Statement on PEN Awards

Earlier this month, I was notified that a book of poetry that I had translated and typeset (Tentacular Cities, by Émile Verhaeren, Sublunary Editions, 2023) was selected for the longlist of the PEN America Award for Poetry in Translation. I was one of dozens of authors and translators who preferred to decline a nomination than to be affiliated with such an organization as PEN America, whose response to the military campaign of Israel against the people of Palestine residing in the Gaza Strip has been inadequate and shameful. I have refrained from discussing this publicly until now but feel that the written record should reflect where my sympathies lie, and how these events have unfolded.

—Jacob Siefring