Saturday, November 7, 2009

English PEN : Events in November.


a quick reminder of the variety of events English PEN is running in November. Details of our full Writers in Public series can also be found on the English PEN website: www.englishpen.org .


Free Speech is Not for Sale

Tuesday 10 November, 12pm-2pm, light lunch provided.

This is a free event but booking is essential.

Venue: Free Word Centre, 60 Farringdon Road, EC1R 3GA

We currently have a few places remaining for our event celebrating the publication of our report on English libel law reform, and the launch of the Libel Reform Campaign.

English PEN and Index on Censorship have been looking into these issues in detail for over a year now and it has become increasingly clear to us that English libel law and the use of ‘super-injunctions’ are having a profoundly negative impact on freedom of expression, both in the UK and abroad. Writers such as Simon Singh, and respected current affairs programme Newsnight, have found themselves facing defamation suits, whilst human rights campaigners are often forced to edit and retract articles in the face of potential libel action. The launch will begin at 12 noon with an introduction by special guests. We do hope to see you at the launch of this important campaign to restore one of our most cherished freedoms.

Please RSVP to mike@libelreform.org if you are interested in attending.

St Bride’s Service

Sunday 15 November, 6.30pm

Venue: St Bride’s Church, Bride Lane, Fleet Street, London EC4

Free admission

Sunday 15 November sees our annual service to mark the International Day of the Imprisoned Writer at St Bride’s Church Fleet Street. There are currently over 650 cases of concern to PEN, writers who have been imprisoned, threatened, harassed, attacked, ill-treated, kidnapped, disappeared, and in the most extreme cases killed for exercising their right to free expression. Over 200 of these are currently in prison. This service, led by Canon David Meara, aims to raise awareness of their plight. With music from the fantastic St Bride's choir, and readings from the work of English PEN's imprisoned and persecuted Honorary Members performed by actors Henry Goodman, Jasper Britton, Claire Price and Sarah Smart, it promises to be another moving evening at the spiritual home of printing and the media.


For more information please contact Cat Lucas via cat@englishpen.org or on 020 7324 2535.

The Art of Rhetoric

Monday 16 November, 7pm

Venue: Kings Place, 90 York Way, London, N1 9AG

Tickets: £9.50 online £11.50 offline. To book, call 020 7520 1490 or visit www.kingsplace.co.uk

We are delighted to announce that Geoffrey Robertson QC will be joining our very distinguished panel for The Art of Rhetoric on Monday 16 November. In the year since Barack Obama was elected President of the United States, the visionary language which he used to inspire a nation has come under intense pressure. Does Obama's mastery of rhetoric conceal a lack of substance? Or are we too cynical about political language in the UK? Historian and broadcaster Simon Schama, writer and commentator Polly Toynbee and renowned orator Tony Benn discuss the uses and abuses of language by politicians on both sides of the Atlantic, chaired by Lisa Appignanesi. Do join us for what promises to be a very lively and informed debate.

William Shawcross

Wednesday 18 November, 12.15pm for 12.45pm. £25 includes pre lunch drink, lunch with wine.

Venue: The Savile Club, 69 Brook Street, Mayfair, London, W1K 4ER.

To book please call 020 7629 5462 and quote ‘PEN Member Offer’.

Finally, English PEN members are cordially invited to join with members of the Savile Club in welcoming William Shawcross as a lunchtime speaker. Shawcross will speak about his recent biography of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, his career as a writer and his commitment to freedom of expression. For more information please email Patrizia Cox on admin@savileclub.co.uk .

This November will see three very special English PEN events, including a unique screening of Michael Frayn’s 1974 documentary about Berlin followed by a discussion between Michael Frayn, Ian McEwan and Dennis Marks; a debate about the politics of language and the language of politics with Tony Benn, Polly Toynbee and Simon Schama, and the annual St Bride’s Service in honour of imprisoned writers everywhere.

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Imagine a City Called Berlin

Tuesday 3 November, 6.30pm

The Free Word Centre, 60 Farringdon Road , London EC1R 3GA

£8/£5 members

To commemorate the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, English PEN hosts a special screening of a classic documentary written and presented by Michael Frayn. Made in 1974, the film explores the fragments of a city frozen in time by the building of the Wall. After the screening, there will be a discussion between Michael Frayn, the film's director Dennis Marks and Ian McEwan about the continuing fascination of Berlin past and present.

For tickets, call 020 7324 2535 or
book online.

Please note that English PEN will not be sending out paper tickets for this event. Names of guests will be held on a list at the door.

St Bride’s Service

Sunday 15 November, 6.30pm

St Bride’s Church, Bride Lane , Fleet Street , London EC4

Free admission

To mark the Day of the Imprisoned Writer, the Writers in Prison Committee will be holding our annual service at St Bride's Church, Fleet Street. The service, led by Canon David Meara, aims to raise awareness of the plight of persecuted and imprisoned writers around the world.

With music from the fantastic St Bride's choir and readings from the work of imprisoned and persecuted writers read by actors Henry Goodman, Jasper Britton and Sarah Smart, it promises to be another moving evening at St Bride’s, the spiritual home of printing and the media.

Admission to this event is free. All welcome. Refreshments will be available after the service.

The Art of Rhetoric

Monday 16 November, 7pm

Kings Place, 90 York Way , London , N1 9AG

£11.50/£9.50 online

In association with King's Place.

In the year since Barack Obama was elected President of the United States , the visionary language which he used to inspire a nation has come under intense pressure. Does Obama's mastery of rhetoric conceal a lack of substance? Or are we too cynical about political language in the UK ? Historian and broadcaster Simon Schama, writer and commentator Polly Toynbee and renowned orator Tony Benn discuss the uses and abuses of language by politicians on both sides of the Atlantic , in a discussion chaired by Lisa Appignanesi.

To book, call 020 7520 1490 or visit
www.kingsplace.co.uk.

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