Friday, April 25, 2008

THE PEN (Kolkata, West Bengal,India)


All-INDIA P.E.N. Centre, West Bengal

This is a voluntary organization, Kolkata (Calcutta) Chapter. For our latest News click here

President :- Sunil Gangopadhya.
Vice Presidents:- Prava Khaitan, Arun Mukherjee, Prof. K. M Lodha
Secretary and Treasurer:- Jagannath Ghosh

Telephone: 9133 2552 2032, Mobile -91 9830926512
Jt. Secretary:- Ranjan Gupta Phone : 033 24157424, Mobile :9433580903

Executive committee Members:-
Jayati Gangopadhaya, Shayamal Mukherjee, Dr.Chandra Mazumdar, Krishna Basu (M.P.), Arun Sanyal, Dipika Bhattacharya, Rama Sen, Anand Ghosh Hazra, Surojit Das Gupta, K.L. Maity. Basanta Rungta, Nathmal Kedia, Shibdas Basak, Nishith Roy Chowdhury

Everyone knows All-India PEN center is in Mumbai - 400 020, No one knows about All-India PEN Kolkata Chapter, but Kolkata chapter is as active and older as Mumbai. From the Time Sophia Wadia (Founder, 1933 India) 1936 West Bengal - P E N is playing an active role, it's primary concern is the promotion of literature as a means of understanding across borders. In India, we are jointly with Mumbai (Bombay) centre following the rules, ideals, and activities of International PEN. Mumbai is in West side and Kolkata is in east side of our great country, India, bridge a long distance in between the two great cities.
In the beginning, there were correspondence between the two chapters, But at present we have no communications, I wish we can keep in touch with each other, And re- establish this communication once again.

Any one who wishes and shares a fraternity with us can contact us, and send views.
Albert Ashok (member, PEN. West Bengal), mobile:(91) 9330858536

Telephone: 9133 2552 2032, Mobile -91 9830926512 (secretary)contact: - penkolkata@yahoo.co.in or albertashok@hotmail.com Albert Ashok is an author of many books, an organiser and a professional painter

All-India PEN Centre Theosophy Hall President - Dr Dauji Gupta Address - 40 New Marine Lines Bombay 400 020, India Tel. - +91 22 22039024Email - india.pen@gmail.com Secretary - Ranjit HoskoteAddress - All-India PEN Centre Theosophy Hall
40 New Marine Lines Bombay 400 020, IndiaEmail - ranjithoskote@yahoo.co.uk

Read Recent News From International PEN just click here or type in your browser http://newsfreedomofexpression.blogspot.com/

BOODH-BIKEL
‘Boodh-bikel’ meaning Wednesday afternoon, a Bengali idiom, it is originated due to our meeting on every Wednesday (boodhbar) afternoon 3pm to7pm, for two decades or more than that; when I, myself, visited P E N almost a decade ago as a young man with a poem, I heard from elders that it was an ongoing practice of writers to meet here and read their own writeups, some were poets some were story tellers, some used to read essays; a few listners , singers and some people gave recital or recite poems written by other prominent poets. Singers ( mostly amateur ) would sing a nice song indicating the beginning and ending of the meeting, and sometimes in between reading poetry and short stories, essays, singers would sing for a small break . these meeting would pull crowd , the room would become packed up, and listners would throng outside the door.

Mr. Deb kr. Basu,who was then our Honourary secretary and tresurer, till his death, would give shelter to all budding writers amicably, we greatly owe to him and a lot, and miss him. He is the only one without whom the history of P E N West Bengal will be incomplete; and lives of many writers in West Bengal would not find their own destination. Deb Kr. Basu was an institution in promoting Bengali literature and writers and he became very much popular far and wide. He even died when he went to participate a conference of publishers at Puri in Orrissa, we see most of his life was dedicated for literature, He started this ‘boodh-bikel’ and maintained as a routine. After his passing away, we are continuing the mission of P E N, according our strength.

Anybody, can join our ‘adda’ (a gathering of writers ) on any ‘boodh-bikel’ (Wednesday afternoon) and read any works of literature, our present secretary and jt.secretary welcome you warmly.

We have many problems, we don’t have our own building, and fund which are very essential for a Mission to run smoothly, It’s the might of volunteer members, and their own effort which is tested by time that ‘PEN West Bengal ‘ exist since early thirties.
We need donation , anybody can donate us freely, contact our secretary.

P E N West Bengal had organized many confluences throughout many districts in West Bengal and neighbouring States of India. Any literary body / organization wish to work with us can contact us.

LET US WORK FOR ‘FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION’ WITHOUT ANY LETUP And join P E N in your local area.

RAINBOW ARTISTS AND WRITERS FOUNDATION and All-india PEN are holding a seminar on 'FREE THE WORD' and 'FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION', keep in watch, if you have your explanation on this topic pls. contact Albert Ashok , 033 2560 0070


English PEN: Current News

Just a reminder that we still have a few tickets left for the first event of our summer
season, tomorrow night at the Guardian Newsroom. Do join us and our excellent panel for what promises to be a fascinating discussion. For our full schedule of events over the next few months please see our Writers in Public programme online.

Absolute BeginnersTuesday May 13, 7pm
Venue: Guardian Newsroom, 60 Farringdon Road, London, EC1R 3GA
Tickets: PEN Members £5, Non Members £7.50

The origins of PEN lay in the 'Tomorrow Club', where young writers gained the support and advice of established authors. With a plethora of lists and prizes, today's debut novelists are rapidly brought under the spotlight of critical attention. But does the obsession with novelty help young writers develop their craft - or does it just turn them into instant celebrities, who pay the price for their five minutes of fame with that difficult second book? New arrivals Joe Dunthorne and Naomi Alderman meet established authors Toby Litt and Rachel Seiffert to ask
whether we are letting down the writers of tomorrow. Chaired by Alex Clark,
deputy editor of Granta.

