an international association of writers, founded in 1921. The P.E.N. Club is headed by a president who is elected every two years and by a permanent general secretary of an executive board, which is located in London. Congresses are held in countries with national P.E.N. centers.
Before World War II, the P.E.N. Club program had an antifascist character; after the war, the club’s conservative circles often took anti-Soviet and anti-Communist positions. Beginning in 1964, the P.E.N. Club leadership and the Writers’ Union of the USSR discussed the question of the participation of Soviet writers in the club’s activities. Delegations of Soviet writers have been observers at several congresses and meetings of the P.E.N. Club.