The PEN World Voices Festival 2023 brings international writers and thinkers into conversation in New York City. It was founded in 2004 by Salmon Rushdie, Michael Roberts and Esther Allen to counter the American tendency towards isolation.
The PEN America organization seeks to protect free expression in the United States by promoting both literature and human rights. It is part of the PEN International network of more than 100 centers worldwide.
PEN World Voices Festival 2023
The PEN World Voices Festival 2023, celebration of international literature and human rights, is at multiple venues in New York City and Los Angeles; from Wednesday-Saturday, May 10-13, 2023. Festival pass $75. worldvoices.pen.org 🇺🇸 🇨🇴 🇪🇨 🇸🇻 🇲🇽 🇵🇭 🇹🇹
This edition features more than 100 writers from 27 countries.
Ayad Akhtar, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and PEN America president, is festival chair. He will speak with Eboo Patel about sustaining creative expression in the current polarized and violent environment.
Guest chair Otessa Moshfegh will explore what writers owe to their audience.
Guest chair Marlon James will discuss a novelist’s journey through their second novel.
Renowned African American author Ta-Nehisi Coates will speak about today’s book bans and censorship.
These are some of the participants with a Latin heritage.
- María Fernanda Ampuero 🇪🇨
- Mahogany L. Browne 🇺🇸
- Robert Costa 🇺🇸
- Camille T. Dungy 🇺🇸
- Zetta Elliott 🇺🇸
- Juan Gabriel Vásquez 🇨🇴
- Jean Guerrero 🇲🇽
- Elizabeth Nunez 🇹🇹
- José Olivarez 🇲🇽
- Geena Rocero 🇵🇭
- Javier Zamora 🇸🇻
See the full list of amazing participants at worldvoices.pen.org
Why the PEN World Voices Festival is Important
This is important because while our world has entered an era of enormous change, many political and religious leaders encourage us to bury our heads in the sand and fight over the monster under the bed.
Have you seen the monster under the bed? Powers use the threat of the “monstrous other” to divide, conquer, and take power for themselves. It’s a very cynical type of leadership and the exact opposite of true leadership. Any leader who is not for the people and all the people, is a very small leader, or perhaps even just a thief.
We have real problems that we can only solve together. Who can pierce the veil? Writers and readers.
Let the people write. Let the people read. Let the people think for themselves.
“The PEN is mightier than the sword.” President Obama.