Pen World Voices Festival 2018 to Convene Writers, Artists, And Thinkers

Pen World Voices Festival 2018 to Convene Writers, Artists, And ThinkersWith 60+ Events Across New York City, the United States' Leading International Literary Festival, Curated by Chip Rolley, Turns Its Global Lens on Its Home Country

PEN America Announces 2018 Festival Highlights Today, with Participants Including Francisco Cantú, Ron Chernow, Maxine Beneba Clarke, Jelani Cobb, Dave Eggers, Roxane Gay, Xiaolu Guo, Masha Gessen, Chris Hayes, Siri Hustvedt, Jhumpa Lahiri, Chelsea Manning, Hasan Minhaj, Eileen Myles, R.J. Palacio, Sean Penn, Salman Rushdie, Leila Sales, Anita Sarkeesian, Leila Slimani, Ngugi wa Thiong'o, Colson Whitehead

PEN America presents the 2018 PEN World Voices Festival: Resist and Reimagine, this year's incarnation of the renowned international literary festival, which will bring together the world's foremost authors and other luminaries at a time when many are turning to literature and the arts not for escapism, but as a guide to navigate contemporary crises. Salman Rushdie founded the festival in the isolationist aftermath of September 11, 2001, to fortify links with the rest of the world; now again the need to connect and draw inspiration from beyond America's borders is pressing. PEN America Festival Director Chip Rolley explains, "For the first time in its history, we are deliberately training the Festival's wide lens on America itself, probing the fissures and inconsistencies in our own culture, alongside those of writers visiting from overseas. We will examine different kinds of resistance-the internal and the external, the political and the personal-and tap into the imagination that is at the core of the best fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, joining together in a week that reaffirms our faith in the power of the word to transform our society, our politics, and our daily lives."

The Festival will unfold across 60+ events in dozens of venues in four of the five New York City boroughs, April 16-22. It kicks off on April 16 with Resist and Reimagine: Opening Night in Three Acts. Colson Whitehead will speak about applying one's imagination to elucidate historical truths, as the novelist did for his "carefully built and stunningly daring" (The New York Times), Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Underground Railroad. Novelist Leila Slimani-a Muslim immigrant from Morocco to France whose novel The Perfect Nanny won France's prestigious Prix Goncourt-will speak with New Yorker staff writer Adam Gopnik about how worlds can be reimagined by bending the lenses of ethnicity and geography. Australian performance poet and author Maxine Beneba Clarke will read from "A Letter from Manus Island: A Refugee Resistance Manifesto," by Behrouz Boochani, the Iranian Kurdish poet and journalist who has been held for over four years in Australia's detention center on Manus Island while awaiting asylum. Boochani writes here about how "the refugees were able to reimagine themselves in the face of the detention regime."

In a separate opening night event, Dave Eggers will talk with Mokhtar Alkhanshali, the Yemeni-American historian, community organizer, and coffee innovator whose aim to revitalize Yemen's coffee industry through worker empowerment is the subject of Eggers' latest book, The Monk of Mokha.

The resistance embodied in the disclosures of the #MeToo movement has inspired a number of events in this year's festival, which extend the examination of gender and power begun in the 2017 festival. On April 20, critically acclaimed, best-selling author Roxane Gay will speak with #AMtoDM co-host and BuzzFeed Books founding editor Isaac Fitzgerald on the intersecting subjects her writing famously tackles. Zeroing in on the ongoing fight for female autonomy, Handmaid in America (April 21) will bring together a group of women writers, including Siri Hustvedt and Leni Zumas, who will discuss literature and its responses to encroachments on women's reproductive rights. On April 17, Us Too, a powerful program of poetry, readings and conversation about violence against women will include Tishani Doshi, Maxine Beneba Clarke, Dunya Mikhail, and Mona Eltahawy. These open conversations on the traumas the female body endures strive to liberate women during this movement of reckoning.

