freeexpressionis

#FreeExpressionIs a book soaked in raw, revolutionary truth, without a muzzle for its lack of conventional beauty.” —Ashley August

Over the past two weeks, hundreds tweeted us with critical, poetic, and personal takes on what #FreeExpressionIs–and we’re so excited to announce Ashley August (@AugustRusshh) as the final winner of the PEN Gala tickets! 

Congratulations, Ashley! And thank you everyone for showing the Twitterverse what freedom of expression means to you.  Below, you can help defend the freedom of a dear PEN Member:

pen.org/free-ilham

“But my father’s words came true: the Communist Party opened fire. As the tanks bore down, in a thousand fears, I composed and recorded my poem "Massacre” in a small town in Sichuan Province:

Shoot through their skulls! Scorch them! Let their juice burst out. Let their soul burst out. Squirt it on the traffic bridges, on the tower, on the railings! Let it splatter on the road! Shoot it into the sky and make stars! The stars are running away! The stars are growing legs, running away! Heaven and earth turning around. All humanity wearing shiny hats. Shiny, shiny steel helmets. An army group storming out of the moon! Shoot! Shoot! Shoot! This is great! People and stars falling together. Running together. Don’t know each other. Chase them into the clouds! Chase them until the earth opens, shoot and shoot into their flesh! Make another hole for the soul! Another hole for the stars!“

Twenty-five years after the Tiananmen Massacre, Liao Yiwu shares a "tall tale.” The author plunges into history to tell his personal story so that others may understand not only incident, but present-day China.  

Pay a tribute to the Tank Man and the others who suffered on June 4, 1989 and read more at: http://www.pen.org/nonfiction/commemorating-massacre-tanks-and-people