Los Angeles Events

Join us for the 2020 World Voices Festival in LA, featuring conversations celebrating the power of literature to transform the world.


May 2, 2020

Mahogany Browne‘s original choreopoem uplifts the historically silenced voices of justice-involved women, and interrogates America’s unjust systems—with a spotlight on the expanding carceral states of parole and probation. Springing from 2018 PEN America Writing For Justice Fellow Priscilla Ocen’s vision and framework, this original advocacy-oriented performance leverages Ocen’s interview research as primary source material to create a stirring call to action.

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May 4, 2020

Join us for an evening with Mieko Kawakami, hailed by Haruki Murakami as Japan’s most important contemporary novelist. Breasts and Eggs, Kawakami’s first book to be translated into English, follows three women from Osaka as they pursue indeterminate futures. The reading will be followed by a conversation on storytelling, style, writing across languages and dialects with scholar and translator Michael Emmerich. A book signing will follow the program. This event will be presented in Japanese and English. Co-presented with Japan Foundation.

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Fernanda Melchor


May 6, 2020

Join novelist Fernanda Melchor for a reading and conversation about her dazzling, feverish novel Hurricane Season, the first of her works to be translated into English.

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The live events of the 2020 World Voices Festival have been canceled due to concerns about the safety of participants and audiences during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In early May, we launched the 2020 digital World Voices Festival at pen.org/worldvoicesdigital. This ongoing digital version of the Festival includes a suite of podcasts, videos, interviews, and musical playlists, with live events and other features to be rolled out over the coming weeks. We hope this digital content brings you joy during a time of uncertainty.

Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook (@PENWorldVoices) for updates about future PEN World Voices Festival programming.