Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Writers in Translation supports the best new literature in translation


pen bulletin 2
 
Writers in Translation continues to support the best new literature in translation
 
29 November 2011
 
A window into the personal and professional life of highly acclaimed eyewitness journalist Ryszard Kapuścinśki; a compelling and powerful story of Palestinian identity and exile; a riveting novel that is also a powerful reflection on the life and death of languages; and a poignant collection of poems from each of the 204 Olympic nations.
 
English PEN has announced the recipients of their Writers in Translation awards for the first half of 2012.  Announcing the awards, Ros Schwartz, Chair of the Writers in Translation Committee, said:
 
Once again Writers in Translation is delighted to support an exciting and eclectic choice of excellent books which will contribute to the ‘bibliodiversity’ of the UK book scene.
 
The four titles are:
 
·         The Biography by Ryszard Kapuścinśki, translated by Antonia Lloyd-Jones (Verso)
·         The Lady from Tel Aviv by Rabai al-Madhoun, translated by Elliott Colla (Telegram Books)
·         The Last of the Vostyaks by Diego Marani, translated by Judith Landry (Dedalus Books) 
·         The World Record by various poets and translators (Bloodaxe Books).
 
You can read more on each of these titles by visiting the Writers in Translation Supported Titles 2012 page on the English PEN website.
 
English PEN’s Writers in Translation programme supports between 6-8 books a year, helping publishers to market, promote, champion and celebrate literature in translation. 
Established in 2004, its first supported title was the late Anna Politkovskaya’s Putin’s Russia (translated by Arch Tait) which went on to sell over 20,000 copies. Since then, more than 40 books have received grants to help bring them to a wider British audience.
 
The next call for submissions to the Writers in Translation programme (for books published from July-December 2012) will be in January 2012.  For more information about English PEN’s Writers in Translation programme, contact Emma Cleave: emma@englishpen.org


Supported Titles 2012

A window into the personal and professional life of highly acclaimed eyewitness journalist Ryszard Kapuścinśki, a compelling and powerful story of Palestinian identity and exile, a riveting novel that is also a powerful reflection on the life and death of languages, and a poignant collection of poems from each of the 204 Olympic nations.

We are delighted to announce that the following books have received awards for the first half of 2012:

Ryszard Kapuścinśki: The Biography, by Artur Domosławski, translated from the Polish by Antonia Lloyd-Jones

This is the definitive biography of one of the most significant journalists of the twentieth century. From postcolonial Africa to revolutionary Iran, from the military dictatorships of Latin America to Soviet Russia, the Polish journalist and writer Ryszard Kapuścinśki was one of the most dauntless and important eyewitnesses of his time. In his committed reporting of the great revolutions of the age, and his resolute anti-colonialism, Kapuścinśki created a new genre of creative reporting: one that brought him immense renown in the Western world. In this biography, Artur Domosławski shines new light on the personal relationships of this intensely charismatic, highly private man, and the intractable issue at the heart of Kapuścinśki's life and work: the question of where journalism ends and literature begins. Close to Kapuścinśki, and with unparalleled access to his private papers, Domosławski traces his mentor's footsteps and delves into the files and archives that Kapuścinśki himself examined.
To be published by Verso.

The Lady from Tel Aviv, by Rabai al-Madhoun, translated from the Arabic by Elliott Colla
In the economy class of a plane bound for Tel Aviv, the lives of two passengers intersect: Waleed Dahman, a Palestinian novelist returning to Gaza for the first time in thirty-eight years; and Dana Ahova, a famous Israeli actress seeking the comforts of home after the disappearance of her boyfriend. Desperate for consolation, Dana confides in Waleed. Soon, forgotten fears resurface - Dana's paranoid fear for her own life and Waleed's suspicions about Mossad. As the night sky hurtles past, the course of both their lives begins to change, and so too does the novel that Waleed is working on. By the time Waleed arrives in Gaza, he seems no more real - and no less imaginary - than his fictional character. The Lady from Tel Aviv is one of the great achievements of modern Arabic literature. At times a literary thriller, an exploration about lost family history and a meditation on the nature of fiction itself, it is, above all, a reflection on Palestinian identity and exile.
To be published by Telegram Books.

The Last of the Vostyaks, by Diego Marani, translated from the Italian by Judith Landry

As a child, Ivan and his father worked as forced labourers in a mine in Siberia, the father having committed some minor offence against the regime. He is then murdered in front of his young son, after which Ivan - who is a Vostyak, an imaginary ethnic group of whose language he is the last remaining speaker - is struck dumb by having witnessed his father's murder. Some twenty years later the guards desert their posts and Ivan walks away free, together with the other inmates. Guided by some mysterious power, he returns to the region he originally came from… A roller-coaster ride whisking the reader alternatively through zones of darkness, hilarity, cruelty, tenderness, the near-lubricious, and pleasingly light-hearted yet telling considerations on the nature and life and death of languages; and that's without even mentioning the sub-plots.
To be published by Dedalus Books. 

The World Record, by various poets and translators

The World Record is an international anthology of work by poets from all the countries taking part in the 2012 London Olympics, featuring a translated poem from each of the 204 Olympic nations, from Armenia to Tuvalu, Azerbaijan to Turkmenistan. With this book you can discover the world through its keenest observers, political activists and most articulate wordsmiths. There's something for every taste: new voices as well as world greats, rappers and spoken-word artists as well as poets and storytellers. The World Record marks the first time so many living poets from so many countries have been gathered together in one anthology - and 2012 is the first time so many poets have been gathered in one place. Up to 204 poets come together in London for Poetry Parnassus, a week-long celebratory gathering as part of the finale of the Cultural Olympiad, the Festival of the World and the London 2012 Festival. Poetry Parnassus is a monumental poetic happening worthy of the spirit and history of the Olympics. Introduced by the festival's curator, Simon Armitage, The World Record shows how poetry crosses all international boundaries to speak to readers everywhere.
To be published by Bloodaxe Books.

'Once again Writers in Translation is delighted to support an exciting and eclectic choice of excellent books which will contribute to the 'bibliodiversity' of the UK book scene.' Ros Schwartz, Chair, Writers in Translation

We're also looking forward to supporting the delayed publication of these two excellent titles:

The Patagonian Hare by Claude Lanzmann, translated from the French by Frank Wynne

Born to a Jewish family in Paris, 1925, Lanzmann's first encounter with radicalism was as part of the Resistance during the Nazi occupation. He and his father were soldiers of the underground until the end of the war, smuggling arms and making raids on the German army. After the liberation of France, he studied philosophy at the Sorbonne. In Paris he met Jean Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir and started an affair with the latter that would last for seven tumultuous years. He became the editor of her political-literary journal - a position which he holds to this day - and joined the ranks of the most important literary and philosophical figures of post-war France. Lanzmann's memoir is a cry of witness to the 20th century that transcends cultural and geographical boundaries. To be Published by Atlantic Books

Three Strong Women by Marie NDiaye, translated from the French by John Fletcher

This is the story of three French women of African heritage who refuse to be bowed by circumstances or submit to expectations. Forty-year-old Norah leaves Paris, her family and her career as a lawyer to visit her father in Dakar. It is an uncomfortable reunion - she is asked to use her skills as a lawyer to get her brother out of prison - and ultimately the trip endangers her marriage and her relationship with her daughter, and drives her to the very edge of madness. Fanta, on the other hand, leaves Dakar to follow her husband Rudy to rural France. And it is through Rudy's bitter and guilt-ridden perspective that we see Fanta stagnate with boredom in this alien, narrow environment. Khady is forced into exile from Senegal because of poverty, because her husband is dead, because she is lonely and in despair. With other illegal immigrants, she embarks on a journey which takes her nowhere, but from which she will never return. To be published by MacLehose Press

Monday, November 21, 2011

Dawit Isaak death rumours cast dark cloud over Day of the Imprisoned Writer



16 November 2011

Dawit Isaak death rumours cast dark cloud over Day of the Imprisoned Writer


http://www.freedawit.com
Free expression advocates around the world showed solidarity with jailed and murdered writers on 15 November, International PEN's annual Day of the Imprisoned Writer.


Events included readings, speeches, performances and demonstrations held to raise awareness of prisoners who have been jailed for their writings, statements or activism. Among the most pressing cases featured by PEN Canada was that of Dawit Isaak, the co-founder of "Setit," Eritrea's first independent newspaper, who has been held without charges in Eritrea for 10 years now. Rumours circulating in social and online media allege Isaak died in prison on 27 October, according to IFEX members who launched a joint appeal to call for the authorities to reveal his whereabouts.

Some of the other political prisoners highlighted by the Writers in Prison Committee (WiPC) PEN International included Tashi Rabten, a Tibetan poet and essayist jailed for writing articles about the brutal suppression of Tibetan independence protests; Abdul-Jalil Al-Singace, a human rights blogger sentenced to life in Bahrain for his role in pro-democracy protests; and Reeyot Alemu, an Ethiopian columnist who has been cut off from all contacts, including lawyers, but is believed to be detained under repressive antiterrorism laws.

The day also honoured the 33 writers and journalists killed in the past year, almost half of who were murdered in Mexico and Pakistan alone. A Mexican poet and human rights activist, Susana Chavez, was also one of WiPC feature cases. She was murdered on 6 January this year, says WiPC, "in an attack many have claimed was the result of her writing and activism."

In an event organised by English PEN, Actors for Human Rights brought to life the comedic writings of persecuted writers, including Turkish playwright Ali Taygun and Burmese comedian Zarganar.

Turkish PEN meanwhile held a press conference with journalists and publishers who drew attention to the recent arrests of professor Ragip Zarakolu and publisher Busra Ersanli. WiPC also called attention to the cases of Nadim Sener and Ahmet Shik, who were detained for writing books and articles that named police and other high level individuals connected to the Ergenekon case.

PEN Canada invited pedestrians in Toronto to have their pictures taken with large portraits of Isaak and Nasrin Sotoudeh and write to the relevant authorities to demand their release. Sotoudeh is an Iranian human rights lawyer and journalist serving a six-year journalist in the notorious Evin prison for "propaganda against the regime."

Earlier this week, 31 IFEX organisations sent a letter to Eritrea's president Issayas Afewerki, expressing deep concern about rumours of Isaak's death. The organisations, led by the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA), requested information on Isaak's location (which is currently unclear) and health condition, called on authorities to allow the International Committee of the Red Cross to visit Isaak and demanded that the journalist be immediately released if he is still alive.

RSF additionally called on the European Union and Swedish government to demand information on the whereabouts and health condition of Isaak, who has dual Eritrean and Swedish nationality. "If they cannot get a response or if it is confirmed that Dawit died in detention, all relations between Eritrea and Sweden and the EU will have to be reviewed," RSF said in a statement.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Phone Hacking and the Freedom of the Press


This fortnight, English PEN asks tough questions about the future of press freedom in the UK and remembers writers who have stood up for free speech around the world.
 
FREE SPEECH CAFE: WHAT PRICE PRESS FREEDOM?
 
6.30pm, Thursday 10 November, Free Word Centre
Read more and book tickets here: http://bit.ly/ivkCHd
 
There have been shocking revelations this week about the use of video surveillance by the News of the World against lawyers of the phone hacking victims. As the hacking scandal grows, and James Murdoch prepares to face MPs once more, we ask: ‘What price press freedom?’ Stephen Abell, Director of the Press Complaints Commission, and Brian Cathcart, founder of the Hacked Off campaign, lead an English PEN debate chaired by journalist and activist Rowenna Davis.
 
English PEN is developing its response to the escalating crisis. We want to know what you think. Is it time to replace self regulation of the press with state regulation? Or is the free press too important to sacrifice because of one scandal? Is the Press Complaints Commission at fault for failing to stamp out phone hacking; or is this a case of one rogue newspaper?
 
Read more and book tickets here: http://bit.ly/ivkCHd
 
 
NIGHT OF THE IMPRISONED WRITER
 
7:30pm (door, 7pm), Tuesday 15 November, The Tabernacle, London W11 2AY
To read more and book tickets, click here.

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English PEN and ice&fire Theatre present:
NIGHT OF THE IMPRISONED WRITER
A unique performance evening to mark the 30th annual Day of the Imprisoned Writer.
HELLO MR MILLER, HELLO MR PINTER

Don’t miss your chance to see this special one-off performance in which the powerful words of persecuted writers from Mexico to Bahrain, from Kenya to Azerbaijan, have been woven together by award-winning playwright Sonja Linden and English PEN’s Cat Lucas.

