01 May 2017
02 May 2017
03 May 2017
04 May 2017
05 May 2017
06 May 2017
07 May 2017

World Voices: International Play Festival 2017 – Day One

With the writers hailing from five different continents, the International Play Festival generates a conversation on art, politics, dreams, war, and philosophy, meant to give American audiences a rich awareness of the greater global dialogue.
Mîrza Metîn
Patricia Cornelius
Natal’ia Vorozhbit

United Against Hate

Voices in the arts rally against hate, with performances, readings, and conversations from Patti Smith with her daughter Jesse Paris Smith, Ani DiFranco, Marlon James, Colum McCann, Suphala, and Salman Rushdie.
Salman Rushdie
Ani DiFranco
Colum McCann
Marlon James
Patti Smith
​Jesse Paris Smith

Forbidden: Too Punk/ Too Queer

Carrie Brownstein (Hunger Makes Me A Modern Girl/Portlandia) and Thomas Meinecke (Tomboy)—both musician-authors—discuss what it means to be heard, loudly.
Thomas Meinecke
Carrie Brownstein

World Voices: International Play Festival 2017 – Day Two

With the writers hailing from five different continents, the International Play Festival generates a conversation on art, politics, dreams, war, and philosophy, meant to give American audiences a rich awareness of the greater global dialogue.
Jô Bilac
Daniela Pereira
Sasha Marianna Salzmann
Joaquim Vicente
Marcia Zanelatto
Hakim Bah

Queer Representation and the Media

Jennifer Finney Boylan, Thomas Page McBee, Eileen Myles, Saeed Jones, and Jennifer Pozner discuss the narratives of transgender issues found—or not seen—in the media.
Jennifer Pozner
Saeed Jones
Jennifer Finney Boylan
Eileen Myles
Thomas Page McBee

Exposure: Politics, Sex and Power

Japanese sculptor/manga artist Rokudenashiko, Bangladeshi installation and performance artist Ali Asgar, and Iranian singer, songwriter and music scholar Mohsen Namjoo use their art to explore politics, gender and identity, facing persecution at home. Moderated by Alexandra Munroe.
Alexandra Munroe
Mohsen Namjoo
Ali Asgar

Girl-Powered Fiction

Young female protagonists uncover betrayals, secrets, and sinister motives—from long buried familial conflicts to nefarious classmates—in five novels, set all over the world.
Karolina Ramqvist
Han Yujoo
Naomi Jackson
Hannah Tinti

Corrosive Power

Writers and translators Athena Farrokhzad, Jennifer Hayashida, Noemi Jaffe, Julia Sanches and Ellen Elias-Bursać discuss the borders of power, gender, language, place, and identity, examining where they intersect and diverge.
Noemi Jaffe
Julia Sanches
Athena Farrokhzad
Ellen Elias-Bursac

Power of the Arts: From Propaganda to Free Speech

Using the prism of Shakespeare, we will consider the various ways his work has been used throughout the centuries to channel dissent or used as propaganda and how the arts allow for greater freedoms of speech in our societies in the UK and US today.
Dominic Dromgoole
Vahni Capildeo

Gender, Power & Faith

A discussion about the intersection of LGBTQ rights and faith with Joy Ladin, Amy Butler, Garrard Conley, Binyavanga Wainaina, moderated by Jennifer Boylan.
Rev. Dr. Amy Butler
Garrard Conley
Joy Ladin
Jennifer Finney Boylan
Binyavanga Wainaina

Forbidden: Too Liberated

Who’s afraid of women’s sexuality? Sarah Barmak, Mona Eltahawy, Jill Filipovic, and Sabrina Jones.
Amy Gall
Sarah Barmak
Sabrina Jones
Jill Filipovic
Mona Eltahawy

Monkey Business: Japan/America Writers’ Dialogue

Curated by the co-founders and editors of Monkey Business, Motoyuki Shibata and Ted Goossen, together with contributing editor Roland Kelts, this dialogue features Japanese authors Hiromi Itō and Hiroko Oyamada, in conversation with American authors Jamaica Kincaid and Brian Evenson.
Motoyuki Shibata
Roland Kelts
Hiroko Oyamada
Hiromi Ito
Brian Evenson
Jamaica Kincaid

