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Monthly News Letter

  • November 17, 2015 – JRS’s presidency closing letter to the PEN Membership
  • November 16, 2015 Dear PEN Members, Dear Friends, A last monthly letter to say thank you and to report on the 81st Congress in Quebec City. First, the obvious, we have a new President. Jennifer Clement, a wonderful novelist. She was President of PEN Mexico when we organized our first new style international delegation in […]

  • September16, 2015 – October Letter from John Ralston Saul International President, to the PEN membership
  • August 2015 Letter from John Ralston Saul International President of PEN International to the PEN membership. September 10, 2015 Dear PEN members, Dear friends, There are moments when civilizations throw away the ethical value of that word, civilization. They lose the credibility needed to be taken seriously. The question is, can they get it back? […]

  • August 16, 2015 – September Letter from John Ralston Saul International President, to the PEN membership
  • August 2015 Letter from John Ralston Saul International President of PEN International to the PEN membership. September 15, 2015 Dear PEN members, Dear friends, There are moments when civilizations throw away the ethical value of that word, civilization. They lose the credibility needed to be taken seriously. The question is, can they get it back? […]

  • 24 July, 2015 – July Letter from John Ralston Saul International President, to the PEN membership
  • June 2015 Monthly Letter from John Ralston Saul, International President to the PEN membership July 09, 2015 Dear PEN members, dear Friends, For many people outside the world of writers, publishers, translators – whether we are writing for books or newspapers, blogs or the screen – it must seem that we lead contradictory lives. We […]

  • 13 May, 2015 – May Letter from John Ralston Saul International President, to the PEN membership
  • May Letter from John Ralston Saul International President, to the PEN membership. May 13, 2015 Dear PEN members, dear friends, This spring we undertook an ambitious three country intervention in Latin America. Sixteen PEN centres took part. We called it the PEN Summit of the Americas and it unfolded as we moved from Honduras to […]

  • Monday Feb 2nd, 2015 – January Letter from John Ralston Saul to the PEN International membership.
  • January Letter from John Ralston Saul, International President, to the PEN Membership. January 26, 2014 Dear PEN Members, Dear Friends, Last week in Paris I went to the site of the Charlie Hebdo murders with Emmanuel Pierrat of French PEN, Jarkko Tontti, Carles Torner and Sarah Clarke from our Secretariat. We placed flowers and a […]

  • Monday Nov 24th, 2014 – October/ November Letter from John Ralston Saul to the PEN International membership.
  • Dear PEN Members, Dear friends, A few weeks ago, two hundred and fifty writers from almost 80 PEN Centres came together in Bishkek. Nothing like this has been tried before. And it probably would not have been possible elsewhere in the region. This 80th Congress was an illustration of why PEN exists. We came to […]

  • September 22, 2014 – Monthly Letter from John Ralston Saul, International President
  • July 22th, 2014 – July letter from John Ralston Saul International President, to the PEN membership.
  • July letter from John Ralston Saul International President, to the PEN membership.

  • May 6th, 2014 – PEN International President delivers speech on World Press Freedom Day. Ottawa, Canada
  • PEN International President delivers speech on World Press Freedom Day. Ottawa, Canada

  • March & April letter from John Ralston Saul International President, to the PEN membership.
  • April 22, 2014 Dear PEN Members, Dear friends, I hope you won’t mind a more personal monthly letter. I am just back from Burma, now Myanmar, for the first time in a quarter century. From 1980 through much of the ‘80’s I was often there, in different guises, writing on the terrible situation. The military […]

  • January/February Letter From John Ralston Saul, International President, To The PEN Membership.
  • MARCH 10, 2014 Dear PEN members, Dear friends, As many of you know, Haroon Siddiqui (former International Board member) and I were in India for three weeks in January, for the launch of the new Delhi PEN Centre and to visit the older All-India PEN Centre in Mumbai.  I will come back to the situation […]

  • November/ December Letter From John Ralston Saul, International President, To The PEN Membership.
  • JANUARY 13, 2014 Dear PEN members, Dear friends, First, best wishes to all of you for the New Year.  Some of you have already celebrated your official date; others are about to do so. Last year saw a remarkable growth in PEN’s work.  Our renewed and enlarged education work, with the support of SIDA, has us building […]

  • October Letter From John Ralston Saul, International President, To The PEN Membership
  • NOVEMBER 15, 2013 Dear PEN members, Dear friends, I am writing this on November 15th, the Day of the Imprisoned Writer.  A year ago some twenty of us from around the world were in Istanbul and Ankara with PEN Turkey, meeting with political leaders and drawing attention to the endangered state of free expression, with so […]