‘Hello…’ features letters and other writings by eleven writers that PEN has supported in the last 30 years, including Turkish playwright Ali Taygun who was in regular correspondence with the late Harold Pinter and Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, the only Nobel laureate currently in detention. Also featured are Azerbaijani editor Eynulla Fatullayev, Vietnamese essayist Tran Khai Thanh Thuy and Burmese comedian and poet Zarganar, all of whom have been released in the last six months thanks to our combined efforts.

Directed by Christine Bacon and performed by Actors for Human Rights, ‘Hello…’ is both a moving celebration of PEN’s work on behalf of imprisoned and persecuted writers around the world and a concrete testament to the bravery of those writers who, often at great risk to themselves and their families, continue to speak out.

STAND UP FOR WRITERS IN PRISON

And because no-one speaks out quite like a comic, we’re delighted to be bringing you some of today’s finest acts to illustrate what freedom of speech is all about…

NICK DOODY

The fantastic Nick Doody will be bringing his own very special brand of political comedy and satire to ‘Night of the Imprisoned Writer’. The creator and head writer of BBC Radio 4′s ‘Bigipedia’, Nick has also written for ’8 out of 10 cats’ and ‘Armando Ianucci’s Charm Offensive’ and supported the legendary Bill Hicks on his final tour of the UK. We’re delighted to have him on board!

For more on Nick, click here.

"All hail Nick Doody…true comedy gold: polished, rich in material and a find among all the fools" Metro

"Some of the best political material I have heard in a while…comic genius" – The Scotsman

"very impressive … unfailingly good punchlines … intelligent and funny … comes with the chortle seal of approval" – CHORTLE

MARCEL LUCONT

The hilarious Marcel Lucont is a self-proclaimed ‘flâneur, raconteur, bon-viveur’ and easily the greatest UK-based French comedian around. Marcel’s ‘Chat Show’ was voted one of the top 25 Best-Rated Comedy Shows at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe, and he won the Spank! Award for Best Headliner in 2010. We look forward to seeing him in action!

For more on Marcel, click here.

"Fresh, accessible and hilarious" – The Guardian

"Wonderful French wit … superb stuff … His elegant, sardonic turns of phrase are an utter joy" – Time Out

"Deadpan delivery and surreal musings… A stand-up star in the making" – Thelondonpaper

Show starts: 7.30pm (Doors: 7pm)

Tickets are £10 – and all proceeds go directly to English PEN’s Writers in Prison Programme to cover the costs of our campaigning activities. (www.englishpen.org/writersinprison)

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English PEN has been marking the Day of the Imprisoned Writer since 1981. This year we present a groundbreaking, moving – and surprisingly funny – event at the Tabernacle in Notting Hill. In collaboration with ice&fire theatre we have devised Hello Mr Miller, Hello Mr Pinter, featuring the powerful words of persecuted writers for whom PEN has campaigned over the decades.
 
And because no-one speaks quite as freely as a stand-up comic, we’re proud to bring you some of today’s finest acts to illustrate what freedom of speech is all about. The fantastic Nick Doody will be performing his own very special brand of political comedy. The creator and head writer of BBC Radio 4′s Bigipedia, Nick has also written for 8 out of 10 cats and Armando Ianucci’s Charm Offensive and supported the legendary Bill Hicks on his final tour of the UK. Nick will be joined by the hilarious Marcel Lucont, a self-proclaimed ‘flâneur, raconteur, bon-viveur’ and easily the greatest UK-based French comedian around. Marcel’s Chat Show was voted one of the top-25 Best-Rated Comedy Shows at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe, and he won the Spank! Award for Best Headliner in 2010.
"All hail Nick Doody…true comedy gold: polished, rich in material and a find among all the fools" Metro
 
"Wonderful French wit … superb stuff … His elegant, sardonic turns of phrase are an utter joy" – Time Out
 
To read more and book tickets, click here.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Week of Action for Dawit Isaak


PEN CALLS FOR A WEEK OF ACTION (19-23 September 2011)

All this week, 19-23 September 2011, PEN members around the world will be taking part in a week of action for to protest the decade-long imprisonment of Eritrean-Swedish journalist and author Dawit Isaak who has been detained incommunicado without charge since 23 September 2001. Dawit is said to be held in appalling conditions and to be in poor physical and mental health; there are serious concerns for his wellbeing. We will be calling on the Eritrean authorities to provide details of his whereabouts and assurances that he is receiving all necessary medical treatment as a matter of urgency. We will also be calling for his immediate and unconditional release as well as that of the many other Eritreans imprisoned for their writings since September 2001. For more information on how to get involved, please see below.
 

Dawit Isaak (born 1964), owner of the now defunct weekly newspaper Setit, playwright and writer, was arrested on 23 September 2001 during the crackdown on Eritrea's private press that saw all eight independent newspapers closed down. He is one of nine print journalists who were arrested at the time and to be held incommunicado, apparently indefinitely, without ever being charged or tried. The only accusations made against them have been uncorroborated allegations by the authorities that the journalists were "traitors".

Information about the detained journalists is scant. However, at least four of them have reportedly died in custody since 2005 due to harsh conditions and lack of medical attention. There have also been unconfirmed reports of the deaths of nine out of 11 former government cabinet ministers also arrested in September 2001 for publishing a letter criticising the Eritrean government.

Dawit Isaak and the other surviving journalists are presumed to remain in detention in secret locations, despite a 2007 ruling by the African Union's Commission on Human and People's Rights that their detention was arbitrary and unlawful and that the Eritrean government should release and compensate them. There are ongoing concerns about severe ill treatment, possible torture, poor health and lack of access to medical care.

The most recent reports indicate that Dawit is being held at the Eiraeiro maximum-security prison camp, 10 miles north of the capital Asmara , along with a number of the other detained journalists. They are reportedly not allowed any contact with each other or the outside world, are routinely shackled and receive almost no medical care. Some are said to be held in metal containers or underground cells in temperatures of around 50 degrees Celsius.

Dawit suffers from a diabetic condition that requires medical supervision and he is said to be in poor psychological health. He has been hospitalised several times since his imprisonment, including in 2002 for treatment for injuries sustained through torture. In November 2005, Dawit, who holds dual Eritrean Swedish citizenship, was briefly released for a medical check-up and to call his family and friends following pressure by groups in Sweden .

