MEMBER PROFILES: Will Evans & Pam Lange



MEMBER PROFILE: Will Evans
Vice President, PEN Texas

When did you become a member of PEN Center USA?
In 2015.

Why did you become a member of PEN Center USA?
As a publisher and translator, it is important to me to be part of the conversation supporting the rights of literary artists around the world.

What is most exciting to you about PEN Center USA?
That the PEN Texas chapter is based in Dallas!

What is your favorite memory/story of PEN Center USA or a PEN Center USA event?
I went to a wonderful bilingual poetry reading by Ecuadorian poet Santiago Vizcaíno and his translator, Alexis Levitin, at the Wild Detectives bookstore in Dallas. It was a wonderful reminder of literature’s amazing ability to carry stories and experiences across borders and languages, and highlighted the power of translation as an act of creative writing.

PEN Centers share a Freedom To Write mission, which means we believe that people should be able to read and write freely. What does Freedom To Write mean to you?
Storytelling is a universal art. To me, Freedom to Write means the ethical justification and legal protection for storytellers to use the written word to express the truths of the human condition as they are lived by the entire world.

What do you wish other people knew about PEN Center USA?
I wish other writers, publishers, translators, and readers knew that PEN Center USA provides great programming, support, and advocacy for every facet of our country’s literary community and that they can get involved in it, too!

In light of the changing ways in which news is being shared, what role, if any, do you think writers and journalists play in disseminating information or encouraging action?
To me, writers channel the voice, no matter the medium. Journalists are storytellers collecting and interpreting voices, stories, and experiences—using the field of journalism’s code of ethics governing the use of the writer’s voice—as a way of telling stories that inform, interpret, and shape our reality, no matter the medium.

What are you reading now?
Eka Kurniawan’s Beauty is a Wound (translated by Annie Tucker), Jung Young Moon’s A Most Ambiguous Sunday (stories translated from the Korean by four different translators), and Fernando Pessoa’s Book of Disquiet (translated and edited by Richard Zenith).

Tell us a story in one sentence.
There was a man who moved to Texas with books on his mind who lived to tell the tale.

Will Evans is the publisher and executive director for Deep Vellum Publishing, a literary nonprofit specializing in translated literature, which he founded in the historic neighborhood of Deep Ellum in Dallas in 2013. His translation of renowned Russian journalist Oleg Kashin’s debut novel, Fardwor, Russia! A Fantastical Tale of Life Under Putin will be published by Restless Books in January 2016. Find Deep Vellum on Twitter and Facebook.




MEMBER PROFILE: Pam Lange
Treasurer, PEN Texas

When did you become a member of PEN Center USA?
In 1996.

Why did you become a member of PEN Center USA?
Because I belonged to PEN Texas.

What is most exciting to you about PEN Center USA?
Its support of oppressed writers.

What is your favorite memory/story of PEN Center USA or a PEN Center USA event?
It would have to be about PEN Texas—sharing stories with other writers.

PEN Centers share a Freedom To Write mission, which means we believe that people should be able to read and write freely. What does Freedom To Write mean to you?
Writers should be free to express themselves without fear of censorship or worse.

What do you wish other people knew about PEN Center USA?
That there are many courageous people working to support the freedom to write around the world and their many outreach activities in the community and schools.

In light of the changing ways in which news is being shared, what role, if any, do you think writers and journalists play in disseminating information or encouraging action?
Writers should have a social media presence to reach a larger audience of readers.

What are you reading now?
The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen.

Tell us a story in one sentence.
The Saudi student thought “succeed” was in the past tense because it ended in “ed,” so he changed it to “success.”

Pam Lange was born in Staten Island, New York. She graduated from Southern Methodist University with a bachelor’s and master’s in English. She worked as an instructor in the English department at SMU and then worked as a Humanist in Residence at Dallas Public Library. While editorial director of the library, Pam developed an author interview TV show that aired on the library’s cable TV network. The show continued at Irving Public Library from 1986-2014, and included over 500 shows. She also worked at Taylor Publishing Company in Dallas in the trade books division. In 1992, Pam returned to SMU and has taught in the writing program ever since. She has written numerous reviews and published poetry and interviews. Books include Family Business in Dallas: A Matter of Values, an oral history, and In Beauty It Is Finished, a catalog of the collection of Navajo wearing blankets at Dallas Public Library.


Check out our past Member Profiles here.