Mission: To unite writers and their allies in celebrating creative expression and defending the liberties that make such expression possible.
About the Organization: Founded in 1922, is the U.S. affiliate of the world's leading international literary and human rights organization, PEN International. As the largest of more than a hundred PEN centers around the globe, PEN America — with the support of journalists, novelists, poets, essayists, playwrights, translators, editors, publishers, literary agents, and devoted readers — works to ensure that people have the freedom to create literature, to convey information and ideas, and to make it possible for everyone to access the views, ideas, and literatures of others.
Current Programs: At the center of PEN America's work are its , which include efforts in defense of creative expression, with in Bangladesh, China, Mexico, Myanmar, and Russia; tracking and defending writers at risk of harassment, attack, detention, arrest, conviction, imprisonment, and even assassination; and the , a project funded by the to create a global network of organizations and resources that can provide immediate help when artists are threatened or in peril. The organization also mounts campaigns urging supporters to write to governments on behalf of writers at risk and publishes detailing instances of government censorship and their impact on journalism and creative expression.
Founded in 1971, the provides hundreds of inmates across the U.S. with one-on-one mentoring and writing workshops; the program also promotes inmates' work through an annual writing contest. The organization also publishes and/or sponsors the annual ; ; various ; , a journal of writing in translation; and the , which provides assistance of up to $2,000 to published writers experiencing an acute financial crisis.
Website: Visitors to the PEN America can keep up with the latest from the organization or stay abreast of developments via its ; browse an ; and/or for e-updates. In addition, visitors can check out the weekly , with writers, or "," a project launched in 2016 with funding from the to elevate, amplify, and celebrate the voices of Muslim writers and artists; about writers at risk and the need to defend the right of free expression; take action by writing a letter as part of a campaign; become a , and/or make a .
Funding: PEN America is funded by members, foundations, corporations, and individuals.