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IFEP's Free Expression Reading List

Celebrate National Book Month by checking out our free expression reading list!

The Sentences That Create Us

by PEN America

"The Sentences That Create Us" is a guide created by PEN America that aims to provide advice for incarcerated people and their allies on how they can have a thriving writing life while in prison.

You Have Not Yet Been Defeated

by Alaa Abd El-Fattah

"You Have Not Yet Been Defeated: Selected Works 2011-2021" is a collection of works from Alaa Abd El-Fattah, an Egyptian writer, technologist and political activist, that traces the progression of his activism and the greater state of free expression.


by Gattaldo

"Fearless: the Story of Daphne Caruana Galizia" is a biographical picture book about assassinated investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia who, through her writing, worked to expose corruption and report on politics in Malta.

The Poet X

by Elizabeth Acevedo

"The Poet X" is a novel by Elizabeth Acevedo that follows a young Dominican-American teenager named Xiomara as she discovers her voice through poetry and grapples with cultural expectations, religion and her own identity.

Pereira Maintains

by Antonio Tabucchi

“Pereira Maintains” by Antonio Tabucci is a thought-provoking novel that explores the moral dilemmas faced by a complacent journalist under the oppressive political climate of 1930s Portugal while he is finding his voice and conscience.

Against Forgetting

by Carolyn Forché

“Against Forgetting: Twentieth-Century Poetry of Witness” is an anthology of poetry that highlights voices of those who have been witnesses to the tragedies of the twentieth century, from the Armenian genocide to Tiananmen Square.

The Queens' English

by Chloe O. Davis

“The Queens’ English” by Chloe O. Davis is a comprehensive dictionary of modern gay slang, queer theory terms and playful colloquialisms that make up LGBTQ+ culture and conversation.

Go Tell It on the Mountain

by James Baldwin

“Go Tell It on the Mountain” by James Baldwin is a powerful novel that examines the struggles of a young African American boy as he grapples with questions of faith, identity and family in 1930s Harlem.

While the Earth Sleeps we Travel

by Ahmed M. Badr and Young Refugees

“While the Earth Sleeps We Travel” is a collection of poetry by Ahmed M. Badr with contributions from many young refugees from around the world that examines the complexities of displacement and the concept of home.

Silicon Values

by Jillian York

“Silicon Values: The Future of Free Speech Under Surveillance Capitalism” by Jillian York critically examines the complex interactions between technology companies, freedom of speech and the surveillance-driven capitalist landscape.


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