With The M Word: Hasan Minhaj and Wajahat Ali (April 22), comedian and Daily Show senior correspondent Minhaj and writer/lawyer Ali will speak about the varieties of Muslim American experiences, the pressures of being public ambassadors for a vastly multifaceted group that America just as vastly generalizes, and how comedy and creativity have changed under Trump. The M Word: No Country for Young Muslim Women (April 18) will see Sudanese-Australian author/mechanical engineer Yassmin Abdel-Magied and MuslimGirl founder Amani Al Khatahtbeh-both of whom left their home countries, Australia and America, respectively, due to harassment and vilification-discussing the complexities of being Muslim and female in Western countries. Abdel-Magiedwill also speak with Sick author Porochista Khakpour, and Anita Sarkeesian, the feminist media critic who endured a barrage of #GamerGate harassment and death threats in Take Back the Net: Fighting Online Hate (April 21). Looking into the real-world impact of virtual bullying, those who have refused to be silenced will discuss productive means for resisting and reimagining the Internet as a free and fearless space.

Similarly addressing authorship and cultural alienation, Cry, the Beloved Country (April 19) will unite Ryszard Krynicki, Serhiy Zhadan, Marcos Aguinis, Domenico Starnone, Ngugi wa Thiong'o, Hwang Sok-yong, Basma Abdel Aziz, and Negar Djavadi to articulate the particular rage of oppressed populations in their home countries. Meditations on Exile (April 20) will feature Chinese novelist Xiaolu Guo, Iraqi-Assyrian poet Dunya Mikhail, and Iranian screenwriter/novelist Hossein M. Abkenar. They willdiscuss their experiences of having fled their home countries to avoid censorship and the potentially severe repercussions of their self-expression, and how these experiences have shaped the way they write about place. The Trick of Translation (April 21), will speak to a more formal means of border transcendence-the attempt to capture the spirit of a work in another language. Jhumpa Lahiri will talk with Domenico Starnone about Starnone's novels Trick and Ties, translated from Italian to English by Lahiri.

The chronicled lessons from the past can act as living guides, particularly as threats to key rights swell. Taking a moment to look back to America's most fearless activists and writers, Jelani Cobb, Nikole Hannah-Jones, and Pulitzer Prize-winner Gregory Pardlo mark the 50th Anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination in Where Do We Go from Here? (April 20), which asks, with hope at its core, the titular question of Dr. King's last book. Looking further back in history, biographer Ron Chernow talks to MSNBC host and author Chris Hayes about Ulysses S. Grant, one of our most underappreciated presidents, who worked for justice and the political enfranchisement for African Americans. Exploring what should be inalienable rights, Mother Jones reporter Ari Berman and historian Carol Anderson will delve into racialized voter suppression in Killing Democracy (April 19). One of the festival's central aims is to defend and provide a platform for open discourse; Masha Gessen, Patrisse Cullors, and PEN America Executive Director Suzanne Nossel will shed light on first amendment tensions in America today in Resistance Report Card: Grading the Groundswell (April 21).

In Legacy of an LGBTQ Countercultural Icon (April 21), translators Bonnie Huie and Ari Larissa Heinrich and poet Eileen Myles will examine the work of the late Qiu Miaojin, whose cinematically experimental novels dauntlessly depict lesbian life in Taiwan long before any form of queerness was socially accepted. While she was writing up through the 90s, to this day, globally queer communities remain vulnerable.

As so much of what literature explores politically and personally is inherently connected to place, several events will probe location's distinct impact on personhood. The city of New York has functioned as an iconic and figurative setting across myriad art forms: in New York Stories (April 21), Salman Rushdie, Sergio De La Pava, and others will talk about encapsulating the city in fiction. With a more panoramic gaze, in America, Real and Imagined (April 22), authors from different corners of the country will discuss their shared interest in the American landscape's profound ability to shape identity. Francisco Cantú-a former-border-patrol-agent-turned-author-will join acclaimed Sunshine State author Sarah Gerard and poet/author Joy Harjo, a member of the Mvskoke Nation whose memoir Crazy Brave won the 2013 PEN Center USA prize for creative nonfiction. Cantú, who wrote the "sharply political and deeply personal" (New York Magazine) The Line Becomes a River, will also look into a particularly fraught section of the American landscape, the Mexican-United States border, in Borders of Our Imagination, where he will speak with novelist and essayist Valeria Luiselli and playwright and DREAMer Amalia Rojas (April 20).

