Mayor Bloomberg Declares Next Week PEN American Center Week
The literary arts have always been a crucial part of New York’s cultural life. Our city is home to a thriving publishing industry, and just this past week, we hosted the first-ever New York City literary honors in recognition of accomplished writers for whom New York has been a consistent source of inspiration. We’re always pleased to recognize the work of individuals and organizations who commit themselves to the improvement of society and the advancement of the arts, and that’s why we’re glad to join the PEN American Center as they celebrate the organization’s 90th anniversary.
For the past nine decades, PEN has been an international advocate of freedom of expression and the support of literature. Of the 140 branches the organization has established around the world, the PEN American Center is teh most active and vibrant, providing community and fellowship to the writers who constitute its membership. We’re glad that this organization calls New York City its home, and are pleased to join these literary leaders in celebrating such a distinguished legacy of advocacy.
This year, the PEN American Center honors Ethiopian Journalist Eskinder Nega with the PEN/Barbara Goldsmith Freedom to Write Award. PEN’s Freedom to Write Program recognizes imprisoned, persecuted, or supressed writers whose work demonstrates a commitment to freedom. New Yorkers are world-renowned for their creative and open-minded spirit, and it’s only fitting that an organization so dedicated to preserving and perpetuating these values both here and abroad is based in our city. Together, we can look forward to a society that values the literary arts and personal freedoms in equal measure.
Now therefore, I , Michael R. Bloomberg, Mayor of the City of New York, in recognition of this important event, do hereby proclaim April 30th-May 6th, 2012 in the City of New York as: “PEN American Center Week.”