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From October 13 to 16, 2015, some 200 writers and intellectuals from 70 countries dedicated to defending freedom of expression will gather at the Québec City Convention Centre to attend the 81st PEN International Congress. PEN is an international writers association active on five continents through its 142 centers located in nearly 100 countries.
Founded in London in 1921, PEN International connects some 20,000 poets, essayists, authors, translators, journalists, and historians. World-renowned writers such as Paul Auster and Umberto Eco may attend the conference, in addition to Canadian and Québec personalities such as Margaret Atwood, Robert Lepage, and Michel Tremblay.
Through its annual congresses, PEN International offers a forum where writers meet freely to discuss their work; it is also a voice for writers who are silenced in their own countries. It is attended by members of the literary and intellectual world, as well as prestigious guests who stimulate public debate.
The 81st Congress will be organized by P.E.N. Québec and the Québec City Convention Centre with assistance from Institut canadien de Québec, Université Laval, and the Morrin Centre. It is set to coincide with the Québec en toutes lettres literary festival and the opening of Maison de la littérature.
The Congress is sure to cement Québec City’s reputation as a literary and cultural capital, as well as help promote the city, province, and their writers both nationally and internationally.
*The name PEN stands for poets, essayists, and novelists.