Latest Articles

  • 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.

    Read more...

  • 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..

    Read more...

  • 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.

    Read more...

  • 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.

    Read more...

  • Medanos de Coro
    The Wasteland

    “All displacement is natural until the ulterior motives of a government make it unnatural.” In this week’s Night Watch column, Venezuelan writer Israel Centeno reflects on the relationships between time, memory, and life in exile.

    Read more...

  • Feature: Book Smugglers in the United States
    Book Smugglers in the United States

    An account of the Librotraficante caravan, a book smuggling mission carrying banned literature into Arizona. Led by writer Tony Diaz, the caravan is a response to Tucson Unified School District’s decision to eliminate its Mexican-American Studies program.

    Read more...

  • Photo: Steve Rhodes
    Is it Worth the Risk?

    “Why do writers risk imprisonment or death for an idea?” In this week’s Ethiopiques journalist Mesfin Negash reflects on the risks faced by journalists, activists, and human rights defenders.

    Read more...

  • Aung San Suu Kyi and Dagon Tayar
    Dagon Tayar, Living Record of History

    In this week’s Tea House column, writer Khet Mar profiles Dagon Tayar, a 94-year-old Burmese peace activist, writer and editor. Dagon Tayar has been part of Burma’s fight for first independence and then democracy.

    Read more...