PEN World Voices Festival
Join us for the next PEN World Voices Festival, which takes place May 4 – 9, 2020 in New York City and Los Angeles.
The PEN World Voices Festival is the premier celebration of international literature in the United States, a landmark event on the nation’s cultural calendar.
Each Spring, the Festival presents writers form here and around the world in a week of events across New York City – and now also in Los Angeles – from lively debates that delve into the most pressing issues of our time to intimate conversation 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 the socially engaged and intellectually curious, eager to be challenged, inspired, and entertained.
Since 2005 World Voices has presented over 1,800 established and emerging writers and artists from 118 countries speaking 74 languages to over 150,000 audience members. Guests have included Arundhati Roy, Margaret Atwood, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Patti Smith, the late Toni Morrison, Orhan Pamuk, Colm Tóibín, Tara Westover, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, Don DeLillo, Siri Hustvedt, Jeffrey Eugenides, Marlon James, Elif Shafak, Samantha Bee, Roxane Gay, Salman Rushdie, Paul Auster, Masha Gessen, Dave Eggers, Hasan Minhaj, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Jennifer Egan, and many others.
Highlights from the 2019 PEN World Voices Festival: Open Secrets
More than 200 writers and artists representing over 50 nationalities gathered for the 2019 PEN World Voices Festival, which took place from May 6-12, 2019. In 70+ events in venues across New York City, the 15th anniversary of New York’s first international literary festival gathered nonfiction and fiction writers, thinkers, and activists to discuss what we reveal and what we withhold, and the opportunities and dangers inherent in the rapid reconfiguring of the public and the private in the literary, cultural, social, and political realms.
Participants included Arundhati Roy, Jennifer Egan, Dave Eggers, Laurie Anderson, Fatimah Asghar, Reverend Dr. William J. Barber II, Elif Batuman, Mary H.K. Choi, Siddhartha Deb, Sheila Heti, Liao Yiwu, Marlon James, Ma Jian, Min Jin Lee, Scholastique Mukasonga, Tommy Orange, Patti Smith, Paul Tran, and many more.
Cry, the Beloved Country: Ma Jian on Resilience, Resistance, and Hope
"The Chinese language is my homeland. From exile, I can use it to drag repressed memories into the light" More
Open Secrets at the 15th Annual World Voices Festival
This year’s World Voices Festival explores the profoundly complex and challenging issues involved in this dissolution of the public and the private. More
“We Cannot Help but Feel Sorrow”: On Commemorating the Tiananmen Square Massacre
It is illegal to discuss the Tiananmen Square Massacre in China, which is why it is important that people of conscience around the globe remember this day. More
The PEN Ten Interview: Ahmed Naji on Language, Identity, and Writing in Exile
"I don't want to be sad, or a prisoner of my own nostalgia. It's an excellent opportunity to be here, and I am thirsty. I want to learn everything,… More