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The Writers in Prison Committee of PEN International was set up in 1960 as a result of mounting concern about attempts to silence critical voices around the world. An office was set up at the PEN head office in London to gather information and to alert the PEN membership to take action. The WiPC is now staffed by a team of experts who monitor around 1,000 attacks on writers, journalists, editors, poets, publishers and others in any given year. These include long prison terms, harassment, threats, and murder.

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Paris-based poet, publisher and PEN member, Nicole Barrière recently requested a copy of THE ATTIC (PEN Melbourne’s 2013 bi-lingual poetry publication of 10 poems by Alex Skovron with translations by Jacques Rancourt)) and, as a member of the jury, submitted copies of THE ATTIC to the other jury members of the 2014 Prix international de Poésie Antonio Viccaro organised by the Trois Rivières International Poetry Festival, Quebec. Each year the Trois Rivières International Poetry festival offers this prize to poets from five continents. For the next …

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Each year, 21 February marks International Mother Language Day, a day which recognizes the importance of linguistic and cultural diversity and promotes the protection of languages. 

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Event: “A Country Too Far” (19 February) **BOOKED OUT**The Wheeler Centre, 6:15PM – 7:15PM, Wednesday 19 February 2014One of the most hotly debated and pressing moral issues in contemporary Australia surrounds the fate of asylum seekers. A new anthology of work from 27 of the nation’s finest writers examines all aspects of this complex topic.A Country Too Far features fiction, memoir, poetry and essays that provide an indispensable contribution to the national debate.The Guardian says, ‘A Country Too Far is part of …

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The Wheeler Centre, 6:15PM – 7:15PM, Wednesday 19 March 2014Spinifex Press opened their doors 23 years ago, in 1991, with a remit of publishing ‘controversial and innovative feminist books with an optimistic edge’. As director of Spinifex Press, Susan Hawthorne has weathered every storm that has threatened the industry, allowing Spinifex to stay the course when many other independent presses have fallen by the wayside.In conversation with PEN Melbourne’s Cynthia Troup, Susan outlines the directions feminist publishing must take in …

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Join us for the launch of Writers for Refugees, a Melbourne-based group of writers, journalists and academics who are committed to standing up for refugee rights under the Abbott government.Thursday, March 13 2014 @ 6pm 2014Bella Union, Lvl 1, Trades Hall, cnr of Lygon and Victoria Streets, MelbourneSpeakers and readers include Arnold Zable, Maxine Beneba Clarke,Abe Ape, Jeff Sparrow and Ali Alizadeh.Entry is by gold coin donation.We are also calling on writers to sign on to our statement – ‘Writers for Refugees’

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