January 19, 2022

Unification of Two Freedom of Expression Organizations Announced: PEN America and PEN Center USA are Joining Forces

From a Letter to Members:

As you may know, the United States is home to not one but two PEN Centers affiliated with the global PEN network: PEN America in New York and PEN Center USA in Los Angeles. After months of discussion and planning, we are thrilled to announce that these two organizations have decided to join forces in early 2018 under the name PEN America.

Our unification, approved by our respective boards of directors, is subject to a vote of the membership of PEN Center USA, as an association under California law. PEN Center USA members will receive a separate letter outlining that process and asking for their vote in support of unification. Because PEN America will continue in its current legal form absorbing new staff and members, no action by its membership is required.


As we move forward toward a shared future, our commitment to our hometown communities of writers in New York and Los Angeles remains unshakeable. Our programs, membership bases, and physical offices in both locations will be maintained, serving as a foundation for gradual expansion into new geographies. Under the unification plan, Suzanne Nossel will continue to lead PEN America nationally alongside an expanded Board of Trustees including representatives from Los Angeles. PEN’s rich history, distinguished track record, and valued programs in Southern California will endure under the banner of PEN America Los Angeles, led by Michelle Franke, and build from strength to strength to serve as a hub for writers and readers.

Read the Complete Letter

Direct to FAQs About Organizations, Unification Plans

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.