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PEN World Voices Festival

In 2019 the PEN World Voices Festival celebrates its 15th anniversary, a powerful testament to the continued relevance of its mission to celebrate the best of world literature and combat cultural isolationism.

Join us for the next PEN World Voices Festival, which takes place May 6-12, 2019, in New York City.

Since 2005 PEN World Voices has presented over 1,800 established and emerging writers and artists from 118 countries speaking 56 languages to over 140,000 audience members. The United States’ only international literature festival with a human rights focus, World Voices was founded by Salman Rushdie, Esther Allen, and Michael Roberts in the aftermath of September 11, 2001, with the aim of fostering cultural dialogue between the United States and the world.

Highlights from the 2018 PEN World Voices Festival: Resist and Reimagine

More than 165 writers and artists representing over 50 nationalities gathered for the 2018 PEN World Voices Festival, which took place in New York City from April 16-22, 2018. At this moment of great division, participants and attendees came together for conversations, debates, readings, and workshops and took a collective step toward a more just world.

Participants included Francisco Cantú, Ron Chernow, Maxine Beneba Clarke, Jelani Cobb, Dave Eggers, Roxane Gay, Xiaolu Guo, Masha Gessen, Chris Hayes, Siri Hustvedt, Jhumpa Lahiri, Hasan Minhaj, Eileen Myles, R.J. Palacio, Salman Rushdie, Leila Sales, Anita Sarkeesian, Leila Slimani, Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Colson Whitehead, and many more.

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