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Banned Book Week 2022: Defend Books Across America With Special Events


Across the country books are under attack, with book bans sweeping America, and silencing diverse and ground breaking literary voices. As PEN America, celebrating its 100th anniversary defending the freedom to read and write,invites readers, authors, educators, librarians, and everyone who opposes censorship in America to get involved during Banned Books Week 2022 (Sept. 17-24, 2022) with events both in person and online across the US.

At the New York Public Library (476 Fifth Ave New York, NY) on Wednesday, September 21, MSNBC's Ali Velshi presents Restricted Access: an American History of Book Banning. A panel of authors, scholars, and critics reflect on the current climate around book bans and to understand this wave of hostility hitting books across America. Actor André De Shields, one of the stars of the upcoming revival of Death of a Salesman, will open the evening reading a passage from Toni Morrison.

In Florida there’s the panel The Assault on Black Thought: Book Banning in Florida. Running Saturday, September 17 at Books & Books (265 Aragon Ave, Coral Gables, FL), this in-person conversation will examine the recent censorious threats in Florida and the power of Black literature to spur important cultural conversations.

On September 19 the virtual event Banned Books, Fahrenheit 451, and the Division Censorship Creates. The discussion features PEN Across America, Mount Vernon Public Library, and Banned Book Week Chairs  Alyssa Gómez Lawrence and Debbie Nabubwaya Chambers in an online discussion of Ray Bradbury’s classic novel, Fahrenheit 451, and the issues the book raises around censorship and free expression. This discussion will examine the history of banned books, our current censorious moment, and the path toward a free and enlightened culture. 

This is a sampling of events happening across America for Banned Book Week, and PEN America invites people to spread the word with #FreeTheBooks!.

To learn more, go to:

Banned Book Week 2022
September 17 - 24, 2022

Various Locations Across America and Streaming Online


Poetry, Comedy, Politics, & Progress at the 2021 IAAC Literary Festival

The Indo-American Arts Council (or IACC) will be having their 2021 Literary Festival online and in person this year. The event features an array of national and international literary stars and emerging authors. The week-long festival will be held live in New York City for local authors and on an on-line platform for global authors that will host book readings, keynote speakers, thought leaders and podcasts followed by virtual interactive sessions.

Author, comedian, speech writer, and actor Kal Penn will be talking about his new book, You Can’t Be Serious, on December 12 at the DAG Fuller Building (41 E 57th St Suite 708, New York, NY). Streamed online, author Yatindra Mishra will be in conversation with musician Amjad Ali Khan about his book Akhtari. Author Tripurdaman Singh and Adeel Hussain will be in conversation with moderator Rakesh Kaul about their book Nehru: The Debates that defined India.

Engineer turned comedian and speech-maker, Dan Nainan, talks about his new book, Accidentally Funny. A Poetry Session will feature Arundhathi Subramaniam, Purvi Shah and Ralph Nazareth, among others. Former CEO and Chairman of PepsiCo, Indra Nooyi, will be about her ambitions, career, and her new book My Life in Full.

Film director, Suman Ghosh, will discuss his new book Soumitra Chatterjee: A Film-Maker Remembers, which is an intimate look at the life and works of the late cinematic legend, Soumitra Chatterjee.

And this is only a sampling of the events going on during the Festival.

To learn more, go to:

IAAC Literary Festival 2021
December 4 - 12, 2021

Various locations & online

Schomburg Center Literary Festival Explores Freedom

The Third Annual Schomburg Center Literary Festival
: Reading the African Diaspora expands on the Schomburg Center’s long tradition of championing authors of African descent from across the globe and publications that celebrate Black history and culture. Running June 14 to the 19th, the fest will be held virtually. 

This year’s festival explores the concept of freedom, culminating on June 19, also known in the United States as Juneteenth, a day in 1865 marking freedom for enslaved people in Galveston, Texas. The third annual Schomburg Center Literary Festival features book talks with critically acclaimed authors such as Carol Anderson, Mahogany L. Browne, Ellis Cose, Honorée Fanonne Jeffers, Kiese Laymon, Yusef Komunyakaa, Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi, Ben Okri, and more.

To learn more, go to:

The Third Annual Schomburg Center Literary Festival
June 14 - 19, 2021


The New York Public Library’s World Literature Festival Goes Online

The New York Public Library’s World Literature Festival
, running April 12–30, 2021, celebrates books and writers from around the world and reflects the languages spoken in our communities. As part of the concurrent Immigrant Heritage Week (April 12–18) the NYPL is streaming special author talks in world languages, online events, and more for all ages in Español (Spanish), 中文 (Chinese), Русский (Russian), বাংলা (Bengali), Français (French), and 日本語 (Japanese)—all free.

Events include:

  • Wed, Apr 14: Nicole Dennis-Benn
    (In English with closed captions)

  • Sat, Apr 17: Alexander Stessin
    (In Russian with live English interpretation)

  • Mon, Apr 19: don Miguel Ruiz
    (In Spanish with live English interpretation)

  • Wed, Apr 21: Ha Jin
    (In Chinese with live English interpretation)

  • Sat, Apr 24: Colombe Schneck
    (In French with live English interpretation)

  • Thurs, Apr 29: Naomi Hirahara
    (In English with live Japanese interpretation)

All events are streaming online.

To learn more, go to:

NYPL World Literature Festival
April 12 - 30, 2021

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