Literary Conversations

Provocative Civil Discourse Inspired and Led by Writers

 

Our Literary Conversations bring together highly-acclaimed writers from all over the country to discuss the urgent issues that surround their work and let literature serve as a springboard for civil discourse. Over the past 35+ years, our literary programs have featured authors reading from their work and engaging in thrilling, thought-provoking conversations.

Authors who have joined us over the years have included:
Eudora Welty, Robert Stone, Ken Kesey, Amy Tan, Louise Erdrich, Tayari Jones, Ann Patchett, Jonathan Franzen, Joan Didion, Michael Chabon, Luis Alberto Urrea, Jennifer Egan, Susan Choi, Isabel Allende, Reginald Dwayne Betts, Ta-Nehisi Coates, T.C. Boyle, Roxane Gay, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Margaret Atwood, Stephen King, and Emma Donoghue, among many others.

CRISIS

CRISIS

DATE | April 19, 2021
LOCATION | Online Event

Crisis featured three novelists whose work is informed by the possibility of impending crisis.

T.C. Boyle (World’s End, The Terranauts), Jenny Offill (Weather, Dept. of Speculation), and Nnedi Okorafor (Who Fears Death, Lagoon) were in conversation with moderator Sean Murphy (Founder & Executive Director, 1455).

The recording and transcript for this event is now available.

read more

More Literary Conversations

REFUGE

REFUGE

DATE | March 11, 2021 at 7pm ET
LOCATION | Online Event

Refuge featured authors who have explored topics of immigration, identity, and home in their work, at a time when these issues are especially urgent.

This insightful and challenging discussion of refuge and home featured authors Aleksandar Hemon (Nowhere Man, The Lazarus Project), Abdi Nor Iftin (Call Me American), Souvankham Thammavongsa (How to Pronounce Knife), and moderator Matthew Davis (Founding Director, Alan Cheuse International Writers Center). 

Catch the recording and transcript of this event now!

INTERSECTIONS

INTERSECTIONS

DATE | February 9, 2021 at 7:00 PM
LOCATION | Online Event

Intersections featured authors who have engaged with intersectional identities in their work. We were joined by novelists Tope Folarin, Min Jin Lee, and Douglas Stuart, as well as moderator and book critic Bethanne Patrick, for a complicated and challenging discussion of intersectionality in literature.

NOW AVAILABLE: The event recording and transcript.

ESCAPE

ESCAPE

DATE | November 23, 2020 at 7:00 PM
LOCATION | Online Event

Literature provides the perfect opportunity to escape into new worlds in an attempt to cope with and understand all that happens in our own.

This riveting Literary Conversation featured Margaret Atwood, Rion Amilcar Scott, Nisi Shawl, and moderator Morgan Jerkins.

VIRUS

VIRUS

DATE | October 19, 2020 at 7:00 PM
LOCATION | Online Event

The COVID-19 pandemic has completely changed the way we live our lives. It has also shown us our weak points and failures as a society.

This fascinating and especially relevant conversation featured literary powerhouses Stephen King (The Stand), Lauren Beukes (Afterland), and Emma Donoghue (The Pull of the Stars). They were joined by moderator and author Daniel H. Pink.

YOU

YOU

DATE | Wed, September 23, 2020, 7:00 PM
LOCATION | Online Event

This third installment of Literature on Screen features Caroline Kepnes, author of the best-selling book turned hit Netflix series, You. Caroline was in conversation with Penn Badgley, actor and star of the TV adaptation, and moderator Chris Klimek (NPR, Washington Post) to discuss the translation of her books to the hit Netflix series, as well as the modernization of stalking in the digital age that takes place in her novels.

WIRED

WIRED

DATE | February 27, 2020 at 7:00 PM
LOCATION | Jack Morton Auditorium, 805 21st Street NW, Washington, DC 20052

According to the NIMH, almost twenty percent of American adults live with a mental illness. From social anxiety and depression to bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, mental illness is becoming more prevalent in today’s society and everyday dialogue.

UNINCARCERATED

UNINCARCERATED

Date | November 21, 2019 at 7:00 PM
Location | True Reformer Building, 1200 U Street NW, Washington, DC 20009

This event featured authors who write about the effects of this system on the lives of everyday Americans, shedding light on narratives that are often oversimplified or ignored.

WORDS AND PICTURES

WORDS AND PICTURES

DATE | October 9, 2019 at 7:00 PM
Location | Penn Social, 801 E Street NW, Washington, DC 20004

What happens when the visual arts meet the literary arts?

Join the PEN/Faulkner Foundation for an evening of conversation with some of the biggest names in graphic novels, as they talk about artistic collaborations and the evolution of storytelling in a new era.

THE HATE U GIVE

THE HATE U GIVE

DATE | April 30, 2019 at 7:30 PM
LOCATION | AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center
8633 Colesville Rd
Silver Spring, MD 20910

We welcomed author Angie Thomas and actor Russell Hornsby to DC where they discussed the translation of the bestselling novel, The Hate U Give, to the critically acclaimed movie adaptation, as well as the very real events that inspired the story.

FANTASTIC WOMEN

FANTASTIC WOMEN

DATE | March 10, 2019 at 7:00 PM
LOCATION | National Museum of Women in the Arts
1250 New York Ave NW
Washington, DC 20005

In celebration of Women’s History Month, the PEN/Faulkner Foundation and the National Museum of Women in the Arts presented “Fantastic Women.”

Literary Conversations

Provocative Civil Discourse Inspired and Led by Writers

 

CRISIS

CRISIS

DATE | April 19, 2021
LOCATION | Online Event

Crisis featured three novelists whose work is informed by the possibility of impending crisis.

T.C. Boyle (World’s End, The Terranauts), Jenny Offill (Weather, Dept. of Speculation), and Nnedi Okorafor (Who Fears Death, Lagoon) were in conversation with moderator Sean Murphy (Founder & Executive Director, 1455).

The recording and transcript for this event is now available.

read more

More Literary Conversations

REFUGE

REFUGE

DATE | March 11, 2021 at 7pm ET
LOCATION | Online Event

Refuge featured authors who have explored topics of immigration, identity, and home in their work, at a time when these issues are especially urgent.

This insightful and challenging discussion of refuge and home featured authors Aleksandar Hemon (Nowhere Man, The Lazarus Project), Abdi Nor Iftin (Call Me American), Souvankham Thammavongsa (How to Pronounce Knife), and moderator Matthew Davis (Founding Director, Alan Cheuse International Writers Center). 

Catch the recording and transcript of this event now!

INTERSECTIONS

INTERSECTIONS

DATE | February 9, 2021 at 7:00 PM
LOCATION | Online Event

Intersections featured authors who have engaged with intersectional identities in their work. We were joined by novelists Tope Folarin, Min Jin Lee, and Douglas Stuart, as well as moderator and book critic Bethanne Patrick, for a complicated and challenging discussion of intersectionality in literature.

NOW AVAILABLE: The event recording and transcript.

ESCAPE

ESCAPE

DATE | November 23, 2020 at 7:00 PM
LOCATION | Online Event

Literature provides the perfect opportunity to escape into new worlds in an attempt to cope with and understand all that happens in our own.

This riveting Literary Conversation featured Margaret Atwood, Rion Amilcar Scott, Nisi Shawl, and moderator Morgan Jerkins.

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