Saturday, June 20, 2009

The PEN WestBengal Review

20 June '09

All-India PEN Center, West Bengal Chapter has published today its Inaugural issue
‘PEN West Bengal Review’ , a quarterly news bulletin at Mandeville Gardens, This issue was released by noted writer Sunil Gangopadhyay in presence of executive members.
A six pages quarterly coloured bulletin, size : 9 x 12 inches, on 90 GSM glossy art paper. Price Rs.50/ though the bulletin will be publishing in English but rooms are reserved for vernacular and provincial writers ( any Indian language). Apart from Local and International news, our focus will center on the history of Indian Pen and how more active involvement The Bengal chapter (West Bengal) had since 1934 in its inception. The late president of All-India PEN, Mr. Annada Shankar Roy and Lila Roy had published an autobiography which tells detail account . I hope International PEN has an earlier record and proof of its history which can support the truth about Indian PEN History. We have been shocked when Mr Ranjit hoskote behaves with West Bengal chapter strangely, and try to avoid the communication. He is a responsible person as he holds the seat of hon. Secretary and treasurer of All India PEN center. We are more shocked when he says he has no information and paper about West Bengal Chapter. We brought this news to International PEN, but the International PEN strangely keeping a silence, we have no response. How strange a world community and organization of writers act! Was it a dream of Mrs Dawson Scot and Mr. Galsworthy when they formed it? This world is watching how ill intention and disintegration is creeping into the age old writers organization. Thank you

Albert Ashok
Executive member , PEN All-India center, West Bengal Chapter
Editor : The PEN WestBengal Review

To read or print our journal click the pages below

1
2
3
4
5
6

http://penwestbengal.blogspot.com/2009/06/dr-jagannath-ghosh-passes-away-on-10.html

http://penwestbengal.blogspot.com/2009/06/in-loving-memory-of-debkumar-basu.html

http://penwestbengal.blogspot.com/2009/04/grievance-against-all-india-pen-center.html

http://penwestbengal.blogspot.com/2009/04/history-of-pen-in-bengali-for-bengali.html

posted by Albert Ashok

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Festival, Politics and Storytelling

Festival and Co : Politics and Storytelling
18-20 June 2010
Venue: Venues across Paris

English PEN is proud to announce that it will be sponsoring Shakespeare and Company's fourth literary festival, Politics and Storytelling, which will take place in Paris from June 18-20, 2010. In the spirit of Shakespeare and Company's fifty-year-independent bookshop, FestivalandCo is an international yet intimate event that is mostly free and open to all.

2010: Politics and Storytelling
Next year's theme will explore the way writers depict, transform and influence their political environment. What role does politics play in the novel? How much do politicans rely on invention and storytelling? Do writers have a political responsibility? How do censorship and ideology shape our culture? Authors from around the world will discuss these issues amongst others and look at the importance of literature in our present cultural climate.

Over the course of three days we will host readings, panel discussions, book signings and film screenings. Held in the park next to Shakespeare and Company opposite Notre Dame, the festival will attract authors, actors and spectators from around the world. There will also be special events in select venues across Paris such as Théâtre de l'Odéon, the École des Beaux-Arts and the Hôtel de Ville.

Visit www.festivalandco.com for further details.


FestivalandCo 2008
The 2008 festival, Real Lives: Exploring Memoir and Biography, attracted over 6000 people. The 35 participating authors included Paul Auster, Alain de Botton, Jung Chang, Rachel Cusk, A.C. Grayling, A.M. Homes, Siri Hustvedt, Hermione Lee, Catherine Millet, Amélie Nothomb, Marjane Satrapi, André Schiffrin and Jeanette Winterson. Charlotte Rampling and other actors also participated.

FestivalandCo 2008 was sponsored by The New York Review of Books, the Times Literary Supplement, English PEN, Eurostar, Roederer Champagne, Montblanc, the Mairie de Paris, the French Ministry of Culture, The British Council, The American Embassy and other associations.