Tickets include a complimentary glass of wine after the talk, courtesy of Waitrose
Wine

How to book: Call 020 7713 0023 or book on-line.

For any information contact : "Sarah Hesketh" sarah@englishpen.org




The PEN All-India Centre, Kolkata,
cordially invites you and your friends to a memorable Evening of Poetry Reading

On 7th july 2008

Place: Bangla Academy, Jibananda Sabha Ghar,

Time : Evening 5.p.m.
ENTRY IS FREE
POETRY READING & BOOKS PUBLISHING
Two books written by Mr. Anirban Roy Chowdhury will be published
following Poetry performance by A host of renowned poets

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~xox~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

From: PEN India, The PEN (west bengal) CELEBRATING POETRY @ Bangla Academy


The PEN All-India Centre, kolkata invites you, with your friends, to two events this
“May 13th 2008 “
Place: Bangla Academy, Jibananda Sabha Ghar, Time : Evening 5.p.m.

ENTRY IS FREE

POETRY READING & BOOKS PUBLISHING
Renowned Prof. : Sati Chattopadhay and writer : Shasthipada Chattopadhaya will be present

First Event : Discussion and launch of New books
Second Event : A READING OF POETRY / Poetry performance

by A host of renowned poets



On 20 May , 2008

The PEN West Bengal will present two memorable events:
You are cordially invited at the exhibition of paintings 'C0NSTRUCTION OF IMAGES'

by Albert Ashok and his students,(Subhashish Das, Tapan Bera, Akshay Mahato, Sandip Goldar, Niranjan Haldar, Nitai Jana, Mantu Bera, Mausumi Ghosh),
And Renowned poets will read their own poems:

Mr.Sunil Gangopadhay will inaugurate the exhibition, A host of famous personalities / dignitaries and celebrities will be present there.
For detail click the weblink or type on your browser,

http://artworksexhibition.blogspot.com/
http://charcoalforms.blogspot.com/







English PEN or International PEN Or P.E.N. has its websites
http://www.internationalpen.org.uk/internationalpen/



Anybody can visit the website for better information. I have put the following information because many people ask me to know about PEN.



About International PEN


'In time of division between countries, International PEN is one of the rare institutions to keep a bridge constantly open' Mario Vargas Llosa

The P.E.N. (poets, playwrights, essayists, editors, and novelists)
History :
It all started as an occasional London dining club In 1917, and in 1921, The dinning club laid the foundation of ‘International PEN’ and for english center it took another name ‘English PEN’, The both office in London with different address.

In 1917 the writer Mrs. Catharine Amy Dawson Scott started The To-Morrow Club (for tomorrow's writers), along with young, would-be writers and established authors. The club was designed to provide a place where these young people could meet, talk together and listen to informal lectures. John Galsworthy was among the early speakers and thus began an acquaintanceship which developed into the partnership which later ensured the success of the P.E.N Club – ( later the name changed and called ‘English PEN’ )

The To-Morrow Club was immediately popular and met weekly in Long Acre. From 1918 Mrs. Dawson Scott tried, when in London, to have a weekly dinner for 'my starving men' (and an occasional starving woman), and she would use these opportunities to introduce her protégés to useful people such as literary agents and editors. This was in the aftermath of World War I.
Three years later Mrs. Dawson Scott wrote a letter to her daughter: "I’ve got an Idea! A Dining Club – men and women of repute. I am going to write to Violet (Hunt) about it - she and I could do it (…)".

This was to be different from the To-Morrow Club; it was international and aimed at creating a common meeting ground in every country for all writers. John Galsworthy (a barrister and was called to the bar in 1890) author of The Forsyte Saga, became the President and Chair for the P.E.N. Club and functioned for twelve years as the head of English PEN as well, he was a renowned novelist and Nobel laureate.

Though it started as a dining club, English PEN today is an organisation with diverse projects, aiming to promote free expression and the use of literature as currency between nations.
The founding of the P.E.N. Club was one of the many attempts made after the end of the First World War to unite European inteIlectuals. The P.E.N. Club, however, differs in one decisive respect from other associations. If one compares it, for example, with Clarte, Henri Barbusse's left-wing international alliance of intellectuals, it is surprising to see, what a large and complicated organization Clarte had, an organization that was doomed from the very outset never to Function properly in practice, The P.E.N. Club, on the other hand, was an improvisation. A virtually unknown English woman novelist by the name of Catharine Amy Dawson-Scott had the idea of founding en evening club for writers. If similar clubs were founded in other European capitals, writers would know where to turn on their travels to meet fellow authors. More than that was not intended.


International PEN was founded in London in 1921 by Mrs. C. A. Dawson Scott.
On 5 October 1921 the first dinner was held. Amongst those present one would have seen John Galsworthy, who had agreed to become the P. E.N. Club's first president. International PEN, the worldwide association of writers, exists to promote friendship and intellectual co-operation among writers everywhere, regardless of their political or other views; to fight for freedom of expression and to defend vigorously writers suffering from oppressive regimes. It may perhaps be surprising that Galsworthy of all people committed himself to the cause of the P. E.N. Club. Only a few weeks previously he had replied to a Swedish newspaper that had invited him to take part in a writers' peace congress, that in his eyes writers were not particularly suited to international collaboration.


The only worldwide association of writers, its aims are to:

1. Promote intellectual co-operation and understanding among writers.

2. Create a world community of writers that would emphasize the central role of literature in the development of world culture.