Literary Quest: Tenement Edition

Strong eminent women are the subjects of writers and performers.
Min Jin Lee
Vivian Gornick
Lisa Ko
Jennifer Egan
Teju Cole
Naomi Jackson
Laurie Anderson

Portraying Gay Male Life Today

Artists discuss their take on the post-marriage equality yet homophobic state-of-the-world with Tobin Low, Andrew Solomon, Garth Greenwell, Ali Asgar, and Edouard Louis.
Édouard Louis
Garth Greenwell
Andrew Solomon

A Woman’s Place: In Food, Power and Writing

Women writers, entrepreneurs, and artists explore the dramas of culinary history, tradition, and the future of food with vigor and nuance.
Words Without Borders
Sonya Kharas
Chitrita Banerji
Allison Markin Powell
Rohan Kamicheril
Mariana Enríquez

Women and War

How do war, migration, and racism shape women’s interactions with their bodies, families, and the world? With Athena Farrokhzad, Helon Habila, Alia Malek, and Dr. Nimmi Gowrinathan.
Maaza Mengiste
Athena Farrokhzad
Helon Habila
Dr. Nimmi Gowrinathan
Alia Malek

Forbidden: Too Desirous

A discussion on portraying women’s sexuality in fiction with novelists Yewande Omotoso, Abubakar Adam Ibrahim, Malin Persson Giolito, and Minae Mizumura.
Yewande Omotoso
Abubakar Adam Ibrahim
Minae Mizumura
Malin Persson Giolito

Forbidden: Too Much in Love

Loving “the Other” is still often fiction’s third rail. With internationally celebrated authors Sarah Ladipo Manyika, Shani Mootoo, Dorit Rabinyan, and Pajtim Statovci.
Sarah Ladipo Manyika
Shani Mootoo
Dorit Rabinyan
Pajtim Statovci

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Trevor Noah (sold out!)

A discussion on straddling multiple cultural identities between Nigerian-born National Book Award winning novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Trevor Noah, the South African- born host of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Photo by Kwaku Alston
Trevor Noah
Chris Jackson

What is Old is New: On Illazad’s Rapture, The Banned 1930’s Novel

A discussion about the censored modernist classic, centered on a Russian deserter and his young lover, with translator Thomas Kitson, and contemporary Russian poet and Russian literature scholar Jennifer Wilson.
Thomas J. Kitson
Jennifer Wilson


International award-winning writers read passages from works that influenced them alongside passages from their own writing, with Teju Cole, Marilyn Nelson, Hiroko Oyamada, and Samanta Schweblin. Moderated by Bridgett Davis.
Marilyn Nelson
Oddný Eir
Teju Cole
Samanta Schweblin
Bridgett M. Davis

Kitchen Table Translation: Migration, Diaspora, Contexts

Approaching the Collision of Texts and Bodies. With Eiko Otake, Dagmawi Woubshet, and Amy Sara Carroll. Moderated by Madhu Kaza.
Amy Sara Carroll
Madhu Kaza
Eiko Otake
Dagmawi Woubshet

Cuban Dreams/Cuban Histories

Explore mythologies and lived experiences of Cubans with renowned contemporary poets Nancy Morejón and Derek Palacio, while immersing yourself in an after-hours discovery of the American Museum of Natural History’s exhibition ¡Cuba!.
Nancy Morejon
Derek Palacio

Gender, Power, and Authoritarianism in the Dystopian Age

How is controlling reproductive rights at a crossroads? With Marge Piercy, Alice Sola Kim, Namwali Sperwell, and Basma Abdel Aziz.
Alice Sola Kim
Namwali Serpell
Basma Abdel Aziz
Marge Piercy

Literary Quest: Westbeth Edition

Residents open their homes for readings by authors and a party in their legendary gallery.
Igor Štiks
Haroon Moghul
Thomas Meinecke
Gabby Rivera
Filip Springer
Oddný Eir
Rita Mae Brown
Peter Cole
Mariana Enríquez
Idra Novey
Han Yujoo
Bae Suah
Abeer Hoque
Emanuel Xavier
Moustafa Bayoumi
Farah Jasmine Griffin
Tanwi Nandini Islam

