Welcome to the 2020 digital World Voices Festival, These Truths.
The PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature traditionally brings hundreds of writers from around the world to New York and Los Angeles each spring, drawing audiences of thousands to book talks, readings, and lectures. With those in-person events now impossible to convene, PEN America has curated an ongoing digital version of the Festival that includes a suite of podcasts, videos, interviews, and musical playlists, with live events and other features to be rolled out over the coming weeks.
In an era when the agreed-upon factual basis of our daily news is constantly undermined, there has never been a greater need for us to hear the deeper truths afforded by literature. This virtual edition of America’s premier international literary festival will engage with contested histories and memory, challenge the fabrications of truth served to us on an almost daily basis, and celebrate the beauty and power of storytelling.
The World Voices podcast convenes important writers to debate the most central questions of our time, like the meaning of freedom in a post-truth age and the vulnerability of language in a time of tyranny.
From the balconies of Milan to the speakers of our smartphones, these playlists from writers around the world remind us all that music, like books, can connect humanity from a distance.
Each workshop provides a single, unique exercise to jumpstart your writing practice. Through these videos, our audiences gain brief, intimate connections to their favorite writers and exclusive insights into their craft.
Explore life beyond the writing desk in this home video series, which introduces audiences to writers’ interior lives and hidden talents in a time of quarantine.
In these virtual storytimes from our Next Generation Now series, writers read aloud stories that captivate the imagination of kids, teens and young adults.
The Community of Literary Magazines and Publishers’ annual book fair at the World Voices Festival goes digital in these weekly reading lists featuring independent presses and small publishers.
Translating the Future
The art of translation takes center stage in this weekly series of virtual talks, marking the 50th anniversary of PEN America’s historic World of Translation conference.
A Celebration of Kamau Brathwaite
In this tribute to the late Kamau Brathwaite, one of the great poet-thinkers of our time, acclaimed writers Honor Ford-Smith, Aracelis Girmay, M. NourbeSe Philip, Roger Guenveur Smith, and Christian Campbell celebrate his 90th birthday with readings, remembrances, and conversation about his legacy.
Interviews: The PEN Ten
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About the PEN World Voices Festival
The PEN World Voices Literary Festival is the premier celebration of international literature in the United States, a landmark event on New York City’s, and now Los Angeles’s, cultural calendar. Each spring, the Festival presents writers from the United States and around the world in a week of cross-cultural exchanges and events—from lively debates that delve into the most pressing issues of our time, to intimate conversations that awaken us to the quiet beauty and power of literature. An engaging program of talks, panels, conversations, and performances draws a vibrant and diverse crowd of socially engaged and intellectually curious New Yorkers and LA audiences, who are eager to be challenged, inspired, and entertained.
PEN America thanks the following sponsors for their support of the 2020 PEN World Voices Festival:
The National Endowment for the Arts
New York State Council on the Arts
The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs
The Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (New York City)
Amazon Literary Partnership
The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation
Acton Family Giving
Becoming a PEN America Member today means becoming a supporter of the PEN World Voices Festival. Sign up now as a reader or writer Member and join thousands across the country in defending our freedom of expression.