PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature Opening Night

Monday, May 4, 2015, 7:30 - 10pm

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'Root of All Eves' (detail, from 2015 PEN festival program cover). Wangechi Mutu A'97

'Root of All Eves' (detail, from 2015 PEN festival program cover). Wangechi Mutu A'97

This year's PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature focuses on Africa. For the opening night event, titled "The Future is Now," leading writers from around the globe present their worst- and best-case scenarios for where the world may be in the year 2050, offering insights they haven't yet published, and the opportunity to consider how our future is intimately tied to our present.

Speakers include Fedor AlexandrovichMona EltahawyRichard FlanaganAminatta FornaZanele MuholiLola ShoneyinTom StoppardNgũgĩ wa Thiong’oBinyavanga Wainaina, and Jackie Wang.

Tickets: $15 / $10 for PEN Members and students with valid ID.  Purchase tickets online or call (866) 811-4111. On-site sales: credit card only.

Presented by PEN American Center and sponsored, in part, by NYU Africa House; the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its art funding and advisory body, and the Melbourne Writers Festival; the British Council; the Consulate General of Denmark in New York; and The Danish Arts Foundation. 

Located in The Great Hall, in the Foundation Building, 7 East 7th Street, between Third and Fourth Avenues

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.