PEN World Voices Festival 2019

The world’s thinkers are at the 2019 PEN World Voices Festival of international literature at multiple venues in all five New York City boroughs, daily May 6-14 and Sunday, May 19, 2019.

There are 75 different events this year. Many are free.

PEN World Voices Festival

This is America’s leading international literary festival. It is important even if you are not a reader or writer.

The producer, PEN America, advocates for freedom of speech and the freedom to think.

The Festival was founded to increase dialogue between the United States and the world after the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York City. It was founded by Salman Rushdie, Esther Allen and Michael Roberts.

“PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open expression in the United States and worldwide.” ~ PEN America

PEN World Voices Festival 2019

Looking through the artists and the events, you can’t help but recognize that we are all working through the same joys and sorrows. It doesn’t matter where you are from. Humanity and inhumanity are international.

Since Latin culture is the foundation of Western Civilization, it is sprinkled throughout the festival. These are some of the overtly Latin events.

The Library of Borges

Borges is one of the founding fathers of Argentine literature. ‘The Library of Babel’ is one of his most famous stories.

Panel discussion with Immaculada Lara Bonilla, Rodrigo Rey Rosa and Rodrigo Fresán.

May 7, 2019 from 7-8:30pm
Greenwich Village, NYC
Tickets $20

Raúl Zurita

A reading by the renowned Chilean poet and activist.

May 8, 2019 from 8-9:30pm
St. Mark’s Church in the Bowery
Greenwich Village, NYC
Tickets $12

Poetry to Power

Mexican-American U.S. Poet Laureate and Puerto Rican poet Caridad de la Luz “La Bruja” talk and read.

May 10, 2019 from 7-8:30pm
Nuyorican Poets Cafe
East Village, NYC
Tickets from $12

Words of the Worker Writer, featuring Sonia Sanchez

A conversation and reading with the acclaimed poet and Black Arts Movement advocate Sonia Sanchez.

May 11, 2019 at 4pm
Jerome L. Green Performance Space at WNYC
Hudson Square, NYC
Tickets $20

Elyla Sinverguenza: Countering Colonialism: A Queer Ritual of Healing

A performance by Nicaraguan artist Fredman Barahona. The last name of his stage name means “shameless.”

He blends Queer and Indigenous practice which puts him in the realm of the tribal shaman who was often gender fluid.

May 11, 2019 at 8pm
BAAD! The Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance
Westchester Square, The Bronx
Tickets $20

PEN World Voices Festival 2019 Tickets

Tickets are available at the door (sometimes by credit card only) or online at

See the full schedule and list of particpants at

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