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Read Kate Walter’s latest article in AM New York
Let New York be the capitol of the resistance,” said playwright Eve Ensler to the large crowd gathered on the steps of the New York Public Library on Fifth Avenue earlier this week.
She was speaking at the event “Writers Resist: Louder Together for Free Expression” sponsored by PEN American Center, which advances literature.
Authors, poets, journalists read on the library steps drawing from the canon of political poets: Audre Lorde, Claude McKay, Allen Ginsberg, Muriel Rukeyser, Gwendolyn Brooks. American Poets Laureates Robert Pinsky and Rita Dove offered inspiration with inaugural poems.
Fearing a backlash against free expression under a Donald Trump administration, I joined PEN America as a professional member. It is important to belong to a writers group that is political. PEN is an international group that fights for imprisoned writers around the world.
As an opinion and freelance writer, I used to worry about rejection and overdue checks. Now, I worry about reprisal and censorship. So, I stood in the cold for more than two hours to get recharged with this message: We will not be quiet, or stand down.
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