Press release of September 18th 2022: PEN Berlin continues to grow rapidly

Press release of September 18th, 2022
PEN Berlin continues to grow rapidly – Meral Şimşek is also a member
Meral Şimşek (left) on the day of her arrival in Berlin with (from left to right) Ronya Othmann, Beliban zu Stolberg, Elke Schmitter

The writers‘ association PEN Berlin, which was only founded in June, elected over ninety new colleagues at its first online meeting last Saturday and now has 463 members. The new members include the well-known writers Adriana Altaras, Jackie Thomae, Vea Kaiser, Doris Knecht and Maxi Obexer as well as Ulrich Peltzer, Fridolin Schley, Wolfgang Hegewald, Jonas Lüscher, Büchner Prize winner Martin Mosebach and Ernst Osterkamp, President of the German Academy for Language and Poetry. The pianist and blogger Igor Levit and the journalists Ijoma Mangold and Micky Beisenherz were also accepted, as well as the publicists Bascha Mika, Ursula März and Verena Auffermann. The list of new members will soon be published on our website.

The Kurdish-Turkish writer Meral Şimşek, who can be considered PEN Berlin’s first scholarship holder, was also elected. She came to Germany in mid-July with the help of the association, which supports persecuted authors. She is facing several years in prison in Turkey for political reasons. On 9 September, she was awarded the Theodor Kramer Prize for Writing in Resistance and Exile in Niederhollabrunn, Austria; on the weekend of her admission to PEN Berlin, her sons were able to follow her to Germany. 

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