By Yu Zhang
The primary founder of PEN International, aka International PEN, was Mrs. Dawson-Scott, an English novelist and poet, whose maiden name was Catherine Amy Dawson. She was once better known as Mrs. Sappho, and later as “Mother of PEN”. Continue reading
By Ma Jian
This year, Independent Chinese PEN Centre is 10 years old. It has developed from 30+ members to nearly 300, from a baby starting its steps to the one going to the world, having experienced all the ups and downs of growth. Today, I will only talk about my personal experience at ICPC Board as I may be the only founding member there. Continue reading
By Bei Ling
1, The Origins of ICPC Creation
On August 27, 2000, I, as a Chinese citizen imprisoned for “illegal publication” of a literary magazine, was sent directly to a flight in Beijing to “deport” for exile in USA according to an agreement between the Chinese and US governments.
In October 2000, I went to Los Angeles to receive the PEN US West Center’s 2000 Freedom to Write Award. Mr. Homero Aridjis, the President of International PEN, and his wife attended the awarding ceremony. Mr. Aridjis, a Hispanic Mexican poet of 60s, had a talent of a politician and diplomat like many Latin American writers such as Pablo Neruda and Mario Vargas Llosa, the laughing strategists. Another goal of his trip was to discuss with me about establishing a PEN center of Chinese writers in exile. During next two days, at the awarding dinner party and in the empty hotel at city center, Mr. Aridjis and some board members of PEN US West continuously persuaded me that my own experiences of arrest and detention in August 2000 had demonstrated the great urgency of creating a PEN center of Chinese writers in exile. Continue reading
By David Tsui (Xu Zerong)
Distinguished guests and ICPC members
How do you do! I am the recipient of 4th Writers in Prison Award in 2009. When it was awarded I was still in prison, unable to personally receiving the award. Today I am very much honored and pleased to take it personally and give a speech. Thank ICPC for your profound kindness. Continue reading
By Marian Botsford Fraser
Chair of Writers in Prison Committee, PEN International
Fellow PEN members, honoured guests,
May I start by saying what an honour is for me to be here to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Independent Chinese PEN Center and to present the first Liu Xiaobo Courage to Write Award.
This center has been remarkable since its origins of founding, in the long cold shadow of June, 1989. As Chair of Writers in Prison Committee of PEN International, it has been my great pleasure to work with ICPC, a relationship that began in December, 2007, when, with PEN Canada and American PEN, we launched the Olympics campaign. The hallmarks of that campaign, and every subsequent engagement and collaboration, have been efficiency, speed, accuracy, but also, great warmth and generosity of spirit. ICPC is not only one of the most active of PEN centres, but also one of PEN International’s greatest resources. Continue reading
On 15 November 2010, PEN International’s Day of Writers in Prison, Independent Chinese PEN Center (ICPC) announced two imprisoned writers, LIU Xianbin in China and Zarganar in Burm, were honored as first laureates of its Liu Xiaobo Courage to Write Award for their long-term tenacity and courage in writing regardless of repeated imprisonments.
The Liu Xiaobo Courage to Write Award was the “Writers in Prison Award” created in 2006, which honored 1-2 individuals annually. The former laureates are YANG Tongyan, ZHANG Lin, LÜ Gengsong, DU Daobin and XU Zerong. This year, it is named for the commemoration of the courage in writing manifested over last 20 years by Dr. Liu Xiaobo, ICPC’s honorary and former President who has now been condemned to a severe sentence of 11 years in prison as well as for his constant support to this award. Dr Liu Xiaobo is also one of 50 cases featured by the Writers in Prison Committee of International PEN in its 50th anniversary campaign, Because Writers Speak Their Minds, and he is now honored the Nobel Peace Prize for 2010. Continue reading
Speech for Receiving ICPC 2010 Lin Zhao Memorial Award
By Cui Weiping
This winter day assumed its serenity at last, and I was counting my gain and loss of the year. Hardly had there been another year in my life in which I was undergoing more turbulence than in 2010. At that moment, the Independent Chinese PEN decided to grant me the Lin Zhao Memorial Award, which was such a big surprise to me. To see my name put side by side with the kind like Woeser (2009) and Lu Xuesong (2005), I feel I am greatly honored, given especially that we are all gathering under Lin Zhao’s name and deeply guided by her spirit. Why cannot we help but being attracted to the late female? Why do we look up on her like a bright star that gives us strength in dark nights? Why do we want to take her as a source for our today’s thought and action? At Lin Zhao’s statue inauguration ceremony last May, I wrote the sentence: “Because of you, we have acquired our own genealogy.” Continue reading
A Speech for Receiving ICPC 2010 Freedom to Write Award
By Ye Fu
It is difficult for me to imagine that for mankind there exists such an award for writing in the name of “freedom”, those to whom she was awarded are just those Chinese writers who are silently exercising their natural right to “freedom of creation”.
There is hardly a nation of people with its scripts who, after being depicted for 3300 years, still cannot reach the origin of their free writing, but have to encourage their users in this way of awarding them for practicing their nature born of language.
Therefore, at the moment when this award was named, Chinese language became awkward against other languages of mankind. While I fortunately stand in this relatively lonely lineup of the awardees, I feel as a fish on a chopping board, my inner scales peeling off layer by layer – in front of the world, exposing the nudity of our dastard, weak and desperate struggle. Continue reading