Shakespeare and Company
Shakespeare and Company was opened by George Whitman in 1951. Over the years, writers such as Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs, Henry Miller, Anaïs Nin, Richard Wright, Lawrence Durrell, James Baldwin, and Lawrence Ferlinghetti have written, given readings and even lived at the shop. Now 95 years old, George has received the Officier des Arts et Lettres from the French Government for his long-running contribution to Parisian literary history. His daughter, Sylvia Whitman, now runs the institution and founded FestivalandCo in 2003.


http://www.englishpen.org/events/otherevents/shakespeareandcofestival/

Free the Word! around the world

Free the Word! around the world


A global celebration of the best in contemporary writing

1 June 2009

International PEN, the world writers' association, continues to celebrate the best in contemporary writing by taking its festival of world literature, Free the Word!, global. Established in London in 2008, Free the Word! aims to bring together ‘the great writers you know and the great writers you don't', giving a platform to explosive and exciting storytelling, dialogue and discussion across cultures and languages.

From October 2009, Free the Word! will evolve into a truly international festival with events taking place across world cities all linked by a shared theme. The theme for 2009 - 2010 is ‘Words, words, nothing but words?', taken from Shakespeare's Troilus and Cressida, embodying the very essence of International PEN and its belief that the value and exchange of words gives insights into other worlds through shared stories and experiences.

The festival will begin its global journey on 23 October in Linz, Austria for three days with Free the Word! Linz, immediately after the 75th International PEN Congress. It will be followed by Free theWord! Guadalajara in November, Free the Word! Dakar in December and from January 2010, events continue in Cartagena, Barcelona, Algiers and the third Free the Word! London in April. All will promote the best in world literature and literature in translation.

This month, International PEN also launches Free the Word! World Book Club. The club, presented in association with Temple Translations, aims to further celebrate the great writers you know and the great writers you don't, by giving readers across the globe the chance to access and interact with literature and voices that they might not otherwise hear.

'Think of Free the Word as the ley lines of world literature', that's the aim says Sir Tom Stoppard, International PEN author advocate.

The books featured will be chosen from Free the Word! festival authors with commentaries, discussion topics, blogs and Free the Word! event podcasts from the writers, translators and other eminent literary figures. The book launching Free the Word! World Book Club is Tahmima Anam's The Golden Age. Anam was born in Dhaka, Bangladesh, grew up in Paris, Bangkok and New York and studied at Harvard and in London. In 2001, she received a fellowship to research the Bangladesh War of Independence, travelling throughout the country to interview ex-freedom fighters, military officers, students and survivors of the 1971 war. A Golden Age is a fictionalised account of these war stories combined with Anam's family history.

Commentaries and readers' guides will be available in English, French and Spanish and a new book with be introduced every month.


- Ends -

Further details about Free the Word! and the Free the Word! World Book Club can be found at www.internationalpen.org.uk/go/literary-events

For more information please contact Emily Bromfield, Communications Director:
Email: emily.bromfield@internationalpen.org.uk
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7 405 0338

Note to Editors:

About International PEN
Originally founded in 1921 to promote literature, today International PEN has 144 Centres in 102 countries across the globe. Our primary goal is to engage with, and empower, societies and communities across cultures and languages, through reading and writing. It recognises that literature is essential to understanding and engaging with other worlds; if you can't hear the voice of another culture how can you understand it? We believe that writers can play a crucial role in changing and developing civil society through the promotion of literature, international campaigning on issues such as freedom of expression and translation, and challenging and breaking down barriers and access to literature through publishing and distribution at international, regional and national levels. Its membership is open to all published writers who subscribe to the PEN Charter regardless of nationality, language, race, colour or religion. International PEN is a non-political organisation and has special consultative status at UNESCO and the United Nations.


http://www.internationalpen.org.uk/go/news/free-the-word-around-the-world

MEXICO: Second journalist murdered in Durango state



MEXICO: Second journalist murdered in Durango state


The Writers in Prison Committee of International PEN (WiPC) is shocked by the abduction and murder of La Opinión crime reporter Eliseo Barrón Hernández on 25-26 May 2009. Barrón, who had recently covered a police corruption scandal, is the second journalist to be shot dead in Durango state this month. His death brings to 22 the number of writers and print journalists killed in Mexico since 2004. The WiPC calls on the Mexican authorities to carry out a full and impartial investigation into Barrón's murder and all other unresolved journalist killings and to bring to justice those responsible. It also urges the authorities to fulfil promises to make such crimes against journalists a federal offence.

