful. Trustworthy, fact-based media has never been more essential to Americans than it is right now. The president’s effort to deflect the shortcomings of his administration’s response to the pandemic by attacking the reporters who question him has become an appalling daily spectacle and an international embarrassment to the United States. “



At the Gala, PEN America presents Patti Smith with the 2020 PEN/Audible Literary Service Award, for her prolific, multifaceted career and her unflinching determination to protest injustice and speak truth; and recognizes Frank A. Bennack, Jr., Executive Vice Chairman and Former CEO of Hearst, the event’s Corporate Honoree, for his dexterous, determined leadership of the company, an extraordinary source of philanthropy and a nimble force for quality journalism. As the event approaches, PEN America will announce the recipients of the PEN/Benenson Courage Award, for dauntless exercises of free expression, and the PEN/Barbey Freedom to Write Award, which goes to writers imprisoned for their work and spearheads advocacy campaigns on their behalf.

The PEN America Literary Gala is an annual highlight of New York’s literary, cultural, and social calendars and a vibrant cross-pollination of distinguished writers, human rights activists, publishers, editors, journalists, creative visionaries, and philanthropists. The event leaves guests moved and inspired to redouble their efforts in defense of truth, facts, the role of the media, and open dialogue as foundations of democracy. Proceeds of the dinner are crucial to PEN America’s cultural programming and advocacy work.

PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open expression in the United States and worldwide. It champions the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Its mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible.


Jamie Dedes:

Your donation HERE helps to fund the ongoing mission of The Poet by Day in support of poets and writers, freedom of artistic expression, and human rights.

Poetry rocks the world!



FEEL THE BERN

For Peace, Sustainability, Social Justice

The Poet by Day officially endorses Bernie Sanders for President.

The New New Deal

Link HERE for Bernie’s schedule of events around the country.

“Democracy is not a spectator sport.” Bernie Sanders



“Every pair of eyes facing you has probably experienced something you could not endure.”  Lucille Clifton

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