3. Defend literature against the many threats to its survival which the modern world poses.
According to Galsworthy, international competition and art had nothing to do with each other.

For Galsworthy, however, the P.E.N. Club had no ideological or political objectives, and this absence of all such goals certainly accounted for the success of the organization. 1923, When the P.E.N. Club held its first international congress in London, centres were already in existence in eleven different countries. A year later the figure had risen to eighteen.
But it was not long before political differences of opinion found their way into the P.E.N. organization. One can see the decade of Galsworthy's presidency as a protracted battle against the ingress of politics into the club. It was a battle for what, in the long run, was to prove a lost cause.
Even during the first congress, the oppositions became apparent. The Belgian delegates refused to participate, if the German writers, with Gerhart Hauptmann as their head, were invited. The reason for this was Hauptmann's behaviour during the war. Romain Rolland, who had sharply criticized Hauptmann's chauvinistic remarks in 1914, published in open letter in the journal Europe, in which he attacked the Belgian writers. If intellectual collaboration was only to be possible after all crimes had been stoned, Rnot a single stone would be left of Europe , Rolland wrote.
Rollan had been elected honorary president of the English club. This was treated with the utmost disapproval by the French, who could 'scarcely forget Rolland's anti-patriotic line during the war. Anatole France, the president of the French organization, refused to accept Rolland as a member.
The political antagonisms came out into the open, when in the spring of 1926 the P.E.N. Club held its fourth congress in Berlin. It was the first international congress of any importance to be held in Berlin since the war, and for that reason it attracted a great deal of attention. On the day the congress was due to begin, the magazine RDie literarische Welt puhlished a sharp attack on the P.E.N. Club. A large number of young writers, with Bertolt Brecht, Alfred Doblin, Robert Musil, Jnseph Roth, Ernst Toller and Kurt Tucholsky at their head, protested against the claims of the German P.E.N. Club to represent German literature. RI believe the deliberations of the Berlin P.E.N. Club will stand under the sign of the banquet, Bertolt Brecht wrote. RI have not even considered what those old people might achieve. They have so deliberately excluded anything youthful, that this congress, so far as the German group is concerned at least, is absolutely and hopelessly superfluous, indeed harmful.
John Galsworthy was upset at the massive criticism on the part of the younger generation of German authors. In his book on Galsworthy, Hermon Ould, the secretary of the International P.E.N. Club, describes a meeting between the president and three young German writers, Bright, Toller and Arnolt Bronnen.
It was, Ould says, considered in retrospect, an amusing occasion, Galsworthy spoke practically no German; mine was very much less good then even, than it is now. Of the Germans only Toller spoke English at all and he with no great ease - I remember how frequently he assured us that the situation was , which indeed it was. Toiler was soon to play a central role in the P. E.N. organization. It was he in the first instance who pleaded for a politicization of P.E.N. activities. After the congress of 1930 in Warsaw, - the first in which he participated, - he commented: RThe idea of the P.E.N. Club will be exhausted, if one is unable to give it new impulses, It is an illusion to believe one can confer on a plane removed from politics and social questions. In a letter to Galsworthy Ould quotes Toller's remark and adds that he will come to represent a problem for the organization. Ould is shocked by Toller's attempt to adopt the Russian authors into the P.E.N. Club.
As early as 1923 Boris Pilnyak, who was living in London at the time, had attempted to found a club for Russian writers. Pilnyak believed that such a club could include authors from Soviet Russia as well as those living in exile. It soon became evident, however, that none of the partners was interested in the attempt. Toller himself had approached the Minister of Culture, Anatoly Lunacharsky, directly. The suggestion roused the interest of the Russian authorities, and Bela Illes, the president of the International Organizatinn of Revolutionary Writers let it be known that they were prepared to send a delegation to the P.E.N. Congress in Amsterdam in l930.
By 1931, at the Congress in Amsterdam, P.E.N. had grown to truly justify its identity as a worldwide organization. Delegates came not only from most of the European countries but from Australia, Canada, China, and South America. Invitations were sent to Japan and India to join P.E.N., but the overtures had not, as yet, come to anything.
Horrified, Galsworthy sent a hasty reply that the Russian writers would be welcome in the P.E.N. Club as soon as they had founded their own centre; but that one had no intention of accepting any particular left wing faction within the organization.

At this Congress, a set of bylaws was passed. Article II was a reiteration of three points that Galsworthy had drafted "as a touchstone of P.E.N. action" which had been approved at the Brussels Congress.
In January of 1933, a year after the Budapest Congress, John Galsworthy died, leaving his Nobel Prize money in a trust fund for P.E.N. It was the last gift and contribution to an organization he loved and nurtured, watching it grow and take shape. His successor in the office of International President was H. G. Wells.


And because international cultural co-operation in the field of literature and the development of understanding cannot exist without freedom of expression, PEN acts as a powerful voice in opposing political censorship and speaking for writers harassed, imprisoned, sometimes murdered for the expression of their views. PEN is strictly non-political, holding Category A status at UNESCO and consultative status within the UN roster category.

International PEN in its early years only had Centres in Europe, but writers of other nations joined International PEN enthusiastically and, in 1926, members from fifteen nations met in Berlin.
The last meeting attended by Galsworthy was held in Budapest in l932, He opened the session with a Five-point declaration. It can he regarded as a summnry of the P.E.N. charter, which he himself had helped to draw up some years previously.