Today's young people are just as likely as adults to be curious about the often puzzling, sometimes troubling, world around them, and there is a growing body of books and other publications that cater to this curiosity. For the first time in its history, the festival will featurea day of storytelling, interactive events, comics and freestyle poetryworkshops for children, tweens, and young adults as part of its new Next Generation Now series curated by Meg Lemke of MUTHA Magazine. Little Activists: A Workshop and Mini-March (April 21) will encourage children to express their own ideas of democracy, equality, and freedom, and learn how to translate their thoughts into political engagement. Leila Sales, who will lead he workshop, created The Little Book of Little Activists after being inspired by children in the Women's March. R.J. Palacio, author of the best-settling novel Wonder (recently adapted as a live-action film with Jacob Tremble in the leading role) will speak on the importance of acceptance, and the pivotal lessons that literature can teach us from a young age. Tony Medina, Ilyasah Shabazz, and Toni Blackman are also among the featured Next Generation Now authors.

PEN America Executive Director Suzanne Nossel says, "While the present political moment in the United States feels unprecedented and unparalleled, when we turn toward the rest of the world the tide of revanchism we are enduring is neither new nor confined to our own borders. International writers and thinkers offer a well of lessons and insights on how to thwart and protest, to sustain and nurture resistance, to shore up threatened values, and to look beyond the present impasse. PEN America has always worked as a bridge across cultures and geographies, forging relationships and solidarity that are a counterweight against hatreds and polarization. In the digital age, with so much of our discourse reduced to tweets and sound bites, face-to-face conversation across cultures about how to realize a different collective future is essential. If frayed relationships between the world's governments are ever to be repaired, it will be because we nurtured relationships, empathy, and understanding among peoples-that's what the PEN World Voices Festival does."

Peter Barbey, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Village Voice, which co-sponsors the 2018 PEN World Voices Festival, says, "This year's theme, Resist and Reimagine, couldn't be more timely or topical. It resonates here at The Village Voice since those very same principles have been reflected in our mission since our inception in 1955, at the beginning of an American cultural revolution. As Official Media Sponsor of the Pen World Voices Festival, we call on all New Yorkers to join the conversation."

What follow are brief descriptions of the 2018 festival events.

PEN World Voices Festival 2018: Resist and Reimagine - Programming

Dave Eggers and Mokhtar Alkhanshali: Good to the Last Drop
Monday, April 16
6pm-7pm
Jerome L Greene Performance Space at WNYC
44 Charlton St, New York, NY 10014
Tickets: $15, available here

Can there really be a link between the specialty and varietal coffee that seduces us in our local roastery and fair pay for the farmer who cultivates the beans? Dave Eggers talks to Mokhtar Alkhanshali, who had a dream to revive and reimagine the coffee industry in his family's native country, Yemen. Coffee drinking began there 500 years ago, but it was no longer producing a quality cup. Mokhtar's seat-of-the-pants escape from that country, engulfed by civil war, is only the beginning of the story he tells Dave Eggers in this conversation about immigration, human rights, and the power of persistence.

Resist and Reimagine: Opening Night in Three Acts
Monday, April 16
7pm-8:45pm
The Great Hall | The Cooper Union
7 East 7th Street, New York, NY 10003
Tickets: $35, available here

ACT I: A Global Refugee Crisis

An unprecedented 65.5 million people are currently displaced around the globe-fleeing war, persecution, climate change, and famine. They are not always welcomed where they seek refuge or asylum. One such person is Behrouz Boochani, a poet and journalist from Iran. He has been detained by the Australian government for more than four years now on the remote Manus Island, off the coast of Papua New Guinea. His crime? To arrive by boat seeking asylum in Australia. Late last year, after a confrontation when authorities tried forcibly to remove Boochani and several hundred other refugees to another camp, he wrote "A Letter from Manus Island: A Refugee Resistance Manifesto," describing the conditions of their incarceration, the attempted forced removal, and what it was that kept the refugees' spirits from descending into despair. He writes, "Our resistance was an epic of love...I write from Manus Island as a duty to history." Australian performance poet and author Maxine Beneba Clarke will read from this work.

Act II: The Underground Railroad: Yesterday and Today

In one of the most celebrated and powerful books of the past year, Colson Whitehead reimagined the metaphorical Underground Railroad-one of America's most potent and enduring examples of resistance. He talks about the creative imagination required to find the historical truth, and how the legacy of slavery reverberates throughout our history-from Jim Crow laws to the resurgence of white supremacy.