In July 2011, Dawit's younger brother, Esayas Isaak, who lives in Sweden , filed a writ of habeas corpus with Eritrea 's Supreme Court calling for information on the journalist's location and a review of his imprisonment. The habeas corpus writ was reportedly not supported by the Swedish government; according to the Committee to Protect Journalists, Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt has said the country's goal was to have Dawit released on humanitarian grounds rather than stand trial. In 2010, Esayas Isaak wrote an open letter to the Swedish government and European Union expressing concern that they were not doing enough to pressurize the Eritrean government to release Dawit.

Background

- Dawit Isaak is an Honorary Member of Finnish PEN and Swedish PEN.
- He was awarded the 2009 Tucholsky Award by Swedish PEN and the 2011 Golden Pen of Freedom, the annual press freedom prize of the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA).
- A collection of his writings, entitled Hope- the Tale of Moses and Manna's Love, was launched at Sweden 's Gothenburg book fair in September 2010.

Useful links


Information on Isaak:

- Update from the Committee to Protest Journalists (3 August 2011)
- Update from Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (24 May 2011)
- Free Dawit campaign (co-founded by Esayas Isaak) (Click here)
- PEN International profile (Click here)

Information on Eritrea:

- Eritrea has now been the lowest ranking of all the countries included in RSF's annual Press Freedom Index for four consecutive years (Click here)
- BBC country profile (Click here)
- Amnesty International's 2011 report on human rights in Eritrea (Click here)

Suggested actions:

We are asking all of our members to do at least one of the following during the week leading up to the 10th anniversary of Dawit Isaak's imprisonment (19-23 September 2011):

1. Send protest letters (NB a sample letter follows):

- Protesting the 10-year imprisonment of Dawit Isaak, at least four journalists and 11 former cabinet members detained incommunicado since September 2001;
- Calling on the Eritrean authorities to release details of his health status, medical treatment and whereabouts, as well as that of the other detainees; 
- Calling for the immediate and unconditional release of Isaac and the other surviving journalists, in line with the 2007 African Commission on Human and People's Rights ruling, as well as that of the former ministers detained for their writings.

Appeals to:

His Excellency Mr. Tesfamicael Gerahtu Ogbaghiorghis
Embassy of the State of Eritrea
96 White Lion Street ,
London
N1 9PF
Fax: 020 7713 0096
Email: tesfamicaelg@eriembauk.com

President Isaias Afewerki
c/o Embassy of the State of Eritrea
96 White Lion Street,
London
N1 9PF
Fax: 020 7713 0096
Email: tesfamicaelg@eriembauk.com

2. Write to the British Embassy in Eritrea , asking the Ambassador to raise concerns about Isaak and the other detainees.

Mrs. Sandra Tyler-Haywood
British Embassy
66-68 Mariam Ghimbi Street
Zip Code 174
PO Box 5584
Asmara
Eritrea

3.  For Facebook users: Change your profile picture
.

For those of you on Facebook, please change your profile picture to one of Dawit Isaak for the duration of the week of action (19-23 September 2011).

4. For Twitter users: Tweet #freedawitisaak


Please tweet regularly, and particularly on Fridays, using the hashtag #freedawitisaak and including links to more information on his case.

***Please keep the English PEN office informed of your activities and any response you receive from the authorities by emailing cat@englishpen.org ***

SAMPLE LETTERS

Please do write more personal letters if you have time; the following are just examples.

His Excellency Mr. Tesfamicael Gerahtu Ogbaghiorghis
Embassy of the State of Eritrea
96 White Lion Street,
London
N1 9PF

[DATE]

Your Excellency,

I am writing to you as a member of English PEN, the founding centre of the worldwide association of writers, to protest the decade-long imprisonment of my fellow writer Dawit Isaak and a number of other writers detained in Eritrea in violation of their right to free expression. According to PEN's information, there are at least a further four journalists and 11 former cabinet members all of whom have been detained since September 2001.

Eritrean-Swedish journalist and author Dawit Isaak has been detained incommunicado without charge since 23 September 2001. He is said to be held in appalling conditions and to be in poor physical and mental health; there are serious concerns for his wellbeing.

I call upon the Eritrean authorities to release Dawit Isaak and all those detained in Eritrea in violation of their right to free expression immediately and unconditionally, in line with the 2007 African Commission on Human and People's Rights ruling that their detention was arbitrary and unlawful and that they should be released and receive compensation.

In the meantime, I strongly urge Your Excellency to ensure that details of the health status, medical treatment and whereabouts of Dawit Isaak and the other detained writers are released as a matter of urgency.

I would be most grateful if you would forward the enclosed letter of appeal to His Excellency President Isaias Afewerki and would welcome your comments on my appeal.

Yours sincerely,

[NAME, OCCUPATION, ADDRESS]

*

President Isaias Afewerki
c/o Embassy of the State of Eritrea
96 White Lion Street,
London
N1 9PF

[DATE]

Your Excellency,

I am writing to you as a member of English PEN, the founding centre of the worldwide association of writers, to protest the decade-long imprisonment of my fellow writer Dawit Isaak and a number of other writers detained in Eritrea in violation of their right to free expression. According to PEN's information, there are at least a further four journalists and 11 former cabinet members all of whom have been detained since September 2001.

Eritrean-Swedish journalist and author Dawit Isaak has been detained incommunicado without charge since 23 September 2001. He is said to be held in appalling conditions and to be in poor physical and mental health; there are serious concerns for his wellbeing.

I call upon the Eritrean authorities to release Dawit Isaak and all those detained in Eritrea in violation of their right to free expression immediately and unconditionally, in line with the 2007 African Commission on Human and People's Rights ruling that their detention was arbitrary and unlawful and that they should be released and receive compensation.

In the meantime, I strongly urge Your Excellency to ensure that details of the health status, medical treatment and whereabouts of Dawit Isaak and the other detained writers are released as a matter of urgency.

I would welcome your comments on my appeal.

Yours sincerely,

[NAME, OCCUPATION, ADDRESS]

*

Her Excellency Mrs. Sandra Tyler-Haywood
British Embassy
66-68 Mariam Ghimbi Street
Zip Code 174
PO Box 5584
Asmara
Eritrea

[DATE]

Your Excellency,

I am writing to you as a member of English PEN, the founding centre of the worldwide association of writers, to protest the decade-long imprisonment of my fellow writer Dawit Isaak, and a number of other writers detained in Eritrea in violation of their right to free expression. According to PEN's information, there are at least a further four journalists and 11 former cabinet members all of whom have been detained since September 2001.

