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PEN Oakland pledges to do their utmost to dispel race, class and national hatreds, as well as to champion the ideal of one humanity living in peace in the world. Literature, though often national in origin, knows no frontiers. PEN stands for the principle of unhampered transmission of thought within each nation and between all nations, and members pledge themselves to oppose any form of suppression of freedom of expression in the country and the community to which they belong. In addition, through a series of symposia, we engage local and national media monitors in a dialogue so that greater understanding of non-traditional literature can be created and so that issues of censorship and stereotypes can be addressed. We hope that eventually reviews and criticism might come from a consciousness which understands the life out of which such works arise, and it is to that end that we present non-traditional literature and non-mainstream issues to the general public.


Part of the pleasure of receiving the PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Book Award for 1996 is that I can now think of myself as an honorary citizen of Oakland, not a sister-city, but a West Coast mate to Brooklyn, my old place.
Norman Mailer


From “The Blue-Collar PEN”

“FIGHTIN’ WORDS: 25 Years of Provocative Poetry and Prose”

PEN Oakland’s latest anthology is now available for purchase through Heyday Books.

The anthology includes the works of Paul Krassner, Kitty Kelley, Mona Lisa Saloy, Floyd Salas, Ishmael Reed, Michael McClure, Richard Prince, A.D. Winans, Norman Mailer, Herbert Gold, Rebecca Solnit, Rafael Jesus Gonzalez, Francisco X. Alarcon, Eric Miles Williamson, Adam David Miller, Jack & Adele Foley, Francisco X. Alarcon, and many more. . .​


26th Annual

Pen Oakland-Josephine Miles Literary Awards

Saturday, December 3, 2 PM – 5 PM

The 26th Annual PEN Oakland-Josephine Miles Literary Awards will take place on Saturday, December 3, 2015, at the Oakland Public Library, Rockridge Branch, 5366 College Avenue from 2 to 5 p.m. The ceremony, which will include readings by the winning authors, is free and open to the public, and will be followed by a reception.


Treaty Shirts by Gerald Vizenor
(Wesleyan Press)

Between The World and Me byTa Nehisi Coates
(Spiegel & Grau)

The Light of the World by Elizabeth Alexander
(Ylva Publishing )

Notes on the Assemblage by Juan Felipe Herrera,
(City Lights Books)

The Blacker the Ink: Constructions of Black Identity in Comics and Sequential Art by Frances Gateward and John Jennings
(Rutgers University Press)

Barter Within The Bark of Trees by Latif Harris
(Duende Press)

Clarence Major

Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana

Museum of the African Diaspora (Slavery Narratives)

Judge Shira A. Scheindlin 

This is the first annual Adelle Foley Award, given to a work, not fiction or poetry, that has done much to improve the relations between people in American society.

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