June 2014

Bookmark This: Jamie Schaffner on Being Lost

This week, 2011 Emerging Voices Alum Jamie Schaffner reminisces about struggling to find her place in the fellowship. Jamie explains how she found her literary footing with the help of authors Janet Fitch, Bernard Cooper, Dinah Lenney, and vocal coach Dave Thomas.

Renew the call to release poet and student Mohammed al-Ajami in Qatar

Renew the call to release poet and student Mohammed al-Ajami in Qatar

Grant Hutchins, PEN Center USA Freedom to Write Programs Coordinator, Ali al-Hattab,
representative of Mr. Ajami, and Adam Somers, PEN Center USA Executive Director

Writers’ Reel: James Baldwin on How Reading Saved His Life

The author of Go Tell It On the MountainThe Fire Next TimeSonny’s Blues, and many other prolific works is interviewed in this California Newsreel documentary. James Baldwin talks openly about his strict upbringing by his father and how the library helped him connect to the world. 

Bookmark This: Current Emerging Voices Fellow Marci Carrillo on Finding Her Literary Community

In this essay, 2014 Emerging Voices Fellow Marci Carrillo gives thanks for being introduced to a community of writers that have helped support her on her journey. It is finding a tribe of like-minded individuals, she states, that has had the most impact on her of anything she has experienced in the fellowship.
“I took a chance on myself and applied for the 2014 Emerging Voice Fellowship. I took a chance on being a writer.

Bookmark This: Shanna Mahin On Claiming A Seat At The Table

Shanna Mahin, 2008 Emerging Voices Alum, shares her experience of applying to the fellowship. After feeling completely disconnected from the writing community, she writes how the fellowship gave her the courage to begin a professional writing career. Shanna’s novel, Oh! You Pretty Things, was just sold to Dutton in a significant deal in April.


Honduras: Murder of two more radio journalists shows need for greater protection

Bookmark This: Kurt Vonnegut’s Passionate Take on Censorship

Part of PEN Center USA’s mission is to defend and promote freedom of expression. Last month, PEN Center USA presented Forbidden Fruit, A Banned Literature Showcase. The event featured readings from books that have been banned or challenged in the United States. (You can view images from that event here.)