Down From Missouri (Poem)

Swift. That is to say…everything. I might travel several states and only remember Tennessee.
Greats walls of Mountain nudging the road curiously as what’s left behind extinguishes itself behind hungry clouds.
Leaving Asheville the earth curves downwards giving the sky some depth.
Give me no place to go. Let the landscape roll forever beneath my feet and cradle me.

A posthumous congratulations to the Soviet writer Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky, whose tales have been revived by the New York Review of Books and translators Joanne Turnbull and Nikolai Formozov, earning them the PEN translation prize. And thanks to the judges, who included Ann Goldstein, translator of the Neopolitan novels by Elena Ferrante, published by yours truly.

75 of the country’s best loved writers and artists are doing something very unusual in support PEN America: Returning to their most significant work and annotating it however they choose (Marina Abramovic tied her book up in hair).

For those of you curious about what I have been doing since I left my job a month ago, here is a video teaser for an auction to support PEN America that I have been working on with Jacob Krupnick at Wild Combination. The auction will take place in December (You can view all of the books on display at Christie’s before they are sold). PEN’s mission is very close to my heart, so please check out their website and consider becoming a member:

I’m not sure if you’ve noticed by now, but if you were to peel me apart, right beneath this pseudo-Adult layer, I am a 10-year-old boy at heart.  I love superheroes, I love mythology, I love alternate universes, I Love the idea of super powers.  All of it.  If I could have a super power right now, it’d be a way to transport myself to New York City on May 3rd, to be a member of the audience for yet another rad Pen America event. 

This event is actually aimed directly at readers 10 and up who have the same sort of loves of science fiction, superheroes and all things that live inside a comic book universe.  It’s at 3:00 on Saturday, May 3rd at SubCulture on Bleeker Street.  If you’re not there, you’re missing out. 

Please attend, please follow the link, or head to or follow them on Instagram @Pen_America to get more information.

In A City Tucked Away

I live behind a door in an alleyway neatly folded between a small avenue and a dense boulevard. At the end of the alley is a small place where you can corner the sky. The apartments with their sharp metal fire escapes force the light down and trap it. The light never cries. It just waits patiently for night and then follows the slick darkness back up where it joins the stars.

This might be my favorite one of the bunch

Over the summer, The Architectural League of New York collaborated with the PEN World Voices Festival and a bunch of young talented artists to bring the Little Free Library project to their neighborhood. The result is a variety of different “libraries” of all sorts and sizes popping up all over Manhattan. Read a great write-up about the project at FastCoExist

The results, according to [Ian Veidenheimer, of the Architectural League of New York], are “all different and wonderful.” He adds that “the libraries function as more than bookshelves” but as an opportunity for people to pause or congregate.

Poet and artist Liu Xia has been under extralegal house arrest since her husband, jailed writer Liu Xiaobo, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on October 8, 2010. Kept incommunicado, she was recently let out of her home in Beijing briefly to attend the trial of her brother, who is being tried on trumped-up charges likely meant to intimidate the family. When she arrived at the courthouse, Liu Xia shouted to  saw diplomats and reporters, “If they tell you I’m free, tell them I’m not free.”


via Pen America