ACT III: Reimagining Our Worlds Through Immigration and Literature

It's every parent's unspoken nightmare, that harm might come to their children at the hands of a trusted carer. The Perfect Nanny, Leila Slimani's brilliantly unsettling novel about the nanny who murdered the two young children in her charge, ignited passionate debate in France. The book is a subversive examination of motherhood, race, social inequality, and murder that is likely to spur similar discussion in the U.S. The author, a 36-year-old writer, journalist, and Muslim immigrant to France, was the first Moroccan-born woman to win the Prix Goncourt, and was appointed by President Emmanuel Macron as his ambassador for Francophone Affairs, charged with promoting French language and culture around the world. Slimani talks to Adam Gopnik about her work-and a life that was remade through immigration and literature.

Hosted by The Cooper Union Office of Continuing Education and Public Programs

Laurie Anderson and Chelsea Manning on Art, Technology, and Activism
Monday, April 16
8pm-9:15pm
Jerome L Greene Performance Space at WNYC
44 Charlton St, New York, NY 10014
Tickets: $20, available here

Chelsea Manning's release of hundreds of thousands of pages of classified documents has been described as "the information age exploding on itself." Laurie Anderson's music and performance art-from Big Science to Homeland and Habeas Corpus-has been infused by a critique of American militarism and hubris. In their respective areas they have been on the cutting edge of technology. They talk about the twin engines of resistance-art and activism-and the future, both liberating and threatening, presented by technological innovation.

Sean Penn in Conversation with Jon Lee Anderson
Tuesday, April 17
7pm-8pm
St. Ann's Church
157 Montague Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Tickets: $25 for conversation only, $49 for conversation and book, available here

Sean Penn never ceases to surprise us. Twice the winner of the Academy Award for Best Actor (for Milk and Mystic River), he is also renowned for his filmmaking, his humanitarian work in post-hurricane Haiti and New Orleans, his ground-breaking work as a journalist, and now, his debut as a novelist. Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff is a darkly funny story that takes the culture and period we are living in and turns the dial to eleven. With comparisons to William S. Burroughs and Hunter S. Thompson, Bob Honey has been praised by figures as diverse as Salman Rushdie ("It seems wrong to say that so dystopian a novel is great fun to read, but it's true") and Sarah Silverman ("It's a goddamned novel for the ages. A straight-up masterwork, more relevant to his very moment than anything I've seen"). In a conversation that promises to be spontaneous, curious, and ?enlightening?, he talks to author and journalist Jon Lee Anderson of the New Yorker.

Us Too
Tuesday, April 17
7pm-8:30pm
Nuyorican Poets Cafe
236 E 3rd St, New York, NY 10009
Tickets: $12 in advance, $15 at the door, available here

The systemic sexual assault of women revealed by the #MeToo disclosures in the United States exists in every culture and every country and is equally deserving of a spotlight. In this event, Tishani Doshifrom India, Maxine Beneba Clarke from Australia and Dunya Mikhail, originally from Iraq, present a powerful program of poetry, readings and conversation, lamentations and celebrations, giving voice to those who once were not heard. Mona Eltahawy moderates.

Co-presented with the Nuyorican Poets Cafe

PEN Out Loud: The Opposite of Hate
Tuesday, April 17
7pm-8:30pm
SubCulture
45 Bleeker Street, New York, NY 10012
Tickets: $15, available here

We are living through one of the most divisive periods in American history, with hate-filled rhetoric fueling disagreements on a wide range of issues, from LGBTQ rights to immigration policy and more. How do we begin to repair the world around us and move toward collective, positive change? CNN commentator Sally Kohn, who investigates the roots and lasting effects of political, cultural, and personal hatred in a new book, will be joined by WNYC's Rebecca Carroll, in a frank and inspiring conversation about how we get to the opposite of hate.

Co-presented with Strand Book Store as part of the PEN Out Loud series

Poland Spring: Ryszard Krynicki
Tuesday, April 17
7pm-8pm
Poets House
10 River Terrace, New York, NY 10282
Free

Born in a Nazi labor camp in Austria in 1943, Ryszard Krynicki went on to become one of post-war Poland's most significant poets, as well as an acclaimed editor, publisher, and translator. Through poetry, publication, and intellectual activism, he resisted communist authorities of the Polish People's Republic. His participation in a campaign of intellectuals against undemocratic changes to Poland's constitution saw his work banned between 1976 and 1980. Krynicki joins Clare Cavanagh, Alissa Valles and Edward Hirsch to read and discuss the new release of his selected poems, Magnetic Point, and the first uncensored, English-language translation of Our Life Grows, first published in Paris in 1978.

