Friday Finds: English PEN Launches Zine for International Writing

English PEN has just officially launched a new “online zine dedicated to international writing”:

The new zine, called PEN Transmissions, promises to feature a new themed issue each month, “featuring original writing and interviews” from around the world.

The magazine launches with two issues. Its first, called “Women 2018, focuses (unsurprisingly) on women’s writing. The second, “Hope After Crisis,” promises to “question what happens to hope after a political crisis,” and featured work includes Basma Abdel Aziz’s “A revolution awaiting its name,” which she wrote in English. It opens:

People used to call it the ‘Arab Spring’: the Egyptian revolutionary movement, which started in January 2011, following the Tunisian one, spread to other nearby countries, and constituted a huge unexpected mass uprising.

Seven years on from this movement, the flowers have gradually faded, the sunrise we once thought permanent has been replaced with a sunset, and hundreds of thousands of smiles have disappeared into the cloudy atmosphere.

In a prepared release, Theodora Danek, English PEN’s Writers in Translation program manager, said:

There are so many brilliant international writers, and we always want to hear – and read! – more from them. At English PEN we are lucky to be in touch with authors from across the globe. In an increasingly polarised world, we want to give voice to writers who aren’t necessarily heard in the mainstream or outside the borders of their countries. That’s why we created PEN Transmissions: a platform for international writers, both established and new.

English PEN’s director, Antonia Byatt, added that the magazine is meant to be “a place for discovery and sharing – of new writing, of new ideas, of important issues that concern us all.”

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