On Thursday, the eve of the opening of the Beijing Olympics, the PEN Center will present a night of readings dedicated to dissident Chinese writers. The event is the culmination of an eight-month campaign, “We Are Ready for Freedom of Expression.” The project is an appeal to the Chinese government to release 45 writers and journalists imprisoned in China. Edward Albee, Russell Banks, Philip Gourevitch, Jessica Hagedorn, Hari Kunzru, Rick Moody and Martha Southgate are scheduled to participate, as well as Francine Prose, the president of PEN American Center. The readings will feature new and never-before-translated works by dissident writers, including Tsering Woeser, Liao Yiwu and others, as well as letters from jailed writers and their families. Co-sponsors of the event, to be held at the Tishman Auditorium at the New School, 66 West 12th Street, Greenwich Village, include the school, the Independent Chinese PEN Center and PEN Canada.