Eliseo Barrón Hernández, crime reporter for the Torreón-based daily newspaper La Opinión and other local newspapers in Gómez Palacio, Durango state, was abducted on 25 May 2009 and subsequently murdered. On the night of 25 May around eight hooded and armed men reportedly entered Barrón's house in Gómez Palacio, beat him in front of his wife and two children, and forced him into a vehicle parked outside. His body was found the next morning in a ditch in the municipality of Tlahualiko, Durango, next to Coahuila state. He had a gunshot wound to his head and according to some reports his body also bore signs of torture.

Barrón (35) had reportedly covered police and crime for La Opinión, based in Torreón in the neighbouring state of Coahuila, for the last 10 years. It is understood that he had recently reported on a corruption scandal in the Torreón police as a result of which 302 police officers were fired and at least 20 others were investigated.

The journalist's family has filed a complaint with the Attorney General's Office (Procuraduría General de la República, PGR). The local authorities have not make public any leads or possible motives for the crime, however the investigation has reportedly been taken over by federal authorities for reasons that are as yet unclear.

Background
Barrón is the second journalist to be killed in Durango state this month, following the fatal shooting of El Tiempo de Durango reporter Carlos Ortega Samper on 3 May - World Press Freedom Day (for more information on Ortega's murder, click here). Durango is reportedly an important centre for the drugs trafficking trade.

Mexico is one of the most dangerous countries in the world to work as a journalist. From 2004 to 2009, 22 writers - 21 print journalists and one author - have been murdered, while four more print journalists have disappeared. Few if any of these crimes have been properly investigated or punished. International PEN believes that it is likely that these journalists were targeted in retaliation for their critical reporting, particularly on drug trafficking. While organised crime groups are responsible for many attacks, state agents, especially government officials and the police, are reportedly the main perpetrators of violence against journalists, and complicit in its continuance. For more information, click here.

Useful links


Please send appeals:

  • Expressing grave concern at the abduction and murder of La Opinión crime reporter Eliseo Barrón Hernández in Durango state on 25-26 May 2009;
  • Calling for a full, prompt and impartial investigation into Barrón's killing and all other unsolved murders of journalists in Mexico;
  • Calling on the government of President Felipe Calderón to fulfil promises to make crimes against journalists a federal offence, specifically by amending the Constitution so that federal authorities have the power to investigate, prosecute and punish such crimes.

Appeals to:

President
Lic. Felipe De Jesús Calderón Hinojosa
Presidente de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos
Residencia Oficial de los Pinos Casa Miguel Alemán
Col. San Miguel Chapultepec, C.P. 11850, DISTRITO FEDERAL, México
Fax: (+ 52 55) 5093 4901/ 5277 2376
Email: felipe.calderon@presidencia.gob.mx
Salutation: Señor Presidente/ Dear Mr President

Attorney General
Lic. Eduardo Medina-Mora Icaza
Procurador General de la República
Av. Paseo de Reforma No. 211-213, Piso 16
Col. Cuauhtémoc, Defegacion Cuauhtémoc
México D.F. C.P. 06500
Teléfono + 52 55 5346 0108
Fax: + 52 55 53 46 0908 (if a voice answers, ask "tono de fax, por favor")
E-mail: ofproc@pgr.gob.mx
Salutation: Señor Procurador General/Dear Attorney General