Co-presented with Poets House

Playing with Fire: Theater in Translation as Resistance
Tuesday, April 17
7pm-8:15pm
Dixon Place
161A Chrystie Street, New York, NY 10002
Free with RSVP

Plays have an aliveness and immediacy of impact that allow them to palpably reimagine and, thus, shape reality. In many locations, theater has become a site of resistance and transformation. The dearth of translated plays in this country, therefore, amounts to occluding an important aspect of the global ethical sociopolitical conversation. What are we missing? Critic and translator Michael Eskin will reflect on translating Éloge de la faiblesse (In Praise of Weakness) by severely disabled original philosopher Alexandre Jollien - a Socratic play devised, among other things, as both an act of resistance to our society's discourse on disability and a call to redefining what it means to be "normal" and/or "different." Poet and translator Agnes Walder will reflect on translating Tyrtaeus: A Tragedy by Holocaust victim Lajos Walder. Written in Hungary in the early 1940s in response to Nazi occupation, it was rediscovered in 1988 and published in the U.S. for the first time in 2017. Playwright and translator Jeremy Tiang will speak about the challenges of translating work from the Chinese-speaking world, whose political contexts and modes of resistance may not be as familiar to western audiences. Moderated by Martin Puchner.

Literary Quest: Tenement Museum Edition
Wednesday, April 18
6:30pm-9:00pm
Tenement Museum
103 Orchard Street, New York, NY 10002
Tickets: $25, available here

Listen to Festival authors give intimate readings inside the beautifully restored historic tenement homes of immigrant families of the 19th- and 20th- century. This perennial Festival favorite expands in 2018 with the Tenement Museum's newest exhibition at 103 Orchard Street, which showcases refugee, migrant, and immigrant life in New York City following World War II up to the 1980s, when Holocaust survivors were joined by Chinese and Puerto Rican families. Each audience member will hear two authors in different apartments at 97 and 103 Orchard Streets, with selections made on a first-come, first-served basis. Doors open at 6pm. Audience members should check in no later than 6:15pm. The event is followed by a reception and book signing in the Tenement Museum Shop. With Andre Aciman, Akwaeke Emezi, Ping Chong and Muna Tseng, Esmeralda Santiago, Penny Arcade, Ibi Zoboi and Lauren Hilgers.

Beyond Borges: Argentina's Unsung Literary Greats
Wednesday, April 18, 2018
7:00pm-8:30pm
Book Culture
26-09 Jackson Ave, Long Island City, NY 11101
Free with RSVP

We all know Argentinean sensations like Julio Cortázar, Samanta Schweblin, and César Aira. And in recent years, writers like Silvina Ocampo and Antonio di Benedetto have slowly begun to get their due. But many other twentieth-century greats-including Osvaldo Lamborghini, Norah Lange, and Sara Gallardo-continue to languish in the shadows. Join acclaimed Argentinean writer Sergio Chejfec, renowned translators Esther Allen, Heather Cleary, and Charlotte Whittle, and esteemed editor Edwin Frank to discuss the legendary Argentinean writers you should be reading but probably aren't. Moderated by Words Without Borders editor Eric M. B. Becker.

Co-sponsored by Words Without Borders

Ng?g? wa Thiong'o: Decolonizing the Mind
Wednesday, April 18
7pm-8:30pm
Nuyorican Poets Cafe
236 E. 3rd Street, New York, NY
Tickets: $12 in advance, $15 at the door, available here

In Wrestling with the Devil, the latest in his series of memoirs, Ng?g? wa Thiong'o writes about the year he spent imprisoned without charge by Kenya's President Daniel arap Moi. After his release in 1978, following a campaign by Amnesty International who had adopted him as Prisoner of Conscience, the artist was forced into exile and now lives in the United States. Ng?g? is a leading voice in the "decolonialization" discourse, writing of the need for Africans to "decolonize the mind" and to "resurrect the African memory." He now writes only in his native Gikuyu, which he then translates into English. A perennial favorite for the Nobel Prize and judged to be one of the world's greatest living writers, he talks to Rob Spillman about the writing and resistance that has marked his life and enriched our literary universe.

