Latest Articles

  • Book Cover for Dark Road by Ma Jian
    No Place for Incarnation?

    Independent Chinese PEN Center President Tienchi Martin-Liao reviews Dark Road, a new novel by Ma Jian about a couple’s unbalanced fight against China’s cold-blooded one-child policy that is made not to protect, but to destroy, lives.

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  • Eltet, an Egyptian belly dance channel. Photo: youtube user Eltetchennel.
    The Belly Dance

    In this week’s From Egypt column, writer Hamdy el Gazzar discusses the use of belly dancing as a form of propaganda by politicians desperate to regain power.

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  • Ouroboros
    The Snake That Bites its Own Tail

    In this week’s Night Watch column, writer Israel Centeno reflects on the transformation a true revolutionary undergoes once he attains power: he becomes an “agent of the new imposed order.” A contradiction only resolved by “totalitarian requisition.”

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  • Maung Aung Pwint. Photo: Khet Mar
    Maung Aung Pwint: People’s Poet

    In this week’s Tea House column, writer Khet Mar profiles Maung Aung Pwint, a Burmese poet who was imprisoned for eight years for “illegal possession of a fax machine” and “sending news” to foreign media organizations.

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  • Carmen Tafolla Reads
    Ocupando Mi Voz: A Poem by Carmen Tafolla

    Today we share Carmen Tafolla’s poem “Ocupando Mi Voz” (Using My Voice), a poem that celebrates the “power of words.” The first Poet Laureate of the City of San Antonio, Dr. Tafolla is currently writing a biography on civil rights organizer Emma Tenyuca..

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  • Aasia Bibi and Salmaan Taseer
    Denialistan, Part One

    Pakistani author Bina Shah discusses the reactions to her novel Slum Child including the views of the “Denialistanis,” individuals who deny accountability and refuse to accept any criticism about Pakistan and its citizens.

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  • Left: Tienchi Martin-Liao. Right: wroter Liao Yiwu. © Elke Wetzig/CC-BY-SA
    The Empire Strikes Back

    In this week’s “Blind Chess” column, Independent Chinese PEN Center president Tienchi Martin-Liao reflects on the ancient practices of “literary inquisition” and “kin liability” and how these practices are still relevant in China today.

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