Founded in the aftermath of September 11, 2001, by Salman Rushdie, Esther Allen, and Michael Roberts with the aim of broadening channels of dialogue between the U.S. and the world, PEN World Voices is the only international literary festival in America, and the only one in the world with a human rights focus. 

The thirteenth annual PEN World Voices Festival will take on some of the vital issues of the Trump-era, with a special focus on today’s restive relationship between gender and power. Taking place in New York City, May 1-7, 2017, the weeklong festival will use the lens of literature and the arts to confront new challenges to free expression and human rights—issues that have been core to PEN America’s mission since its founding. At this historic moment of both unprecedented attacks on core freedoms and the emergence of new forms of resistance, the Festival will offer a platform for a global community of writers, artists and thinkers to connect with concerned citizens and the broader public to fight back against bigotry, hatred and isolationism.

Curatorial Team

Rob Spillman, Chair

Susan Bernofsky
Jemma Birrell
Jennifer Finney Boylan
Kim Chan
Ram Devineni
Mona Eltahawy
Marlon James
Saeed Jones
Meg Lemke
Valeria Luiselli
Paul Morris
Chinelo Okparanta
Steph Opitz
Clarisse Rosaz Shariyf
Andy Tepper