Co-presented with the Nuyorican Poets Café

The Jewish American Novel
Wednesday, April 18
7pm-8pm
Downtown Art
70 East 4th St, New York, NY 10003
Tickets: $15, available here

It has meant different things at different times in American literary history, but the idea of the Jewish American novel might well have renewed resonance in the current moment. Two novels published this past year explore identity and the meaning of being Jewish in the diaspora. Characters in Nicole Krauss's Forest Dark search for ways to find the lost moorings of their lives by decamping to Israel from New York. In Ruby Namdar's The Ruined House, Jewish religious tradition reaches across thousands of years (and miles) and shakes the very foundations of the main character, a secular, sophisticated New Yorker, forcing upon him a lost connection with Jewish identity. They talk about their work's relationship to these larger questions of identity and the meaning and evolution of the "Jewish American novel."

The M Word: No Country for Young Muslim Women
Wednesday, April 18
7pm-8:15pm
Jamaica Performing Arts Center
153-10 Jamaica Ave, Jamaica, NY 11432
Tickets: $15, available here

In many western countries, being Muslim, young, and female brings with it a particularly heavy burden. Amani Al-Khatahtbeh was forced to leave America in the wake of relentless vilification and harassment post-9/11, and just last year Yassmin Abdel-Magied was hounded out of Australia by ferocious media and online attacks. They talk about how to survive in cultures that hate them.

Resonances
Thursday, April 19
6pm
Newman Conference Center at Baruch College, Room 750
151 East 25th Street, New York, NY 10010
Free with RSVP

It's called the world's most solitary occupation, but writers never create entirely on their own. The best writing reflects and resonates with stories from the past and the present. In this session, award-winning writers from around the world read from their own work, and works that have influenced them. With Rowan Ricardo Phillips, Alicia Kopf, Xiaolu Guo and Aminatta Forna. Moderated by Bridgett Davis.

Presented with Baruch College's Great Works of Literature and Sidney Harman Writers -in-Residence Programs

With support from The Institut Ramon Llull, Catalan Language and Culture

Being Dag Solstad
Thursday, April 19
6:30pm-7:30pm
Shakespeare and Co.
939 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10065
Free with RSVP

Dag Solstad is a towering figure in Scandinavian literature, the author of some 30 books, revered by writers as diverse as Haruki Murakami, Peter Handke, and fellow Norwegian Karl Ove Knausgaard. Critic James Wood describes his work as "utterly hypnotic and utterly humane," while others rhapsodize about the sparkle and luster of his language. His stature in Norwegian letters is often compared to Philip Roth's position in American letters. He is joined by writer Lydia Davis, who taught herself Norwegian reading Solstad's Telemark, and author, literary critic and editor John Freeman, for a conversation that explores the power of contemporary Norwegian literature and Solstad's own most recent books to be translated into English, T Singer and Armand V.

Artists Take the Street!
Thursday, April 19
6:30pm-7:30pm
SubCulture
45 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10012
Free with RSVP

From a single sticky note at a subway stop to the largest one-day protest in U.S. history to mark Trump's inauguration, expressions of public protest can take many forms, with art playing a crucial role. Artists Amy Khoshbin and Tania Bruguera, along with writer A.M. Homes, explore opportunities for creativity in activism, and detail their work, which shares themes of cultural and familial identity, immigration, and human fortitude under extreme duress. They delve into the collaborative project, Word on the Street, curated by Khoshbin, and investigate the symbiotic relationship between art and social change. Moderated by Carmen Hermo Assistant Curator, Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum.

Co-presented with Times Square Arts, The Watermill Center, House of Trees, and Artists at Risk Connection.

Cry, the Beloved Country
Thursday, April 19
7pm-8:30pm
Dixon Place
161A Chrystie Street, New York, NY 10002
Tickets: $15, available here

In recent decades, many countries have succumbed to autocracy or outright tyranny, but in every instance the voices of the people have risen to protest and resist. Those voices are often, powerfully, those of writers whose special gifts articulate the pain and rage of oppressed populations. Writers from eight countries that have suffered, or still suffer, from tyranny and oppression speak to the pain of what happened in their homelands. Join us for an evening of solidarity. Participating authors include Ryszard Krynicki (Poland), Serhiy Zhadan (Ukraine), Marcos Aguinis (Argentina), Domenico Starnone (Italy), Ngugi wa Thiong'o (Kenya), Hwang Sok Yong (Korea), Basma Abdel Aziz (Egypt), and Negar Djavadi (Iran/France).

