PEN World Voices: Friday's Events

Following up on yesterday’s post about today’s PEN World Voices events, here’s a list of the things taking place on Friday that seem most interesting to me. (Some of which I’ll be writing about for the PEN blogs. More on that later.)

I’m mostly interested in this event because it centers around Ernest Farres’s Edward Hopper, a collection of poems that was the focus of the first ever Reading the World podcast that Erica and I did with Larry Venuti.

A couple weeks ago I actually joined the NBCC, so I have to push their events, right? Actually this panel sounds fascinating. It’s going to be a conversation among Eric Banks, Jane Ciabattari, Rigoberto González, and Mary Ann Newman about how the works by some of the authors at the festival have been received here and abroad, who their influences are, etc., etc. And one of the featured authors is our own Quim Monzo.

Totally in my wheelhouse of interest. Doesn’t even matter who’s participating—if I weren’t covering something else at that time, I’d totally be there. Also want to mention that Alberto Ruy-Sanchez—who is one of the speakers—has over 4,900 friends on Facebook. That’s unbelievable. I’m not sure I’ve even met 4,900 people in my entire life.

Alberto Mobilio is moderating this, so it’s bound to be awesome. And Inga Kuznetsova, Jonathan Lethem, Eshkol Nevo, and Andrzej Stasiuk is a pretty solid lineup of authors . . . Not to mention, the subject of utopias and dystopias is always pretty interesting. Again, if I didn’t have a conflict, I’d try and make this one.

This is where I’ll be during the other events I mentioned above. I’m really excited to see Quim and hear this conversation, and I’ll definitely be writing about this tomorrow. It was via Coover that I first found out about Quim back some years ago. Quim’s work is ofter compared to Coover’s, although recently Joanna Scott suggested that Peter Handke might be an even better point of reference. Regardless, this is bound to be an incredible event . . .

I think everyone I know is going to this event. Which looks incredible. I get the sense this will be like the Walser event of a few years back, which was one of the most talked about and loved PEN World Voices panels ever. That one was a perfect introduction to the world of Robert Walser; I’m hoping this event brings Zweig the attention he deserves.

I’ve never been to this, but from what I’ve heard, it’s usually a pretty packed and energetic event. Nice way to end the night . . .


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