This week in New York the sixth annual PEN World Voices Festival (PWVF) opens its week-long celebration of international writing with such notable literary figures as Sherman Alexie, Claire Messud, Yiyun Li, Salman Rushdie and Lewis Lapham among others (Full Schedule Here), Agriculture Reader holds a launch party, the Dead or Alive exhibition opens at the Museum of Arts and Design, Gossip perform, Stephen Colbert helps celebrate the 50th anniversary of To Kill a Mockingbird and the Tribeca Film Festival (TFF) continues.
MONDAY 4/26: The Diversity Test: Gender and Literature in Translation. Guernica and PEN team up to present a lively debate on gender, culture, and literature in translation with novelist Claire Messud and a prestigious panel including Norman Rush and Lorraine Adams, among others. WNYC Jerome L. Greene Performance Space, 44 Charlton Street. $20/$15 PEN Members. 7:00pm.
Agriculture Reader No. 4 Launch Party. Join editors Jeremy Schmall and Justin Taylor as they celebrate the pubication of the new Ag Reader with readings by Mark Bibbins and Douglas Crase. KGB bar. 7:00pm – 9:00pm.
TUESDAY 4/27: Dead or Alive. The Museum of Arts and Design opens a new exhibit showcasing the work of over t30 international artists who transform organic materials and objects that were once produced by or part of living organisms–insects, feathers, bones, silkworm cocoons, plant materials, and hair–to create intricately crafted and designed installations and sculptures. Featured artists include Simen Johan, Damien Hirst and Nick Cave.
Satisfaction: Consumption Art in Poland 1973-1979. During the revitalization of avant-garde practices in 1970s Poland, a strain of artmaking emerged that applied Pop aesthetics to the unlikely subject matter of consumer identity in a Communist state, responding to a new initiative by the government that encouraged the private consumption of luxury goods in the service of a more modern socialism. The films that arose from this moment engage with absurd, colorful and even scandalous content. Informed by Marxist analyses of the Western culture industry, they examine the effects of a socialist-consumerist experiment through sensuous fantasies of desire and excess. Curated and introduced by £ukasz Ronduda. Light Industry. 177 Livingston Street, Brooklyn. 7:30pm.
WEDNESDAY 4/28: PWVF–Readings from Around the Globe: Opening Night Extravaganza. Celebrate the ofﬁcial opening of the sixth annual PEN World Voices Festival with an extraordinary lineup of internationally acclaimed writers from Pakistan, Hungary, China, the United Kingdom, Italy, Finland, Afghanistan, India, Mexico, the United States, Poland, and the Philippines. With Salman Rushdie, Yiyun Li and Patti Smith among others. 92nd St. Y. 8-9:30.
A Celebration of the 50th Anniversary of To Kill a Mockingbird with Stephen Colbert. In homage to one of the most taught–and banned–books of the last 50 years, this event which takes place on the 84th birthday of author Harper Lee will feature actors and authors including Stephen Colbert, Jayne Anne Phillips, Libba Bray and Kurt Anderson who will read and discuss this watershed work. Symphony Space. 2537 Broadway at 95th St. $24/$20 members. 8:00pm.
I Will Be Good. Artist Tricia Rose Burt performs her autobiographical one-woman show, “I Will Be Good,” in which she humorously chronicles her journey from good southern girl in business to contemporary artist in New England. Using snapshots from her life, she explores the creative process, the choices we make and why, and the struggle to lead a life freed from other people’s expectations. WOW Cafe Theater. 59-61 e. 4th Street (bt. 2nd and Bowery). $18/$12 Students. 8:00pm.
THURSDAY 4/29: PWVF–Resonances: Contemporary Writers on the Classics. Authors including Aleksandar Hemon and Major Jackson select a classic work and discuss its resonance within her or his own work. Baruch College Vertical Campus College, CUNY, Multi-Purpose Room (ground ﬂoor, room 1-107), 55 Lexington Ave. at 25th St.
TFF: The Killer Inside Me. Adapting from cult pulp author Jim Thomson’s novel, BAFTA Award-winning director Michael Winterbottom crafts a classic film noir with an insidious twist. Starring Casey Affleck, Kate Hudson, Bill Pullman and Jessica Alba. Village East Cinema. 9:45pm.
PWVF–Literary Magazines: Here and Abroad, Now and in the Future. Join the editors of Granta, Tin House, and PEN America—along with contributors to those magazines—for a freewheeling conversation about the past, present, and future of literary magazines, both in the United States and abroad. Galapagos Art Space, DUMBO, 16 Main Street, Brooklyn. 7:00pm-8:30pm.
PWVF–Adaptation: From Page to Screen. What is lost—and what is gained—in the translation of ﬁction to ﬁlm? Join a distinguished international panel of authors, including the French writers Philippe Dijan, on whose book the ﬁlm Betty Blue was based, and Jean-Philippe Toussaint, whose work has been compared to the ﬁlms of Jim Jarmusch. They’ll be joined by American novelists and screenwriters Barry Gifford, whose Wild at Heart was directed by David Lynch and celebrates its 20th birthday this year, and Richard Price, whose book Clockers was directed by Spike Lee.
