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PEN 2013

NYC Cabbie, Poet, Comedian, and Political Activist: Interview with John McDonagh

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

On May 14, 2013 I spoke with John McDonagh on Stone Street in Lower Manhattan following a demonstration by the New York Taxi Workers Alliance at the T.L.C. (Taxi and Limosine Commission) headquarters at 33 Beaver Street, the goal of which was to stop T.L.C.'s new sweeping 12-point rules package that would allow taxi companies to pass down the costs of repairs and owners summonses onto drivers and raise the lease by $7,000 for the year.

Shame and Pride

Monday, May 6, 2013

Author’s Note: I prepared these remarks for the “Going on the Record: Resistance and Writing” panel discussion at the PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature, but the format of the panel was changed, so I didn’t end up delivering them. The Mantle has kindly offered to publish my remarks as an essay. 


PEN 2013: Literature: the Lock and Key

Monday, May 6, 2013

Saturday, May 04, 2013, 7:00pm
The Public Theater 425 Lafayette Street, New York, NY 10003

The Closing Argument at Guantanamo

PEN 2013: Eduardo Galeano Seeks Justice

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Poet, visionary, historian, chronicler of the forgotten, scorned, and oppressed. Eduardo Galeano held court to a packed auditorium at a PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature conversation held at The New School. The event was facilitated by Jessica Hagedorn.

PEN 2013: Our Collective Failure

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Americans are way too flippant with their use of the word "hero." Professional sports players, first responders, soldiers, presidents, CEOs, and everyday folks (often doing everyday things) have all been called heroes. The accolade has been watered down so much it has lost all significance. Hero, then, is not a term I use loosely.

PEN 2013: South Africa in Two Acts

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Saturday, May 04, 2013, 5:00pm
Cooper Union: Frederick P. Rose Auditorium 41 Cooper Square, New York, NY 10003

Saturday afternoon's event, moderated by Peter Godwin, took its time in unfolding a series of observations regarding the current state of South African society and the remnants of Apartheid, which "ended" nearly twenty years ago.

PEN 2013: The "African Writer"

Saturday, May 4, 2013

In my travels around the global literary scene, the question of a writerly identity has never seemed more precarious, conflicted, and urgent than with writers from Africa. More often than not, it is the writer—not the reader—who is fixated on the question: who or what is an African writer?

PEN 2013: Master/Class: Fran Lebowitz with A.M.Homes

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Friday, May 03, 2013, 8:30pm
The New School: Tishman Auditorium 66 West 12th St., New York, NY 10011

Caustically witty and sharp-tongued as ever, Fran Lebowitz and A.M. Homes lit up the stage at The New School's Tishman auditorium last night with a candid conversation that ranged in disparate topics from bravery in writing to changes in New York City and in particular, the West Village, to revenge, playing a judge on TV, to teaching, politics and Hurricane Sandy.

PEN 2013: Master/Class: Jamaica Kincaid with Ru Freeman

Friday, May 3, 2013

Thursday, May 02, 2013, 6:30pm
The New School: Tishman Auditorium 66 West 12th St., New York, NY 10011

On Thursday night we were offered a fascinating glimpse into the renowned writer, Jamaica Kincaid. Keeping within PEN's theme of bravery, the evening's topics ranged widely from the novel, memory, the event, landscape, marriage, writing to the colonial mindset, but I want to focus on one particular thread that ran throughout and perhaps touches on a number of the topics I have just listed: curiosity.