Wales PEN Cymru

PEN International Congress in Kyrgyzstan

Sally Baker represented Wales PEN Cymru as a delegate at the 2014 PEN International Congress in Bishek, Kyrgyzstan. She gave a speech and presented Wales PEN Cymru's aims and objectives to the Congress. A vote was taken and Wales PEN Cymru was accepted officially as a new PEN Centre. This means that Wales PEN Cymru is now affiliated to PEN International and will receive its support.

Wales PEN Cymru's official status will now enable it to work with other PEN Centres throughout the world and effectively gives a voice to Welsh writers on the international scene. It gave Sally crucial insight into how PEN operates as an international organisation and she learnt how other Centres function.

Sally met with many representatives of other PEN Centres across the world. (There were nearly 100 different countries represented at the Congress). Some very meaningful contacts were made and projects are currently being developed. For example, next year Wales PEN Cymru will work with PEN Mexico to develop projects together in Wales and in Mexico. Wales has already some strong literary links and these will be built on and new exchanges and projects will be arranged.

Sally attended the Translation and Linguistic Rights Committee meetings and spoke to several of its members and its new Chair. They were all very keen that Wales should be a part of this committee.

I believe that this visit was vital to the success of the establishment of Wales PEN Cymru and it will spawn many collaborations and opportunities. I would like to add that it was also for me, on a personal level, a wonderful experience. It was professionally enriching to see such an effective, committed and humanitarian organisation in operation and personally enriching to meet so many passionate, compassionate, brave and committed people from so many parts of the world.

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