We are excited to announce the appointment of three new trustees to help us continue our mission to protect freedom of expression. The new Board members include Milena Buyum, Guy Gunaratne, and Ted Hodgkinson.
We’re delighted to welcome Milena, Guy, and Ted to join the English PEN family. We’re a unique organisation, sitting at the intersection of literature and human rights. It’s a crucial time for us as we approach our Centenary in 2021, and I know our new trustees will help us continue to celebrate the diversity of literature, and envision a world with free expression and equity of opportunity for all readers and writers.
Daniel Gorman, Director of English PEN
Milena Büyüm is a longstanding human rights activist, currently working as a senior campaigner at Amnesty International on Turkey, with particular focus on the right to freedom of expression and assembly, human rights defenders and other individuals at risk. She has previously worked at an anti-racist organisation, campaigning on a vast range of issues such as institutional racism, asylum and refugee rights and racist attacks. She holds an MA in Labour Studies from Warwick University and the equivalent of a BA in Sociology from University of Grenoble. She was born and grew up in Turkey, has lived in France, and in the UK since the early 1990s.
Guy Gunaratne is a novelist living between the UK and Sweden. His first novel In Our Mad and Furious City was the winner of the International Dylan Thomas Prize, the Jhalak Prize as well as the Authors Club Best First Novel Award in 2019. It was also longlisted for the Booker Prize as well as the Orwell Prize for Political Fiction and shortlisted for the Goldsmiths Prize, Gordon Burn Prize and Writers Guild Awards in 2018. In 2019 Guy was appointed Fellow Commoner in the Creative Arts at Trinity College, Cambridge.
Ted Hodgkinson is a broadcaster, editor, critic, writer and Head of Literature and Spoken Word at Southbank Centre, where he oversees the seasonal literature programme as well as the prestigious annual London Literature Festival. Formerly online editor at Granta magazine, his essays, interviews and reviews have appeared across a range of publications and websites, including the Times Literary Supplement, the Literary Review, the New Statesman, the Spectator, the Literary Hub and the Independent. He is a former British Council literature programmer for the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia. He is chair of the 2020 International Booker Prize, sits on the selection panel for the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Fellowship, and has judged a number of other awards including the 2019 EBRD Literature Prize for the best novel in translation and the 2019 Orwell Prize for political writing. He co-edited, with Icelandic author and poet Sjón, the first anthology of Nordic short stories in English, The Dark Blue Winter Overcoat and other stories from the North (Pushkin Press, 2017), to critical acclaim. In 2018, for a second consecutive year, he was named in The Bookseller’s list of the 100 most influential people in publishing.