The PEN stand for Literature in the sense of Art (not Journalism, nor Propaganda) and for the diffusion of Literature as art from country to country.
The PEN stands for hospitable friendliness between writers, in their own countries, and with the writers of all other countries.
The PEN. stands for the principle that its members shall do and write nothing to promote war.
The PEN. stands for humane conduct.
Such words as nationalist, internationalist, democratic, aristocratic, imperialistic, anti-imperialistic, bourgeouis, revolutionary, or any other words with definite political significance should not be used in connection with the PEN.; for the PEN. has nothing whatever to do with State or Party politics, and cannot be used to serve State or Party interests or conflicts.


At the congress in Dubrovnik the PEN. delegates already had reason to recall Galsworthy's words. This meeting was attended by German PEN delegation that only a few months previously had ejected all Jewish and Communist members and had elected a new committee, the first official act of which was to telegram a declaration of loyalty to Hitler. The German club's decision to send delegates to Dubrovnik was not undisputed.
In a newspaper article the writer Will Vesper attacked this decision and wrote, We can expect nothing but embarrassments from this journey.
The German club did not lack support, however. After its reorganization, it had received messages of sympathy from P.E.N. Club members in Italy, Austria and Switzerland. Letters of good will had been sent even by English members, the German P.E.N. committee revealed at a meeting on 20th May.
On their way to Dubrovnik the Germans observed that many delegates greeted their German colleagues with cordiality. On the eve of the congress the Germans were able to arrange a meeting with some of the most important representatives present there. As was reported back to Berlin, H.G.Wells accepted the proposal not to mention the burning of books and the persecution of radical and Jewish writers, and contented himself with the acceptance of a generally worded resolution by the congress, a resolution that made reference to the importance of freedom to state one's opinion, without special mention heing made of Germany. One Belgian delegate did not stick to this agreement, however. In the names of his own centre and those of a series of other clubs, he put forward a much more bitingly worded resolution. Behind the scenes the German delegates. with the aid of Jules Romains and others, tried to have this resolution" watered down. The Germans agreed to accept the new version on condition that it was adopted without discussion. Wells rejected this condition. However. In his opinion, the organization would be making itself a laughing stock, if it did not allow a discussion of the extremely critical situation in Germany.
Hermon Ould was the first person to speak. He asked the German delegation two direct questions. Had the German P.E.N. Club protested against the persecution of intellectuals and had there been any reaction to the burning of books? Was it true that letters had been sent to members telling them that persons holding Communist or left-wing extremist views could no longer consider themselves members of the club? When Ernst Toller, who had been personally invited by the Yugoslavs, requested to speak, the German delegation left the room. A number of Austrian, Dutch and Swiss delegates followed their example. "Such a thing would never have happened under Galsworthy," the Dutch delegate shouted.
The German club was not excluded in Dubcovnik. On its return to Berlin it held a meeting to discuss the new situation. All those present were agreed on continued membership of the organization. In the autumn a meeting of the international committee was convened in London. When it again called on the German delegates to account for events in their country, the German representatives informed the committee that their club had decided to leave the organization.
The final assembly at which the German P,E.N. Club participated was held in January 1934. At that meeting a decision was taken to form a new international organization of nationally minded writers. Hanns Johst was prepared to accept the presidency of the new organization. Gottfried Benn assumed the office of vice-president.
The association of national authors tried to recruit members amongst the P.E.N. delegates who had supported the German representatives in Dubrovnik. But if the Germans believed the Swiss or the Italian P.E.N. Centres might be prepared to change organizations, they were mistaken.
In Vienna these events did ultimately lead to a division of the club, however. When the leadership determined to send a letter of protest to Berlin, on account of the attacks on intellectuals, no less than a quarter of the members resigned from the club. For many of them the decisive factor was not sympathy for the Hitler regime; they rightly feared that they might be excluded from the German book market.
Wells was to remain president of the P.E.N. Club for only a short time. At the Barcelona Congress in May l935 he was persuaded to remain in office for a further year; hut he declared that he no longer thought it possible to keep the P.E.N. Club out of international politics. Nor was he successful in his attempts to have Russian writers adopted into the organization. At times, Wells remarked, one had the impression that it was the special task of' P.E.N. to combat reactionary forces; but that was a mistake. It was the responsibility of the P.E.N. Club to fight for freedom of opinion, regardless whether the threat came from left or right. And he added: "Today liberty is threatened more from the Left than from the Right, the Left being more dangerous, because its theories are more subtle and more to the taste of the younger generation.
As successor to Wells the English P.E.N. secretariat favoured the Czech author Karel Capek as president. But Wells had made contact on his own with the French writer Jules Romains, and when Capek heard of this he withdrew his own candidacy.
Jules Romains was elected to the office of president of the international orgaization at the congress in Buenos Aires in the autumn of 1936.
The election was a controversial one. Romains had been sharply attacked by the extreme left wing, since he had maintained friendly contacts with the German youth movement, which was National Socialist inspired. It would be wrong to call Jules Romains a reactionary, however.
He was more of an opportunist in his desire to please everyone. But it was an unfortunate turn of events for the P.E.N. organization to acquire a president of his stamp for the difficult years ahead. Furthermore, Jules Romains's relations to the English P.E.N. leadership had been on a bad footing tor some time. As early as the 1920s he had suggested that the P.E.N. Cluh should transfer its headquarters to Paris.
In September 1939 the annual P.E.N. congress was due to be held in Stockholm. At the last minute the Swedish Club decided to call off the meeting. Many foreign guests had already arrived, and H.G.Wells made a last-minute attempt to persuade the Swedes to change their mind. It was the wish of Wells and his English friends that the P.E.N. organization should tell the world once more that the intellectuals were not prepared to take part in another World War. This stance did not correspond at all with that of Jules Romains, who had taken it upon himself to issue a declaration, calling upon all P.E.N. members to support the endeavours of their respective governments to defend democracy against the threat with which it was faced.
When the German troops marched into France, Jules Romains fled via Spain and Portugal to the USA. In New York he took the initiative of founding a European P.E.N. Club in Exile. The international ecretariat in London sensed a threat to itself in this. Without consulting the international president beforehand, a congress was convened in London in the summer of 1941, at which Jules Romains was removed from office. From the outset one had reckoned on making H.G.Wells president of the international organization again. But he was prepared to accept only on one condition: namely, that he should have three vice-presidents to support him. Initially Thornton Wilder, Thomas Mann and Jacques Maritain expressed their readiness to stand for office. Mann and Maritain withdrew their candidacies, however, on learning that the meeting in London had expressed criticism of Jules Romains. After the conclusion of the London congress, Hermon Ould appointed two other candidates to these positions on his own responsibility. For this reason one can hardly claim that the P. E. N. Club had a formally elected leadership in the legal sense of that term, during those years.
The P.E.N. Club that resumed its activities after the war was in many respects a different organization from the one that had existed in the years between the two World Wars. The difference manifested itself quite clearly when the various P.E.N. centres gathered for the postponed congress in Stockholm in the summer of 1946. A large part of the discussion was taken up with the politically explosive question, how one should deal with those writers who had collaborated with the Nazis. A Dutch suggestion that the various clubs should draw up and exchange blacklists of collaborators gained a majority, although Hermon Ould pointed out in a contribution full of pathos that such a step would be contrary to all P.E.N. principles.
In Stockholm the P. E.N. Club finally acquired a tighter organization. Up to then it had heen run by an international committee that met from time to time in London, where it was rare for all the members to be present at one time. A motion was passed to form an executive committee, to which all P.E.N. centres would be able to send delegates. Whereas the P.E.N. Club had been run by its president prior to the Second World War, power now devolved upon the secretariat and the executive committee.
The major question after the war concerned the stance that should he adopted towards the German writers. At the Zurich Congress in 1947 the problem was resolved. Thomas Mann was amongst those who were of the opinion that one should entrust the German authors with the founding of a new club. But from those countries that had previously been occupied by the Germans there were many voices against this proposal. The Belgian writer Louis Pierard recalled the way the German question had been discussed after the First World War. At that time there had also been a wish to adopt Germany into the organization, and people had referred to "reliable intellectuals such as Gerhart Hauptmann. But how had these reliable intellectuals behaved during the Hitler era? The same Hauptmann who had been described as a model of republican virtues, had turned out to be an opportunist and coward. RThis time we should be more cautious. Let us wait a year or two. Other writers such as the Frenchman Vercors were less severe. Vercors said that a German club would be conceivable, provided it was placed under the control of an international commission.
The commission was expanded by members from countries that had been occupied by German troops. German literature was represented by the German P.E.N. Club in Exile and by those writers who had remained in Germany.

