Category: PEN World Voices Festival

PEN World Voices Festival Dispatch: Palestinian Writers in Conversation

by Liel Leibovitz, May 6, 2013

The decades-long Arab-Israeli conflict has yielded many harrowing developments, but none, arguably, more absurd than the un-improvable bit of legal coinage that deemed a portion of Israel’s Palestinian residents as present absentees. The term applies to tens of thousands of…...read more »

Category: PEN World Voices Festival

PEN World Voices Festival Dispatch: The Translation Slam

by Elisa Wouk Almino, May 6, 2013

The Translation Slam has become a popular tradition in the PEN World Voices Festival, and this year’s event saw a full house at The Public Theater on Friday evening. For years it was held at the Bowery Poetry Club, which lamentably closed this past week. Host Michael F. Moore was clearly dismayed…...read more »

Category: PEN World Voices Festival

PEN World Voices Festival Dispatch: South Africa in Two Acts

by Seth Satterlee, May 6, 2013

Siphiwo Mahala set the stage for this engaging discussion of South African literature and media at the Cooper Union on Saturday with an opening brief on the political state of the country, focusing on freedom of speech rights.  The looming issue is a bill, already passed by both chambers of Congress,…...read more »

Category: PEN World Voices Festival

PEN World Voices Festival Dispatch: Haiti in Two Acts

by Geoff Wisner, May 5, 2013

Image of PEN World Voices Festival Dispatch: Haiti in Two Acts
When an earthquake struck Haiti in January 2010, among the 300,000 killed were Georges Anglade, the president of PEN Haiti, and his wife Mireille Neptune. Today novelist Jean-Euphèle Milcé and poet and novelist Emmélie Prophète, his wife, serve as president and vice president.…...read more »

Category: Events

PEN World Voices Festival: Master Class with Eduardo Galeano

by Bud Parr, May 5, 2013

Image of PEN World Voices Festival: Master Class with Eduardo Galeano
"I learned the art of writing and the art of storytelling in the cafés of Montevideo," said the great and loved Eduardo Galeano during his hour-long conversation with Jessica Hagedorn Saturday night. It was as though all 500 of us at the filled-to-capacity auditorium at the New School were transported…...read more »

Category: PEN World Voices Festival

PEN World Voices Festival Dispatch: Speaking in Tongues

by Seth Satterlee, May 4, 2013

At the Juan Carlos I of Spain Center at NYU, Speaking in Tongues: A Poetry Reading opened with an introduction from Creative Writing in Spanish Director Mariela Dreyfus, who spoke about the historic thread connecting the readers: “Poets in Spanish-speaking countries, but none of which write in…...read more »

Category: PEN World Voices Festival

PEN World Voices Festival Dispatch: “Speaking in Languages on the Edge”

by Elisa Wouk Almino, May 2, 2013

The Speaking in Languages on the Edge event, held on May 1, featured Gillian Clarke, Joy Harjo, Natalio Hernandez, and Bob Holman. There are approximately 6,000 languages in the world, and more than half of them are endangered. This was one of the facts that introduced the PEN World Voices event Speaking…...read more »

Category: PEN World Voices Festival

PEN World Voices Festival Dispatch: “The Critic’s Global Voice”

by Mythili G. Rao, May 2, 2013

The Critic's Global Voice event, featuring Jean-Euphèle Milcé, Ursula Krechel, and Mikhail Shishkin (moderated by Albert Mobilio), took place on Wednesday, May 1. Reports of the death of American literary culture have been, well, at least a little exaggerated.  There’s…...read more »

Category: PEN World Voices Festival

film icon Writing in a Majority/Minority Cultural Context: Local Identity vs. a Broader Nation

by Bud P., May 5, 2011

PEN created this video of the panel our editorial director, Susan Harris, moderated (and we co-sponsored) as part of the PEN World Voices Festival, with Nadine Bismuth, Nicolas Dickner, Dominique Fortier, Mykola Riabchuk, and Teresa Solana.

Category: PEN World Voices Festival

PEN World Voices 2011: Amelié Nothomb in conversation with Buket Uzuner, Friday April 29th

by Emma Garman, May 3, 2011

Image of PEN World Voices 2011: Amelié Nothomb in conversation with Buket Uzuner, Friday April 29th
Here’s a tip for writers eager to cultivate a rarified air of eccentricity: regardless of the weather, wear a big hat! According to Amelié Nothomb, whose outré headgear is her trademark—today, at La Maison Française’s panel discussion with Turkish novelist and travel…...read more »

Category: Interviews

Interview with Alina Bronsky, author of “Broken Glass Park”

by Daniela Hurezanu, May 12, 2010

Image of Interview with Alina Bronsky, author of “Broken Glass Park”
Alina Bronsky, a German writer of Russian origin, immigrated to Germany when she was thirteen, and published her first novel, Broken Glass Park, in 2008 when she was only thirty years old. The novel was very well received by both the public and the critics and was nominated for the Bachmann Prize, one…...read more »

