12th PEN Festival Has Mexico Focus

Álvaro Enrigue, Valeria Luiselli

Alvaro Enrigue and Valeria Luiselli will share original testimonies crafted under their guidance at “The Voices of the Student ‘DREAM’ers.”

On April 25th, PEN America will kick off its 12th annual PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature with a focus on Mexico. The aim, according to the statement on the festival website is to invite attendees to “rethink the stories of migration, the border and national identity.” The program features a range of lectures and panels related to Mexico and Mexican narratives including the seminal role of translators, an exploration of Africa in Latin America, pre-Christopher Columbus, and an opening night panel on the multibillion-dollar drug industry with 1991 MacArthur Fellow Guillermo Gómez-Peña, journalist Lydia Cacho, and Man Booker Prize 2015 Winner Marlon James.


Absent from the Mexico-centered slate is a program exploring the business of writing in Mexico/for Mexican writers. If you’re interested in learning more about the publishing market in Mexico, PublishingPerspectives.com has an interview with indie publisher Eduardo Rabasa who founded Editorial Sexto Piso in 2002.

Though elusive pseudonymous author Elena Ferrante will likely not be unmasking her(or  him)self at the festival this year, her English-language translator is also on deck to discuss Ferrante’s work with a panel of authors. Author and cultural critic Roxane Gay will give the keynote Arthur Miller Freedom to Write Lecture followed by a sit-down with multi-award-winning poet and Buzzfeed’s Executive Editor of Culture Saeed Jones.

Check out the full schedule here.