Eritrean-Swedish journalist and author Dawit Isaak has been detained incommunicado without charge since 23 September 2001. He is said to be held in appalling conditions and to be in poor physical and mental health; there are serious concerns for his wellbeing.

I have written to the Eritrean authorities urging them to release Dawit Isaak and all those detained in Eritrea in violation of their right to free expression immediately and unconditionally, in line with the 2007 African Commission on Human and People's Rights ruling that their detention was arbitrary and unlawful and that the Eritrean government should release and compensate them. I have urged the authorities to ensure that details of the health status, medical treatment and whereabouts of Dawit Isaak and the other detained writers are released as a matter of urgency.

I would be most grateful if, as the diplomatic representative for the UK , you would consider raising my concerns about Dawit Isaak and the other detainees with the relevant authorities in the Eritrea .  

I would welcome your comments on my appeal.

Yours sincerely,

[NAME, OCCUPATION, ADDRESS]

Friday, September 16, 2011

John Ralston' speech and Photos from PEN International’s 77th annual Congress in Belgrade

:
Photo courtesy and credit :Antonio G. Della Rocca and Facebook

John Ralston Saul delivers the Opening Speech at the 77th PEN International Congress in Belgrade



Discussions, 13th sept
Audience, Saul's book promotion
Brainstorming, 13th Sept
 Chatting, 13th Sept

John Ralston Saul delivers the Opening Speech at the 77th PEN International Congress in Belgrade

Thank you Serbian PEN! Thank you Vida and thank you to all of your members. You have organized a wonderful Congress. People who attend have no idea how much work is involved and how many hours are taken up that could have been used for writing. So, a very personal thank you from all of us who have come from other countries.
......
....
Yesterday, I was asked - quite rightly - what difference does it make that writers from 89 PEN centres are gathered in Belgrade. It is the right question.

The first answer is that this Congress is a public expression of reconciliation. Of course, writers in the Balkans have never stopped talking to each other. But, this Congress is a formal evocation of the imagination of the Balkans.

Today, the leaders of 10 Balkan PEN centres sat together on a stage and created the Balkans PEN International Network. The founding members are Bosnian PEN, Bulgarian, Croatian, Kosovar, Macedonian, Montenegrin, Romanian, Serbian, Slovenian and Turkish. This is an historic event. It is a message to the world.

Second, the gathering of hundreds of writers from around the world matters because it is a force for imagination and transparency. Our charter is clear. We believe in unlimited freedom of expression. But we also believe that no matter how controversial or difficult our words are, the ultimate purpose is to bring people together. The great Serbian Canadian writer, David Albahari, has rightly written that “knowledge can never catch up with the power of ignorance”. This is true. But the imagination can catch up. Imagination can leap over ignorance. Let me give you an example: When a virtually unknown radio journalist is killed in Mexico – the most dangerous place in the world today to be a writer – they leave, in Ivo Andrić’s words, “a memory clearer and more lasting than that of so many other more important victims”.

This year our former President, Mario Vargas Llosa, won the Nobel Prize for literature. And the founding president of our Independent Chinese PEN Centre, Liu Xiaobo, won the Nobel Peace Prize. Two men of courage. Two masters of the imagination. One of whom remains unjustly in prison. And several of our centres were central to what is called the Arab Spring. In some cases they are now a key part of the rebuilding civil society in their country.

The core of what we do is this: imagination and the transparency that imagination creates, and the acceptance of complexity – all of this is above politics and below politics. It’s everything except politics. In a society without this democracy of the mind it becomes possible for lies to install themselves, as if they were language. And as Danilo Kiš put it, “when everyone lies, no one lies”.

We are in the business of open memories, memories that do not oppose people, one against the other. We represent an open idea of how people can live together.

This is the 77th Congress. The Congress in 1933 in Dubrovnik was organized by this Centre. It was a complex, but historic moment for PEN. We were faced by the rising forces of authoritarianism, even within our own centres. The divisions of European society had become the divisions of PEN. Our President, a great writer, H. G. Wells, but also an anti-Semite with confused public views, found himself caught in an atmosphere of impossible divisions. But, complex thought it was, Wells and the delegates found their way through in order to stand with the imagination and transparency and therefore against authoritarianism.

In 1933 we found an ethical shape - long before governments took a stand. And at every PEN Congress since 1933, those ethical standards stand before us as the measure of what we do. I like to think that in leading with wisdom in Dubrovnik, Wells found his own way to a personal understanding of PEN’s ethics. It was a noble moment for him and for PEN.

There are always those who believe that writers can be dragged away from their independence in the public place. And I believe that the next few years will be difficult. There are many strong and negative forces at work. But the meaning of PEN is simple. Our central ethical force is the independence of our imagination and our creativity. And we know what this means because for 90 years we have defended that independence.

Hvala!

PEN International Assembly approves the Girona Manifesto and calls for protection and promotion of linguistic diversity.



PRESS RELEASE-----------------------------------

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
15th September 2011

PEN International Assembly approves the Girona Manifesto and calls for protection and promotion of linguistic diversity.

Today at PEN International’s 77th annual Congress the PEN General Assembly approved the Girona Manifesto which calls for the protection and promotion of linguistic diversity.  This Manifesto developed by PEN’s Translation and Linguistic Rights Committee is a significant step toward protecting and promoting all world languages, including those in danger of disappearing.

John Ralston Saul, International President of PEN said, “Many languages are in danger. Many are actually disappearing. The loss of one's language, and through that loss much of one's culture, can be seen as the ultimate removal of freedom of expression“.

The Girona Manifesto is a ten point document designed to be translated and disseminated widely as a tool to defend linguistic diversity around the world.

