All posts by Parijat Choudhuri


For my internship, I am working for, a non-profit organization dedicated to protect freedom of expression, especially through literature. The people who work here have made it their mission to celebrate the work of those who are looking to create modern literature. The American branch of It has more than 7200 members, which includes novelists, poets, and essayists, among others. I worked as an intern, in the department that prepared for the World Voices Festival.

The Organization hosts many events on literature, and the freedom to create said literature. They work to advocate for writers that are threatened to not create their work, as well as promote freedom of speech. They do this with hosting events and publishingĀ  peopleā€™s work.

The New York organizationĀ  is a branch of Pen International, which is the parent company. My location is in SoHo, and the other two American sites are in Washington DC and California.

Because this company works for the betterment of creativity and literature, itā€™s primary client members are notable members of the writing community. Many novelists, authors, artists, essayists, poets, and journalists are part of this esteemed group. Notable people include Langston Hughes, Maya Angelou, and Richard Russo.

The International branch started in London, and was meant to create a guild of writers that can follow each otherā€™s work and celebrate creativity without worry of borders or ethnic disputes. This came about after World War 1. TheĀ  American branchĀ  started in New York in 1922. It’s name is PENĀ  and it was originally an acronym for poets, essayists, and novelists.Ā  Now it is meant for many different people, it does not hold the same acronym anymore.

One of the most incredible things I learned of this company through some research is the impact that they have on the literary scene of the United States and the world. Pen America has so many noteworthy people as members. One of its members is someone I am studying in another class I have; a woman named Susan Sontag.