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The 78th PEN International Congress, September 2012

Thursday 6 September 2012 - 11:13am

Gyeongju, South Korea - Some 300 PEN delegates and members from 114 countries will be visiting Korea in September 2012 to attend the 78th PEN International Congress in Gyeongju, Korea, including Nobel laureates Orhan Pamuk, Wole Soyinka, and Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clezio. The congress, themed ‘Literature, Media, and Human Rights’, will present an opportunity for some of the world’s most renowned literary voices to discuss the interlinked roles of literature, journalism and human rights in the context of an increasingly globalised and digitalised media, alongside continued threats to freedom of expression.

The PEN International congress consists of networking, literary events and lectures, and has taken place in a variety of cities worldwide since 1923. The occasion has historically drawn international attention for its engagement with critical periods in history – in 1966, playwright Arthur Miller, then President of PEN International, successfully pressed the Johnson administration to grant Pablo Neruda a visa to attend the New York congress, despite his being a communist.

Other guests at the 2012 PEN International congress include professor David R McCann of Harvard University, author Yi Mun-yol, and Korean-Japanese writer Yu Miri. The congress will also host a special Free the Word! festival bringing together globally renowned writers to discuss key issues including ‘Free Expression and the Media’.

The 78th PEN International Congress will be hosted the Korean PEN Centre.

For press and other enquiries please contact:
PEN International Campaigns & Communications Manager Sahar Halaimzai.
Email: Sahar.halaimzai@pen-international.org
Tel: +44 (0)20 7405 033
Mob: +44 (0)7596 767912