PEN New England

PEN new england


“Literature is the best thing humanity has. Poetry is the heart of literature, the highest concentration of everything that is the best in the world and in man. It is the only true food for your soul.”  
Lyudmila Ulitskaya



We are a chapter of PEN American Center, part of a global association of writers celebrating literature and defending free expression. We make our home at the MIT School of Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences.

The Vasyl Stus Freedom to Write Award

The Vasyl Stus Freedom to Write Award recognizes a writer persecuted for the peaceful expression of his or her views and whose courage in the face of censorship and oppression is exemplary. The award is named in honor of Vasyl Stus, a leading Ukrainian poet of his generation. Previous winners of the award include Recep Marasli, Ferida Durakovic, and Philip and Daniel Berrigan.




Join Margaret Atwood, Trevor Noah, and Chimamanda Adichie and call for the release of OLEG SENTSOV: SEND LETTER to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson




The 2015 Vasyl Stus Freedom to Write Award was posthumously awarded to Iranian political blogger Sattar Beheshti, whose torture and death in 2012 at the hands of Iran’s cyber police drew international outrage and became a rallying point for the Iranian dissident community and free speech advocates around the world. We paid tribute to Beheshti and other Iranian writers and dissidents who exhibit monumental courage in the face censorship, oppression, and death.

Shirin Ebadi, the Iranian Human Rights Activist and 2003 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, delivers a message about Sattar Beheshti, the young blogger who was tortured and killed in 2012 for criticizing Iran's regime.