Josep Maria Terricabras, Chair of the Translations and Linguistic Rights Committee of PEN International said, “Language defines us.  To lose one’s language is to lose one’s voice, identity and spirit.  Languages are the homes we live in“

---------------------------------------------------
14th September 2011
Hundreds of writers, editors, translators and publishers from across the globe celebrate the achievement of 2010 Nobel Prizes by Mario Vargas Llosa and Liu Xiaobo and call for the release of Xiaobo and his wife.
At PEN International's 77th annual Congress in Belgrade today, delegates from over 80 PEN Centres worldwide unanimously passed a motion to congratulate Mario Vargas Llosa, former PEN International President and 2010 Nobel Laureate for Literature, and Liu Xiaobo, founding president of the Independent Chinese PEN Centre and 2010 Nobel Laureate for Peace. John Ralston Saul, PEN International President, said: "we follow the model of writers like Mario Vargas Llosa and Liu Xiaobo. They are illustrations of PEN International's indivisible commitment to both literature and freedom of speech."
PEN members also took the opportunity to use their collective voice and call on the Chinese authorities: "We seize on this historic moment to call for the release from prison of Liu Xiaobo and the release from house arrest of this wife, Liu Xia."
Liu Xiaobo, the prominent Chinese dissident writer who was sentenced to 11 years in prison in December 2009, was the founder and first president of the Independent Chinese PEN Centre. He has since been made honorary member of nine PEN Centres. Xiaobo was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in absentia in 2010. Marian Botsford Fraser, Chair of the Writers in Prison PEN Committee, attended the award ceremony. "Members of the PEN community were honoured to attend the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in Oslo last December," said Botsford Fraser. "But not a single member of Liu's family or anyone from mainland China was allowed to attend, and the award was laid upon an empty chair. The PEN community will continue to fight for the unconditional release of our colleague, Liu Xiaobo."

-----------------------------------------------------


Notes to editors:

PEN International celebrates literature and promotes freedom of expression. Founded in 1921, our global community of writers now comprises 144 Centres spanning more than 100 countries. Our programmes, campaigns, events and publications connect writers and readers for global solidarity and cooperation. PEN International is a non-political organization and holds consultative status at the United Nations and UNESCO.

For more information and to request interviews please contact our press office:
penoffice@pen-international | press@pen-international.org | + 44 (0) 20 7405 0338.

Or contact our Executive Director Laura McVeigh: +44 (0)7824640527 www.pen-international.org

GIRONA MANIFESTO ON LINGUISTIC RIGHTS



The Girona Manifesto - A letter from John Ralston Saul to the membership about The Girona Manifesto


Exactly 15 years ago the same Committee led a coalition of civil society and international organizations in the production of the Universal Declaration of Linguistic Rights. This large and complex document was approved by PEN's annual Assembly of Delegates and has gone on to play an important role in specialist circles around the world. What has been missing is a short, clear Manifesto laying out the Declaration's essential arguments in a way that can be made use of by everyone.
The Girona Manifesto is precisely that. On one page containing ten points and written in a language which is both literary and practical, this Manifesto creates a tool we can all use.
Of course, our Assembly in Belgrade will be asked to approve it. But I thought it important to lay out the context in which this Manifesto can be read.
We are all concerned about pressures being put on languages with a smaller population base. We are concerned about the lack of translation from these languages and the difficulty they have making themselves heard in the world. Many languages are in danger. Many are actually disappearing. The loss of one's language, and through that loss much of one's culture, can be seen as the ultimate removal of freedom of expression.
The Translation and Linguistic Rights Committee began working on this Manifesto in our three official languages after its 2010 meeting.
At its 2011 meeting, in which both Hori Takeaki and myself took part, everyone present spent much of their time debating this short text in three languages. The result was The Girona Manifesto, which was unanimously adopted.
This Manifesto could give us a clear public document with which to defend and advance languages with smaller populations, as well, as endangered languages.
I encourage all of you to read it, to translate it into your own languages before Belgrade, and to think about how we could best use it to advance the multiplicity of languages and cultures that PEN International represents.
Sincerely,
John Ralston Saul


GIRONA MANIFESTO ON LINGUISTIC RIGHTS


PEN International brings together the writers of the world.

Fifteen years ago, the Universal Declaration of Linguistic Rights was first made public in Barcelona by PEN International’s Translation and Linguistic Rights Committee.

Today, that same Committee, gathered together in Girona, declares a Manifesto of the Universal Declaration’s ten central principles.


1. Linguistic diversity is a world heritage that must be valued and protected.

2. Respect for all languages and cultures is fundamental to the process of constructing and maintaining dialogue and peace in the world.

3. All individuals learn to speak in the heart of a community that gives them life, language, culture and identity.

4. Different languages and different ways of speaking are not only means of communication; they are also the milieu in which humans grow and cultures are built.

5. Every linguistic community has the right for its language to be used as an official language in its territory.

6. School instruction must contribute to the prestige of the language spoken by the linguistic community of the territory.

7. It is desirable for citizens to have a general knowledge of various languages, because it favours empathy and intellectual openness, and contributes to a deeper knowledge of one’s own tongue.

8. The translation of texts, especially the great works of various cultures, represents a very important element in the necessary process of greater understanding and respect among human beings.

9. The media is a privileged loudspeaker for making linguistic diversity work and for competently and rigorously increasing its prestige.

10. The right to use and protect one’s own language must be recognized by the United Nations as one of the fundamental human rights.


Committee of Translation and Linguistic Rights of PEN International

Girona, 13th of May 2011

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

English PEN: Updates on Cameroonian playwright Lydia Besong and Sudanese journalists





English PEN: Updates on Cameroonian playwright Lydia Besong and Sudanese journalists


 Dear Reader,


We wrote to you last week asking you to take urgent action on behalf of Cameroonian playwright Lydia Besong and her husband Bernard Batey who was due to be deported from the UK on Saturday evening.
 
Thanks to the overwhelming support from members of English PEN and the other campaigning groups we have been working with on their case, we are relieved to report that Bernard received a call from his lawyer on Friday evening stating that the injunction had been successful and the flight had been cancelled.
 
However, according to our most recent information, Bernard is still being detained in Colnbrook, whilst Lydia has gone into hiding to avoid the same fate. We are still awaiting legal clarification as to their situation, but in the meantime will continue to pressure the relevant authorities here in the UK to ensure that he is not deported.
 
TAKE ACTION:
 
For those of you that have already written to Theresa May and Nick Clegg, we would be grateful if you could send copies of your appeal to Lydia and Bernard's MP, David Nuttall MP via nuttallburynorth@aol.com and david.nuttall.mp@parliament.uk.
 
Many thanks for your support. It is much needed, much-appreciated and really does make a difference.
 
***************************************************************************************
 
We are also pleased to let you all know that Sudanese journalists Abu Zar Al-Amin and Jaafar Alsabki Ibrahim, on behalf of whom many of you sent urgent appeals back in July, were released from prison on 22 and 28 August 2011 respectively. Both men had been detained on anti-state charges since 2010. Ibrahim has reportedly been pardoned, whilst Al-Amin was released on bail.
 