Category: PEN World Voices Festival

film icon Discovering “The Black Minutes” at the PEN World Voices Festival

by Bud Parr, May 7, 2010

I went to see the NBCC's* "This Critical Moment" panel for the single reason that last year I hadn't and missed Rigoberto González's discussion of Álvaro Enrigue (whose work we've published). I felt what he had to say about Enrigue was important and well thought out, the sort…...read more »

Category: PEN World Voices Festival

Ben Okri and Anderson Tepper at the PEN World Voices Festival

by Geoff Wisner, May 5, 2010

Image of Ben Okri and Anderson Tepper at the PEN World Voices Festival
Don’t say I didn’t warn you. If you missed Ben Okri’s appearance on Sunday, you may have a long wait before another one comes along. Okri doesn’t like to fly — “I go by train, by boat, or I swim” — and he has not been in New York for many years. Worse…...read more »

Category: PEN World Voices Festival

Toni Morrison and Marlene van Niekerk at the PEN World Voices Festival

by Geoff Wisner, May 4, 2010

Image of Toni Morrison and Marlene van Niekerk at the PEN World Voices Festival
Marlene van Niekerk is one of the most prominent Afrikaans-language writers, the author of (among other books) two big and ambitious novels: Triomf and Agaat. Toni Morrison’s enthusiasm for Agaat appeared to be the reason for this event, in which the Nobel Prize winner did her best to keep the…...read more »

Category: PEN World Voices Festival

PEN World Voices: Atiq Rahimi in Conversation with Lila Azam Zanganeh

by Emma Garman, May 4, 2010

Afghan author Atiq Rahimi’s Prix Goncourt-winning and internationally acclaimed novel, The Patience Stone—an excerpt of which he read during the festival’s opening night extravaganza—is his fourth book, but the first that he wrote in French, rather than in his Persian mother tongue.…...read more »

Category: PEN World Voices Festival

Patti Smith and Jonathan Lethem at the PEN World Voices Festival

by Geoff Wisner, May 3, 2010

Image of Patti Smith and Jonathan Lethem at the PEN World Voices Festival
I was lucky enough to be in the middle of reading Patti Smith's memoir Just Kids when I went to hear her in conversation with Jonathan Lethem. The book centers around her relationship with Robert Mapplethorpe, whom she met almost as soon as she arrived in New York City at the age of twenty, and it…...read more »

Category: Classics in Translation

film icon Resonances: Contemporary Writers on the Classics at PEN World Voices Festival

by Bud Parr, May 3, 2010

My goal each day of the PEN World Voices Festival is to find one writer or one book I've never heard of that sparks my interest. What more could one ask for? Thursday's find was Marcel Möring whose novel, In a Dark Wood, owes its conception to Dante's Inferno. I found Möring at…...read more »

Category: PEN World Voices Festival

PEN World Voices: David Almond and Sofi Oksanen in Conversation with Rakesh Satyal

by Emma Garman, May 2, 2010

“The act of writing is an act of exploration, an act of discovery…and that’s what growing up is,” mused British children's author David Almond on Friday, when he appeared with Finnish-Estonian novelist Sofi Oksanen at CUNY’s Elebash Recital Hall. During the hour-long…...read more »

Category: Events

I Come From There: New Plays from the Arab World at PEN World Voices Festival

by Emma Garman, April 30, 2010

At the Martin E. Segal Theatre at the CUNY Graduate Center yesterday afternoon, readings of two works by young playwrights—presented by the British Council and London’s Royal Court Theatre, with support from the Sundance Institute Theater Program—explored notions of home. In Withdrawal…...read more »

Category: PEN World Voices Festival

Ben Okri at PEN World Voices

by Geoff Wisner, April 6, 2010

Image of Ben Okri at PEN World Voices
African authors are few and far between at this year's PEN World Voices Festival -- but the festival does offer a rare opportunity to hear Ben Okri, the Nigerian-born author of The Famished Road, which won the Booker Prize in 1991. Years ago I had the chance to hear Okri at MIT. He was a captivating…...read more »

Category: Events

Some of the Things We’re Excited About For the Upcoming PEN World Voices Festival #PWVFEST

by Bud Parr, March 18, 2010

Image of Some of the Things We’re Excited About For the Upcoming PEN World Voices Festival #PWVFEST
We are as always excited about the upcoming PEN World Voices Festival, to be held this year from Monday, April 26th, to Sunday May 2nd. Notably this year the festival will travel to six other cities around the United States. Sure to be an important discussion, the festival will begin with Lorraine Adams,…...read more »

