PEN Live is a new and recurring PEN America series taking place on the first Thursday of every month in the Red Room, the newly renovated speakeasy-style club on the third floor of KGB Bar. Each month, PEN Live will give writers, artists, and performers the opportunity to address specific themes through music, multimedia, and the written word, bringing to life PEN’s mission of celebrating the literature and art that free expression makes possible.

Tickets are $10, though these events are FREE for PEN Members. Please write to for details. 

Follow the conversation on Twitter and Instagram with #PENLive.

Upcoming Events

Thursday, October 13th: PEN Live: Women Writing Brazil: a celebration of our translation magazine, Glossolalia, the most recent issue of which featured work by Brazilian women and translators. Hosted by Julia Sanches. Tickets available here.



Thursday, November 3rd: PEN Live: Black Panther, Katniss Everdeen, and the Changing Face of Science-Fiction and Fantasy: a conversation on the state of science-fiction and fantasy, with Maria Dahvana Headley and Haris Durrani. Hosted by Deji Olukotun. Tickets available here.



Thursday, December 8th: PEN Live: Poetry in the Red Room: a poetry reading and performances in collaboration with the PEN Poetry Series. Hosted by Poetry Series Editor Danniel Schoonebeek. Tickets available here. 



Past Events

Thursday, June 2ndNothing Compares 2 U, the first installment of PEN Live, was a celebration of the life of musical icon Prince. Participants Zaheer AliPorochista KhakpourLincoln MichelElissa Schappell, and James Yeh shared stories of their personal relationships to Prince, his music, his choice outfits, and his legacy. In Prince’s honor, the event concluded with open karaoke.

Thursday, July 7th: PEN Live’s second installment, Stump Speech, was an evening of political satire and conversation hosted by Haroon Moghul, with speakers Murtaza Hussain, Akiba Solomon, and Julio Ricardo Varela. Participants shared their perspectives on the current election cycle, as well as prepared their own “stump speeches,” addressing the relevant issues with intelligence, heart, and humor.






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