However, according to our information, in the case of Al-Amin further anti-state charges were introduced shortly before he completed his prison sentenced, for which he could still face the death penalty. As such, we are calling on the authorities to drop all remaining charges against him and urge you to do the same. Guidelines, addresses, and a sample letter follow.
 
Abu Zar Al-Amin, deputy editor of the opposition daily newspaper Rai Al-Shaab, was released on bail on 22 August 2011 after spending over 15 months in prison. Arrested in May 2010, he was sentenced to five years' imprisonment on 15 July 2010 for allegedly 'undermining the constitutional system' and 'publishing false information'. The case reportedly stemmed from an article alleging that Iran had built a weapons factory in Sudan to supply insurgents in Africa and the Middle East . The sentence was reduced to a one year sentence on appeal, with the journalist due to be released on 3 July 2011. However, Al-Amin's release was delayed indefinitely after he was subsequently accused of attacking a security official. Al-Amin says that he was subjected to torture by the officer in question during his pre-trial detention in May 2010; however the authorities have failed to investigate these claims.

Jaafar Alsabki Ibrahim, Darfuri journalist with the opposition newspaper Al-Sahafa, was released on 28 August 2011 after almost 10 months in detention. Arrested on 3 November 2010, he was held incommunicado until June 2011 when he was finally charged with 'undermining the constitutional system'. His release followed an announcement by President Omar Al-Bashir on 27 August 2011 that he intended to free all journalists imprisoned in Sudan after local journalists requested pardons for their colleagues to coincide with the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. The charges against Ibrahim are presumed to have been dropped.

For more information, please see http://www.englishpen.org/writersinprison/wipcnews/sudantwojournalistsreleasedonestillfacesdeathpenalty/
 
TAKE ACTION

Please send appeals (NB. A sample letter follows):

- Welcoming the release of Rai Al-Shaab deputy editor Abu Zar Al-Amin and Al-Sahafa journalist Jaafar Alsabki Ibrahim on 22 and 28 August 2011 respectively;
- Expressing concern that Al-Amin, who was released on bail, still faces the death penalty if convicted on new charges introduced shortly before he completed his prison sentence;
- Calling on the Sudanese authorities to drop all remaining charges against Al-Amin;
- Calling on President Omar Al-Bashir to fulfil his recent promise to release all journalists detained in Sudan.

Appeals to:


HE President Omar Al Bashir
Office of the President
People's Palace
PO Box 281
Khartoum, Sudan
Fax: 249 183 782 541/ 249 183 774339
Salutation: Your Excellency

Minister of Justice
Mr Mohammed Bushara Dousa
Ministry of Justice, PO Box 302
Al Nil Avenue
Khartoum, Sudan
Fax: 249 183 764 168
Salutation: Your Excellency

And copies to:

Mohamed Atta Al-Moula Abbas
Director of the NISS
NISS Headquarters
Khartoum
Salutation: Dear Director Abbas

Please also send copies of your appeal letters to the diplomatic representative for Sudan in your country if possible.

His Excellency Mr Abdullahi Hamad Ali Alazreg
Embassy of the Republic of the Sudan
3 Cleveland Row
London
SW1A 1DD
Fax: 020 7839 7560
Email: mtsudanembassy@yahoo.co.uk

NB. Please do let us know if you send appeals, and certainly if you receive a response by emailing cat@englishpen.org

SAMPLE LETTER

Please do write a more personal letter if you have time - the following is just an example:

His Excellency Mr Abdullahi Hamad Ali Alazreg
Embassy of the Republic of the Sudan
3 Cleveland Row
London
SW1A 1DD
Fax: 020 7839 7560
Email: mtsudanembassy@yahoo.co.uk
[DATE]

Your Excellency,

I am writing to you as a member of English PEN, the founding centre of the international association of writers, to welcome the release of Rai Al-Shaab deputy editor Abu Zar Al-Amin and Al-Sahafa journalist Jaafar Alsabki Ibrahim. However, I remain deeply concerned for Abu Zar Al-Amin who could still face the death penalty if convicted of further anti-state charges.

According to PEN's information, Abu Zar Al-Aminwas released on bail on 22 August 2011 after spending over 15 months in prison. Arrested in May 2010, Al-Amin was sentenced to five years' imprisonment on 15 July 2010 for allegedly 'undermining the constitutional system' and 'publishing false information', but the sentence was reduced to a one year sentence on appeal. I understand that Abu Zar Al-Amin is now facing further anti-state charges relating to articles written for Rai al-Shaab prior to his imprisonment and that he would face the death penalty if convicted. I am therefore writing to respectfully urge the Sudanese authorities to drop all remaining charges against him. 

Journalist for the opposition newspaper Al-Sahafa Jaafar Alsabki Ibrahim was also released in August 2011, after almost 10 months in detention. Arrested on 3 November 2010, he was held incommunicado until June 2011 when he was finally charged with 'undermining the constitutional system'. The charges against Ibrahim are presumed to have been dropped.

Jaafar Alsabki Ibrahim's release followed an announcement by His Excellency President Omar Al-Bashir on 27 August 2011 that he intended to free all journalists imprisoned in Sudan . Whilst I welcome the release of Jaafar Alsabki Ibrahim, I would therefore like to take this opportunity to respectfully call upon President Omar Al-Bashir to fulfil this promise by releasing all journalists currently detained in Sudan immediately and unconditionally.

I would welcome your comments on my appeal.

Yours sincerely,

[NAME, PROFESSION, ADDRESS]





Earlier post on this topic click here

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Golden Pen of Freedom Award open for nominations


7 September 2011

Golden Pen of Freedom Award open for nominations


 
The World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) is inviting nominations for the 2012 Golden Pen of Freedom Award, the annual prize which honours an individual or group for outstanding action in the cause of press freedom. Hurry: the deadline for nominations is 16 September 2011.

Past laureates include Dawit Isaak, the Eritrean writer, poet and publisher currently jailed by Eritrean authorities; and Ahmad Zeid-Abadi, an Iranian journalist and political analyst who was imprisoned following Iran's disputed presidential election in June 2009.

Please send your nominations to Alison Meston at alison.meston (@) wan-ifra.org by 16 September 2011. Provide your name and contact details, plus the name of the nominee and a brief statement as to why you are nominating them.

