NEW YORK—PEN American Center announced today that Clarisse Rosaz Shariyf will join the country’s leading literary and human rights organization as Deputy Director of Public Programs starting September 21.

With more than 50 events annually, PEN’s pioneering public programs on topics ranging from political satire to beat poetry draw audiences of more than 10,000 New Yorkers from across the five boroughs. Rosaz Shariyf will spearhead PEN’s packed calendar of events in the 2015-2016 season, featuring writers like Tony Award winner Alan Cumming, Russian activist-journalist Masha Gessen, and 2015 Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Gregory Pardlo, among others.

A native of Martinique, Rosaz Shariyf has over a decade of experience in curating public arts, educational, and advocacy programs at the New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. Shariyf launched the Center’s innovative digital programming, bringing ground-breaking conversations on contemporary social justice issues with leading literary activists including Chimamanda Adichie and Zadie Smith for the first time to Schomburg’s audiences through cutting-edge multi-platform engagement.

“Clarisse joins PEN at a pivotal time, when a fast-growing audience is tuning in to our uniquely international and distinctly political brand of public programming that spans literature, spoken word, visual arts, music, and the digital sphere,” said Paul Morris, Director of Literary Programs at PEN. “With a background that blends arts, history, technology, and activism, she is uniquely equipped to help PEN reach new audiences ready to celebrate the power of the written word to provoke, motivate, and inspire.”

The full schedule of PEN’s fall 2015 events is available online at


Founded in 1922, PEN American Center is an association of 4,200 U.S. writers working to break down barriers to free expression worldwide. Its distinguished members carry on the achievements in literature and human rights of such past members as James Baldwin, Arthur Miller, and Susan Sontag.

Paul Morris, Director of Literary Programs:, (646) 779.4824
Sarah Edkins, Deputy Director for Communications:, (646) 779.4830