P.E.N. Centre Germany
The three letters of the acronym P.E.N. stand for Poets, Essayists, Novelists and denote the international authors' association that is organised in 134 centres worldwide. P.E.N. is an advisory member of the UN Commission for Human Rights and of the UNESCO.
Goals and activities:
- preservation of the freedom of literature, art and information. P.E.N. members are committed to fighting against racism, class hatred and war between nations, and to defending and rescuing persecuted and oppressed writers, journalists and publishers all over the world.
- International networking through meetings, programmes, lecture tours and scholarships for writers. In 1999, following an agreement with the German Special Minister for Culture and the Media, the Writers-in-Exile Programme was established (currently six scholars) with financial backing from the German government to continue the Writers-in-Prison activities P.E.N. had run for many years.
- Prizes/Awards: Since 1985 awarding of Hermann Kesten Medal for special services to persecuted authors in line with the Charta of P.E.N. International; since 1994 awarded annually. As of 2000, the prize money (EUR 10,200) has been donated by the Hesse Ministry of Science and Art.