Translation Slam
Thursday, April 19
7pm-8:30pm
Nuyorican Poets Cafe
236 E. 3rd Street, New York, NY
Tickets: $12 in advance, $15 at the door, available here

The Festival favorite is back. Competing translations of poems vie for audience approval and evoke an illuminating discussion about interpretation and the choices made by both poet and translator. Featuring Macao poet Un Sio San and Catalan poet Maria Cabrera Callís and translators Bonnie Huie, Amanda Lee Koe, Mara Faye Lethem, and Mary Ann Newman. Both rounds of translation are followed by audience Q&A with the poets and translators. Hosted by Michael Moore and Jeremy Tiang.

Co-presented with the Nuyorican Poets Café

Cave Canem Presents: New Works with Safia Elhillo, Adrian Matejka, and Ife-Chudeni Oputa
Thursday, April 19
7pm-8:30pm
Lillian Vernon Creative Writers House
58 West 10th Street, New York, NY 10011
Free with RSVP

Join us for this evening of readings of new work from Pushcart Prize nominee Safia Elhillo, the Sudanese-American author of The January Children; Adrian Matejka, author of The Devil's Garden and Mixology, a winner of the 2008 National Poetry Series; and Cave Canem and Lambda Literary fellow Ife-Chudeni A. Oputa.

Co-presented with Cave Canem Foundation

Dystopian Fiction: Future Present Tense
Thursday, April 19
7pm-8pm
Downtown Art
70 East 4th St, New York, NY 10003
Tickets: $15, available here

Dystopian fiction is one of the most pronounced trends in publishing today, reflecting our ever-increasing anxiety about where our society is heading and what the future holds for us. In Omar El Akkad's American War, the South is riven by climate chaos and terrorism; in Basma Abdel Aziz's The Queue, a failed revolution in an unnamed Middle Eastern city has produced sinister authoritarian control; and in Leni Zumas's Red Clocks, women in Oregon have their reproductive rights stripped from them. They talk to filmmaker Ram Devineni. Are these works predictions of a dark future, or do they illuminate our dystopian present?

Killing Democracy
Thursday, April 19
8:30-9:30pm
SubCulture
45 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10012
Tickets: $15, available here

There is more than one way to win an election. One is to get more people to vote for you. The other is to stop your opponent's supporters from voting at all. Fifty years after the passage of the Voting Rights Act and five years after the Supreme Court struck down the heart of it, voter suppression has emerged again as a possibly determinative factor in our elections. Mother Jones reporter Ari Berman and historian Carol Anderson map the evidence of systematic and growing efforts to thwart the vote, and unearth the anti-democratic and racist ideologies behind it.

CLMP Press Fest
Friday, April 20
4pm-8pm
Washington Mews
Between Fifth Ave and University Place, New York, NY 10003
Free

Featuring readings from the selected publications with author signings. Discover remarkable small press books and literary magazines, meet with publishers, and take home exceptional literature you are not likely to see anywhere else.

Presented by the Community of Literary Magazines and Presses

Tell Me What Democracy Looks Like
Friday, April 20
6pm-7pm
Deutsches Haus at NYU
42 Washington Mews, New York, NY 10003
Free with RSVP

It was one of the most prominent chants at the Women's March in 2017 and 2018, and other demonstrations advocating for human rights, women's rights, immigration reform, racial equality, LGBTQ rights, reproductive rights, and healthcare reform. Here, "Tell me what democracy looks like," is our cue for a discussion with Marion Brasch, Zetta Elliott and Siri Hustvedt who will reflect on the current crises that democratic institutions and governments around the world are facing as part of the rise of strong populist movements. We will not only examine the power of everyday citizens to effect change through protest and resistance, but also their individual approaches to activism and how to fortify the democratic principles we rely on.

Literary Quest: Westbeth Edition
Friday, April 20
6:30pm-10pm
Westbeth Center for the Arts
55 Bethune Street, New York, NY 10014
Tickets: $20, available here

The artist-residents of this New York cultural institution open their homes and workspaces for intimate salon-style readings and conversations with Festival authors, followed by cocktails in their legendary gallery. With Nachoem Wijnberg, Rupert Thomson, Ashley Hay, Susan Kuklin, Basma Abdel Aziz, Ayelet Gundar-Goshen, Trifonia Melibea Obono, Sharon Bala, Demian Vitanza and others.