For more information on the Golden Pen of Freedom, click here.
-----------------------------------------------------------

2011 WAN-IFRA Golden Pen of Freedom Awarded to Dawit Isaak

Article ID:

12081
A journalist with dual Eritrean-Swedish citizenship, Dawit Isaak is one of the founders of Eritrea’s first independent newspaper, Setit, and is currently one member of a group of reformist political prisoners who have been detained without charge or trial for the past nine years.
Dawit Isaak
Eritrean by birth, Mr Isaak was forced to flee his native country in 1987 and arrived in Sweden as a beleaguered refugee during Eritrea’s bloody war for liberation. He became a Swedish citizen in 1992 after working for years as a cleaner, and he later returned to Eritrea when the country finally gained independence in 1996. Eager to develop the country’s independent press, Mr Isaak co-founded the country’s first independent newspaper, Setit, which would rise to national prominence as a professional paper and gain a reputation for investigative reporting which often focused on abuse of power by the government.
In May of 2001, a group of 15 cabinet members (prominent reformist politicians later dubbed the G-15), published an open letter to the government demanding democratic reform, and a thorough investigation of the events leading up to Eritrea’s recurring war with Ethiopia. The letter was published by the free press, most notably by Mr Isaak’s paper, Setit, which also went on to publish a series of similar open letters to president Isayas Afeworki demanding sweeping democratic reforms. The government acted in swift retaliation following the published demands of G-15, and by September, had effectively suspended all civil liberties in Eritrea.
On 23 September, all private press outlets in the country were officially shut down, and 11 of the G-15 politicians were arrested, along with Dawit Isaak and 13 other newspaper owners, editors and journalists. To date, none have been formally charged or tried, and Mr Isaak and the other journalists and politicians imprisoned with him have all been branded as traitors, accused of receiving financial aid from abroad, an act of criminal treason according to Eritrean press laws. According to reports, four of the journalists that were detained in 2001 have since died in prison.
In 2001, Sweden’s then honorary consul in Eritrea, Lis Truelsen, managed to get a glimpse of Mr Isaak through the prison bars and exchange a few words with him. The government of Sweden and the Swedish media community have undertaken numerous efforts to advocate for Mr Isaak’s release, without any success, as the Eritrean government has made it clear that his status as a dual citizen of Sweden is of little consequence. This position was reflected in public statements made in May 2009 by the country’s president, and in which he announced: "To me, Sweden is irrelevant. The Swedish government has nothing to do with us."
On 13 December 2008, it was reported that Mr Isaak had been moved to a maximum-security prison in Embatkala, along with 112 other political prisoners. The move was allegedly by the explicit order of the President, and the Embatkala prison is reportedly one of the harshest prison environments in the country. Several weeks later, on 11 January 2009, reports surfaced that Mr Isaak had been transferred to a military hospital, and despite government assurances that he is receiving all necessary medical treatment, the details of his actual whereabouts remain sketchy.
A controversial Swedish interview with Eritrean president Issayas Afwerki drew the attention of human rights watchdog organisations when he declared unceremoniously that there were no plans to release Mr Isaak, nor to conduct a trial in which the journalist would be formally charged. The interview, which was broadcast on 26 May 2009, stirred international controversy when the Eritrean president dismissed the issue of Mr Isaak’s imprisonment altogether, stating without qualm: "We will not have any trial and we will not free him. We know how to handle his kind."
-------------------------------

About the Golden Pen of Freedom

Article ID:

13061
The Golden Pen of Freedom is an annual award made by WAN-IFRA to recognise the outstanding action, in writing or deed, of an individual, a group or an institution in the cause of press freedom.
Behind the names of the laureates lie stories of extraordinary personal courage and self-sacrifice, stories of jail, beatings, bombings, censorship, exile and murder.
One of the objectives of the Golden Pen is to turn the spotlight of public attention on repressive governments and journalists who fight them. Often, the laureate is still engaged in the struggle for freedom of expression and the Pen has, on several occasions, secured the release of a publisher or journalist from jail or afforded him or her a degree of protection against further persecution.

 

Join PEN American Center for an Evening with Liao Yiwu and at Brooklyn Book Festival‏


PEN Events



SAVE THE DATE
September 18:
Stop by the PEN booth [#93] at Brooklyn Book Festival

October 12:
PEN Literary Awards Ceremony

November 1:
PEN New Members/New Books Party


PEN and The New School Present: An Evening with Liao Yiwu


With Liao Yiwu, Wen Huang, Salman Rushdie, and Philip Gourevitch
When: Tuesday, September 13
Where: The New School, Tishman Auditorium, 66 W. 12th St.
What time: 8 p.m.

Tickets: $20/$15 for PEN Members and students with valid ID (free to New School Students with valid ID). Purchase tickets at ovationtix.com.

PEN American Center is honored to present poet, novelist, musician, and documentarian Liao Yiwu, one of China’s most exciting and most censored writers, in his first U.S. appearance in nearly two decades.

This very special evening of music and words will include a reading from his forthcoming book and a performance of the xiao, or Chinese flute, which Mr. Liao learned to play while incarcerated. PEN World Voices Festival founder and chair Salman Rushdie will introduce the event and Mr. Liao will be joined by his translator Wen Huang and journalist Philip Gourevitch for an on-stage interview. [More]



PEN Literary Pub Quiz at Brooklyn Book Festival

 

With team captains Christopher Beha of Harper’s, George Prochnik of Cabinet Magazine, James Yeh of Gigantic Magazine, Scott Lindenbaum and Andy Hunter of Electric Literature, translator Susan Bernofsky, Ben Greenman, Matthea Harvey, Amy Sohn, and more; hosted by Katie Halper.
When: Friday, September 16
Where: St. Ann’s Warehouse, 38 Water Street in Dumbo, Brooklyn
What time: 7-9 p.m.

Free and open to the public.

PEN is pleased to announce the return of our popular Literary Pub Quiz! This Brooklyn Book Festival Bookend event gives you the chance to compete with (and against!) editors and writers from your favorite literary magazines, including Cabinet, Gigantic, Harper’s, and Electric Literature, as well as authors Matthea Harvey, Ben Greenman, and many more. Come early to reserve your spot on the team with the writer-captain who also knows where Hemingway was born. We’ll supply the paper and the pencils; you bring the literary smarts!
Also look for PEN at the Brooklyn Book Festival on Sunday at Booth 93. [More]

 
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