In 1944, during World War II, with bombs falling nearby, a great symposium was arranged. Prominent thinkers gathered in London to discuss 'The place of Spiritual and Economic Values in the Future of Mankind'. English PEN sought to pay tribute to the idea that 'the human mind, if it is to develop to the full measure of its potentialities, must be free: free to grow, free to express itself, free to blunder, to make mistakes, and try again.'
The new German P.E.N. Club was founded at a meeting in Gottingen in the autumn of 1948. It was decided to elect no less than three chairmen, - Hermann Friedmann, Erich Kastner and Johannes R. Becher. The election of the last of these three was a controversial issue. Prior to the foundation of the German Democratic Republic Becher had already held a number of official positions, and during the Cold War, the central stage of which was to be Germany over the following years, the conflicts within the German P.E.N. Club were concentrated about his person.
In 1951 three German P.E.N. Club members, with Theodor Plievier at their head, demanded the dismissal of Becher. Becher was re-elected, however, at the annual general meeting of the club. The West German members, who formed the largest group at the meeting, decided to leave the club and to found one of their own. The large role played by politics within the organization. At first, when the problem was discussed at a meeting of the international executive committee in the spring of 1952, the West German club was refused recognition. A French delegate remarked ironically that he had heard of minorities in revolt, but the fact that a majority could feel itself persecuted was something new.
In the autumn of the same year both German clubs were accorded recognition after all. The centre controlled by the East Germans had members in both German states for a time. The deteriorating international climate forced the P.E.N. organization to take a more active political line against those states that suppressed freedom of expression. The fact that the Club drew attention to authors who were in prison on account of the works they had published was nothing new in the history of the organization. As early as March 1924 the French P.E.N. Club had written to the leadership in London suggesting that the French and English clubs should make a joint protest against the fact that the Spanish dictator Primo de Rivera had banished the Spanish writer Miguel de Unamuno to a remote island. The English replied that this was a political problem and could therefore not be dealt with by tbe P. E.N. Club. At the same time French members had also suggested the setting up of a special committee to draw attention to cases of this kind. The English succeeded in deferring the issue. Only 36 years later was it possible to realize the French idea. The initiative came on this occasion from the Swiss P.E.N. Club. The Writers in Prison Committee (WiPC) began its work in April 1960. The committee comprised three members, David Carver (who had succeeded Hermon Ould as secretary to the international organization), Storm Jameson of the English P.E.N. Club, and Victor van Vriesland from the Dutch club. Not long afterwards amnesty international was founded, partly in the mould of WiPC.
Whereas attacks on freedom of exprcssion were relatively rare in the years between the two World Wars, after the Second World War they became increasingly frequent. In the long run mere protests were not enough. In January l97l a number of Dutch P.E.N. members took the initiative of setting up a special fund to help persecuted writers and their families. Heinrich Boll, who happened to be international president in that year, handed over part of his Nobel Prize money to the fund.
Today the P. E.N. C]ub is the sole existing international association of writers. It has outlived all other models of this kind, from Clarte to COMES. The explanation for this is to be found in its independence. In contrast to most other attempts to unite the writers of the world, the P.E.N. Club has always refused to accept any support from political parties or organs, or state. The P.E.N. Club has never acted as anything other than the representative of its members. In those cases where political issues were touched upon at P.E.N. congresses, this was not the expression of any wish on the part of the organization itself to wield political influence, but because politics had directly threatened freedom of expression, without which the activities of the P.E.N. Club would be meaning- less. In this respect Galsworthy's determination to preserve the unpolitical character of the P.E.N. Club is still of significance today.




Today PEN is composed of 145 Centres in 104 countries. Its membership is open to all published writers regardless of nationality, language, race, colour or religion. Each Centre acts as an autonomous cultural and intellectual organization within its own country; individual Centres organize regional conferences and seminars; and all Centres maintain links with each other through PEN's headquarters.

Its membership is open to all published writers regardless of nationality, language, race, colour or religion. Each Centre acts as an autonomous cultural and intellectual organization within its own country; individual Centres organize regional conferences and seminars; and all Centres maintain links with each other through PEN's headquarters.

Among early members were Joseph Conrad, George Bernard Shaw and H.G. Wells. Centres were soon started in Europe, with such writers as Anatole France, Paul Valery, Thomas Mann, Benedetto Croce and Karel Capek playing active parts in the life and work of PEN. Over the years members have included Nobel Prize winners and other eminent writers from all over the world; among PEN's Presidents have been Alberto Moravia, Heinrich Böll, Arthur Miller, Pierre Emmanuel, Mario Vargas Llosa and György Konrád.
PEN's highest Authority, the Assembly of Delegates, consisting of representatives from each Centre, meets at the annual PEN Congress, where, in addition to the work of the Assembly, cultural events and literary forums are held, through which seeks to mobilize the intelligence and imagination of its members in support of its ideals. The international and diverse character of International PEN is reflected in its Executive Committee, which consists of the President, the Treasurer and seven members elected from among PEN's worldwide membership.

The charter of PEN:
Literature, national though
it be in origin, knows no frontiers, and should remain common currency among nations. in spite of political or international upheavals.
In all circumstances, and particularly in time of war, works of art and libraries, the heritage of humanity at large, should be left untouched by national or political passion.
Members of PEN should at all times use what influence they have in favor of good understanding and mutual respect among nations; they pledge themselves to do their utmost to dispel race, class, and national hatreds and to champion the ideal of one humanity living in peace in the world.
PEN stands for the principle of unhampered transmission of thought within each nation and among all nations, and members pledge themselves to oppose any form of suppression of freedom of expression in their country or their community.
PEN declares for a free press and opposes arbitrary censorship in time of peace. It believes that the necessary advance of the world toward a more highly organized political and economic order renders free criticism of governments, administrations, and institutions imperative. And since freedom implies voluntary restraint, members pledge themselves to oppose such evils of a free press as mendacious publication, deliberate falsehood, and distortion of facts for political and personal ends...


International PEN is one of those rare institutions that has known how to keep a bridge constantly between writers of different languages convictions and nationalities.
The PEN Charter states that:
- Literature… knows no frontiers, and should remain common currency between nations in spite of political or international upheavals. It goes on to stress that PEN members should promote:
-protection of works of art, especially in time of war
-the ideal of one humanity living in peace in one world
-unhampered transmission of thought within each nation and between all nations
-a free press and oppose:
-race, class and national hatreds
-suppression of freedom of expression
-mendacious publication, deliberate falsehood and distortion of facts for political and personal ends.
Membership is open to published or performed writers and editors who subscribe to PEN’s aims, regardless of nationality, language, race or religion.

The only worldwide association of writers, its aims are to promote literature, defend freedom of expression and develop a community of writers worldwide.Because international cultural co-operation in the field of literature and the development of understanding cannot exist without freedom of expression, International PEN acts as a powerful voice in opposing political censorship and speaking for writers harassed, imprisoned, sometimes murdered for the expression of their views.

PEN is composed of 145 Centres in 104 countries. Its membership is open to all published writers regardless of nationality, language, race, colour or religion. Each Centre acts as an autonomous cultural and intellectual organization within its own country; individual Centres organize regional conferences and seminars; and all Centres maintain links with each other through PEN's headquarters.
PEN's highest Authority, the Assembly of Delegates, consisting of representatives from each Centre, meets at the annual PEN Congress, where, in addition to the work of the Assembly, cultural events and literary forums are held, through which seeks to mobilize the intelligence and imagination of its members in support of its ideals. The international and diverse character of International PEN is reflected in its Executive Committee, which consists of the President, the Treasurer and seven members elected from among PEN's worldwide membership.
Over the years members have included Nobel Prize winners and other eminent writers from all over the world; among PEN's Presidents have been Alberto Moravia, Heinrich Böll, Arthur Miller, Pierre Emmanuel, Mario Vargas Llosa and György Konrád.

