(WASHINGTON)– PEN America and the Council on Foreign Relations (1777 F Street, NW
Washington) will host a discussion at 11 a.m. Monday, May 16 with a delegation of authors and human rights defenders from Ukraine. PBS NewsHour anchor Judy Woodruff will moderate the discussion. Suzanne Nossel, CEO of PEN America, will give opening remarks.

Please RSVP to participate either in-person or online as this is a hybrid event. The delegation will be available after the discussion to speak to journalists in the room.

The panel includes:

Andrey Kurkov, best-selling author Death and the Penguin), and president of PEN Ukraine

Tetyana Teren, journalist, editor and executive director of PEN Ukraine

 Iya Kiva, poet, translator, journalist, and critic.

Kateryna Yesypenko, wife of imprisoned Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Ukrainian journalist Vladyslav Yesypenko, who was sentenced by a court in February in Russian-occupied Crimea to six years in a labor camp on spurious espionage charges.

The group will discuss the current atmosphere for the country’s authors and activists, as well as the threat Russia poses to Ukraine’s sovereignty, cultural heritage, and identity. The delegation will hold private meetings with Biden administration officials and with members of Congress during their Washington visit, sponsored by PEN America.  

CFR encourages invitees to submit proof of vaccination ahead of time. Email: vaccine@CFR.org with a copy of your vaccine record or a screenshot of a valid vaccine passport.

BIOS of the participants:

Andrey Kurkov is an author, public intellectual and commentator on Ukraine for global media, who writes in Russian, where he was born. He has been president of PEN Ukraine since 2018. Kurkov is the author of 19 novels, including the bestselling Death and the Penguin, nine books for children, and about 20 documentary, fiction and TV movie scripts. His work is currently translated into 37 languages, While at the PEN America World Voices Festival, Kurkov will deliver the Arthur Miller Freedom to Write Lecture on May 13. 

Tetyana Teren is a journalist who previously served as director of literary programs at PEN Ukraine. She has worked as a television presenter; editor of the literary magazine “Berezil,” and written books, as co-author of “Simple Things. Eight conversations with Ada Rogovtseva” and author of the books and interview series with Ukrainian writers “The Anthology of Writers’ Voices.”

Iya Kiva is a Ukrainian poet, translator, journalist, and critic who writes in Ukrainian and Russian, though at the start of the war she began writing in Ukrainian including poems, translations and reviews, published at home and abroad. She has written 3 books, including Further from Heaven, which was included in the list of the best books of 2018 from PEN Ukraine.

Kateryna Yesypenko studied and defended her thesis with honors at the Kyiv National University of Economics She worked in financial and credit institutions and local governmental entities. Since her husband, journalist Vladislav Yesipenko, was illegally detained by the Russian secret services FSB in March in the occupied Crimea, she has joined human rights activists, public figures and the Ukrainian authorities to advocate for the release of the Kremlin’s political prisoners. Yesypenko will be the receipient of the 2022 PEN/Barbey Freedom to Write Award. He will be honored at the 2022 PEN America Literary Gala in New York on May 23, where Kateryna Yesypenko will accept the honor on his behalf.

About PEN America

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. Learn more at pen.org.