We asked 80 writers to compose a piece on the theme of Liberty. Here are the results.See moreless

Writers, as the poet Jo Shapcott has said, are what might be called Liberty's natural constituency. Writers have to be at liberty, since both expression and the issues of the freedom of that expression, are at the core of writing anything.

Today these liberties are under increased threat, both locally and globally, not just for writers, but for everybody. And not just in pressurised times, but all of the time, Liberty, an organisation that's never been politically partisan, simply protects human rights and civil liberties.

As writers, we celebrate and endorse the past 80 years and the vital presence now and in the future of an organisation which has, since its start, been formed, informed and understood by writers – at liberty, for liberty.

Simon Prosser and Ali Smith

Download the Writers at Liberty - 80 pieces for 80 years book.

Anthony Anaxagorou
Anthony Anaxagorou

There will be revenge
but it will be different from yours...

+

Margaret Busby
Margaret Busby

For your birthday

I wanted to dance and sing

but...

+

Tishani Doshi

Girls are coming out of the woods,
wrapped in cloaks and hoods...

+

Stella Duffy
Stella Duffy

Liberty is human rights, with a small h and a small r, running alongside the capitals...

+

Joe Dunthorne
Joe Dunthorne

A boom or some fruit keeps bobbing into frame...

+

Lavinia Greenlaw
Lavinia Greenlaw

It was the fact of what happened.
It stood before us like a locked dimension...

+

Niall Griffiths
Niall Griffiths

Remember this: that Winston Smith used a pen and paper...

+

Jackie Kay
Jackie Kay

Stop! Search your heart.
Ask yourself what is your real motivation...

+

Richard Mabey

A robin, a cage.
Blake rages...

+

Hollie McNish
Hollie McNish

If it were me, you wouldn’t do that...

+

Blake Morrison
Blake Morrison

This poem is a surveillance device...

+

Daljit Nagra
Daljit Nagra

Last night I dreamt we’re country neighbours...

+

Ben Okri
Ben Okri

Those Wings with which
We soar beyond
The mesh of time...

+

Owen Sheers
Owen Sheers

I met her once, two years before she died...

+

Ahdaf Soueif
Ahdaf Soueif

Three years into our bitterly contested Egyptian revolution I understand better than ever...

+

Kate Tempest
Kate Tempest

So free, we walk the streets with purpose...

+

Simon Tonkin
Simon Tonkin

...the turbid ebb and flow of human misery...

+

While government watches you, who watches the government?