Open Letter Demands PEN Statement, Action on Palestine

The group Writers Against the War On Gaza (WAWOG) penned an open letter following a January 31 PEN America event at which protestors disrupted a conversation between comedian Moshe Kasher and Mayim Bialik, an outspoken supporter of Israel. One of the protestors, author Randa Jarrar—a signatory on the subsequent letter—was physically removed from the space. 

The letter calls on PEN America to "release an official statement about the 225 poets, playwrights, journalists, scholars, and novelists killed in Gaza" by Israeli forces." The letter also "demand[s] that PEN America apologize to Jarrar for these actions and take more concrete steps to support Palestinian writers in the face of a new wave of repression, retaliation, and bigotry rippling through publishing, academia, and the creative arts industries." 

Signatories include such authors as Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, Jami Attenberg, Jamel Brinkley, Alexander Chee, Ashley C. Ford, Roxane Gay, Kiese Laymon, Carmen Maria Machado, Daniel José Older, Morgan Parker, Deesha Philyaw, Tommy Pico, Michelle Tea, Elissa Washuta, and Lidia Yuknavitch.

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