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

Failure to Protect the Rights of Prisoners to Access Books

PEN America nonprofit logo courtesy of Mltellman – under
CC BY-SA 4.0 license.

“One 2013 study found that people who participate in correctional education programs while incarcerated had a 43 percent lower odds recidivating than those who did not.To Make Prisons “Safer,” Some Are Banning . . . Books, Tariro Mzezewa, NY Times



Maryland’s statewide policy limiting direct access to books represents a failure to protect the right to read for thousands of incarcerated individuals, PEN America said in a statement on Tuesday.

On May 27, the Washington Post reported that Maryland prison officials recently imposed a new policy prohibiting people in prison from directly receiving books from any source other than two prison-approved vendors, Books & Things and Edward R. Hamilton. The restrictions block people in prison from receiving literature directly from friends or family members or from online retailers. The new restrictions prevent people in prison from buying books that are sold at cheaper prices from other online retailers, or from buying books that are simply not available in the two vendors’ catalogs. There are approximately 20,000 people in Maryland state prisons.

Prison officials reportedly implemented the policy as a measure to reduce the trafficking of drugs, most notably the medication Suboxone (buprenorphine and naloxone, used to treat addition to opioids); however, prison officials were reportedly unable to answer how many strips of seized Suboxone had been found hidden in books in 2017 or 2018.

“While we respect that prison officials have an obligation to keep their prisons drug-free, this policy is misguided and unwise,” said Summer Lopez, Senior Director of Free Expression Programs at PEN America. “As a result of this policy, thousands of people in prison now have their access to reading and educational materials primarily dictated by the offerings of just two companies. Even with the presence of prison libraries, it’s clear that this represents a serious blow to the right to read in Maryland prisons. The policy should be rescinded and a solution found that does not restrict access to books for incarcerated individuals.”

Earlier this year, PEN America joined prison reform and civil liberties groups in voicing opposition to policies in New York State prisons and in federal prisons that similarly aimed to implement an ‘approved-vendor-only’ system for book delivery to prisons. Both policies have since been rescinded.

PEN America has run a national prison writing program for over 40 years, including an annual Prison Writing Contest available to anyone incarcerated in a federal, state, or county prison. Under this policy, PEN America would be barred from directly sending people in prison copies of its Handbook for Writers in Prison, a detailed guide to writing designed specifically for writers in prison.


PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open expression in the United States and worldwide. The organizaton 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. pen.org


RELATED:


ABOUT

LATE-BREAKING NEWS: PEN America and Jean Stein to Honor Groundbreaking Literature with New Awards of $75K and $10K

PEN America Center (PEN), founded in 1922 and based in New York City, works to advance literature, to defend free expression, and to foster international literary fellowship. The Center has a membership of 3,300 writers, editors, and translators. PEN America Center is the largest of the 144 centers that belong to PEN International, the worldwide association of writers that defends those who are harassed, imprisoned and killed for their views.[1] PEN America Center is one of two PEN centers located in the USA, the other is PEN Center USA in Los Angeles, it covers the USA west of the Mississippi.
PEN America Center (PEN), founded in 1922 and based in New York City, works to advance literature, to defend free expression, and to foster international literary fellowship. The Center has a membership of 3,300 writers, editors, and translators. PEN America Center is the largest of the 144 centers that belong to PEN International, the worldwide association of writers that defends those who are harassed, imprisoned and killed for their views.PEN America Center is one of two PEN centers located in the USA, the other is PEN Center USA in Los Angeles, it covers the USA west of the Mississippi.
This week PEN America announced the establishment of the PEN/Jean Stein Book Award, a literary honor that will be conferred annually on a book that has broken new ground and signals strong potential for lasting influence.

$75,000 Prize to be Awarded to a Single Writer for Originality and Impact
$10,000 Grant for a Literary Oral History Project

The new award will recognize a book-length work of any genre for “originality, merit, and impact,” spotlighting a work of literature that reshapes the boundaries of its form. Funded by oral historian Jean Stein, the $75,000 award will be among the largest literary prizes in the U.S., as well as the largest prize offered by PEN. In a departure for the PEN America Literary Awards, the judging panel of distinguished writers will serve anonymously. The panel will nominate candidates internally and without submissions from the public.

“The PEN/Jean Stein Book Award will focus global attention on remarkable books that propel experimentation, wit, strength, and the expression of wisdom,” said PEN America President Andrew Solomon. “As an organization that champions literature’s power to change the world, PEN America is especially pleased to recognize work that honors creative ambition and rejoices in imagination. We are immensely grateful to Jean Stein for this opportunity to celebrate books that rethink our culture and humanity.”

Stein’s own literary pursuits have engaged some of the most influential figures in American culture, including an interview with William Faulkner for The Paris Review in 1956. She chronicled the life of Robert F. Kennedy with editor George Plimpton in the 1970 book American Journey: The Times of Robert Kennedy. In 1982, she was the author of Edie: American Girl, which was also edited with Plimpton. Most recently, she profiled five prominent families from Los Angeles in West of Eden. From 1990 to 2004, Stein was the editor of Grand Street, a literary and visual arts magazine.

In addition to the book award, Stein will also sponsor a new PEN America Literary Award for oral history. The PEN/Jean Stein Grant for Oral History will award $10,000 to support the completion of a literary work of nonfiction that uses oral history to illuminate an event, individual, place, or movement.

The PEN America Literary Awards is the most comprehensive awards program in the country, offering prizes across a wide range of genres, including fiction, nonfiction, poetry, theater, translation, and more. With the addition of these two new awards, the 2017 PEN America Literary Awards will confer over $250,000 to writers and translators.

Both new awards sponsored by Stein will be conferred for the first time in 2017, with the inaugural honorees to be named at the PEN America Literary Awards Ceremony in New York in February.

RELATED:

Spanglish as a Proper Language

Video posted to YouTube by PoetryFoundation.

Animated poem by Maurice Kilwein Guevara. Part of the Poetry Everywhere series produced by the Poetry Foundation in association with docUWM at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Animation by Kristin Vogel.

Sábado feliz a ustedes.

Sonrisa … y poema encendido …

%d bloggers like this: