To remember Lyra McKee on the second anniversary of her murder and to celebrate the launch of the paperback edition of her thought-provoking book Lost, Found, Remembered, we have partnered with English PEN and Faber Members to bring about a film of readings and tributes to Lyra. The film will premiere on Faber’s YouTube channel at 7:00 p.m. on 28th April.
We are delighted to tell our members that the Ambassador of the Italian Republic in Dublin, His Excellency Mr. Paolo Serpi, has announced that acclaimed Irish author Catherine Dunne has been honoured by the President of the Italian Republic, Sergio Mattarella, with the decoration of “Cavaliere” in the Order “Stella d’Italia”. The prestigious title was given in recognition of Cavalieri Dunne’s leading role in Irish literature and her close ties with Italian Culture.
Irish PEN/PEN na hÉireann is delighted for – and very proud of – Catherine, who was a member of the Freedom to Write campaign before we joined and re-launched Irish PEN/PEN na hÉireann. She is also a previous recipient of the Irish PEN Award for outstanding contribution to Irish Literature.
The aims of Irish PEN/PEN na hÉireann are: to promote literature in and about Ireland both nationally and internationally; to defend worldwide the right of writers to responsible freedom of expression as defined in the PEN Charter; and to foster international understanding through the appreciation of literature.
In 2019, the Freedom to Write Campaign was asked to take over running Irish PEN by the outgoing committee. We agreed to set up a steering committee to set up a new organization, Irish PEN/PEN na hÉireann, with new structures but still adhering to the principles of PEN International and the PEN Charter, on which the Freedom to Write Campaign was based.
Over the intervening months we have set up a Company Limited by Guarantee, a prerequisite for applying for Charitable Status. We have continued to be active in support of writers who are at risk or in prison because of their writing and we have fostered links with other writers’ associations in Ireland such as the Irish Writers’ Union, Aontas na Scríbhneoirí Gaeilge and the Letters With Wings project. We are also in close and continuing contact with our colleagues in PEN Centres in England, Scotland and Wales. A Newsletter will go out to current Members in November with more details.
(The new Irish PEN/PEN na hÉireann was launched at an online Zoom event to mark the Day of the Imprisoned Writer: Sunday, 15th November at 7:00 pm)