Finally at the 1948 Congress, the Assembly of Delegates approved the Charter of PEN in its entirety. Its principles continue to guide and unify the diverse 145 PEN Centres in 104 countries around the world.
The Committees of International PEN include the Writers for Peace Committee, Translation & Linguistic Rights Committee, Women Writers' Committee and the Writers in Prison Committee. Each Committee has an International Chair who reports to the Board of International PEN and is supported in their work by the Secretariat. All of the Committees, except for the Writers' in Prison Committee, are based in a PEN Centre.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Cathy McCann at International PEN Writers in Prison Committee Brownlow House, 50/51 High Holborn, London WC1V 6ER
Tel. + 44 (0) 20 7405 0338Fax: +44 (0) 20 7405 0339 Email: cathy.mccann@internationalpen.org.uk

Role of PEN
PEN is strictly non-political, a non-governmental organization in formal consultative relations with UNESCO[citation needed] and Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations[citation needed].
The first PEN Club was founded in London in 1921 by Mrs. C.A. Dawson Scott and John Galsworthy, who would become International PEN's first President. Its first members included Joseph Conrad, Elizabeth Craig, George Bernard Shaw, and H.G. Wells.
The club established the following aims:
To promote intellectual co-operation and understanding among writers;
To create a world community of writers that would emphasize the central role of literature in the development of world culture; and,
To defend literature against the many threats to its survival which the modern world poses.
Past Presidents of International PEN have included Alberto Moravia, Heinrich Böll, Arthur Miller, Mario Vargas Llosa, Erich Kästner and Homero Aridjis. The current President is Jiří Gruša and the current Executive Director is Caroline McCormick.
International PEN is headquartered in London and composed of 145 autonomous PEN Centres in 104 countries around the world, each of which are open to qualified writers, journalists, translators, historians and others actively engaged in any branch of literature, regardless of nationality, race, colour or religion.
PEN Charter
International PEN Charter
The Charter of International PEN has guided, unified, and inspired its members for the last 60 years. Its principles were implicit in the organisation's founding in 1921. However, like the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which also celebrates its sixtieth anniversary, International PEN's Charter was fired in the harsh realities of the Second World War. Approved at Congress in Copenhagen in 1948, International PEN's Charter was 22 years in the making.
International PEN's first president John Galsworthy wrote the first three articles of the Charter after the 1926 Congress in Berlin, where tensions arose among writers from west and east, and debate flared about the political versus nonpolitical nature of International PEN. Back in London, Galsworthy worked in the drawing room of PEN's founder Catharine Amy Dawson Scott on a formal statement to ‘serve as a touchstone of PEN action.' Galsworthy's resolution passed easily at the 1927 Congress in Brussels, and these articles remain part of the International PEN Charter.
With the rise of Nazism in Germany, PEN and its principles were tested at the 1933 Congress in Dubrovnik. A few months before, books had been burned in bonfires across Germany. At the Congress, led by International PEN President H.G. Wells, the Assembly of Delegates confirmed the Galsworthy principles. The following day the Germans tried to prevent an exiled German Jewish writer from speaking. While some supported the Germans, the great majority rejected the German position and reaffirmed the principles they had just voted on. The German delegation walked out of the Congress and essentially out of PEN until after the Second World War.
At the first Congress after World War II in 1946 in Stockholm the American Center, backed by the English Centre, presented two resolutions. One urged PEN members ‘to champion the ideals of one humanity living at peace in one world.' The other addressed censorship. Debate on the wording and scope of the resolution continued at the 1947 Zurich Congress, but eventually delegates agreed, and the resolution became the foundation of the fourth article of the International PEN Charter.
Finally at the 1948 Congress, the Assembly of Delegates approved the Charter of PEN in its entirety. Its principles continue to guide and unify the diverse 145 PEN Centres in 104 countries around the world.
Joanne Leedom-Ackerman Former International Secretary and Vice-President of International PEN
PEN affirms that:
1.

Literature knows no frontiers and must remain common currency among people in spite of political or international upheavals.
2.

In all circumstances, and particularly in time of war, works of art, the patrimony of humanity at large, should be left untouched by national or political passion.
3.

Members of PEN should at all times use what influence they have in favour of good understanding and mutual respect between nations; they pledge themselves to do their utmost to dispel race, class and national hatreds, and to champion the ideal of one humanity living in peace in one world.
4.

PEN stands for the principle of unhampered transmission of thought within each nation and between all nations, and members pledge themselves to oppose any form of suppression of freedom of expression in the country and community to which they belong, as well as throughout the world wherever this is possible. PEN declares for a free press and opposes arbitrary censorship in time of peace. It believes that the necessary advance of the world towards a more highly organised political and economic order renders a free criticism of governments, administrations and institutions imperative. And since freedom implies voluntary restraint, members pledge themselves to oppose such evils of a free press as mendacious publication, deliberate falsehood and distortion of facts for political and personal ends

You can get in touch by phone, post, email or fax. We always like
to hear from PEN members and anybody interested in
International PEN. Your views are important to us to inform the
future of our work.

Address
International PEN, Brownlow House, 50 - 51 High Holborn, London
WC1V 6ER
The entrance to our office is located on Brownlow Street just off
High Holborn.

The Board

Jiri Grusa
International President
Austrian PEN
Jiri Grušá was born in 1938 in Pardubice (Bohemia) and began his literary career in 1964 with the creation of the first non-communist literature magazine in Czechoslovakia, Tvar (Face).
Eugene Schoulgin
International Secretary
International PEN
Eugene Schoulgin is an author of Norwegian-Russian origin. He began his career as a writer in 1970 with his first novel The Rabbit Cage.

Eric Lax
Treasurer
International PEN
Eric Lax is a renowned author, perhaps best known for his biography of film maker Woody Allen. He has, however, written numerous books and his work is translated into 18 languages.

Cecilia Balcázar
Board member
International PEN
Cecilia Balcázar was born in Santiago de Cali, Colombia. She is a prolific writer and translator and has held numerous university posts.

Mike Butscher
Board member
International PEN
Mike is a writer, photographer, broadcaster, journalism trainer, public relations consultant, human rights campaigner and researcher.

