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PEN America, facing ongoing criticism over its response to the Mideast war, gathers for annual gala

AP National Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — PEN America is gathering Thursday night for its annual gala, a high-profile event raised even higher because some wondered if it would be held at all. The literary and human rights organization has faced ongoing criticism over its response to the Israel-Hamas War, with hundreds of writers alleging that PEN showed limited concern over the suffering of Gaza residents and the deaths of Palestinian writers and journalists. PEN has already canceled its spring awards ceremony after dozens of nominees withdrew and its World Voices festival after hundreds signed an open letter saying they wouldn’t participate.

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