PEN World Voices Festival Kicks Off

April 28, 2011 Updated: April 28, 2011

NEW YORK—Literary luminaries and their admirers gathered in New York City Monday night for the first in a weeklong series of events. The PEN World Voices Festival has brought poets, authors, and writers together for the past six years.

Now in its seventh season, the festival schedule boasts a wide array of lectures, discussions, and gatherings of all sizes.

Some of the events, including one of Monday evening's two opening events on New Yorks' waterfront, feature world-famous authors. Monday’s event included Gioconda Belli, Iva Bittová, Mircea Cartarescu, Deborah Eisenberg, Evan Fallenberg, Malcolm Gladwell, Hanif Kureishi, Andrea Levy, Agi Mishol, Amélie Nothomb, Salman Rushdie, Wallace Shawn, Vladimir Sorokin, and Liao Yiwu.

The rest of the week's events, which go through Sunday, May 1, will focus on various topics from writers in the Arab world to "cocktail hour reading" by different authors.

According to the PEN website, the festival includes over 100 writers from 40 countries who come to New York City "to celebrate the power of the writer’s voice as a bold and vital element of public discourse."

More information can be found at www.pen.org.