PEN Vlaanderen / PEN Belgium Dutch Speaking

During the years PEN Belgium Dutch speaking Centre has developed several initiatives to work together with authors who came to Brussels and Flanders as refugees and authors who can reside here temporarily. We regard these writers first of all as authors who have something to bring to our cultural environment.

In 2015 we started the project we call ‘PEN Polyfoon’. We work together with authors who came to our country as refugees and had already published work in their home country. What we do is:

  • get to know each other.
  • have part of their work translated into Dutch by professional translators.
  • contact magazines to have their work or an interview with them published.
  • organise literary events to present them together with well known Flemish writers.

In our PEN flat in the centre of Antwerp we offer free housing for writers from various countries, in which six months at a time are reserved to house a refugee author. We do this work in cooperation with ICORN, and the city of Antwerp has promised us it will become an ICORN city soon. This PEN flat has existed for 15 years. Two years ago we had to move to a less expensive place, but, as this is now really in the centre of the city, it is even better.