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Goldsmiths' Official Student Magazine

English PEN comes to Goldsmiths

4 June 2016
Shaun Balderson, Senior editor of [smiths] introduces an exciting new society, 'Goldsmiths English PEN'.

Passionate about defending persecuted, imprisoned, harassed and murdered writers and poets? Passionate about freedom of expression, freedom of privacy and freedom of thought? Passionate about removing barriers to literature? The new society ‘Goldsmiths English PEN’ is too.


The society, acting as a student hub for the NGO English PEN hopes to bring these worldwide campaigns, promoting and supporting free speech, literature and human rights to Goldsmiths students.

English PEN founded in 1921 has set up a web of a worldwide writers’ associations, with 145 centres in more than 100 countries. English Pen is also a founding member of the Free Word Centre, an international centre for literature, literacy and free expression.

The English Pen website explains their ethos and aims;

‘We campaign to defend writers and readers in the UK and around the world whose human right to freedom of expression is at risk.

We work to remove inequalities, where they exist, which prevent people’s enjoyment and learning from literature. We match writers with marginalised groups such as people in prisons in the UK, in refugee or detention centres and young people in disadvantaged areas, opening minds to reading and creative writing.

We facilitate and promote translation into English of published work in foreign languages we consider to be of outstanding literary merit. We celebrate writing of merit and courage through introducing UK audiences to new and acclaimed authors and awarding prizes for achievement’

Goldsmiths English Pen hopes to hold talks, debates, spoken word nights and writing workshops surrounding a monthly theme on English Pens campaign topics. The society will have have a blog which will act as platform for the members to freely express themselves and raise awareness on all issues surrounding English PEN.

The Society has already announced their first event ‘Sjón in conversation with London Student PEN’. For more information about the free event and to book tickets follow this link.


Make sure to follow the society on Facebook for all updates on campaigns and events.