Thursday, May 14, 2009

PEN Stonewalling


Carl Rollyson, on page 336 of his Susan Sontag bio, describes how PEN's Karen Kennerly and Michael Roberts in 1998-99 refused to answer Rollyson's letters to them when he was researching his book. PEN is a public organization, yet the policy of the last two Executive Directors has been to stonewall issues they're uncomfortable with.

IS THERE a rogue, dictatorial element in charge at PEN American Center? If not, why aren't PEN staffers and members allowed to speak?

Unfortunately for Michael Roberts, this is no longer 1999. There's now the prevalence of the Internet, which makes it far easier to document and publicize his kind of authoritarian behavior-- behavior so clearly contrary to everything PEN is supposed to represent.

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