Author Archives: Lia Mills

Victoria Amelina in the Dublin Review of Books

The Dublin Review of Books has reprinted a brilliant essay, “Homo Oblivious” by Ukrainian writer Victoria Amelina here. Victoria will be in Ireland in October for the Arts and Human Rights Festival. Information about her events will be published in our next Newsletter.

“Homo Oblivious” was originally published on the Arrowsmith Press Website

Ilhan Sami Çomak to be the first Honorary Member of Irish PEN/PEN na hÉireann

It gives us enormous pleasure to announce that imprisoned Kurdish poet Ilhan Sami Çomak has agreed to become our first Honorary member. Ilhan received many cards from Irish PEN members following our recent PEN Friends event. These were translated and brought to him by Ipek Ozel. Thank you, Ipek!


Statement from PEN Turkey 27/04/2022


 We are addressing not to those without conscience, but  to those with conscience. We are addressing not to despots, but to democrats. Not to the lawless but to those who respect law. Not to obeyers of despotism but to citizens.

We are addressing not those who keep acting against the Constitution, but to those who take the definition  in our constitution seriously: ‘The Republic of Turkey is a secular democratic social state based on human rights.’

The Gezi Park Protests in 2013 were peaceful and constitutional reactions of environmentalist citizens who demanded democracy and human rights. They were our reactions. Gezi is us. Gezi is hope. Gezi is solidarity. Gezi is freedom of thought and expression. Gezi is the right to choose your life style. Gezi is the possibility of co-habitation of differences. Gezi is our richness.  Gezi is well and alive, because our demand for democracy and law is well and alive. 

 We stand by  all our friends  convicted in the Gezi Protests. Life long sentence and 18 years of imprisonment, is the result  due to the lack of independent justice and lack of division of powers.  It is yet  another slur on jurisprudence in our country  at this stage.

Totally ignoring  the numerous vitally serious issues we face in our country,  totally  disregarding human rights, laws & justice, these sentences are handed down in  acts of plain vengeance  about a  civil resistance movement which took place ten years ago & involved millions of people.

 This is what We, as PEN Turkey  would like to  say on this subject:

We are calling to account all those who ignore our constitution; ignore independent justice; those who misuse their authority by cheating on every level; those who destroy our forests, rivers, lakes, shores, render our cities uninhabitable; those who thrive on tensions brought on by divisive acts, vengeance & strife. Those who incite atmospheres of tension & terror should be made well aware that “TOMORROW” and “HOPE” , “ JUSTİCE” and  “DEMOCRACY” are  not very far away for our beautiful country.


To learn more about the defendants on Bianet:

Books for Ukraine

At a recent “Dialogues on War” event organised by PEN International, in a conversation between Andreiy Kurkov and Philippe Sands, Kurkov was asked what people could do to support Ukrainian writers. “Read their books”, was his reply.

Sands’ own incredible, brilliant, East West Street, illuminates Ukraine’s extraordinary role in European history and international Human Rights law. Part memoir, part family history, part legal analysis, the book reads like a thriller.

Here is a link to a list of recommended titles by Ukrainian and non-Ukrainian authors, put together by PEN International. The list was edited by Diana Delyurman, Iryna Rodina and Myroslava Mokhnatska.

And here’s a selection from that list, with additions from people who were on that and later calls:

Applebaum, Anne Red Famine: Stalin’s War on Ukraine (History)

Hnatiuk Ola Courage and Fear (History: Lviv during WWII)

Kurkov, Andreiy Grey Bees (novel; currently on the Dublin Literature Award 2022 longlist)

Kurkov, Andreiy Jimi Hendrix Live in Lemberg (Lviv)

Marynovych Myroslav The Universe Behind Barbed Wire: Memoirs of a Ukrainian Soviet Dissident

Plokhy Serhii The Gates of Europe (Historical study of Ukrainian identity and sovereignty)

Sands Philippe East West Street (History, Memoir, Family History, Human Rights Law)

Shevchenko Taras (Poetry)

Snyder Timothy Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning (Non Fiction: History)

Zabuzhko Oksana Selected Poems (Poetry)

Zabuzhko Oksana  “One Hundred Years of Solitude, or the Importance of a Story”(Essay: )

Zhadan Serhiy What We Live For, What We Die For: Selected Poems (poetry)

“Under Fire: Journalists in South America”

26th March 2022 @6:00 pm, as part of the Imagine Belfast festival, Irish PEN hosts Paola Ugaz, Dan Collyns, Patricia Devlin and Kathryn Johnston in conversation with Catherine Dunne and Maria MacManus.

This event organised by Irish PEN/PEN na hÉireann will profile two journalists under threat in Peru. Following an interview with Paola Ugaz and Dan Collyns, there will be a discussion with Northern Ireland journalists Patricia Devlin and

Paola Ugaz, recipient of a Courage in Journalism Award 2021, (International Women’s Media Foundation), is an investigative journalist who continues to display extraordinary courage in exposing the abuse and corruption within the powerful religious organisation, Sodalitium. Paola Ugaz is the winner of Women’s Media Foundation Writers of Courage Award:

Dan Collyns, a multimedia journalist and filmmaker, covers the Andean region for The Guardian newspaper, CGTN America television and the BBC. A recent project is the film The Adventures Of Wonder Woman, a documentary investigation into illegal gold mining in Peru’s Amazon, made with colleagues for The Thomson Reuters Foundation.

View Dan Collyns’ movie here.

Kathryn Johnston: Director and DeputyEditor

Patricia Devlin: