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Larry Siems

Larry Siems is Director of the Freedom toWrite and International Programs at PEN American Center.  Formerly Director of the Freedom to Write Program at PEN USA West in Los Angeles, Siems spearheaded the establishment of PEN’s Latin American Network and coordinated campaigning on regional freedom of expression issues with PEN centers in Canada, the U.S., Mexico, and South America.  Siems also administers PEN’s Center Development Program, which has as its goal the establishment and strengthening of PEN centers throughout Latin America, Asia, and Africa.  Siems is a poet and nonfiction writer who has written extensively on immigration and cross-cultural issues. His book, Between the Lines:  Letters Between Undocumented Mexicans and Central Americans and their Families and Friends, was a finalist for the PEN award for nonfiction in 1993. His work with the undocumented community led to a position at Human Rights Watch, where he researched and co-wrote the America’s Watch Report  “Brutally Unchecked: Human Rights Abuses Along the U.S.-Mexico Border.” In addition, Siems’ poems have appeared in numerous literary journals, including Epoch, The Agni Review, Ironwood, and The Southern Poetry Review.  He has also taught literature and writing at the high school and university level.