PEN runs an annual Season’s Greetings initiative, encouraging our members and supporters to send messages to writers at risk and their families. This year, we’re asking you to go a step further
Every year PEN produces a list of writers at risk and their families to whom members are encouraged to send seasonal greetings. Many writers who have received these messages have told us how much it means to be remembered by their colleagues in this way, and we hope that many of you will once again join us in showing support for brave colleagues around the world. This year, we’re asking you to go a step further and to consider sending a book alongside your message of support.
To mark this year’s Day of the Imprisoned Writer, English PEN published Time to Read, an e-book collection of essays by writers at risk and former PEN cases. Not only does the collection attest to the importance of books in detention, it also serves as a valuable reminder of why our core work of sending letters and books to individual writers at risk remains so vital.
The value of something as simple as sending a book is best described by those who have benefited from such support, such as writer Enoh Meyomesse who is currently serving a seven-year prison sentence in Cameroon:
I am one of the many people who has benefited from the books sent to prisoners all over the world by English PEN. They have brought me an irreplaceable joy and huge moral support whilst in Kondengui Prison. They have proven to me that, while my biological family has abandoned me, there exists another family – perhaps even more important – a literary family, a family of novelists and poets like me, which is always beside me and will never abandon me.
I am thankful that English PEN continues to nourish the spirits of those in distress throughout the world, of which I am just one, by continuing to send books. They are like oxygen, they cannot be replaced.
Join us in letting our colleagues all over the world know that they have not and will not be forgotten by pledging to send messages and books today. Email email@example.com for further details.
You can also make a donation to English PEN.
Many thanks and very best wishes to you all for 2015.
**To read more from writers at risk and former PEN cases on the value of reading in detention, download our latest e-book Time to Read**