United Nations Society of Writers - Overview

Overview

The UNSW organizes literary events, poetry readings, round tables and publishes a yearly literary journal, Ex Tempore, with a print run of 500 copies. As of December 2012, twenty-three issues have appeared. The name Ex Tempore was chosen since staff contributions should be crisp, impromptu, and as far away as possible from the stale UN jargon of resolutions and reports. Volume 21 (December 2010) is devoted to "music, the international language" and comprises 104 pages. Volume 22 is dedicated to the 300th anniversary of the birth of Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Volume 23 is dedicated to the human right to peace.

UNSW has proven that UN staffers can also write literature. The journal Ex Tempore has been widely acclaimed in the Swiss press and received media attention from the Tribune de Geneve (9 April 1997, "Les internationaux lancent un Salon littéraire", p. 12, 4 March 1998, p. 11 "l'Onu en poésie", 12 February 2000, 28 February 2001 "Ex Tempore a tenu sa soirée littéraire", 12 February 2004 "Le Cerce de poètes qui libère les onusiens", Le Courrier 18 June 1998, "Une revue cherche à tisser des liens entre l'ONU et la cité", 10 February 2000 "littérature" p. 11, Le Journal de Geneve, Le Temps, and DIVA International (2006 Nr. 2, p. 36). UN Special April 2008, p. 33: "Ex Tempore- Nouveau Numéro et Soirée Littéraire". Its members have been interviewed by local television stations such as Leman Bleu, and by local radio stations, including Radio Cité. The journal has its own issn number: ISSN 1020-6604 and is kept by some 20 libraries worldwide, including the Library of Congress, the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek in Leipzig and the Schweizerisches Landesbilbiothek in Bern. On 5 October 2008 Ex Tempore hosted the Mahmoud Darwish memorial lecture during which poems of the Palestinian poet were read out in arbic, English and French. On 20 January 2012 UNSW held its 16th annual salon, attended by 47 UN writers.

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