First Annual PEN Prison Writing Program Benefit Reading
Breyten Breytenbach, Francine Prose, Suheir Hammad, Adrian Nicole LeBlanc, Susan Kuklin, Wesley Stace, and other special guests
New York City—On October 20th at Parson’s School of Design’s Kellen Auditorium, PEN American Center will hold its first-ever Prison Writing Benefit Reading to support this program with nearly four decades of experience assisting men and women who are incarcerated in Federal, State and local prisons in their practice of writing.
Since 1971 PEN’s Prison Writing Program has sponsored an annual writing contest, published free handbooks for those in prison, provided one-on-one mentoring behind bars, conducted workshops for formerly incarcerated people, and sought to make the work of writers in prison available to the public through literary publications and readings.
Now collaborating with the Anne Frank Center USA, PEN’s Prison Writing Program has helped give more than 150 people in prison their own journals along with a copy of The Diary of Anne Frank. Following Anne’s example, here various life experiences get recorded and these completed diaries explore confinement, surveillance, and the minutia of a life under the guard of correction—soon the diaries will travel to various museums across the United States, as well as be published online.
Poets Breyten Breytenbach and Suheir Hammad, fiction writers Francine Prose and Wesley Stace, non-fiction writer Adrian Nicole LeBlanc, and children’s book writer Susan Kuklin, along with other special guests, will read the prize-winning stories and poems written by the men and women who participate in the Prison Writing Program.
All of the proceeds from the night will go towards PEN’s Prison Writing program to support a place for people in prison to express themselves freely with paper and pen and to encourage the use of the written word as a legitimate, and an essential, expression of power. $50 ticket includes program and wine and cheese reception.
Don’t miss an extraordinary opportunity to ensure the health of this very important 37 year-old PEN program!
Monday, October 20, 2008, 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Kellen Auditorium – Parsons School of Design
66 5th Ave
(between 11th & 12th Streets)
Subway: The 4, 5, 6, N, R, Q, W or L trains to 14th Street and Union Square.
$50 (includes post-event reception) Tickets can be purchased at www.pen.org/pwpgala