San Miguel PEN, one of the 145 centers of PEN International, the worldwide association of writers with centers in 104 countries, exists to promote friendship and intellectual cooperation among writers everywhere, fight for freedom of expression and represent the conscience of world literature.
San Miguel PEN is in San Miguel de Allende, in the middle of Mexico on the high plateau. It was created in 1979 as a center for English-speaking writers in Latin America in hopes of unifying the English and Spanish linguistic communities within PEN. San Miguel PEN promotes the Spanish language in all its work.
The PEN Writers in Prison Committee has been a focus of the San Miguel center for over 20 years. In 2002 San Miguel hosted the PEN Writers in Prison Committee’s international conference. This work involves answering countless calls for emergency action to aid those in legal trouble for their writing, including prison and threats of death.
San Miguel PEN is also active in International PEN’s Women Writers Committee, its Translation and Linguistic Rights Committee, and the PEN Iberoamerican Foundation (a regional organization).
San Miguel PEN sponsors local literary programs and a local scholarship program that helps Mexican children with limited financial resources stay in school. It participates in major Mexican literary events, such as the enormous yearly Feria Internacional del Libro in Guadalajara. PEN members travel at their own expense to represent the group at the United Nations and at international conferences.
San Miguel PEN sponsors an annual Winter Lecture Series to fund local activities and help support the international organization.