Audio + Video
PEN Podcast: Margaret Atwood Reads “The Tent” and “A Poor Woman Learns to Write”
Canadian poet, novelist, critic, essayist, and environmental activist Margaret Atwood attempts to answer the question "Does writing change anything?"
Secret Sources: A Conversation with Edward Snowden
Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden spoke to PEN's Executive Director Suzanne Nossel via Skype about whistleblowing and questions of conscience.
Secret Sources: Whistleblowers, National Security, Free Expression Panel Discussion
NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake, Jesselyn Radack of ExposeFacts' Whistleblower & Source Protection Program, journalist James Risen, and Susan Glasser of Politico debate the impact of the Obama...
Watch: PEN DIY with Molly Crabapple
PEN welcomed artist, journalist, and activist Molly Crabapple for a fierce talk titled "How to Draw the Elephant in the Room."
PEN Podcast: Reimagining the Mainstream Panel Discussion
Gregory Pardlo, Willie Perdomo, Saeed Jones, and Cate Marvin talk about equity in publishing and how to diversify mainstream literary culture in today's #PENpodcast.
Taken from the PEN America event State of the First Amendment 1992- 1993: Mean Speech and Other Freedoms, the late Nat Hentoff briefly and succinctly articulates his interpretation of the intersection of actions within the 1st amendment.
…freedom implies voluntary restraint, members pledge themselves to oppose such evils of a free press as mendacious publication, deliberate falsehood and distortion of facts for political and personal ends…
Kirkpatrick Sale opens the first International Writers for Peace Day (March 3, 1985) with a brief history of PEN International and a reading of the charter. Though PEN International was founded in 1921, it was not until 1948 that the charter was approved at the PEN Congress in Copenhagen.
What does Gary Snyder Fear Most?
Find out in this recording taken from Nature Dead, Nature Alive (1991)
The many forms of free expression exist beyond the reaches of our own fingertips, extending to biology, diversity, environmental habitats and the Earth-Community in all of its parts.
All around me, I see the face of America changing as must you, if you take the number 7 train to Queens, the train I use to go to work and soon this wild disruptive perspective of new Americans from non-traditional immigrant countries will burst through the smooth civil surfaces of American literature. [Crista] Wolf is wrong in her final prophecy, we the minorities, we who have survived war and arduous odyssey’s are in the process of writing guerrilla fiction, we are subverting the canons of literature.
"A writer must of course uphold intellectual freedom, defend all aspects of the development of man and pursues the progress of man from he kingdom of necessity to that of freedom from to which ends he will not flinch from his social and moral obligations. Intellectual freedom is a duty as well as a right, just as the writers imagination is a freedom of choice, so the people, his readers, must be free to choose the writers they concur with.
On May 25, 2016, Khadija Ismayilova, winner of the 2015 PEN/Barbara Goldsmith Freedom to Write Award, was released on probation and granted a suspended sentence in a Supreme Court decision rendered in the capital of Azerbaijan. Below, a message from Ismayilova recognizing the efforts of PEN America and free-expression defenders the world over who advocated for her release.
"The unity and solidarity that was demonstrated in my case will help all the governments understand that truth and love will always prevail over lies and hatred. Thank you for your support."