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Don't Pen Me In | A Poem by Peter Bottéas

Updated: Aug 16, 2019

Don’t pen me in

Not with your pen

not with your words

not with your notion

of who I should be

where I should go

how I should portray myself

how I should reveal myself to the world.

Don’t pen me in.



Prison pen

Fountain pen?


Don’t pen me in.

About Peter Bottéas

Since taking up residence in Marblehead in 2018, Peter has become an enthusiastic supporter of local artistic and creative life, and has participated in various workshops at Creative Spirit. After many years working as a translator, editor, and educator in Montréal, Peter came to the U.S. in 2002 to retrain as a psychotherapist. He has recently returned to his first loves: literary translation and poetry, and Greek poetry set to music. He is multilingual, frequently does public performances of poetry with writer and scholar Vassiliki Rapti in New York and Cambridge, occasionally does voice-over work, and is an avid knitter.   

Inspiration for Don't Pen Me In:

It came about in response to a writing prompt on the notion of “gatekeeping” during a workshop led by Emerson grad student and community activist Isaiah Frisbie. This was in the context of a meeting of Citizen TALES (Translators, Artists, Ludics Learners, Explorers, and Storytellers) — a co-creation and open communication platform created by my friend Vassiliki Rapti at Emerson College. It’s a think tank and forum, of sorts, for creative expression and dialogue around issues of social justice and citizenship (in a broad sense).

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