Next Monday, November 9, PEN’s Prison Writing Program will hold its second annual benefit reading and reception, with readings by Mary Gaitskill, Eric Bogosian, John Turturro, Patricia Smith, Jamal Joseph, Lemon Andersen, and other guests. As an installment of WNYC’s signature series “The NEXT New York Conversation,” this event will be broadcast and live-streamed, allowing incarcerated men and women with radio and/or internet access to listen to the event and join our audience.
Collaborator ticket covers the expenses of one-on-one mentoring services between a PEN member and an incarcerated man or woman for one year. This premier ticket includes the best views and a reception following the program.
Friend ticket covers the postage and printing costs to provide eight incarcerated men and women with a free copy of PEN’s Handbook for Writers in Prison. This ticket includes a reception following the program.
At “Breakout: Voices from Inside,” PEN Members and friends will read award-winning work from PEN’s Prison Writing Program. For more than 30 years, the Program has been dedicated to helping make the harsh realities of American imprisonment part of our social justice dialogue. The Prison Writing Program has also been on the front-lines of prison reform, helping inmates in federal, state, and local penitentiaries cope with life behind bars, gain skills, and have a voice while they are there. “Breakout: Voices from Inside” will help raise much-needed funds to enable our important program to continue its most important mission into the future—helping incarcerated men and women to see themselves in a new way: as writers.
PEN America brings together conversations between the world's great writers with new and overlooked fiction, poetry, drama, memoir, and commentary. It was named one of the "Ten Best New Magazines" in 2000 by Library Journal and recent work has been selected for inclusion in Best American Essays, the Pushcart Prize Anthology, Harper's Magazine, and The Utne Reader. Past contributors include Paul Auster, Marilynne Robinson, Salman Rushdie, Susan Sontag, John Edgar Wideman, and many others. Our latest issue is PEN America 14: The Good Books. The journal is published twice a year by PEN American Center.