Colm Toibin Named Chairman of PEN World Voices Festival
The PEN American Center has announced that Colm Toibin will serve as the chairman of the PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature beginning in 2015. Salman Rushdie has been the chairman since founding the festival in 2005.
“It is unique because it has a mission and the mission is a serious one,” Mr. Toibin said of the festival in an email interview on Thursday. “The mission suggests that authors do not merely have the right to publish freely but they also have the right to be heard widely. Readers too have the right to hear from as wide a range of writers as possible.”
Mr. Toibin said the appointment was not for a set number of years, and that the festival’s goals would remain the same.
“There are still wonderful writers whose work is not known in English, who have not had the chance to be heard or read by New Yorkers,” he said. “The festival will continue to spread the word about them, to give them the chance to reach what is one of the most curious, open-minded and intelligent audiences anywhere.”