PEN American Center

PEN American Center

PEN American Center

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This is about the PEN center for the Eastern half of the USA. For the Western half see PEN Center USA
PEN American Center (PEN), founded in 1922 and based in New York City, works to advance literature, to defend free expression, and to foster international literary fellowship. The Center has a membership of 3,300 writers, editors, and translators. PEN American Center is the largest of the 144 centers that belong to International PEN, the worldwide association of writers that defends those who are harassed, imprisoned and killed for their views. PEN American Center is one of two PEN centers located in the USA, the other is in Los Angeles, it covers the USA west of the Mississippi.

Full membership in PEN generally requires the publication of two or more books of a literary character or one book that has won a major prize. Editors with a career of five years or more are also eligible, as are many publishers, agents, and other members of the literary profession. Recently, PEN created an associate tier of membership, which is open to the general public.

Over the years, PEN American Center's membership has included many of the leading lights in the American literary establishment, including James Baldwin, Willa Cather, Robert Frost, Langston Hughes, Thomas Mann, Arthur Miller, Marianne Moore, Susan Sontag, Paul Auster, Salman Rushdie and John Steinbeck.

In addition to defending persecuted writers, PEN American...
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