Category Archives: PEN International News

PEN International: Resolution on the People’s Republic of China (2018)

 (Approved by the Assembly of Delegates of PEN International, meeting at its 84th World Congress, in Pune, India from 25-29 September 2018)

PEN International has for many years expressed concern about serious and sweeping restrictions on freedom of expression in the People’s Republic of China (PRC), including through resolutions adopted at its annual Congresses, most recently at its 83rd World Congress in September 2017. Continue reading

Open letter to Google on reported plans to launch a censored search engine in China

Dear Mr Pichai,

Like many of Google’s own employees, we are extremely concerned by reports that Google is developing a new censored search engine app for the Chinese market. The project, codenamed “Dragonfly”, would represent an alarming capitulation by Google on human rights. The Chinese government extensively violates the rights to freedom of expression and privacy; by accommodating the Chinese authorities’ repression of dissent, Google would be actively participating in those violations for millions of internet users in China. Continue reading

PEN AMERICA TO HONOR IMPRISONED UKRAINIAN WRITER AND FILMMAKER OLEG SENTSOV WITH 2017 PEN/BARBEY FREEDOM TO WRITE AWARD

NEW YORK—PEN America announced today that it will honor Ukrainian writer and filmmaker Oleg Sentsov, an activist imprisoned on spurious charges in Russia, with the 2017 PEN/Barbey Freedom to Write Award at its annual Literary Gala on April 25 at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. Continue reading

HISHAM MATAR TAKES $75,000 PRIZE FOR BOOK OF THE YEAR AT REIMAGINED PEN AMERICA LITERARY AWARDS CEREMONY

NEW YORK–Hisham Matar was awarded the inaugural PEN/Jean Stein Book Award for his memoir The Return (Penguin Random House) Monday night at the PEN America Literary Awards Ceremony in a dramatic live announcement. Continue reading

World Poetry Day 2017

21 March 2017

‘Poetry – with its ancient history, its musicality, and its attention to symbol and metaphor – runs through all of us. Rooted in oral tradition, poetry is deeply connected to our collective humanity. And poetry is also a resilient and long-lasting political tool that has been used worldwide by dissident voices calling out for change. At PEN it’s impossible for us to celebrate World Poetry Day without also recognising that there are those for whom speaking out in verse has resulted in imprisonment. This year we are highlighting the cases of three such poets: Amanuel Asrat, Dareen Tatour, and Liu Xia. We urge you to take action today and to join us in appealing for justice for each of them. Details of how to speak out can be found below. Continue reading

World Poetry Day 2017 – Take Action for Liu Xia

Liu Xia, China, is a poet, artist, and founding member of the Independent Chinese PEN Centre. She has been held in her Beijing apartment without access to phones, Internet, doctors of her choice, or visitors since her husband, imprisoned poet Liu Xiaobo, was named the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in October 2010. Continue reading

In memoriam: Predrag Matvejević

20 March 2017

Predrag Matvejević died in Zagreb on February 2, 2017. He was one of the most important and most translated writers of the Balkans. A cosmopolitan, a polyglot and a tireless activist, he worked endlessly for human rights, for peace and for dialogue among people. Continue reading

Nobel laureate, playwright, and poet Derek Walcott dies today aged 87

17 March 2017

It is with great sadness that PEN International received the news of Nobel laureate, playwright, & poet Derek Walcott’s death earlier today. Statements from PEN President Jennifer Clement and Executive Director Carles Torner are below. Continue reading