Monday, March 27, 2006

From English Pen:
JONATHAN HEAWOOD: “Since someone first scrawled their thoughts on a rock in Mesopotamia, writers have been on the front line of cultural exchange. It’s not always a role that we relish – some writers would rather just hunker down with their rock and a sharp implement. But so long as there are governments, corporations, terrorists or individuals who want to limit the free exchange of ideas, and refuse to give literature the space to flourish, there is a role for PEN. This year’s International Writers Day – to be held at the ICA on Saturday May 13 – takes the title ‘Migrations of the Mind’. Speakers including Jung Chang, Tahar Ben Jelloun, Elif Shafak, David Edgar, Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti, Gary Mitchell, Monica Ali and Dubravka Ugresic will discuss the role of writers in a truly global society. More details of the programme and how to book will follow soon.

An event like International Writers’ Day exemplifies PEN’s dual commitment – to both literature and its practitioners. We are not just an abstract pressure group; we are an active fellowship of writers. Each month’s packed event at the Adam Street Club shows just how engaged PEN members are with today’s most pressing issues – whether free _expression, the future of copyright control, or the lacing of Elizabeth Bennett’s bodice. Through these events, and our successful campaigns, PEN is attracting younger members, who can help us identify tomorrow’s challenges before they hit us. Please help us to grow by telling your friends and colleagues about PEN. Membership is far better value than that of any comparable organisation, far more worthwhile – and far more fun.”

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