PEN is a worldwide organization of professional writers founded in 1921 to develop a literary community not bounded by politics or government and to defend freedom of expression wherever it is threatened. PEN Texas, founded in 1991 by Patton Howell, is a chapter of PEN Center U.S.A.
PEN is an acronym for Poets, Playwrights, Editors, Essayists and Novelists. PEN International works to advance literature, defend free expression, foster international fellowship and to dispel national, ethnic and racial hatreds. Among the organization’s founders were such literary luminaries as George Bernard Shaw, D. H. Lawrence, Clara Dawson Scott, Joseph Conrad and John Galsworthy.