Category Archives: Members’ News

Write for Malala Yousafzai , poems for International Women's Day 2013

On October 9th, 2012 the 14-year old Pakistani blogger  was shot on her way back home from school. She was attacked by Taliban-terrorists, because of her activism on womens´rights. She had written in her blog that girls living in Swat-valley are permanently hindered from attending school.

We cannot be silent.

You may ask why this attack matters to PEN? As well as the fact that we are against any form of violence, we see this cowardly assault as an attack on Freedom of Expression. Without writing and reading there would be no books, no poets, essayists and novelists and these are the people that PEN represents. Without literacy freedom of expression is challenged.

The right to education is an universal human right. It is a basic right which fosters and guarantees democracy founded on constitutional legality. This is independent of and not based on or limited by gender.

We have to take a firm stand and say ‘NO!’ to those who question the right to education or who want to abolish it partly or completely.

Please write a poem, a short story or a letter of protest in the language you literary use. We would like to record this protest in as many languages as possible and publish it on March 8th, 2013, International Women’s Day when we shall present the worldwide concert of literary voices.

Please send your contributions to: info@penclub.at

Philo Ikonya, Board Member, PEN International Helmuth A. Niederle, President PEN Austria

 

Freedom of Expression in Ireland: A public interview with KEVIN MYERS

Should writers always speak their minds?

Do writers always speak their minds?

Do we have a free press in Ireland, or is the media controlled by a politically correct agenda?


Irish PEN in collaboration with DIT School of Media asks these questions and more in a public interview with Kevin Myers.

 Freedom of Expression in Ireland

8pm on March 14th 2013

 DIT School of Media, Aungier St.



Kevin Myers became a journalist upon leaving UCD, for want of anything else to do. Over forty years later, he remains a journalist for largely the same reason. He has been a newspaper columnist since 1980,and writes four columns a week. He has also reported on the wars in Northern Ireland, where he worked throughout the 1970s, Beirut and Bosnia, and also from Japan, Africa and Czechoslovakia.


Mr Myers was recently the subject of a complaint about an opinion piece on the subject of gay marriage.The complaint, made to the Press Ombudsman, was upheld – the ombudsman found that it breached principle regarding distinguishing fact from fiction and prejudice.This is not the first time that he has been the subject of controversy for his views, ranging from immigration, privatisation, child-rearing and gay rights; and it will not, one suspects, be the last.


Irish PEN is affiliated to PEN International, the worldwide association for writers, and is supported by Dublin City Arts Office. The aims of PEN are to promote literature, defend freedom of expression and promote co-operation among writers. PEN’s membership around the world numbers journalists, novelists, poets essayists and playwrights, as well as those with an interest in writing and communication between writers.

PEN International’s Writers in Prison Committee works on behalf of imprisoned, censored and persecuted writers around the globe:  “Because writers speak their minds”.

For over fifty years, the School of Media at DIT has provided innovative educational programmes, earning an international reputation for innovating new courses as media technologies, as well as the way we use media in society, evolve. The School’s graduates emerge with the ability to generate ideas, the knowledge and understanding to develop ideas into concepts, and the production expertise to execute highly accomplished work.

Interviewer Tom Clonan is a lecturer specialising in news journalism, public affairs and crisis management at DIT Aungier St. He is a published author and has written for the Irish Times for the past 11 years, while also working in radio and television broadcasting. He is a retired Army Officer and like Kevin Myers, has experience of conflict in Ireland, the Middle East and former Yugoslavia. No stranger to controversy, Tom is regarded as one of Ireland’s foremost whistleblowers because of his experience of exposing crises in equality and the military in Ireland.


ALL WELCOME – ADMISSION €3/€6

SEATING LIMITED – BOOKING ESSENTIAL AT: http://kevinmyers-irishpen-dit.eventbrite.ie


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John Banville to receive the 2013 Irish PEN Award for Outstanding Achievement in Irish Literature

Irish PEN is delighted to honour author John Banville with the 2013 Irish PEN Award for Outstanding Achievement in Irish Literature.

In keeping with the tradition started in 1935, (when the WB Yeats Dinner took place), the annual Irish PEN Award is presented in the company of other leading writers. Members of Irish PEN, as well as previous winners, nominate and vote for the candidate. Since 1999, the award recipients have included John B Keane, Brian Friel, Edna O’Brien, William Trevor, John McGahern, Neil Jordan, Seamus Heaney, Jennifer Johnston, Maeve Binchy, Thomas Kilroy, Roddy Doyle, Brendan Kennelly and Joseph O’Connor.

John Banville’s career has seen him presented with numerous awards. His novel The Book of Evidence was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and won the Guinness Peat Aviation award in 1989. His eighteenth novel, The Sea, won the Booker Prize in 2005. He was awarded the Franz Kafka Prize in 2011 and is a perennial contender for the Nobel Prize in Literature. Banville also writes as Benjamin Black and will write a new Philip Marlowe novel for publication in 2013 featuring the hero-detective of Raymond Chandler’s best-selling books, under his Benjamin Black pseudonym. He is considered by critics as a master stylist of language, and his writing has been described as perfectly crafted, beautiful, dazzling.

Jimmy Deenihan, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht will present the PEN Award for outstanding achievement at this year’s Award Dinner, which takes place at 7pm on Friday, February 22nd at the Royal St George Yacht Club, Dún Laoghaire.

To avoid disappointment, we urge early booking – available online at this link: http://irishpendinner2013.eventbrite.com

Notes to Irish PEN Award Dinner guests:

This year Irish PEN has regrettably lost its Arts Council funding, and therefore your membership fees are essential to keep us running. You can now choose to renew your membership here, when purchasing your dinner ticket. Attendance at the dinner is open to all.

Guests arrive for 7pm & please bring your eTicket to collect your dinner ticket at the door. We very much look forward to meeting you on February 22nd.

 

Is the Irish Government proposing 'censorship by committee'?

PEN International Declaration on Digital Freedom :

” PEN recognizes the promise of digital media as a means of fulfilling the fundamental right of free expression. At the same time, poets, playwrights, essayists, novelists, writers, bloggers, and journalists are suffering violations of their right to freedom of expression for using digital media. Citizens in many countries have faced severe restrictions in their access to and use of digital media, while governments have exploited digital technologies to suppress freedom of expression and to surveil individuals”

Here.


Irish Government proposes an Oireachtas Committee to regulate social-media

”  An Oireachtas committee is to investigate abuses of social media and make a report to Minister for Communications Pat Rabbitte early next year.

The Oireachtas Committee on Transport and Communications is shortly to invite submissions and expressions of interest from individuals and groups on the Oireachtas website. This will be followed by private and public hearings.

Committee chairman Tipperary South Fine Gael TD Tom Hayes said yesterday he was concerned about the growth of cyberbullying and abusive remarks generally made on social media.

“People have to be made accountable for what they are saying,” he added. “Members of the public across a wide section of Irish life are being subjected to bullying and harassment.”

Full report : http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2012/1228/1224328227058.html


Colette Browne in the Examiner 

” The committee on transport and communications has announced a knee-jerk review to determine if regulation or legislation is required when it’s obvious that neither is necessary.

We already have legislation that can be used to prosecute cyberbulling, the Non Fatal Offences Against the Person Act 1997. Section 10 of that act states that any person who, “without lawful authority or reasonable excuse, by any means including by use of the telephone, harasses another by persistently following, watching, pestering, besetting or communicating with him or her, shall be guilty” of the offence of harassment. Barrister Fergal Crehan, in a recent blog post, noted that the section was last year successfully applied to a case in which the harassment was conducted entirely via email and featured no physical violence.

So, the means of the communication, really, is immaterial. All that is important is that a defendant “acts intentionally or recklessly [and] seriously interferes with the [victim’s] peace and privacy or causes alarm, distress or harm”.

Patently, there is absolutely no reason why threatening messages sent via social networking sites could not also be prosecuted using the same section.”

 


The Irish PEN Award for Literature 2013; request for nominations

2013 PEN Award nominations


In 1998, Irish PEN set up an award to honour an Irish-born writer who has made an outstanding contribution to Irish Literature.This Award is for a significant body of work, written and produced over a number of years, and is open to novelists,  playwrights, poets, scriptwriters etc.

Members of Irish PEN, as well as previous winners nominate and vote for the candidate. In keeping with the tradition started at the W.B. Yeats dinner in 1935, the writer is presented with the Award in the company of other writers at our annual dinner.

In 1999 the first Irish PEN Award was presented to John B. Keane. Since then Brian Friel, Edna O’Brien, William Trevor, John McGahern, Neil Jordan, Seamus Heaney, Jennifer Johnston, Maeve Binchy, Thomas Kilroy, Roddy Doyle, Colm Tóibín and Joseph O’Connor have been recipients.

We request your nominations for next year’s Award, and very much look forward to seeing you at our Award Dinner in February.

The 2012 Irish PEN Award for Literature:  http://www.irishpen.com/wordpress/the-irish-pen-2012-award-and-dinner-a-photo-montage/

You can email your nominations to this address : irishpen2@gmail.com 
Postal Address for nominations : c/o Irish PEN Correspondence Secretary, United Arts Club, 3 Upper Fitzwilliam Street, Dublin 2.