International PEN, the worldwide association of writers, was founded in 1921 to promote friendship and intellectual cooperation among writers everywhere; to emphasize the role of literature in the development of mutual understanding and world culture; to fight for freedom of expression; and to act as a powerful voice on behalf of writers harassed, imprisoned, and sometimes killed for their views.
PEN is strictly non-political, a non-governmental organization in formal consultative relations with UNESCO and Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.
PEN is composed of Centers, each of which represents its membership and not its country, and membership of its Centers is open to all qualified writers, journalists, translators, historians, and others actively engaged in any branch of literature, regardless of nationality, race, colour or religion. Every member is required to sign the PEN Charter and by so doing to observe its conditions.
PEN American Center Branches
Branches give a vital national presence to PEN American Center, and provide essential opportunities for members to directly engage regional, national, and international issues of concern to PEN. Each branch governs itself in the spirit of the PEN Charter under the supervision of the Board of PEN American Center and in accordance with its by-laws and any specific terms and conditions established by the PEN Board. PEN American Center currently has three branches:
International PEN Centers
PEN Center USA
Pen Clube do Brasil
Cuban Writers in Exile
Swiss German PEN
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