Please also send copies of your appeals to the Mexican Embassy in your country.
See http://www.sre.gob.mx/acerca/directorio/embajadas/dirembajadas.htm

***Please send appeals immediately. Check with International PEN if sending appeals after 29 July 2009.***

For further details please contact Tamsin Mitchell at the Writers in Prison Committee London Office: International PEN, Brownlow House, 50-51 High Holborn, London WC1V 6ER Tel: +44 (0) 207 405 0338 Fax +44 (0) 207 405 0339 email: tamsin.mitchell@internationalpen.org.uk

http://www.internationalpen.org.uk/go/news/mexico-second-journalist-murdered-in-durango-state

Twenty Years On: Writers Unite


4 June 2009 - Twenty Years On: Writers Unite

Before you enter the grave
Don't forget to write me with your ashes
Do not forget to leave your address in the nether world

From a poem by Liu Xiaobo, dissident writer and former President of the Independent Chinese PEN Centre.

Twenty years after the violent crackdown on the pro-democracy protests which took place in Beijing and other major cities in China on and around 4 June 1989, one of the pro-democracy movement's leading protagonists, Liu Xiaobo, is once again in jail. He is among some forty-three writers detained today in the People's Republic of China for the peaceful expression of their opinions. The detention of Liu Xiaobo is a visible symbol of the Chinese government's unremitting hostility towards any form of organised opposition.

Liu Xiaobo first received support from PEN 20 years ago, when, in 1989, he was one of a group of writers and intellectuals given the label the "Black Hands of Beijing" by the government, and arrested for their part in the Tiananmen Square protests. Liu has since spent a total of five years in prison, including a three year sentence passed in 1996, and he has suffered frequent short arrests, harassment and censorship. Since 8 December 2008, Liu Xiaobo has been held under Residential Surveillance at an undisclosed location in Beijing. He is among a large number of dissidents to have been detained or harassed since December 2008 for their support of Charter 08, a declaration calling for political reforms and human rights. No charges have as yet been made known.

International PEN has had significant concerns about freedom of expression in China for many years, where the large numbers of writers and journalists harassed, detained and imprisoned for calling for improved civil and political rights have remained largely unchanged. PEN also has serious concerns about prison conditions, ill-health, access to medical care and family visits.

On 4 June 2009, International PEN WiPC is calling upon writers worldwide to express solidarity with their colleagues in China who are today behind bars, many serving lengthy prison terms, solely for the peaceful expression of their views. PEN is demanding their immediate and unconditional release.


Please send appeals:

Expressing dismay that, twenty years after the suppression of the 1989 pro-democracy protests, there has been little change in the situation for writers in China, who continue to be arrested in large numbers for their peaceful dissent;
Calling for the immediate and unconditional release of all those currently detained in China in violation of Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which China is a signatory.

Send appeals to:

His Excellency Hu Jintao
President of the People's Republic of China
State Council
Beijing 100032
P.R. China

Mr. Meng Jianzhu
Minister of Public Security
East Chang'an Avenue 14
100741 Beijing
P.R. China

Please note that there are no fax numbers for the Chinese authorities. WiPC recommends that you copy your appeal to the Chinese embassy in your country asking them to forward it and welcoming any comments.

Please copy appeals to the diplomatic representative for China in your country if possible.

Letters to the press:

PEN members are urged to write letters to their national newspapers expressing alarm at events in China, and highlighting Liu Xiaobo's case to illustrate the many years of repression in the country.

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


http://www.internationalpen.org.uk/go/news/4-june-2009-twenty-years-on-writers-unite

Fears for safety of author Lydia Cacho


MEXICO: Fears for safety of author Lydia Cacho


28 May 2009


The Writers in Prison Committee of International PEN (WiPC) is deeply concerned by the harassment of award-winning author, journalist and activist Lydia Cacho which has reportedly escalated over the last two weeks, giving rise to fears for her safety. Cacho reports being watched and followed by unknown armed individuals who have been seen photographing and filming her home and inspecting her car. The WiPC calls on the Mexican authorities to investigate these incidents and repeated death threats Cacho has reportedly received since February as a matter of the utmost urgency, and to take immediate measures to guarantee her safety. It also urges the authorities to fulfil its promises to make such crimes against journalists a federal offence.