Co-presented with the Westbeth Artists Residents Council

Our Writing Revolution
Friday, April 20
7pm-8pm
SubCulture
45 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10012
Tickets: $15, available here

Movements are growing around the country with demands for living wages, universal healthcare and racial justice. But what is the role of the writer in creating a new politics more responsive to the needs of working people? Mark Nowak's Worker Writers School gives agency to low income wage earners through poetry and organizing. Nowak and Vijay Prashad of LeftWord Books talk to Anjali Kamat about writers working at the intersection of economic inequality, creativity, and power. With poetry from the Worker Writers.

Havana with Leonardo Padura
Friday, April 20
7pm-8:30pm
Nuyorican Poets Cafe
236 E. 3rd Street, New York, NY
Tickets: $12 in advance, $15 at the door, available here

In his celebrated "Havana Quartet," Leonardo Padura's series of novels featuring Mario Condo, a hard-boiled private detective, the city itself, described as "a geography of human failings" by The New Yorker, is a major character worth exploring and experiencing in its own right. But Padura, one of Cuba's best-known writers, whose books' dynamic host of characters include Leon Trotsky and Ernest Hemingway, also chronicles the country as it lurched from the Fidel Castro era to present-day quasi capitalism. Padura talks about his country and the city he has made his own. He is joined by Mark Kurlansky, bestselling author of Cod and Salt, whose latest book, Havana: A Subtropical Delirium, delves into the literature that has shaped our understanding of the city. They talk about Padura's fiction, his country and the city he has made his own.

Co-presented with the Nuyorican Poets Cafe

Unlived Lives
Friday, April 20
7pm-8:30pm
Dixon Place
161A Chrystie Street, New York, NY 1000
Tickets: $15, available here

Sometimes the life we wanted, or the life we planned, is thwarted by the place in which we find ourselves, be it a totalitarian state, a nation at war with itself or a country emerging from decades of communist rule. These writers powerfully and movingly explore worlds, in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic and South Korea, where people are buffeted by geopolitical forces beyond their control, and forced ultimately to make do with lives that fall far short of their dreams. With Georgi Gospodinov, Petra Hulova, and Hwang Sok-yong. Moderated by Anderson Tepper.

An Evening with Roxane Gay
Friday, April 20
7pm-8:30pm
Great Hall | The Cooper Union
7 East 7th Street New York, NY 10003
Tickets: $40, available here

One of today's most influential voices writing about gender, sexuality, race, and the issues confronting women as they navigate a difficult and often hostile world, Roxane Gay is that rare writer of fiction, essays, and journalism (and some of the sharpest and most insightful tweets around) who has become a cultural icon. In this keynote event of the festival, Gay engages with today's big subjects, including #MeToo, #BlackLivesMatter, body size, and feminism. These topics are, in her writing, marked by a piercing intellect and engaging empathy, as well as often heartbreaking personal disclosures, earning her the devoted following of women and men across generations. Gay talks to Isaac Fitzgerald, the co-host of BuzzFeed News' Twitter morning show, #AMtoDM.

Hosted by The Cooper Union Office of Continuing Education and Public Programs

Where Do We Go from Here?
Friday, April 20
7pm-8:30pm
Brooklyn Museum Auditorium
200 Eastern Pkwy, Brooklyn, NY 11238
Tickets: $20, available here

Fifty years ago this month, Martin Luther King, Jr. was slain. Thus, America lost its moral lodestar. The country was in crisis, beset by racial conflict provoked by the simple demand that a nation live up to its ideals. In his final book, Dr. King examined the direction of the civil rights movement, and the need for social and economic justice and an end to the Vietnam War. America was at a crossroads. Today, America is at a similar crossroads, with mounting internal divisions, growing economic and educational inequality, an epidemic of black deaths at the hands of police, unprecedented incarceration rates that disproportionately affect people of color, and a resurgence in white supremacy. In this event, Jelani Cobb, Gregory Pardlo and Nikole Hannah-Jones ask the same question of our country today that Dr. King asked then: "Where do we go from here?"

Co-presented with The Brooklyn Museum

Meditations on Exile
Friday, April 20
6pm-7pm

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