Free Word Centre opened in September 2009 and is based at 60 Farringdon Road, Clerkenwell, London, a neighbourhood that has a rich history of creativity and dissent.
The buildings were previously developed by the Guardian newspaper as a beautiful nineteenth century Newsroom, Archive building and visitor centre. Free Word moved in during 2008, undertaking refurbishment works in 2013 to improve facilities, spaces and public access.
Free Word is the only international centre for literature, literacy and free expression in the world. It develops local, national and international collaborations that explore the transformative power of words. The centre is a hub for work, study and discussion; it provides flexible meeting rooms, exhibition and event spaces, a lecture theatre, and a lively public café.
In addition to this, six Resident organisations working in the fields of literature, literacy and of freedom of expression, including Article 19 and English PEN, have offices in the centre.
The centre regularly posts pictures of their "Word of the Day" blackboard to the Internet.
Free Word, along with its Residents, Associates and other partners, present an increasing number of public events – debates, films, conferences and exhibitions – exploring politics, culture and ideas.
Working with local, national and international partners, Free Word has developed three major programmes of work around translation, the environment and democracy:
Literature, literacy and free expression support one another. By bringing them together under one roof, Free Word is able to harness the transformative power of words – to change lives, empower vital discussion, and transform the society we live in.