On 12 May 2009 a man was reportedly seen taking photos of Lydia Cacho's apartment in Cancún and inspecting her car. On 14 May the same man, this time carrying a gun, was seen outside her apartment door; he left when a neighbour passed by. On 15 May two men in a different car reportedly parked outside her apartment door for two hours and later appeared outside her office, also in Cancún. On 22 May the first man - again armed - came back to her home with another man and reportedly filmed the building with a video camera.

According to Cacho, she has also been receiving death threats via her blog (http://www.lydiacacho.net/) since February 2009, including one which reportedly threatened to "slit her throat". According to Cacho, a number of the emails in February were sent from the same computer; the authorities know the origin but refused to take action as they were "only threats".

Cacho has reported the surveillance and death threats to the Quintano Roo State police. The police have reportedly said that they would look for the owners of the cars reported but that they do not consider the threats or the presence of an armed civilian to be a criminal offence.

The ongoing harassment of and death threats against Cacho are particularly alarming given the Mexican authorities' failure to provide her with protection and legal redress in the past and the climate of violence against journalists in the country. (See Background below for more information).

Background
Following the publication of her first book in 2005, on child pornography in Mexico (Los Demonios del Edén: el poder detrás de la pornografía - The Demons of Eden: the power behind pornography), Cacho was illegally arrested, detained and ill treated before being subjected to a year-long criminal defamation lawsuit. She was cleared of all charges in 2007, but her attempts to gain legal redress for her treatment have been thwarted while all but one of the people involved in the paedophile network she exposed in her book remain at liberty. Cacho was awarded the 2008 Tucholsky prize from Swedish PEN and the 2007 Oxfam/Novib PEN Award for Free Expression, among numerous others. She was one of the subjects of the WiPC's International Women's Day action in March 2009 and International PEN's Day of the Imprisoned Writer action in November 2006. For more information on Cacho, click here.

Mexico is one of the most dangerous countries in the world to work as a journalist. From 2004 to 2009, 22 writers - 21 print journalists and one author - have been murdered, while four more print journalists have disappeared. Few if any of these crimes have been properly investigated or punished. International PEN believes that it is likely that these journalists were targeted in retaliation for their critical reporting, particularly on drug trafficking. While organised crime groups are responsible for many attacks, state agents, especially government officials and the police, are reportedly the main perpetrators of violence against journalists, and complicit in its continuance. For more information, click here.

Useful links


Please send appeals:

  • Expressing deep concern at the ongoing harassment of award-winning author, journalist and activist Lydia Cacho which has reportedly escalated in recent weeks, giving rise to fears for her safety. Cacho reports being watched and followed by unknown armed individuals who have been seen photographing and filming her home and inspecting her car.
  • Calling on the state and federal authorities to investigate these incidents and the repeated death threats Cacho has reportedly received since February as a matter of the utmost urgency, and to take immediate measures to guarantee her safety.
  • Calling on the government of President Felipe Calderón to fulfil its promises to make crimes against journalists a federal offence, specifically by amending the Constitution so that federal authorities have the power to investigate, prosecute and punish such crimes.

Appeals to:

Governor of Quintano Roo State
Lic. Félix González Canto
Gobierno del Estado de Quintana Roo. Administración 2005 - 2011.
Palacio de Gobierno. Av. 22 de Enero No. 001 Col. Centro. C.P. 77000.
Chetumal, Quintana Roo, México.
Tel: +52 983 832 4257
Email: despachodelejecutivo@qroo.gob.mx

