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News

On 22 January 2016 Ex Tempore held its 20th annual salon, attended by 80 literature lovers, 19 of whom read essays, short stories and poetry. The evening included participation by the Societe genevoise des Ecrivains, Societe vaudoise des Ecrivains and by PEN International. The evening included participation not only by UN poets but also by the Societe Genevoise des Ecrivains, Societe Vaudoise des Ecrivains, and by PEN International. Poets declaimed in Arabic, English, French, Russian and Spanish – only Chinese was missing this year from the menu. But we also heard some German, Latin, Albanian and Vietnamese.

On 23 January 2015 Ex Tempore held its 19th annual salon. The evening was a great success and included participation by the societe Genevoise des Ecrivains and by PEN International.

On 24 January 2014 Ex Tempore held its 18th annual salon. The evening was a great success with over 60 in the audience and some great readings and presentations.

On 25 January 2013 Ex Tempore held its 17th annual salon was a great success, 15 readers and 65 in the audience -- multilingual and full of humour & surprises.

On 28 July 2012 UNSW celebrated Jean Jacques Rousseau's 300th birthday at the Bar Escargot in the Palais des Nations. We lectured on the Reveries and theContrat Social.

On 20 January 2012 Ex Tempore held its 16th annual salon. 47 UN staffers came to share their works.

On 10 December 2011 the Board of Ex Tempore is pleased to announce that the anniversary number Vol. XX is now available. For the journal’s forthcoming issue, Vol. XXI, the Editorial Board invites literary efforts of general interest, short stories, science fiction, humour, poems or aphorisms in any of the UN official languages, or in other languages, together with a translation. Please send these to David Winch electronically: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and/or to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Who said UN staffers didn't have creative talent? We had languages galore: English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Hebrew, Vietnamese... and we announced that the next issue of the Ex Tempore will be devoted to the general theme: "Music, the international language". Besides the usual UN crowd, we had guests from the Geneva Art Club, the Geneva Writers Group, the Société genevoise des Ecrivains and P.E.N. Suisse romand.

On 22 January 2010 Carla and I hosted the traditional Ex Tempore literary soirée. 73 people showed up, 14 performed -- poems, short stories, essays and, of course, Aline Dedeyan's sketch, which this time she did together with Sébastien Vernay of the service du prêt of the Bibliothèque des Nations Unies. It was a lot of fun. Another highlight of the evening was the singing -- yes, Connie, a colleague from WHO performed her own songs, thus demonstrating in a very immediate and contagious way the link between literature and music -- we also played her new CD with her poems. Who said UN staffers didn't have creative talent? We had languages galore: English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Hebrew, Vietnamese... and we announced that the next issue of the Ex Tempore will be devoted to the general theme: "Music, the international language". Besides the usual UN crowd, we had guests from the Geneva Art Club, the Geneva Writers Group, the Société genevoise des Ecrivains and P.E.N. Suisse romand. Here I am launching the evening

On 14 August 2009 we celebrated the 20th Anniversary of the founding of the United Nations Society of Writers with poetry -- and champagne.

On Friday, 23 January 2009, Ex Tempore held its 13th annual salon. We celebrated the 250th anniversary of the birth of Friedrich von Schiller (1759-1905).

On 5 October 2008, Ex Tempore hosted the Mahmoud Darwish memorial lecture during which poems of the recently deceased Palestinian poet were read out in Arabic, and in English and French translation. On 23 January 2009 it hosted the traditional salon, attended by 52 participants.

On Friday, 25 January 2008,  Ex Tempore held its 12th annual salon. 57 UN staffers came to share their works. There was even singing and dancing at the end.

On Friday, 19 January 2007, Ex Tempore held its 11th annual salon. 63 poets and essayists from the United Nations Office in Geneva, some of them members of PEN International read their oeuvres in English, French, German, Spanish, Russian -- even Arabic, Vietnamese and Dutch. We celebrated the centennial of the birth of Samuel Beckett and the bicentennial of the birth of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, whose "Sonnets from the Portuguese" seduced not just her husband Robert Browning!. In 2007 we celebrated Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca, the Birds) and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (Evangeline)

On Thursday, 18 May 2006, Ex Tempore hosted a lunchtime music-and-poetry event in the Cinema Room at the Palais des Nations. Thanks to the organization and charm of Karin Kaminker and Alex Ezana, it was a resounding success. Below is a photo of some of the participants, courtesy of one of our members Vatsala Virdee from UNHCR (at the extreme left). I am the last person on the right, next to Karin.

After 15 years as president of the UN Society of Writers, I announced at the General Assembly on 15 December 2005 that I would gladly retire and leave my post to the younger and more enthusiastic colleagues. At the general assembly held on 24 May 2007 at the Palais des Nations the new Board was confirmed in the following composition: