From the Archives: Margaret Atwood on PEN and Politics

Margaret Atwood 1985

Margaret Atwood on the founding of PEN Canada

The first PEN centre in Canada was founded in 1926 in Montreal. In 1983, the English-language centre, PEN Canada, moved to Toronto, while the French-speaking Centre quebecois du PEN continues its work in Montreal. On May 6, 1985 CBC’s Valerie Pringle spoke with Margaret Atwood on the founding of PEN Canada, PEN’s Writers in Prison program, and why it’s difficult to be “just a writer”. You can also find the video in CBC’s archives here.

In 2010, Margaret Atwood received the PEN Literary Service award from PEN American Center. Her acceptance speech focused on the importance of keeping writers from censorship. Watch or read her speech here – (video)(text)