President
Lic. Felipe De Jesús Calderón Hinojosa
Presidente de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos
Residencia Oficial de los Pinos Casa Miguel Alemán
Col. San Miguel Chapultepec, C.P. 11850, DISTRITO FEDERAL, México
Fax: (+ 52 55) 5093 4901/ 5277 2376
Email: felipe.calderon@presidencia.gob.mx
Salutation: Señor Presidente/ Dear Mr President

Minister of Interior
Lic. Fernando Francisco Gómez-Mont Urueta
Secretaría de Gobernación
Bucareli 99, 1er. piso,
Col. Juárez, Del. Cuauhtémoc,
México D.F., C.P.06600, MEXICO
Fax: +52 55 5093 3414
E-mail: secretario@segob.gob.mx
Salutation: Señor Secretario/Dear Minister

Please also send copies of your appeals to the Mexican Embassy in your country.
See http://www.sre.gob.mx/acerca/directorio/embajadas/dirembajadas.htm

***Please send appeals immediately. Check with International PEN if sending appeals after 29 July 2009.***

For further details please contact Tamsin Mitchell at the Writers in Prison Committee London Office: International PEN, Brownlow House, 50-51 High Holborn, London WC1V 6ER Tel: +44 (0) 207 405 0338 Fax +44 (0) 207 405 0339 email: tamsin.mitchell@internationalpen.org.uk


http://www.internationalpen.org.uk/go/news/mexico-fears-for-safety-of-author-lydia-cacho

Submissions for 'Context: Asia Pacific'

Submissions for 'Context: Asia Pacific'


Coming in Autumn/Winter 2009:
PEN International: ‘Context: Asia Pacific'

PEN International's regional spotlight series resumes with a focus on Asia Pacific in a celebration of contemporary writing from the furthest reaches of Australasia to the Indian Subcontinent and into Afghanistan, plus all of East and Southeast Asia. Guest writers and new translations to be announced.
Visit www.internationalpen.org.uk for updates.

Submissions are welcome from writers from these regions or residing there,
as well as non-inhabitants who have written on or travelled through these
parts of the world.

To contribute work, please contact the editor at
mitchell.albert@internationalpen.org.uk.

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: 25 JULY 2009

Dr. Jagannath Ghosh passes away on 10 may 2009

After the sad demise of Debkumar basu in march, 2007 in Puri, Orrissa, Dr. Jagannath Ghosh became the Hon. Secretary and treasurer of All India PEN, West Bengal chapter.
He died on 10th may 2009

He was born in June, 1938 in Khulna district ( now in Bangladesh)
and was M. A. ( Calcutta University) and did Ph.D ( from Rabindra Bharati University).

He was a professor at Gobardanga Hindu College and a reader, He retired in 1998.
Dr, Ghosh started writing at his early age as student, His first poem published in 1953.

Since then he had written more than 30 books on theater, drama , playwrights of Bengal and other literatures. He had edited many periodicals or magazines and engazed in different type of literary works. He was honoured and awarded several times for his literary works

Please click the bengali word image below



In loving memory of DebKumar basu

Famous Debu Da' passed away at the age of 79

Deb Kumar Basu, passed away on february 24, 2007 in Puri, Orrissa, at the age of 79. He was Hon. Secretary and treasurer of All India PEN, WestBengal since 1992. He became a member of PEN WestBengal in 1977.

He was a Publisher, editor, and a great organiser of literary events. A generous publisher, shelter and an institution for the new writers and young generation.


please click the bengali word image to view enlarged










Debkumar

with love and regards

A book on DebKumar Basu
below the the hard cover photo of the book









Under the guidance of Sunil Gangopadhya

The editors were :

Dr. Jagannath Ghosh

Sandip Datta

Ranjan Gupta

Shyamal Purkyastha

Shibdas Basak

published by :

Sudhangshu Sekhar Dey

Dey’s Publishing

13 bankim Chatterjee Street. Kolkata – 73

The content of the book is flooded by 211 poets, artists and intellectuals. Everyone has written their own account - how they came in touch of Debkumar Basu, and how they felt and reacted.

Total pages 374.

Price Rs. 300/