About

PEN Center USA, one of two centers for PEN International in the United States and the third largest in the world, was founded in 1943 and incorporated as a nonprofit association in 1981. PEN Center USA’s membership of more than 800 writers includes poets, playwrights, essayists, novelists (for the original letters in the acronym, “PEN”), as well as television and screenwriters, critics, historians, editors, journalists, and translators.

PEN Center USA strives to protect the rights of writers around the world, to stimulate interest in the written word, and to foster a vital literary community among the diverse writers living in the western United States. The organization, therefore, has two distinct yet complementary aims: to promote a literary culture and to protect freedom of expression. Among PEN Center USA’s various activities are public literary events, a mentorship project, literary awards, and international human rights campaigns on behalf of writers who are censored or imprisoned.

Mission

PEN Center USA’s mission is to stimulate and maintain interest in the written word, to foster a vital literary culture, and to defend freedom of expression domestically and internationally.

PEN Center USA endeavors to create a world in which freedom of expression is guaranteed for all writers, and where friendship and intellectual cooperation thrive among writers and readers worldwide. 

  • PEN Center USA defends and promotes freedom of expression throughout the world by advocating for the release of imprisoned writers, and for the protection of writers who suffer political prosecution, persecution, and censorship.
  • Through programming and services, PEN Center USA cultivates a diverse, dynamic and engaged literary community that includes emerging and existing writers, translators, editors, agents, publishers, booksellers, teachers, librarians, readers: everyone who loves and supports language and literature.

 

 

 

PEN Center USA Tax ID: 95-3502910