Every year, PEN Center USA asks the five Emerging Voices Fellows to answer the question, “What does Freedom to Write mean to you?” Over the next five weeks, each of the Fellows talks about the role that freedom of expression, the keystone of PEN Center USA’s mission, has played in their lives as writers, readers, and literary citizens.
“There’s nothing like a book. Its value is unique, a prolonged experience of engagement with the imagination. Those ratty paperbacks weren’t just an escape. There was something tying those stories together—underdogs and victims rising up and embracing their power, loyal friends banding together to face a great and terrible evil. Scared people doing things they were scared to do.”
PEN Center USA’s mission is to stimulate and maintain interest in the written word, to foster a vital literary culture, and to defend freedom of expression domestically and internationally.