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A Parting Statement from Executive Director Steven L. Isenberg

December 28, 2012

To Family and Friends of PEN,

The 90th anniversary year of PEN is completed, and we have begun the turn toward a century. My announcement in May that I would step down at year’s end has now run its course.

What remains a constant is the essence of PEN—our vigilant defense of free expression, our unique place in the literary community, and our devotion to literature. Our principles of purpose and identity are cemented internationally.

Please know how much I appreciate the kind acts of support and encouragement that were shown to PEN during my time, whether they be gifts of spirit and money that helped us bolster our efforts, or the hours and hours of service that distinguish our staff, our Board, Membership, interns, and volunteers. 

Let me close with my favorite quote from Arthur Miller, who led PEN. He said it just so:

…When political people have finished with repression and violence PEN can indeed be forgotten. Until then, with all its flounderings and failings and mistaken acts, it is still, I think, a fellowship moved by the hope that one day the work it tries and often manages to do will no longer be necessary.

If you need me after January 1st, please write to Emma Connolly at emma@pen.org. The decision and announcement as to my successor will be made in January, and I’ll be meeting with my successor to ensure an effective transition.

With best wishes for the holidays, and the New Year.

Yours,

Steve

For more information, contact:
Emma Connolly, (212) 334-1660 ext. 103