Have writers been imprisoned in Australia for their work? Most definitely and PEN has worked to have them freed. In this history of PEN in Australia Arnold Zable tells the story of Cheikh Kone, a journalist from the Ivory Coast who was detained in Port Hedland and writer Behrouz Boochani detained on Manus Island. As well as the letters members of PEN have written to imprisoned writers around the world, like those in Myanmar, to tell them that they are not alone.
I am a stranger to you but please know that you are no stranger to me – Maria Tumarkin in a letter to Kylie Moore-Gilbert, an Australian writer detained in Iran until recently.
Cheikh Kone – journalist from The Ivory Coast
Chris McKenzie – president of PEN Melbourne
Sian Harris – Baarkanji writer from Western NSW
Jackie Mansourian – from PEN Melbourne’s writers in prison committee
Zoe Rodriguez – Chair of PEN International’s women’s writer’s committee
Maria Tumarkin – Writer and academic
Nedim Turfent – Imprisoned Turkish poet and journalist, mentioned in the program. He was recently made an honourary member of PEN Melbourne
Raising Peace Festival – a free online seminar