Author Archives: Lia Mills

Tree

This week’s grief was that we had to cut down a spruce tree that was thriving but too close to the house. Its roots threatened all kinds of trouble.  We bought this tree to brighten the room where my mother was dying, … Continue reading

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Launch of Irish PEN/PEN na hÉireann

On Sunday, 15th November 2020, the new Irish PEN/PEN na hÉireann held an event to mark the Day of the Imprisoned Writer and to launch our new organisation. Strange to say of an online event but: there was a really … Continue reading

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Stephen Collins & the Peaceful Transfer of Power (mach ii)

Thanks and apologies to the people who pointed out that Stephen Collins’ article in the Irish Times about the peaceful transfer of power in an Irish context (in my previous blog) is subscriber-only. Here’s the gist of what he said.  … Continue reading

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Stephen Collins: Ireland faces its own threats to faith in democratic institutions

Here’s a link to a thought-provoking article by Stephen Collins in the Irish Times about the peaceful transfer of power in an Irish context. Read it and think how different we might have been. How democracy can rest on restraint … Continue reading

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Svetlana Alexievich & the World’s Ambassadors

Three days ago, Nobel prize-winning writer Svetlana Alexievich (who is also President of PEN in Belarus) issued a statement saying that unknown persons were at her door. The last member of the Coordinating Council of Belarusian opposition to be imprisoned … Continue reading

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Sun Flower with Spider: lessons from a Covid summer

This Covid summer we spent more time at home than usual.  The view from our windows deepened; ordinary things around us acquired detail, texture, specific gravity – even emotional meaning, now that we have the time to absorb those meanings. … Continue reading

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Wanting all the Words: Elif Shafak in conversation with Emma Graham-Harrison ( A Guardian Live Event)

6th August 2020 UPDATE 11/08/20:  Guardian Live have made the interview available here. (This is a long post but I didn’t want to lose any of what Elif Shafak said.  Make yourself a cup of tea & settle in.) EGH … Continue reading

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COVID-19 as Weapon

It has not taken long for authoritarian regimes to turn Covid 19 into a weapon. In Turkey, for example, thousands of people who were imprisoned for criminal offences including rape and murder have been released because of the risk of … Continue reading

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Truth in the Dark (Nurcan Baysal)

Nurcan Baysal is a journalist and an award-winning human rights activist based in Diyarbakir, Turkey. She has been arrested and detained repeatedly for her writing about Turkish Kurdistan and for tweets she has posted concerning military assaults on the Kurdish … Continue reading

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PHILIPPE SANDS and DANIEL GORMAN speak to English PEN

On 6th May, a Zoom meeting for members of English PEN heard Daniel Gorman (Director) and Philippe Sands (President) in conversation. The primary focus of the discussion was on Human Rights in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, but they … Continue reading

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