#100PENMembers No.14: Salman Rushdie

Salman Rushdie is not only a prominent PEN Member of several decade’s standing, and a fierce free speech advocate, his 1988 novel, The Satanic Verses was also the subject of one of the organisation’s most high profile and most divisive free expression battles. Rushdie took on the Presidency of PEN America from 2004-2006, and created the PEN … Continue reading #100PENMembers No.14: Salman Rushdie

#100PENMembers No.10: Storm Jameson

Margaret Storm Jameson was President of the English PEN Centre during the war years 1938-1944. A prolific novelist and essayist, she made a significant mark on PEN. During her relatively short stint as President she became a hugely influential figure within both English and International PEN, going on to serve on committees such as the … Continue reading #100PENMembers No.10: Storm Jameson

#100PENMembers No.1: Catharine Amy Dawson Scott, Founder of PEN

Poet Catharine Amy Dawson Scott set up the PEN Club in London 5thOctober, 1921. She recruited a number of feminist and women founding members, including Rebecca West, May Sinclair, Radclyffe Hall, Vera Brittain, and Violet Hunt, but also John Galsworthy, who agreed to become President, and Bertrand Russell, W. B. Yeats, Joseph Conrad and H. … Continue reading #100PENMembers No.1: Catharine Amy Dawson Scott, Founder of PEN

PEN International Congress – Pune

This week more than 400 PEN members from across the world are gathering in Pune, India for the PEN International Congress. Writers from all over the world – including Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, Ashok Vajpeyi, Gulam Mohammed Sheikh, Ashis Nandy and PEN International President Jennifer Clement – will gather to discuss linguistic rights, the freedoms of writers … Continue reading PEN International Congress – Pune

PEN Past and Present: PEN and Refugees

Last year PEN launched its Make Space campaign, to help to support and advocate for refugees, Senior Research Associate Katherine Cooper explains why this is a natural choice for an organisation which has always advocated for refugee rights… In October 1938 following the Munich Pact in which Chamberlain and the allies gave away large amounts of … Continue reading PEN Past and Present: PEN and Refugees

Un-covering PEN’s archives: Four months at the Harry Ransom Center

I should begin by pointing out that a mere four months is by no means enough time to get through PEN’s enormous archives at the Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas. In order to approach the archive, I had to work closely with Professor Rachel Potter, the PI on the project, to ascertain precisely the … Continue reading Un-covering PEN’s archives: Four months at the Harry Ransom Center

PEN International

PEN International was founded in London in 1921 by feminist novelist Catherine Amy Dawson Scott, with John Galsworthy as President, and May Sinclair, Radclyffe Hall, Vera Brittain, Bertrand Russell, E. M. Forster, W. B. Yeats, Joseph Conrad and H. G. Wells as founding members. It saw itself as unique because it was a London centre where … Continue reading PEN International