Los Angeles Events

Join us for the 2022 World Voices Festival in LA, featuring conversations celebrating the power of literature to transform the world.

12 May 2022
13 May 2022
14 May 2022

Raised by a Voice: Warsan Shire and Morgan Parker on Mothers, Daughters, and Healing Through History

Somali British writer Warsan Shire was awarded the inaugural Brunel International African Poetry Prize and served as the first Young Poet Laureate of London. She is the youngest member of the Royal Society of Literature and is included in the Penguin Modern Poets series. The celebrated collaborator on Beyonce’s Lemonade who, in her poetry, “conjures up a new language for belonging and displacement” (The New Yorker) will be joined in conversation with National Book Critics Circle Award-winning poet Morgan Parker—a “dynamic craftsperson” of “considerable consequence in American poetry” (The New York Times), who “explores how identities are constructed, not only through the prism of race but also through historical legacies and pop culture” (Time Magazine). These two titans of contemporary poetry will read their work and discuss family, diaspora, trauma, resilience, and Shire’s latest collection of poems, Bless the Daughter Raised by a Voice in Her Head, which she describes as “songs for the refugee.” Booksales by Reparations Club. Made possible by the support of the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs.
Warsan Shire headshot
Warsan Shire
Morgan Parker headshot
Morgan Parker

Interrogating the Future (Body) Through the Present (Plague)

One of the leading voices in experimental Spanish-language fiction” (The New York Times), celebrated Mexican novelist Mario Bellatin discusses writing as an extension of both the body physical and the body politic with David Shook, translator of the brand-new English translation of Beauty Salon, the allegory of plague that brought Bellatin his cult status for his singular literary vision. Written in 1994, this work of “unstoppable momentum…” that many have interpreted in relationship to the HIV/AIDS epidemic “lays bare the capacity of illness to ravage the body and strip the individual of identity” (BookForum) and speaks with disquieting immediacy as the globe reels from COVID-19. This conversation will be moderated by interviewer, curator, and Founding Executive Director of Onassis Los Angeles Paul Holdengräber.  ASL/LSM interpretation provided by ProBono ASL. Co-presented with The Broad. Made possible by the support of the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs. The in-person program is fully reserved. Tune in for the free livestream here.
Paul Holdengraber headshot
Paul Holdengräber
Mario Bellatin headshot
Mario Bellatin
David Shook headshot
Shook (David Shook)

The Word for the World Is Forest: A Walking Conversation With Trees

Join forest ecologist Suzanne Simard, poets Amy Gerstler and Kinsale Drake, and The Huntington’s Director of Botanical Gardens Nicole Cavender for a walking lecture and poetry reading set among three tree communities in the Huntington Gardens. In the spirit of Ursula K. LeGuin’s novella The Word for World Is Forest, this event celebrates the forest’s consciousness and trees’ ability to care for one another, listen to the world, and respond with inspired ingenuity.  Co-presented with The Huntington. Made possible by the support of the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs.
Heather McIntosh
headshot of Nicole Cavender
Nicole Cavender
Suzanne Simard headshot
Suzanne Simard
Amy Gerstler headshot
Amy Gerstler
Kinsale Drake headshot
Kinsale Drake