Arthur Miller Freedom to Write Lecture: Sonia Sotomayor

Sunday, May 05, 2013, 5:00pm

The Great Hall: Cooper Union 7 East 7th Street, New York, NY 10003

Tickets: $30 I Buy Tickets

Nominated by President Barack Obama, Sonia Sotomayor assumed her role on the U.S. Supreme Court as Associate Justice on August 8, 2009 as the first Hispanic Justice. She was born in The Bronx to Puerto Rican parents and self-identifies as Nuyorican.  Her memoir, My Beloved World, was published this year.  On May 5, 2009 Sotomayor will make her first appearance at the PEN World Voices Festival in New York City where she will give the Arthur Miller Freedom to Write Lecture.  This prestigious lecture has been delivered by world famous authors Orhan Pamuk, Umberto Eco, Nawal el Saadawi, Wole Soyinka, and Salman Rushdie. This year, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States Sonia Sotomayor will add her voice to the storied chorus, delivering an address from the same Great Hall where Lincoln gave his historic anti-slavery speech. A conversation between Justice Sotomayor and award-winning writer, scholar, and public intellectual Henry Louis Gates, Jr. will follow the lecture.

Co-sponsored by Cooper Union, this special event with Justice Sotomayor is part of the 2013 PEN World Voices Festival which convenes writers from across the globe.  This year’s festival will explore bravery in art and politics in recent global hot spots such as Burma, Palestine, South Africa, Haiti, and Guantanamo Bay—as well as honor those small acts of bravery displayed in everyday life. PEN offers a number of free and affordable events including panel discussions, one-on-one conversations, participatory workshops and performances at venues crisscrossing the city. Featured authors include Judith Butler, Eduardo Galeano, Joy Harjo, Aleksandar Hemon, Jamaica Kincaid, Ursula Krechel, Fran Lebowitz, Claudio Magris, Pierre Michon, Téa Obreht, Salman Rushdie, Sapphire, Charles Simic, Naomi Wolf, and many others.  PEN will feature several events in association with The Public Theater, a center for culture, arts and ideas, and partner with The Standard, High Line; and The Standard, East Village, serving as Festival hub.

The PEN Festival opens with its famous black tie gala benefit on Tuesday, April 30, 2013, 7:00pm at the American Museum of Natural History Nearly one hundred international writers host more than five hundred guests who support PEN’s work securing the liberty of imprisoned writers of conscience worldwide, defending freedom of expression wherever it is threatened, and promoting literature and international cultural exchange. Philip Roth will be presented with the PEN Literary Service Award. Mr. Roth will reflect on his lifetime of literary endeavor and his personal involvement in promoting freedom and democracy in Eastern Europe, a story that he has never told publicly.

Literary Hosts of the PEN Gala include Martin Amis, Giannina Braschi, Robert Caro, Taju Cole Billy Collins, Jeff Eugenides, Beth Gutcheon, A.M. Homes, David Henry Hwang, WalterMosley, Robert Pinsky, Francine Prose,  Molly Ringwald, Salman Rushdie, and Zadie Smith.

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The PEN World Voices Festival is orchestrated by Jakab Orsos under the leadership of PEN’s Executive Director Suzanne Nossel. The PEN American Center Board of Trustees include: Peter Godwin ,K. Anthony Appiah,  Laurence J. Kirshbaum, Jessica Hagedorn, Ron Chernow, Wendy Gimbel, Beth Gutcheon, Jhumpa Lahiri, Claudia Menza, Michael F. Moore, John Oakes, Hannah Pakula, Walter Pozen, Esmeralda Santiago, Annette Tapert, Lynne Tillman, Monique Truong, Danielle Truscott, Morgan Entrekin, Christian Oberbeck, Tess O’Dwyer, Davis Weinstock and others.