(New York, N.Y.)—In the face of increasing peril, Ukrainian writers remain resolute, devoted to their country and the defense of their democracy. On Thursday, March 3, the free speech and literary organization PEN America will host an online conversation with Ukrainian novelist Andrei Kurkov, author of 19 books and President of PEN Ukraine, and two other Ukrainian writers and members of PEN Ukraine, speaking from the ground and reflecting on this historic crisis. The conversation will be moderated by former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul. 

The forum is scheduled for 11 a.m. to noon EST  on Zoom. Register in advance to receive the zoom link: https://pen-america-org.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_SNGjpz__Q3-IMiT8sp5FFg

Kurkov and writers Victoria Amelina, author of two novels and PEN Ukraine’s cultural events manager, and Vakhtang Kebuladze, a philosopher, translator and writer, will offer their views from the frontlines of the escalating Russia military invasion. Polina Sadovskaya, PEN America’s Eurasia Program Director, will give opening remarks. 

Ambassador McFaul is currently Director of Stanford University’s Freeman Spogli Institute.

PEN America and PEN Ukraine are both members of the global network of PEN centers that celebrate the power of the written word and defend freedom of expression. Following the Russian invasion, more than 1,000 writers, including four Nobel Prize winners, signed a letter organized by PEN International to stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine and condemn the Russian military assault. The letter is here: https://pen-international.org/news/nobel-laureates-writers-and-artists-worldwide-condemn-russias-invasion-of-ukraine

On Monday night in New York City, PEN America gathered writers, artists and book lovers for a vigil, at the conclusion of the 2022 Literary Awards ceremony at Town Hall, during which notable writers Laurie Anderson, Ann Patchett, Gary Shteyngart and Jennifer Egan read from the works of Ukrainian writers and poets.

PEN America has issued a statement on the Russian invasion here: https://pen.org/press-release/russias-reckless-and-dangerous-aggression-threaten-ukraines-hard-won-democatic-and-human-rights-advances/

Russia’s incursion into Ukraine comes 8 years after it illegally annexed Crimea and provided military support to the separatist forces in the eastern region of Donbas.

PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open expression in the United States and worldwide. We champion the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Our mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible. pen.org

Contact: Suzanne Trimel, communications and media consultant, STrimel@PEN.org, 201-247-5057