Imagining a Better Future by Re-imagining the Past

Saturday, January 25, 2020

PEN International

In 1921 a small group of writers got together in London. It was a “Who’s Who” in the literary world. The writers included Joseph Conrad, Elizabeth Craig, George Bernard Shaw, and H. G. Wells. Together they formed International PEN.

PEN originally stood for "Poets, Essayists, Novelists", but now stands for "Poets, Playwrights, Editors, Essayists, Novelists",  and includes writers of any form of literature, such as journalists and historians.

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.
Today the organization is known as PEN International and is still very active worldwide. PEN International currently has autonomous centers in over 100 countries. PEN America was formed in 1922.

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