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Banned Book Week 2022: Defend Books Across America With Special Events


Across the country books are under attack, with book bans sweeping America, and silencing diverse and ground breaking literary voices. As PEN America, celebrating its 100th anniversary defending the freedom to read and write,invites readers, authors, educators, librarians, and everyone who opposes censorship in America to get involved during Banned Books Week 2022 (Sept. 17-24, 2022) with events both in person and online across the US.

At the New York Public Library (476 Fifth Ave New York, NY) on Wednesday, September 21, MSNBC's Ali Velshi presents Restricted Access: an American History of Book Banning. A panel of authors, scholars, and critics reflect on the current climate around book bans and to understand this wave of hostility hitting books across America. Actor André De Shields, one of the stars of the upcoming revival of Death of a Salesman, will open the evening reading a passage from Toni Morrison.

In Florida there’s the panel The Assault on Black Thought: Book Banning in Florida. Running Saturday, September 17 at Books & Books (265 Aragon Ave, Coral Gables, FL), this in-person conversation will examine the recent censorious threats in Florida and the power of Black literature to spur important cultural conversations.

On September 19 the virtual event Banned Books, Fahrenheit 451, and the Division Censorship Creates. The discussion features PEN Across America, Mount Vernon Public Library, and Banned Book Week Chairs  Alyssa Gómez Lawrence and Debbie Nabubwaya Chambers in an online discussion of Ray Bradbury’s classic novel, Fahrenheit 451, and the issues the book raises around censorship and free expression. This discussion will examine the history of banned books, our current censorious moment, and the path toward a free and enlightened culture. 

This is a sampling of events happening across America for Banned Book Week, and PEN America invites people to spread the word with #FreeTheBooks!.

To learn more, go to:

Banned Book Week 2022
September 17 - 24, 2022

Various Locations Across America and Streaming Online


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