  • September letter from John Ralston Saul, International President to the PEN membership
  • October 15 2013 Dear PEN members, Dear friends, By now all Centres will have the International Secretary’s summary of the 79th Congress in Reykjavik and will know what an important gathering it was. Let me highlight a few things. There is now a Myanmar PEN Centre, after more than half a century of dictatorship http://www.pen-international.org/09/2013/introducing-pen-myanmar-nay-phone-latt/. The […]

  • July/ August Letter From John Ralston Saul To The PEN Membership
  • SEPTEMBER 3, 2013 Dear PEN members, Dear friends, In a few days, many of us will meet in Reykjavik for the 79th PEN International Congress.  Many things will happen there.  When it comes to rights, we are faced today by a curiously old fashioned situation – that is, there are serious freedom of expression issues in all of […]

  • May And June Monthly Letter From John Ralston Saul To The PEN Membership
  • JULY 3, 2013 Dear PEN members, Dear friends,This letter comes a few days after the Turkish government forced the peaceful protesters off Taksim Square in Istanbul.  I have been speaking regularly with Turkish PEN President, Tarik Günersel, who said that some people – including writers – have been injured by the police.  He also feels […]

  • April Monthly Letter From John Ralston Saul To The PEN Membership
  • MAY 12, 2013 Dear PEN members, Dear friends,First a regret.  Ethiopian PEN has just held its annual Congress. Last year I was able to be there for the first ever gathering which took place in uncertain circumstances.  I am very sorry not to have been able to return this year.  The situation in the country […]

  • February And March Monthly Letter From John Ralston Saul To The PEN Membership
  • APRIL 8, 2013 Dear PEN members, Dear friends, This letter covers two months – February and March.  I have been constantly on the road, which is never good for writing.  The main news I have comes out of a trip back to Mexico and on to Nicaragua.  But first some good news.If you go to our […]

  • January Monthly Letter From John Ralston Saul To The PEN Membership
  • FEBRUARY 15, 2013 Dear PEN members, Dear friends,As you know, PEN now has a partnership with the Hay Festival network.  This means our Free the Word! program fits into already existing festivals.  And so through literature we are able to get across our messages about free speech, debate, translation, endangered languages, digital standards and so […]

  • December Monthly Letter From John Ralston Saul To The PEN Membership
  • DECEMBER 31, 2012 Dear PEN members, Dear friends,As many of you know, the entire Board of Directors of PEN Turkey is now under investigation for having insulted the Turkish Republic, as laid out in Article 301.  Of course, there are already some 70 writers in prison in Turkey and many others caught up in the […]

  • November Monthly Letter From John Ralston Saul To The PEN Membership
  • NOVEMBER 30, 2012 Dear PEN members, Dear friends,Some 20 of us are just back from Turkey. It was a long and complex mission in difficult circumstances – difficult because the freedom of expression situation in Turkey has been in decline for almost two years. But I do feel that we have helped to create a […]

  • October Monthly Letter From John Ralston Saul To The PEN Membership
  • OCTOBER 31, 2012 Dear PEN members, Dear friends,October is Frankfurt Book Fair.  PEN International’s relationship with the Fair continues to grow.  The opening session of the Weltempfang was given to our Publishers Circle, with Ronald Blunden, Anders Heger, Ola Wallin and myself in conversation with publishers emerging in difficult situations.  This included Babar Maqbool from […]

  • September Monthly Letter From John Ralston Saul To The PEN Membership
  • SEPTEMBER 30, 2012 Dear PEN members, Dear friends, Those of you who were in Gyeongju for the Congress are now home, those who were not able to come have had a good description of it from our Executive Director, Laura McVeigh, or from your Delegates.  Wole Soyinka, in one of the debates, said “literature is […]

  • August Monthly Letter From John Ralston Saul To The PEN Membership
  • AUGUST 31, 2012 Dear PEN Members, Dear friends,This will be a short letter.  I wanted to get it off to you before many of us meet in Gyeongju for the 78th PEN International Congress.  I am writing to you from Australia where I have been largely for non-PEN matters.  However, as always, I ensure there are […]

  • July Monthly Letter From John Ralston Saul To The PEN Membership
  • JULY 31, 2012 Dear PEN Members, Dear friends,First, the Board has now finished working on the PEN International Declaration on Free Expression and Digital Technologies and passed it unanimously.  It is in translation and will be on its way to you very soon.  Please have a close look and show it to any experts you […]

