The PEN World Voices Festival opens with its famous Gala on April 30, 2013 at the American Museum of Natural History where a distinguished cast of international writers will host more than five hundred guests who support PEN’s work of securing the liberty of imprisoned writers of conscience worldwide, defending freedom of expression wherever it is threatened, and promoting literature and international cultural exchange. Philip Roth will be presented with the PEN Literary Service Award. He will reflect on his lifetime of literary endeavor and his personal involvement in promoting freedom and democracy in Eastern Europe, a story that he has never told publicly. Literary Hosts of the PEN GALA include Martin Amis, Giannina Braschi, Robert Caro, Taju Cole, Billy Collins,Jeff Eugenides, Beth Gutcheon, A.M. Homes, David Henry Hwang, WalterMosley, Robert Pinsky, Francine Prose, Molly Ringwald, Salman Rushdie, and Zadie Smith.
An anticipated festival favorite is the Arthur Miller Freedom to Write Lecture. This prestigious lecture has been delivered by world famous authors Orhan Pamuk, Umberto Eco, Nawal el Saadawi, Wole Soyinka, and Salman Rushdie. This year, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States Sonia Sotomayor will add her voice to the storied chorus, delivering an address from the same Great Hall where Lincoln gave his historic anti-slavery speech. A conversation between Justice Sotomayor and award-winning writer, scholar, and public intellectual Henry Louis Gates, Jr. will follow the lecture.
PEN offers a number of free and affordable events including panel discussions, one-on-one conversations, participatory workshops and performances at venues crisscrossing the city. A theme of this year’s festival is bravery in art and politics in recent global hot spots such as Burma, Palestine, South Africa, Haiti, and Guantanamo Bay.
Featured authors include Judith Butler, Eduardo Galeano, Joy Harjo, Aleksandar Hemon, Jamaica Kincaid, Ursula Krechel, Fran Lebowitz, Claudio Magris, Pierre Michon, Earl Lovelace, Téa Obreht, Salman Rushdie, Sapphire, Charles Simic, Naomi Wolf, and many others. PEN will feature several events in association with The Public Theater, a center for culture, arts and ideas, and partner with The Standard, High Line; and The Standard, East Village, serving as Festival hub.
For more information visit: http://www.pen.org/
The PEN World Voices Festival is orchestrated by Jacob Orso under the leadership of PEN’s Executive Director Suzanne Nossel. The PEN American Center Board of Trustees include: Peter Godwin ,K. Anthony Appiah, Laurence J. Kirshbaum, Jessica Hagedorn, Ron Chernow, Wendy Gimbel, Beth Gutcheon, Jhumpa Lahiri, Claudia Menza, Michael F. Moore, John Oakes, Hannah Pakula, Walter Pozen, Esmeralda Santiago, Annette Tapert, Lynne Tillman, Monique Truong, Danielle Truscott, Morgan Entrekin, Christian Oberbeck, Tess O’Dwyer, Davis Weinstock and others.