The Poetry of Desire

Vahni Capildeo, Natalie Diaz, Pulitzer Prize winner Gregory Pardlo, and Shivanee Ramlochan examine intimacy, language, and poetry as the key that unlocks both mind and body.
Vahni Capildeo
Natalie Diaz
Gregory Pardlo
Shivanee Ramlochan

Conversation Viet Thanh Nguyen and Chinelo Okparanta

Viet Thanh Nguyen joins Chinelo Okparanta for a conversation about gender, race and power in their work and lives.
Parul Sehgal
Viet Thanh Nguyen
Chinelo Okparanta

Comedy Writing in the Age of Trump

Comedy writing in the age of Trump with members of Samantha Bee’s writing team. With Mathan Erhardt, Ashley Black, and Patrick Cassels.
Mathan Erhardt
Ashley Nicole Black
Pat Cassels

Feminizm Po-Russki: Three Writers on Women in Modern Russia

Three Russian women writers, from different genres and generations, consider gender, power, and creative freedom in their country, where feminism can also be a dirty word. With Elena Chizhova, Elena...
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Galina Rymbu
Elena Kostyuchenko
Elena Chizhova

Insistent Tongues: Queer World Voices

Poetry, prose and performance by gay writers who speak openly about the power and challenges of creating from a queer perspective with Binyavanga Wainaina (Kenya), Saeed Jones (USA), Marlon James...
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Ali Asgar
Marlon James
Saeed Jones
Binyavanga Wainaina

Crises of Empathy: Translation and Migration

Navigating territory and testimony beyond the linguistic. With Lina Mounzer, Jonathan Blitzer, and Sahand Keshavarz Rahbar. Moderated by Allison Markin Powell.
Jonathan Blitzer
Lina Mounzer
Allison Markin Powell

Legacies: Militancy and Sisterhood

Writers Honor Moore, Alix Kates Shulman, and Margo Jefferson discuss the ongoing legacy of second-wave feminism with writer, critic, and Jezebel founder Anna Holmes.
Margo Jefferson
Honor Moore
Alix Kates Shulman

Dystopian Wastelands

How do we imagine the world ending? With Claire Vaye Watkins, Jeff VanderMeer, Emily St. John Mandel, and Alexander Weinstein.
Alexander Weinstein
Emily St. John Mandel
Jeff VanderMeer
Claire Vaye Watkins

Argentina on the Edge

Bold new writing is coming from Argentinean writers, at home and abroad. A celebration of Samanta Schweblin (Fever Dream), Mariana Enriquez (Things We Lost in the Fire), and Pola Oloixarac (Savage Theories). Moderated by Lina Meruane.
Lina Meruane
Mariana Enríquez
Samanta Schweblin
Pola Oloixarac

Translation Slam

What happens when a poem migrates into another language, not just once but twice? Find out at this Festival favorite, where poets, translators, and audience members square off in a spirited exchange over meaning, choice, and freedom.
Katrina Dodson
Noemi Jaffe
Hiromi Ito
Gregory Pardlo

Art and the End of Times with Molly Crabapple

From Trump to Putin to Erdogan to Dutarte, the world is experiencing a global love affair with fascism. What role can art play in combating political repression and populist demagoguery?...
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Molly Crabapple

Hack the Story: Learn Interactive Story Design and Podcasting

Inspired by William Gibson’s literary work on cyberpunk — participants will examine and learn new forms of storytelling such as virtual reality and interactive stories, followed by a workshop on podcasting...
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Adnaan Wasey
Ram Devineni
Frances Harlow

Forbidden: Too Nationalistic

The follies of nationalism and art in the former Yugoslavia, both at home and in exile. With Dubravka Ugresic, Aleksandar Hemon, and Igor Stiks.
Igor Štiks
Aleksandar Hemon
Dubravka Ugresic

Women in Ink

Liza Donnelly of The New Yorker brings together editorial cartoonists Roz Chast, Liana Finck, and Emily Flake to discuss the unique challenges of succeeding in a male-dominated field.
Rayma Suprani
Emily Flake
Roz Chast
Liana Finck
Liza Donnelly

US Borders and the Central American Diaspora

The map of North and Central America is marked with the deaths of hundreds of thousands of migrants and refugees who have tried to escape their circumstances and seek a...
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Rebecca Sosa
Reyna Grande
Francisco Cantú

Bronx Writers Center Workshop

Learn new writing techniques at two workshops hosted by the Bronx Council of the Arts' Bronx Writers Center and PEN World Voices Festival.

