Amazon.com Awards Grant to PEN American Center

PEN American Center, part of a worldwide association that defends persecuted writers, has been awarded a $25,000 grant from online bookseller Amazon.com to further develop its online communication resources and fund efforts to protect freedom of expression.

PENBanner.GIFSpecifically, the grant will support “PEN’s international Freedom to Write human rights programming, its national Campaign for Core Freedoms, and the dissemination of PEN’s political and literary public events,” PEN said in a press release. Some of the money will be allocated to the six-year-old PEN Translation Fund, which promotes the publication and reception of translated world literature in English.

The PEN American Center is part of International PEN and the largest of that organization’s 145 centers. Founded in 1921, PEN has counted among its members literary legends such as James Baldwin, Robert Frost, Allen Ginsberg, Norman Mailer, Arthur Miller, Susan Sontag, John Steinbeck and former New York Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor. (Just kidding on that last one.)

It its announcement, PEN stated:

Over the last five years, new media has played a crucial role in the success of PEN American Center’s freedom of expression advocacy. The amazon.com grant will enable the organization to strengthen considerably its online campaigns through the acquisition of state-of-the-arts new media and software. It will also help with the production and editing of video and audio material, and its distribution to a national and international audience.

Amazon.com supports a number of author and publisher groups as well as disaster relief programs.