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PEN America to be at the Brooklyn Book Festival this weekend

October 1, 2022 Special from PEN America
Bibliophiles turn out in huge crowds for the annual Brooklyn Book Festival. Eagle file photo by Lore Croghan
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EDITORS’ NOTE: PEN America is supported by so many great Brooklyn-based writers, such as Jennifer Egan, a former president, and will be represented in a live reading at Borough Hall Plaza Sunday, October 2. We re-publish for our readers’ edification the recent extensive notes from PEN, leading off with notes about the Sunday program, The Writer As Migrant.

PEN America, founded in 1922 and headquartered in New York City, is a nonprofit organization that works to defend and celebrate free expression in the United States and worldwide through the advancement of literature and human rights.

PEN Presents: The Writer as Migrant

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Catch PEN at the Brooklyn Book Festival this weekend! PEN America presents Mexican novelist and founder of DREAMing Out Loud Álvaro Enrique, poet and co-editor of Somewhere We Are Human Sonia Guiñansaca, and alum of DREAMing Out Loud and a contributor to Somewhere We Are Human t. jahan to celebrate new anthologies by undocumented or formerly undocumented migrants, refugees, Dreamers, and more. Moderated by PEN America’s Alejandro Heredia, this panel will discuss how literature—fiction to poetry, essays to playwriting—can shift the immigration debate.


When They Tell You To Be Good: Prince Shakur in Conversation with Jamal Joseph
Thursday, Oct. 6 | 7pm ET
P&T Knitwear Books & Podcasts
180 Orchard Street New York, NY 10002

Join PEN America’s Prison and Justice Writing team, Tin House, and P&T Knitwear in celebration of Prince Shakur’s debut memoir, When They Tell You To Be Good—the first acquisition by Tin House Editor-at-Large Hanif Abdurraqib. Shakur’s memoir tells the journey of how a closeted queer child in a Jamaican family became a radicalized adult traveler, writer, and anarchist in Obama and Trump’s America, detailing how Shakur reckons with his identity, his family’s immigration, a parent’s incarceration, and the intergenerational impacts of patriarchal and colonial violence. Shakur will be joined in conversation with Jamal Joseph, author of Panther Baby: A Life of Rebellion and Reinvention.


PEN Out Loud: Celeste Ng with Gabrielle Zevin
Thursday, Oct. 20 | 7pm PT
Second Home Hollywood
1370 N St Andrews Pl, Los Angeles, CA

Number one bestselling author and Guggenheim fellow Celeste Ng joins PEN Out Loud to discuss her third novel, Our Missing Hearts. A suspenseful and heartrending novel about the unbreakable love between a mother and child, Our Missing Hearts is an old story made new, of the ways supposedly civilized communities can pretend to ignore the most searing injustice. Ng will be in conversation with Gabrielle Zevin. ASL interpretation will be provided by Pro Bono ASL. This in-person program will be co-presented by Scripps Presents and Skylight Books, and is made possible in part by the support of the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs and the Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture.


PEN Out Loud: Jemele Hill with Phoebe Robinson
Tuesday, Oct. 25 | 7pm ET
Strand Book Store
828 Broadway (& 12th Street), New York, NY

Emmy Award–winning former co-host of ESPN’s SportsCenter and contributing writer for the Atlantic Jemele Hill joins PEN Out Loud to celebrate her long-awaited memoir, Uphill, an empowering and bold look at Hill’s journey growing up in Detroit, the fallout following her criticism of former President Trump, and what it means to be one of America’s most recognizable journalists. Hill will be in conversation with stand-up comedian, writer, producer, actress, and publisher of the imprint Tiny Reparations Books Phoebe Robinson. ASL Interpretive services are provided by Pro Bono ASL. Presented in collaboration with Strand Book Store.

The PEN Ten

Laura Warrell
The PEN Ten with Laura Warrell: “It can be excruciating to live with uncertainty and, by creating stories, we can make sense of the nonsensical. We can decide how to act. We can move forward.”

The PEN Ten with Chen Chen: “Poetry matters because it nourishes the heart. Maybe that sounds cheesy, but I don’t care. Art matters because it nourishes the heart. Like plums do. Like sunflowers. Like a good, long kiss in this brief, brief life.”

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