Eden Eyasu Appointed PEN Writer-in-Residence at George Brown College

TORONTO, September 4, 2015 – PEN Canada is pleased to announce Eden Eyasu as the 2015 PEN Canada Writer-in-Residence at George Brown College. Esayu’s residency began on August 31 with the George Brown President’s Breakfast, and will extend until the end of December.

A journalist, editor, writer and poet, Eyasu immigrated to Canada from Eritrea. Currently working on a novel and collection of poetry, Esayu maintains a regular presence in Eritrean media outlets such as the Assenna Media Foundation – a non-profit Eritrean online and broadcast news network based in London, UK. Much of Esayu’s journalism focuses on social and political and issues, including freedom of expression and democracy, as well as Eritrean arts and folk culture.

From 1999-2001, Eyasu sat on the editorial board of the private newspaper, Setit. Her work chronicled the spread of HIV/AIDS in her country, and the impact of the 1998 border war with neighbouring Ethiopia. In 2001, much of the staff of Setit were arrested in a government crackdown on the press. Ten journalists were imprisoned; four are now thought to be dead.

In addition to writing and reporting, Eyasu has worked as a teacher and early childhood education advocate, promoting literacy to Eritrean youth and children.

PEN Canada would like to wish Eyasu the best of luck, and extend thanks to George Brown College for their partnership in creating this opportunity.

For more information on PEN Canada’s Writers-in-Exile program, please click here.


PEN Canada is a nonpartisan organization of writers that works with others to defend freedom of expression as a basic human right at home and abroad. PEN Canada promotes literature, fights censorship, helps free persecuted writers from prison, and assists writers living in exile in Canada. PEN Canada’s Writers in Exile program helps authors and journalists who have been silenced in their country of origin to establish themselves in Canada. A decade ago PEN Canada established the Placement Program to engage exiled writers in literary and academic communities in Canada. George Brown College has partnered with PEN Canada’s Writers in Exile since 2004.

George Brown College in Toronto has established a reputation for equipping students with the skills, industry experience and credentials to pursue the careers of their choice. The college offers programs from its three campuses located across the downtown core, including its newest location at the Toronto waterfront, which opened in September 2012. George Brown offers 135 full-time programs and 189 continuing education certificates/designations across a wide variety of professions to a student body of over 24,800 (full-time equivalent) students, including over 3,200 international students; and over 61,000 continuing education registrants. Students can earn certificates, diplomas, postgraduate certificates, apprenticeships and degrees.