Slovene PEN Centre


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Contact info
Slovenski center PEN
Tomšičeva 12, SI-1000 Ljubljana
Phone386 (0) 1 425 4847
Fax386 (0) 1 425 4847
Managed byInternational PEN
 Slovene Writers’ Association
Tone Peršak, President

Past Events

The Slovene PEN Centre is the Slovene branch of International PEN, a worldwide association of writers founded in 1921 with the aim to promote literature, defend freedom of expression and work for peaceful coexistence between nations. The branch was established already in 1926 and began to organise its annual international conference in 1967, first at Piran, then at the lakeside resort of Bled, making the International PEN Writers' Meeting the oldest annual regional conference within the framework of the International PEN.


Upon its founding in 1926, its first president was the poet Oton Župančič. The centre was inactive during World War II, and re-established in 1962, with Matej Bor as its president.

Before World War II, the Slovene PEN successfully defended persecuted writers and was among the initiators of the first international accusation of fascism and nazism. In the post-war period, it continued defending writers who had problems with the regime. One of the important events was the 33rd World Congress held at Bled in 1965 in which Russian writers were present as observers for the first time. Since 1967, the centre has established its role as a meeting point of the East and the West by organising international annual meetings.

Since 1962, the presidents of Slovene PEN have been: Matej Bor, Mira Mihelič (later also Vice-President of International PEN), Filip Kumbatovič-Kalan, Miloš Mikeln, Drago Jančar, Boris A. Novak (since 2002 Vice-President of International PEN), Marko Kravos, Veno Taufer and Anton Peršak. The actual President is Marjan Strojan.

International PEN

PEN stands for Poets-Essayists-Novelists. International PEN exists to promote friendship and goodwill among writers everywhere, regardless of their nationality, race, colour, religion, political or other views, to fight for freedom of expression and to defend writers suffering under oppressive regimes. International PEN is a non-government organisation currently represented in 145 countries throughout the world.

The Slovene PEN Centre is part of the International Cities of Refuge Network (ICORN), an association of cities around the world dedicated to the value of Freedom of Expression. By providing a Guest Writer with a safe place to stay and economic security for a standard term of two years, ICORN cities make an important, practical contribution to the promotion of Freedom of Expression.

Writers for Peace Committee

The Writers for Peace Committee is one of the four committees of International PEN. Based at the Slovene PEN Centre, it was founded in 1984 at the initiative of Miloš Mikeln. Later, its chair was Boris A. Novak, followed by Veno Taufer, Edvard Kovač and Anton Peršak. Nowadays, it is a co-organiser of the international Bled conference in which it holds its annual meeting and organises a round table discussion on questions concerning peace, intercultural dialogue and freedom of expression. The Writers for Peace Committee includes around 40 PEN centres.

See also

External links

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