PEN American Center

Press Coverage

The Weekly Standard

Abstract: 

Israel has contributed money to PEN American Center’s World Voices Festival to help pay for expenses related to invited Israeli writers. Unsurprisingly, this has sent Alice Walker and 100 other writers into a tizzy: "As a PEN member, I want this organization that is supposed to be a champion of writers' rights to stand up for Palestinian writers, academics and students who are suffering under a repressive Israeli regime that denies their right to freedom of expression.

Press Coverage

RT

Abstract: 

Some 100 writers, including Pulitzer Prize-winning Alice Walker, Richard Ford, and Junot Diaz, are urging the PEN American Center to deny any support from Israel as it denies “basic rights to the Palestinian people.”

The writers sent an impassioned letter to PEN America in March, but only now has it been published. PEN American Center, created in 1922, is a group aiming to promote literature and support literary fellowship.

Press Coverage

National Review

Abstract: 

Among the sponsors of the PEN American Center’s annual World Voices Festival, set for New York City at the end of the month, is the Israeli embassy. As you might expect, that has a number of literary types in a fit. Led by Adalah-NY: The New York Campaign for the Boycott of Israel, more than 100 writers have signed onto a letter calling for PEN to dump the embassy.

Press Coverage

Middle East Eye

Abstract: 

PEN American Center, which describes itself as “the US branch of the world’s leading international literary and human rights organisation,” has chosen to align, once again, with the government of Israel, one of the world’s most persistent abusers of human rights. It has accepted funding for the annual World Voices Festival from the Israeli embassy as part of the Brand Israel programme, a government pubic relations initiative launched in 2005 that uses cultural productions to distract from Israel’s well-documented and systematic destruction of Palestinian life.

Press Coverage

Democracy Now!

Abstract: 

More than 100 writers, including Pulitzer Prize winners Junot Díaz and Alice Walker, have called on the PEN American Center to reject sponsorship from the Israeli Embassy for PEN’s upcoming week-long World Voices Festival in New York City. The call is part of the cultural boycott campaign against Israel, part of the global boycott, divestment and sanctions movement.

Press Coverage

The Guardian

Abstract: 

More than 100 writers, including Pulitzer Prize winners Alice Walker, Richard Ford and Junot Díaz, have called on the PEN American Center “to reject support from the embassy of Israel” in a furious open letter.

Sent to PEN American Center and other festival participants in March but published online on Wednesday, the letter opposes the Israeli embassy’s sponsorship of PEN’s annual World Voices Festival (PWVF), a seven-day event in New York at the end of this month.

Press Coverage

Al Bawaba

Abstract: 

More than 100 writers have signed a letter to PEN American Centre urging it to reject support from the Israeli government.

The writers include Alice Walker, author of The Colour Purple, Pulitzer Prize winning novelist Junot Diaz, and Native American writer Louise Erdrich. Poet Eileen Myles, writer Russell Banks and activist Angela Davis also signed the letter.

Press Release

PEN Refusing to Drop Sponsorship, According to a Letter to its Members

New York, NY, April 5, 2016 - In a letter made public today over 100 writers, including Pulitzer Prize winners Junot Díaz, Richard Ford, and Alice Walker, and award-winning author Louise Erdrich, have called on the PEN American Center “to reject support from the Embassy of Israel” for PEN’s annual World Voices Festival. The seven-day Festival takes place from April 25 to May 1 in New York City. In promotional materials, PEN lists the Israeli Embassy as among the “Champions” of the Festival, and as a sponsor of one of the Festival’s panels.

The letter asserts, “It is deeply regrettable that the Festival has chosen to accept sponsorship from the Israeli government, even as it intensifies its decades-long denial of basic rights to the Palestinian people, including the frequent targeting of Palestinian writers and journalists.” The letter was sent to PEN privately on March 29 by Adalah-NY: The New York Campaign for the Boycott of Israel, with 62 individual and 11 organizational signatories. The list of signers has since grown to more than 100 individuals.

Press Coverage

The Forward

Abstract: 

An American writer’s group will keep the Israeli embassy as a sponsor of its literature festival, despite calls by writers to drop the endorsement.

Over 100 writers, including Pulitzer Prize winners Junot Díaz, Richard Ford, and Alice Walker, were among those who signed the message, sent last week to PEN American Center by pro-BDS organization Adalah-NY.

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