The Cultural Center of the Philippines hosts The Philippine Center of International PEN as it holds its first hybrid congress at the CCP Main Theater Lobby on September 20, 2022 at 2pm. PEN members may also attend the event online.
The Congress aims to provide a venue for the literary community to promote truth and freedom of expression through discussion and performance.
The event will begin with a keynote presentation from National Artist for Literature Gémino Abad, followed by an open forum.
Free the Word!, a mini-festival for global audiences, will feature readings and performances from esteemed local and international artists such as Nanding Josef, screenwriter Veera Tyhtilä, director Adjani Arumpac, playwright Guelan Luarca, among others.
A book sale will also be held by independent and academic publishers, among them Ateneo de Manila University Press, UST Publishing House, and several others.
Free the Word! also coincides with the launch of LUNA, a semi-annual literary journal featuring new Filipino writing.
The event is open and free for all. Certificates of attendance will be given to PEN members who attend the keynote presentation and open forum, whether in person or online.
For queries, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or text 09193175708 or message CCP Intertextual Division Facebook page.
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The Philippine Center of International PEN or PEN Philippines celebrated its golden anniversary in December 2007. Its founding was marked by a national writers’ conference, the first of its kind after the war, held for two days in Baguio City in December 1957 and attended by distinguished literary people and intellectuals from all over the country including Senator Claro M. Recto and President Carlos P. Garcia. The conference organizer and also Philippine PEN founder was F. Sionil Jose, now National Artist for Literature. Among the conference participants were, later to become National Artists for Literature: Francisco Arcellana, N.V.M. Gonzalez, Bienvenido Lumbera, Alejandro Roces and Edith Tiempo.
In its 50 years, the PEN Philippines has organized and sponsored such activities as literary readings, workshops, meet-the-author series, seminars, and conferences in Manila and in the provinces. It has hosted the visits or held receptions for distinguished writers from abroad, such as Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka, Richard Kim, Lin Yutang, Khushwant Singh, Hirabayashi Taiko, Hayako Sono, Norman Mailer, Gunter Grass, Mario Vargas Llosa, Mochtar Lubis, Edwin Thumboo, Juan Gelman, and many others.
On September 30 to October 3, the 2019 PEN International Congress was hosted by PEN Philippines in Manila. It was attended by over 150 writers and PEN members from 65 PEN Centres across the globe, and the first time in the history of PEN International for it to be held in Southeast Asia. PEN also organized two regional Asian Writers conferences in Manila (1962, 1981), and published several anthologies including an Asian PEN Anthology. During the Marcos dictatorship, PEN stood in defense of freedom of expression and speech. This is an avowed purpose as embodied in the International PEN Charter.
The Philippine Center of International PEN is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
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