The Philippine Center of International PEN (Poets, Playwrights, Essayists, Novelists), on the occasion of its 56th year, will hold its annual literature conference on 3-4 December 2013 (Tuesday-Wednesday) at the Multi-purpose Room 4th Floor Henry Sy Sr. Hall, De La Salle University, 2401 Taft Avenue, Manila

The theme of this two-day conference is “Literature of Concord and Solidarity: The Writer as Peacemaker.” The panel sessions will cover topics and issues such as war and the imagination, gender wars and conflicts, conflict and creativity, and the quest for peace.

National Artist F. Sionil José will give the Message from the Founder. PEN Chairman and National Artist Bienvenido Lumbera will deliver the Andres Bonifacio Lecture on December 3, lunchtime. Dr. José Abueva, former president of the University of the Philippines, will deliver the José Rizal Lecture on December 4, lunchtime. Dr. Jaime An Lim, award-winning writer and former Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences of Far Eastern University, will be the keynote speaker.

Panelists and resource persons include Glenn Sevilla Mas, Raul Moldez, Arthur Casanova, Charlson Ong, Rebecca Añonuevo, Shem Salait Linohon, Marne Kilates, Macario Tiu, Mohammad Nassefh Macla, Don Pagusara, Christine Godinez Ortega, Santiago Villafania, Crispin Nacpil Cadiang, Telesforo Sungkit Jr., Kristian Cordero, Jun Cruz Reyes, Gutierrez Mangansakan II, Arnel Mardoquio, among others.

PEN will be launching three anthologies: Pens as Swords: The Philippine PEN José Rizal Lectures, 1958-2007 (Solidaridad Publishing), edited by José Victor Torres; Peace Mindanao (UST Publishing House),edited by Jaime An Lim; andLit Matters: A Manual for Teaching Philippine Literature (Anvil Publishing), edited by Ronald Baytan.

Peace Mindanao and Lit Matters are projects under the Beacon Centre Programme, an outreach program of Philippine PEN, funded by PEN International and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA). Copies of the first printing of these books will be distributed free to public school libraries and public libraries across the country. The publication of Pens as Swords received the generous support of Mr. Endika Aboitiz.

Other partners in this event include Anvil Publishing, De La Salle University (DLSU), DLSU Bienvenido N. Santos Creative Writing Center, Galerie Joaquin, National Commission for Culture and the Arts, Solidaridad Bookstore, University of Santo Tomas Publishing House, and the UST Varsitarian.

Writers and lovers of literature are welcome to the event. Admission is free. For inquiry and updates, please email; call (632) 2541086; or visit website

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