PEN announces new Festival director after worldwide search
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
New York, NY, September 14, 2006—PEN American Center, the 3,100-Member-strong association of writers, editors, and translators working to advance literature, defend free expression, and promote international literary fellowship, announced today that Caro Llewellyn of Australia has been appointed Director of PEN World Voices: The New York Festival of International Literature.
Llewellyn joins PEN from the highly successful and internationally acclaimed Sydney Writers’ Festival, where she was Chief Executive Officer and Artistic Director for four years. Under her leadership the total number of programs doubled to more than 300 and audiences grew from 39,000 to 65,000.
PEN President Ron Chernow (award-winning author of Alexander Hamilton and other acclaimed historical works) commented, “The second PEN World Voices, held in April this year, firmly established the Festival’s reputation as a highly prized gathering of writers and intellectuals from around the globe.”
PEN’s Board of Directors is committed to ensuring the Festival’s continued development as one of the world’s renowned literary celebrations and an indispensable event on the New York and American cultural calendars. Llewellyn’s appointment will be a significant step toward enhancing the reputation of World Voices in the international community.
Llewellyn commented, “I am extremely honored to take up this role with one of the world’s premier literary organizations in one of the world’s greatest cities. PEN’s remarkable success in bringing World Voices so far in only two years is an indication that the moment was ripe for America’s first truly international Festival. I have been lucky to head one of the world’s leading literary events in another great city, Sydney, and I’m truly thrilled by this new opportunity.”
Festival Chair and former PEN President Salman Rushdie (author of Shalimar the Clown and 13 other works of fiction and non-fiction and recipient of the Booker Prize and many other international awards) added, “Caro Llewellyn comes highly commended by a number of the world’s leading literary figures. Writers recognize her as dedicated, intelligent and passionately committed to literature. We are lucky to have her.”
PEN Executive Director Michael Roberts commented, “Ms. Llewellyn is one of the world’s most accomplished literary Festival Directors. PEN is delighted that she will bring to New York’s fledgling venture the talents that vaulted Sydney into the front rank of international writers’ gatherings.”
Llewellyn will join PEN on October 2.
Michael Roberts, (212) 334-1660 ext. 103, [email protected]