FRIDAY 4/30: PWVF–The Future of Journalism. Join Lewis Lapham along with a distinguished group of editors and journalists for a discussion on the future of the news. Instituto Cervantes New York, 211–215 East 49th Street, New York City. 1:00pm-2:30pm.
PWVF–Quim Monzó in Conversation with Robert Coover. Catalan writer Quim Monzó draws on the rich tradition of surrealism to put a deliberately paranoid sense of menace in the mundane. He has translated Arthur Miller, J.D. Salinger, Dorothy Parker, Ray Bradbury, and the works of Robert Coover, who joins him today. Sit in on this special discussion about Monzó’s new book, Gasoline, and the things these two acclaimed writers share—their lyrical, visionary imaginations, and fantastic senses of the absurd. Deutsches Haus at NYU, 42 Washington Mews. 3:30-4:30pm.
PWVF–The Great Fire: Shirley Hazzard in Conversation with Richard Ford. Ford will serve as interviewer for this special evening, which also features readings of Hazzard’s work by friends and admirers, including Annabel Davis-Goff and others.
Gossip with Rye Rye and Phenomenal Handclap Band. The genre-bending DIY post-punk rock trio Gossip bring a new level of lyrical power and musical sophistication to their ever-evolving, always-electrifying sound and sensibility on Music For Men, the indie group’s first major label studio album. Terminal 5. 610 W 56th St. Doors 7:00pm/Show 8:00pm.
SATURDAY 5/1: PWVF–Patti Smith and Jonathan Lethem in Conversation. Don’t miss this conversation with two New York icons, punk rock icon Patti Smith and novelist Jonathan Lethem. The Great Hall, Cooper Union, 7 East 7th St. 1:00pm.
PWVF–The 2010 PEN/O. Henry Prize Story Celebration. Join PEN and Anchor Books for a celebratory evening of short fiction and cocktails in honor of the recipients of the 2010 PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories and of the jurors Junot Díaz, Yiyun Li, and Paula Fox. With Rob Spillman, Hannah Tinti, Maribeth Batcha, and other special guests. Idlewild Books, 12 West 19th St. 6:00pm-8:00pm.
TFF: Monogamy. Thirtysomethings Theo (Chris Messina) and Nat (Rashida Jones) are engaged to be married. They seem to live a comfortable life but Theo is bored with his job as a wedding photographer, so he develops the unconventional side business “Gumshoot,” a service where clients hire him to secretly stalk them with his camera. Village East Cinema. 6:00pm.
TFF: The Woodmans. Feature Documentary. The Woodmans are a family united in their belief that art-making is the highest form of expression and an essential way of life, but for photographer daughter Francesca, worldwide acclaim came only after a tragedy that would forever scar the family. With unrestricted access to all of Francesca’s works and diaries, The Woodmans paints an incisive portrait of a family broken and then healed by its art. Village East Cinema. 5:45pm.
PWVF–The Fourth Annual PEN Cabaret. Join Natalie Merchant, novelist Ben Okri, and poet and performance artist Irakli Kakabadze along with special guests. Le Poisson Rouge, 158 Bleecker St. 8:00pm-10:00pm.
SUNDAY 5/2: PWVF–A Life in Film: Melvin Van Peebles and Greg Tate. Director, actor, screenwriter, playwright, novelist, and composer Melvin Van Peebles discusses his work with Greg Tate, journalist, cultural critic, and musician. The two artists are collaborating on Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song (the Hood Opera), a musical adaptation of the 1971 iconic film, which was written, composed, and directed by Van Peebles. Brooklyn Public Library, Central Library, Grand Army Plaza, Dr. S. Steven Dweck Center for Contemporary Culture. 1:30pm.
PWVF–Sherman Alexie: The Fifth Annual Arthur Miller Freedom to Write Lecture. Sherman Alexie has received numerous honors including the National Book Award and the PEN/Hemingway Award for his poetry, fiction, and children’s books. In December, he sparked debate with remarks on The Colbert Report about digital culture and the future of books. Join him for a thoughtful examination of these concerns—and of the roles and responsibilities of the writer at the present moment. The Great Hall, Cooper Union 7 East 7th St. 6:30-8:00pm.
ART: Nick Cave. Nick Cave’s work can be seen at the Dead or Alive exhibit at the Museum of Arts and Design.
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Original Notable New York Illustration © André da Loba
Other images in order of appearance: “Mad Cow Motorcycle” (Billie Grace Lynn 2008) as seen at Dead or Alive; “Landscape I” (Levi van Veluw, 2008) as seen at Dead or Alive; Gossip; Trailer for The Woodmans; “Soundsuits” (Nick Cave).