International Day of the Imprisoned Writer, and also
Courage Day in New Zealand –
both to do with supporting past and present writers who resist repression of the right to freedom of expression.
NZ Society of Authors shared this information on facebook –
An empty chair will sit in Auckland city branch libraries this week to mark the International Day of the Imprisoned Writer, November 15,
and Courage Day in New Zealand.
PEN centers around the world will commemorate November 15 in different ways.
The empty chair has been adopted by PEN as a symbol of the many writers and journalists whose work has led to their imprisonment or persecution by authorities trying to stifle the basic human right to freedom of expression. In New Zealand, the day has been named jointly after James Courage and his grandmother Sarah Courage. James was a novelist and poet whose novel A Way of Love was banned because he dared to express homosexuality in his writing prior to the setting up of the Indecent Publications Tribunal in 1964. Sarah’s book, describing colonial life in New Zealand, was burned by neighbours who resented comments she made about them.
New Zealand's empty chair has gained international attention. Imprisoned writer Aran Artabak wrote a heart-felt poem to New Zealand Society of Authors' letter writing campaign coordinator Lesley Marshall. You can see it via the NZSA’s facebook page – facebook.com/nzs.authors