  • June Monthly Letter From John Ralston Saul To The PEN Membership
  • JUNE 29, 2012 Dear PEN Members, Dear friends,In some ways this was a month focused on linguistic rights.  Not that the rest of our world stopped turning.  In Mexico the good and the bad continued to speed in a complex spiral.  President Calderon has finally signed the Law of Protection for Human Rights Defenders and […]

  • May Monthly Letter From John Ralston Saul To The PEN Membership
  • MAY 28, 2012 Dear PEN Members, Dear friends,  May and June are the months when our standing Committees tend to get together.  This matters because we are a grassroots movement spread all over the world.  We need to see each other in order to continually set and reset our direction.  The new Balkans Network held its inaugural […]

  • April Monthly Letter From John Ralston Saul To The PEN Membership
  • APRIL 30, 2012 Dear PEN Members, Dear friends,Hori Takeaki, Eric Lax and I have just spent several days in London, discussing PEN strategy, spending time with Laura McVeigh and the staff of our international office and talking to publishers at the London Book Fair.The three of us try to get together several times a year.  […]

  • March Monthly Letter From John Ralston Saul To The PEN Membership
  • MARCH 21, 2012 Dear PEN members, Dear Friends,This letter arrives a bit late as I have just come from spending time with our PEN Centres in Ethiopia and Djibouti.  Before telling you about that, a few words on thedevelopments in Mexico.  You may have seen from a recent PEN statement that there has been an […]

  • February Monthly Letter From John Ralston Saul To The PEN Membership
  • FEBRUARY 18, 2012 Dear PEN Members, Dear friends,By now many of you will have read about our PEN International mission to Mexico.  There is a great deal on the website.  Please have a look.This mission was important for two reasons.  First, the situation in Mexico is getting worse, with over eighty writers killed already.  Newspapers […]

  • January Monthly Letter From John Ralston Saul To The PEN Membership
  • JANUARY 18, 2012 Dear friends, Dear PEN members,A few days from now a large delegation – ten of us – will go to Mexico City.  This will be a strong expression of solidarity for Mexican writers and journalists.  It will also be unprecedented, with the entire Executive going – Hori Takeaki, Eric Lax and myself […]

  • December Monthly Letter From John Ralston Saul To The PEN Membership
  • DECEMBER 13, 2011 Dear PEN Members, Dear Friends, Over the last month I have been able to spend time with some twenty of our Centres in Africa and in Europe – a PEN African Network meeting in Dakar, four days in Sierra Leone with our PEN Centre there, a Forum of Freedom of Expression and […]

  • November Monthly Letter From John Ralston Saul To The PEN Membership
  • NOVEMBER 10, 2011 Dear PEN Members, Dear Friends, Sixteen years ago today, our colleague Ken Saro-Wiwa was hanged by Nigerian officials for writing and speaking, and doing so persistently. I was in southern Tunisia with a group of writers and film makers when I heard the awful news. Many of us remember that day very […]

  • October Monthly Letter From John Ralston Saul To The PEN Membership
  • OCTOBER 12, 2011 Dear friends, Dear PEN members,Those of you who were in Belgrade have had some time to report to your members. And all of you have received a fast, preliminary report from our Executive Director, Laura McVeigh – a very good new initiative. The cleared up resolutions have also gone out to you […]

  • September Monthly Letter From John Ralston Saul To The PEN Membership
  • SEPTEMBER 7, 2011 Dear friends,I write this monthly letter from Tunis, where PEN Tunisia is rebuilding itself after the fall of the dictatorship. Naziha Rjiba, President of the Centre and Sihem Bensedrine, Secretary General, took terrible risks during Ben Ali’s time and suffered a great deal. The situation remains complex and fragile, but they are […]

  • July Monthly Letter From John Ralston Saul To The PEN Membership
  • JULY 15, 2011 Dear friends, Some two weeks ago all PEN Centres received a message from the Translation and Linguistic Rights Committee telling you about The Girona Manifesto. I am following up in order to let you know how important I personally believe this initiative to be. Exactly 15 years ago the same Committee led […]

  • August Monthly Letter From John Ralston Saul To The PEN Membership
  • AUGUST 15, 2011 Dear Friends,A number of PEN Centres have asked me to write a monthly letter to our members. This is one small part of our eternal challenge – how are 20,000 writers in more than 100 countries to keep in touch with each other?  We all hope that this will be helped by […]

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