Category: PEN World Voices Festival

PEN World Voices Festival: Richard Ford and Nam Le at Morgan Library

by David Varno, May 13, 2009

Richard Ford and Nam Le at Morgan Library, May 3, Gilder Lehrman Hall, also part of BOMBLive! series Venerable fiction man Richard Ford gave a particularly generous introduction to young short story writer Nam Le, whose debut collection The Boat received several awards and much critical recognition last…...read more »

Category: PEN World Voices Festival

PEN WORLD VOICES FESTIVAL: Faith and Fiction

by Nicolle Elizabeth, May 8, 2009

The Faith & Fiction panel at the Powerhouse Arena felt like a transcendental experience altogether. The Arena is made up of giant glass windows for walls, and stands hidden at the foot of the East River and under the Manhattan Bridge surrounded by cobblestone. Outside it was pouring warm rain and…...read more »

Category: PEN World Voices Festival

PEN WORLD VOICES FESTIVAL: Nawal El Saadawi and Kwame Anthony Appiah

by Geoff Wisner, May 7, 2009

On the last night of this year's PEN festival, the Egyptian writer Nawal El Saadawi appeared at Cooper Union to deliver the fourth annual Arthur Miller Freedom to Write Lecture and to talk with Kwame Anthony Appiah. To someone who knows her only through her sharp, uncompromising writings, El Saadawi…...read more »

Category: PEN World Voices Festival

PEN WORLD VOICES FESTIVAL: Enrique Vila-Matas and Paul Auster at FIAF

by David Varno, May 7, 2009

This was an interesting talk, very well moderated by Eduardo Lago, between two writers who admire one another and have been compared to one another, and even appeared together in public at point wearing the same pair of shoes.Vila-Matas told an anecdote in Spanish that took a few minutes to reach the…...read more »

Category: PEN World Voices Festival

Weekly News Update: Round-up of PEN World Voices Thus Far

by David Varno, May 5, 2009

And now for the coverage on the coverage. Our own reports are still coming in, so continue to check over the next couple of days. I have posts due on Kafka's Amerika, Enrique Vila-Matas and Paul Auster, Richard Ford and Nam Le, and David Grossman on Bruno Shultz, so you'll be witness to a minor miracle…...read more »

Category: PEN World Voices Festival

PEN World Voices Festival: On the Edge: Writing in Reunified Germany

by David Varno, May 5, 2009

Moments before Clemens Meyer read this past Friday evening, at the Deutches Haus on the Washington Mews, I spotted him outside on the curb with a can of Budweiser. Inside from the rain, the small room filled up quickly and eventually he came in with an interpreter and Three Percent blog's Chad Post (on…...read more »

Category: PEN World Voices Festival

PEN World Voices Festival: Is Nonfiction Literature?

by Geoff Wisner, May 4, 2009

íIs nonfiction literature?ë That was the provocative question that Philip Gourevitch, Colum McCann, and Norbert Gstrein addressed at a panel discussion in the auditorium of the Museum of Jewish Heritage. íOf course it is!ë most right-thinking readers would say. Yet if so, why…...read more »

Category: PEN World Voices Festival

PEN World Voices Festival: Best of Contemporary Mexican Fiction

by Bud Parr, May 4, 2009

When you're around a lot of authors it may be easy to forget what a rare and precious thing that is, being a published author. Even more so is being a published author in the United States if you write in a language other than English, being that out of the hundreds of thousands of books published here…...read more »

Category: PEN World Voices Festival

PEN World Voices Festival: Defiance: The Spirit of ‘89

by Austin Woerner, May 4, 2009

Under the familiar image of the man staring down the tank, 10 writers and activists presented readings in honor of the 1989 Tiananmen democracy movements at Joe's Pub this Thursday. Excerpts from Gandhi, Levi, and Steinbeck sandwiched several more unusual gems--the novelist and former Nicaraguan vice-president…...read more »

Category: PEN World Voices Festival

PEN World Voices Festival: Writers Who Are Translators and On Translation

by Austin Woerner, May 4, 2009

Image of PEN World Voices Festival: Writers Who Are Translators and On Translation
Translating a novel, or a poem, takes serious artistic acrobatics--one couldn't have staggered out of yesterday's back-to-back double feature of “Writers Who Are Translators" and “On Translation” without having arrived at this conclusion. But who would have thought that voice…...read more »

Category: PEN World Voices Festival

PEN World Voices Festival: PEN Cabaret

by Nicolle Elizabeth, May 4, 2009

The PEN Cabaret at FIAF (French Institute Alliance Française ) last night was both intense and wonderful. Performers, poets, writers, readers, musicians, film makers, actors, PEN members, and countless others came out for PEN's annual cabaret celebration. Salman Rushdie, while not a reader this…...read more »

