Ninth Annual
PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature

New York City, April 29-May 5, 2013


Writers from across the globe convene in New York to explore bravery in art, politics and personal life. This year's Festival will examine writers' impact on political transformations 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. Join us for a variety of 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. 

Tickets go on sale March 19, 2013. Check back for more details.  

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Festival Highlights

May,03 2013
Explorers may discover a bedside reading, a dinner-table discussion, or a poet in the elevator at this event, where each participant is given a map and left to roam the halls of the city’s oldest and largest artist community: the notoriously labyrinthine Westbeth Artists’ Housing.
May,03 2013
SOLD OUT - Don’t miss internationally acclaimed author Salman Rushdie on issues of bravery, democracy, and freedom of expression.
May,04 2013
In 1947, the European School initiated a project called the Invisible Symposium. Artists from a variety of disciplines—writers, visual artists, philosophers, and editors—were asked the same set of questions. The 2013 PEN World Voices Festival mounts its own Invisible Symposium, with a focus on the current state of democracy.
May,01 2013
PEN World Voices Festival teams up with The Poetry Society of America to present an evening of readings and dialogue on the importance of moral courage and bravery in the creation of poetry.
May,01 2013
Speaking in Vanishing Tongues will showcase performances and readings of the languages discussed. This is a rare chance to engage in the beautiful and unique sounds of these endangered languages.
May,04 2013
This panel will discuss endangered languages and why we must preserve them, using British Columbia, Mexico, and Wales as examples of how some cultures work with their indigenous languages.
May,04 2013
PEN World Voices Festival invites you into the world of the New York City cabbie: a fractured place where isolation meets socialization and entrepreneurial impulses can be at odds with the job description of getting from point A to point B.
May,05 2013
Roiled by devastating storms and waves of political unrest, Haiti is in a constant state of change. The panel will focus on the question of whether the country has changed enough, and what is the role of literature?
May,04 2013
Working with PEN chapters in South Africa, this panel will focus discussion on literature and accountability in the new South Africa. Does the literary community reflect the country’s demographics? Can literature unpack questions of corruption from a legacy of racism?
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