Series: The PEN Po‪d‬

As an organization that’s all about the literary community, PEN America knows that the current health crisis is hitting our Members and friends particularly hard. The PEN Pod is meant to provide regular updates and conversations about literature and free expression, and provide an outlet for our in-person events that have been postponed or canceled.

Join the conversation online at and on our social channels @PENAmerica. Thanks for tuning in. Support this podcast:

BONUS EPISODE: Gregory Pardlo Reads Carrie Fountain’s “The Jungle”

In this special bonus episode of the podcast, Pulitzer-winner Gregory Pardlo reads Carrie Fountain’s poem “The Jungle.” — Send in a voice message: Support this podcast:

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Episode 8: Poet Gregory Pardlo Gets Reacquainted With Himself

On this episode, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Gregory Pardlo on getting reacquainted with his favorite books on the craft of writing, and reflecting on his own past. Also, tips on how to stay mentally fit while working from home. And, we want to hear from you. Record a voice message for us! — Send in…

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Episode 7: Mental Health and the Outbreak With Andrew Solomon

As the national debate over balancing the risks of social isolation heats up, author and clinical psychologist Andrew Solomon discusses the consequences for mental health. Then, how student journalists are covering the crisis remotely. And tips on how you can avoid becoming a disinformation disseminator.  — Send in a voice message: Support this podcast:…

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Episode 6: A Legal Victory Against Trump; Remembering Terrence McNally

In this edition, PEN America celebrates a victory against President Trump’s efforts to retaliate against the press in our lawsuit. We’ll talk what’s next. Then, we speak to New York Times theater critic Jesse Green about the life of playwright Terrence McNally. — Send in a voice message: Support this podcast:

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Episode 5: Disinformation Battle Stations With Jane Lytvynenko

For this episode of The PEN Pod, we talk to BuzzFeed senior reporter Jane Lytvynenko, who covers disinformation and security. She discusses the major disinformation that’s currently circulating about the coronavirus, where it might be coming from, and what we can do to stop sharing false stories. Plus, books about coronavirus are flooding Amazon, but…

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Episode 4: An Exercise in Hopeful Thinking and Magic With Chip Rolley

On this episode for Monday, March 23, we talk to Chip Rolley, senior director of literary programs at PEN America and director of the World Voices Festival. He discusses what festivals mean to readers and writers and what might come next for the book world. We also discuss the financial hardships hitting alt-weeklies, and preview…

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Episode 3: Social Distancing aka Social Solidarity With Alexander Chee

In this episode for Friday, March 20, a new Pew survey shows that Americans are paying close attention to the coronavirus, but that misinformation is seeping into the dialogue. Then, an interview with award-winning author Alexander Chee for his thoughts on the craft of writing during a period of social distancing. And finally, a poem…

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Episode 2: Wash Your Hands, Read a Book, Protect Your Heart With Jennifer Finney Boylan

On this edition for Thursday, March 19, 2020, we explore a good news story out of Cuba where an artist and dissident has been released following dozens of arrests. Then, we turn to Jennifer Finney Boylan, New York Times columnist and author of the forthcoming book Good Boy: My Life in Seven Dogs. Then, journalists…

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Episode 1: We’re Here!

It’s day one for “The PEN POD.” On this first edition of our limited-run podcast: a little bit about why we’re doing this; an interview with PEN America CEO Suzanne Nossel, author of the forthcoming book Dare to Speak; and what should be on your bookshelf this week. — Send in a voice message:…

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Trailer: Starting March 18, “The PEN Pod”

Starting Wednesday, March 18 the literary and free expression group PEN America will bring you “The PEN Pod.” With books tours halted and the literary community facing major difficulties, we want to bring daily insights and reader conversations to you. Tune in starting Wednesday, March 18 for our first episode. — Send in a voice…

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