Takeaki Hori
Board member
International PEN
Takeaki Hori is a writer and anthropologist. He has published numerous works of non-fiction that focus on environmental, cultural and sociological issues.


Mohamed Magani
Board member
International PEN
Mohamed Magani is a writer and lecturer in social science, currently at the University of Algiers. He has published numerous novels...

Elizabeth Nordgren
Board member
International PEN
Elizabeth Nordgren is a prolific writer working across many genres; as well as being a literary and theatre critic, she also writes for literary magazines contributing essays, short stories and articles.

Kristin T. Schnider
Board member
International PEN
Kristin is a freelance writer and her work has been published in numerous journals, magazines and anthologies.


Haroon Siddiqui
Board member
International PEN
Haroon Siddiqui is editorial page editor emeritus of The Toronto Star, Canada's largest newspaper, for which he also writes a twice-column column.

International PEN Staff


Caroline McCormick
Executive director executivedirector@internationalpen.org.uk
International PEN

Caroline has overall responsibility for the management of the organisation and leads on strategic planning, governance, new programme development and fundraising.
Having studied English Literature at university and followed my degree with a Masters Degree in Contemporary Writing, I have always been looking to find a way to combine my love of literature with my professional life. I have worked in the cultural sector throughout my career, including at the National Theatre and as a Director of the Natural History Museum. But my real love has always been literature, and to have the opportunity to work for a literary organisation is wonderful. To be able to work such a remarkable organisation as International PEN, whose values I passionately share; is a privilege.
I work for International PEN four days a week. I am also a fundraising and strategic planning consultant whose clients have included Noble Peace Prize Laureate Wangari Maathai and the Green Belt Movement. I currently advises The Old Vic Theatre in London and DanceEast and I am an Associate of ScottPrenn. I write poetry and am currently writing my first novel.

Anthony Archer
Finance Manager
International PEN


Emily Bromfield
Communications Director
International PEN
My role is to strategically develop all external and internal communications activity from media relations and campaigning work, marketing and public relations support for the entire organisation.

Mitchell Albert
Editor, PEN International
International PEN
I became the first dedicated editor of the magazine of International PEN in June 2007, charged with relaunching it and further developing its potential.

Cerian Eiles
Administrator
International PEN
As Administrator for International PEN, I oversee the day-to-day running of the office and act as a first point of contact for the Centres and the general public.

Sara Whyatt
Programme Director, Writers in Prison Committee
International PEN
As Programme Director of the Writers in Prison Committee, my main job is to oversee the work of the WiPC team.

Tamsin Mitchell
Researcher, Africa/America
International PEN
I joined International PEN's Writers in Prison Committee in March 2007. I'm responsible for WiPC's work on Africa and the Americas....

Cathy McCann
Researcher, Asia/Middle East
International PEN
I am responsible for International PEN's research and campaigning on attacks against free expression in the regions of Asia/Pacific and Middle East/North Africa.

Patricia Diaz
Research and Campaign Assistant
International PEN
I first joined the Writers in Prison Committee (WiPC) of International PEN in October 2006. My main role is to assist in monitoring developments regarding freedom of expression and related issues that affect writers and journalists in Africa and the Americas.

Frank Geary
International Programmes Director
International PEN
As International Programmes Director my role is to develop the Regional Programmes which International PEN and PEN Centres have initiated since 2006.

Karen Efford
International Programmes Officer
International PEN
My role involves working with Centres in different regions to support their work and development as individual Centres and strengthen their voice in the region.

Sarah Ardizzone
Literary Events Director
International PEN
I joined International PEN in August 2007 as Literary Events Director, responsible for establishing Free The Word!, our inaugural festival of world literature and intercultural dialogue.

Hilary Davidson
Literary Events Administrator
International PEN
As Literary Events Administrator, Hilary's main work is providing administrative support to Sarah Ardizzone in organising International PEN's major new international literary programme.
How to reach us
By London Underground, the Piccadilly or Central line go to
Holborn, then we are a five minute walk from the station.
From Heathrow airport, the eastbound Piccadilly line to Holborn
takes about 40 minutes. From Gatwick airport, take the Gatwick
Express to Victoria station, join the London Underground on the
northbound Victoria line one stop to Green Park, then change to
the eastbound Piccadilly line and travel four stops to Holborn.
The journey will take 50 minutes.
By phone
+44 (0) 20 7405 0338 By fax 44 (0) 20 7405 0339
By email
info@internationalpen.org.uk



~~~


All-India PEN Centre

ALL-INDIA CENTRE
President - Dr Dauji Gupta 40 New Marine Lines Bombay 400 020, IndiaTel. - +91 22 22039024
india.pen@gmail.com
Ranjit Hoskote ranjithoskote@yahoo.co.uk Hon. Secretary-Treasurer Theosophy Hall (2nd floor) 40 New Marine Lines Bombay 400 020, India

Albert Ashok ( West Bengal)+9133 2560 0070

Our neighbouring countries PEN Centres:
BANGLADESH CENTRE President - Farida HossainHouse #2/A, Road #104 Gulshan 2, Dhaka 1212 Bangladesh
NEPALESE CENTRE President - Bhuwan DhunganaNepal PEN Centre PO BOX 4490 Kathmandu, Nepal
PAKISTANI CENTRE President - Syeda Henna Babar AliPakistani PEN Centre c/o Ali Institute of Education Shahrah-e-Roomi Ferozepur Road Lahore-5400, Pakistan
TIBETAN WRITERS ABROAD CENTRE President - Lhamo KyapTibetan Writers Abroad PEN Centre Kharadanda Road, Djaramsala - 176215 Distt Kangra H.P India tibpen@yahoo.com