Category: PEN World Voices Festival

PEN World Voices Festival: Celebrating Anagrama at Instituto Cervantes

by David Varno, May 4, 2009

As the venerable Spanish publishing house Anagrama turns 40 this year, they have many triumphs and achievements to look back on, and currently are central to the regeneration of Latin American fiction, most notably of course with the success of Roberto Bolaño.Publisher Jorge Herralde is in town…...read more »

Category: PEN World Voices Festival

PEN World Voices Festival: Mark Z. Danielewski and Rick Moody

by Geoff Wisner, May 4, 2009

I haven't yet read House of Leaves, the ambitious experimental novel that Mark Z. Danielewski published in 2000. I am unlikely to read Only Revolutions, the even quirkier second novel that Danielewski published in 2006. In his interview with Rick Moody, Danielewski said that Only Revolutions is the book…...read more »

Category: PEN World Voices Festival

PEN World Voices Festival: This Critical Moment (Part II)

by David Varno, May 4, 2009

After Eric Banks's and Rigoberto Gonzalez presented on German and Mexican literature at this past Friday's panel featuring the National Book Critics Circle (see more in Part One of the coverage), Laila Lalami, past NBCC Balakian Award candidate, spoke on Egyptian novelist and playwright Nawal El Saadawi,…...read more »

Category: PEN World Voices Festival

PEN World Voices Festival: This Critical Moment (Part I)

by David Varno, May 3, 2009

Yesterday afternoon at the Scandinavia House, board members of the National Book Critics Circle and other critics presented on select writers participating in this year's festival. The authors they discussed are from Germany, Mexico, Egypt, the Basque country of Spain, and Zimbabwe, and their comments…...read more »

Category: PEN World Voices Festival

PEN World Voices Festival: Photos from 1,000 Words: The Power of Visual Storytelling

by Bud Parr, May 3, 2009

Photos by Mary Reagan, text from the PEN Website. "What can pictures provide that words cannot? Our panelists have all used pictures to tell challenging and compelling stories: Shaun Tan, from Australia, has imagined the experience of immigration in his wordless book The Arrival; Jonathan Ames, from…...read more »

Category: PEN World Voices Festival

PEN World Voices Festival: Leaps, Fits, and Starts: The Evolution of a Children’s Book Writer

by Austin Woerner, May 2, 2009

At Thursday night's panel, moderator Andrea Davis Pinkney did not waste much time before asking the three children's book authors on the panel the inevitable question: what was your favorite book when you were a child? "Animal Farm," answered Australian author-and-illustrator Shaun Tan. In response to…...read more »

Category: PEN World Voices Festival

PEN World Voices Festival: Evolution/Revolution Readings

by David Varno, May 2, 2009

Cooper Union Great Hall Wednesday, April 29, 2009 The readings featured by PEN World Voices in the authors' original languages are a special treat, as Bud wrote yesterday to accompany Mary's photographs. Sometimes it's nice to follow line for line with the English translations that scroll down the screens…...read more »

Category: PEN World Voices Festival

PEN World Voices Festival Roundup for Friday

by Bud Parr, May 1, 2009

My second day at the PEN World Voices Festival. Tired from being up late talking about Thursday's events with our contributors Nicolle Elizabeth and David Varno, blogging friend Sam Jones and earlier, my friends Pam Yates and Paco de Onís whom I met at the Quiet Revolutions event. Going from one…...read more »

Category: PEN World Voices Festival

PEN World Voices Festival: Evolution/Revolution Event Photos

by Bud Parr, April 30, 2009

Before our written report comes in from last night's PEN World Voices Festival event, Evolution/Revolution. Here's PEN's description of the event: Join us to celebrate the fifth annual PEN World Voices Festival. An extraordinary group of internationally acclaimed writers will come to the stage for an…...read more »

Category: PEN World Voices Festival

PEN World Voices Festival

by Bud Parr, April 29, 2009

As you may know we at Words Without Borders have dedicated our April to the PEN World Voices Festival. We began with our monthly issue full of writing from festival participants and we've just started to post event coverage here on our blog, starting with James Marcus's piece on Nobel Laureate Jean-Marie…...read more »

Category: PEN World Voices Festival

PEN World Voices Festival: Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio in Conversation with Adam Gopnik

by James Marcus, April 27, 2009

James Marcus's report on Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio in Conversation with Adam Gopnik at the 92Y Unterberg Poetry Center on Friday, April 24th is part of Words Without Borders ongoing coverage of the 2009 PEN World Voices Festival.   Although he was awarded the Nobel Prize in 2008, Jean-Marie…...read more »

Category: PEN World Voices Festival

Pen World Voices 2008: Writing Sexuality

by Sophie Powell, May 6, 2008

I've just returned from New York where I attended the panel discussion 'Writing Sex and Sexuality', one of the many and varied events hosted by PEN as part of their festival of international literature. I was particularly interested in this event since my novel The Mushroom Man included some sexually…...read more »