Transcendent Obscenity

Renowned comic artists who put the graphic in graphic art talk and illustrate the limits of obscenity, with renowned graphic artists Gengoroh Tagame, Simon Hanselmann, and Julia Gfrörer. Moderated by Jennifer Camper.
Julia Gfrörer
Jennifer Camper
Gengoroh Tagame
Simon Hanselmann

Badass Women: Speaking Your Power

An exploration of social justice, gender, sexual orientation and ethnicity. With Renee Watson, Lilliam Rivera, Natalie Diaz, and Gabby Rivera. Moderated by Teen Vogue’s Lauren Duca.
Lauren Duca
Gabby Rivera
Natalie Diaz
Lilliam Rivera
Renée Watson

Dreaming Out Loud

A chance to get to know the humans behind the news headlines - hear firsthand stories by DREAMers written under the guidance of Alvaro Enrigue.
Álvaro Enrigue

Bronx Writers Center Workshop

Learn new writing techniques at two workshops hosted by the Bronx Council of the Arts’ Bronx Writers Center and PEN World Voices Festival. With Morgan Parker
Morgan Parker

The Radical Act of Drawing a Life

Drawing a life can be a radical act if you are a woman, an immigrant, or anyone whose experience exists outside of patriarchal norms. With renowned graphic artists Sandrine Revel...
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Marcelino Truong
Sandrine Revel
Sabrina Jones
Gabrielle Bell
Meg Lemke

The Incarceration of Women

Co-presented with New York Women’s Foundation The United States incarcerates more of its citizens than any other nation in the world and the number of women in U.S. prisons has been...
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Dr. Nimmi Gowrinathan

The New Voices of Labor: Writers from the Worker Writers School

Performances of poetry workshopped with Mark Nowak and members of Domestic Workers United, the Retail Action Project, Taxi Drivers Alliance, the Street Vendors Project, and the Workers Justice Center.
Mark Nowak
Natalie Diaz

Nancy Morejón and Wild Noise

Nancy Morejón fearlessly takes on ethnicity, gender, history, politics, Afro-Cuban identity, and the collision of cultures in the “New World” with her poetry. This reading and meet-the-poet talk with one of the first Cuban women to celebrate blackness in poetry will be set against the backdrop of the Bronx Museum’s Wild Noise/Ruido Salvaje exhibition, a survey of Cuban artists both on the island and abroad grappling with issues of identity, community, and the urban experience.
Nancy Morejon

Art, Gender, and Social Justice

Artists provoke and enlighten by giving voice to perspectives in our world that might otherwise remain unseen. Artistic investigations of contemporary attitudes and norms have been embedded in the forefront of movements for social justice, civil rights, and equity for marginalized voices throughout history. What roles do art and gender play in creating social justice locally and globally? With Ana Oliveria, Jessica Greer, Basma Abdel Aziz, and Giannina Braschi.
Jessica Greer Morris
Ana Oliveira
Giannina Braschi
Basma Abdel Aziz

Pen vs. Sword: Satire vs the State

Mo Rocca, Djiboutian novelist Abdourahman Waberi, Bosnian-born novelist Aleksandar Hemon, Russian and American journalist Masha Gessen, and others discuss state powers that often out-satirizes fiction. (Sponsored by Greenlight Bookstore.)
Masha Gessen
Aleksandar Hemon
Abdourahman Waberi
Mo Rocca

World Voices: International Play Festival 2017 – Day Three

Nine Plays From Five Continents The Martin E. Segal Theatre Center presents World Voices: International Play Festival 2017. As part of the 2017 PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature,...
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Bashar Murkus
Eun-sung Kim
Rama Haydar

Arthur Miller Lecture: Masha Gessen and Samantha Bee

This year's lecture will be two-part: leading Russian and American journalist and author Masha Gessen will give a short lecture followed by a longer conversation with Samantha Bee, host of Full Frontal with Samantha Bee.
Samantha Bee
Masha Gessen