Sri Lankan poet and teacher Ahnaf Jazeem

Detained for his Words — Sri Lankan Poet Ahnaf Jazeem is an Amnesty International Banned Books Week Case

For Banned Books Week each year, Amnesty International highlights stories of writers, publishers and artists under attack for their published work. In this blog post, we delve into one of this year’s six featured cases – the Sri Lankan poet Ahnaf Jazeem. He has been detained without charge or trial since May 2020. Read on to understand the reasons for his arrest and how to help with his case and for the other featured Banned Books Week cases.

Intellectual Freedom News

Intellectual Freedom News 9/10/2021

At a time when LGBTQIA+ books and books that focus on racism and racial justice are challenged for removal from library and school bookshelves, this year’s Banned Books Week, Sept. 26 – Oct. 2, is a reminder of the unifying power of stories and the divisiveness of censorship. This year’s theme is “Books Unite Us. Censorship Divides Us.” and it underscores how books reach across boundaries and build connections between readers.

Banned Books Week brings together the entire book community, including librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types, supporting the freedom to seek out, read and express ideas, even ideas that contain uncomfortable truths.

Author Alison Bechdel is pictured on a navy blue background with geometric shape next to her photo on the left side of the image. The right side of the image reads: Happy Birthday Alison Bechdel

Happy Birthday, Alison Bechdel!

Bechdel is most known for penning the graphic memoir Fun Home, which was later adapted into a Tony-winning Broadway Musical, and her comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For, which ran for 25 year in print and was later published online. Bechdel’s debut graphic novel, Fun Home, was published in 2006 and is about her relationship with her closeted father and her own journey with her sexuality. This year Bechdel reenters the graphic novel scene after nearly a decade away with The Secret to Superhuman Strength.