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Founded in the aftermath of 9/11 by Salman Rushdie, Esther Allen, and Michael Roberts, the United States’ only international literature festival aims to broaden international dialogue and combat isolationism. We invite you to join more than 150 authors and artists from all over the world in this moment of unprecedented threats to freedom and truth—and of emboldened mobilization and resistance—and examine bigotry, misogyny, and xenophobia and to bolster the movement to counter them. Exploring the theme Gender and Power, these events will celebrate the transcendent power of art to enable people to see beyond their differences.

Featured Events

Festival Prelude! A House Divided

House Divided unites artists, writers, thinkers, and politicos in a one-of-a-kind event to be held at the historic Great Hall at Cooper Union, where Lincoln gave his famous address on slavery. Artists and writers will unite to speak out to these divisive times in our nation, not necessarily to find a solution, but to bring the creative community into the Public Dialogue. This event is free. Reservations are available via the "buy tickets" button.
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Exposure: Politics, Sex, and Power

Rokudenashiko, a feminist Japanese manga artist making colorful models of her vagina, Ali Asgar, an LGBTQ+ Bangladeshi performance artist, and Iranian singer-songwriter Mohsen Namjoo, the “Bob Dylan of Iran” (New York Times), will explore politics, gender and identity, and their experience of persecution at home. The conversation will be moderated by Alexandra Munroe, Guggenheim Senior Curator for Asian Art.
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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.
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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.
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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.) Moderated by Elissa Schappell.
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Lit Crawl NYC 2017

From East Village bars to laundromats, park benches, and bookstores, Lit Crawl NYC brings literature to the streets with readings, discussions, and events full of readers, writers, and all-around literary merriment, kicking off with a literary magazine block party at CLMP's PRESS FEST!. Lit Crawl NYC was founded in 2008, and since 2015 has been jointly produced by Litquake and PEN America, an organization dedicated to defending free expression, supporting persecuted writers, and promoting literary culture.

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