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.

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All Episodes

Dan O’Brien on Writing, Trauma, and Optimism; Plus, Tough Questions with Suzanne Nossel

On this week’s episode of The PEN Pod, playwright and poet Dan O’Brien is out with a new essay collection and a new collection of poetry, that together weave...

A BBC Reporter Expelled from Russia: Then, Tough Questions on Book Bans, a Texas Abortion Law, and Supporting Exiles Worldwide

On this week’s episode of The PEN Pod, BBC journalist Sarah Rainsford joins to discuss her abrupt expulsion from Russia, what it means for free expression, and the limits...

The Promise of a Robust Public Defense; Plus, Dallas’ Literary Community

This week on The PEN Pod, we catch up with attorney and author Jonathan Rapping, author of GIDEON’S PROMISE and leader of an organization charged with harnessing the voices...

Renewing New Orleans Through Literature with Maurice Carlos Ruffin; Plus, the War on Terror with Spencer Ackerman

On this week’s extended edition of The PEN Pod, we get the latest on Hurricane Ida and its impact on the New Orleans literary community from author Maurice Carlos...

Leaving Behind a Deadly Digital Trail in Afghanistan

On this edition of The PEN Pod, we have an in-depth interview with PEN America’s own Matt Bailey, who walks us through the perils facing Afghans who’ve been sharing...

Navigating the Debacle in Afghanistan: George Packer and Ayad Akhtar, Plus the Future for Afghan Women

On this special edition of The PEN Pod, we focus on the fall of the US-backed government in Afghanistan. First, we have a conversation between PEN America president Ayad...

Attacking Racism Through National Solidarity; Plus, Tough Questions on Belarus, Misinformation, and a Texas Book Ban

Former Navy commander and scholar Theodore Johnson’s new book When the Stars Begin to Fall lays out the case for how a new form of national solidarity modeled on...

Queering an Epic Tale; Plus, Tough Questions on the Olympics, Facebook Shutting Down Research, and Protest Laws

On this week’s episode, we bring you a second conversation with one of the contributors to DREAMing Out Loud, our annual anthology of writings from migrant writers who took...

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