PEN WORLD VOICES
2013 – Three Questions:
Festival Director Jakab Orsos talks about Art, Bravery, and Sonia Sotomayor
This year, from April 29 – May 5, New York City hosted the the ninth edition of the PEN American Center World Voices Festival. The Festival discussed the notion of bravery in art, in politics, and in our everyday lives, and brought together Chief Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Eduardo Galeano, James Kelman, Claudio Magris, Fran Lebowitz, Sapphire, Pierre Michon, Jamaica Kincaid, and many other luminaries to New York City for readings, performances, and conversations.
The festival has grown and evolved under the leadership of Festival Director, Laszlo Jakab Orsos. In the midst of finalizing an ambitious program and welcoming writers from around the world, Orsos found time to answer our questions.
WRR: There have been suggestions that the Festival should have a more centralized location. You’ve moved a majority of the events downtown. What motivated that decision?
Orsos: While we’d love to speak to as many people as we can through our events, we also want to create a Festival atmosphere. In a large city like New York it can only happen if we manage to centralize our locations. My dream is that one day the Festival will be taking place in one large venue, which would be opened from 10am until the wee hours with a bookstore, café(s) bar(s) and different venues from the small intimate one to a large one for big readings and debates. It may very well happen one day.
WRR: The Westbeth Artist’s Community in the West Village is among the first examples of adaptive reuse of industrial buildings for artistic and residential use in the United States. PEN has organized an event, a Literary Safari, where artists and writers open their homes to the public. With this year’s theme of bravery, what does a community like Westbeth mean to you?
Orsos: When one wanders the halls of Westbeth, one can`t help but think that artists are endangered species. A community like Westbeth is so rare and so vulnerable that it makes obvious that being an artist and trying to produce meaningful works is almost an act of bravery these days. It certainly is on the existential level.
Westbeth Literary Safari/Friday, May 3, 6:30 pm
Explorers may discover a bedside reading, a dinner-table discussion, or a poet in the elevator at this event, where each participant is given a map and left to roam the halls of the city’s oldest and largest artist community; the notoriously labyrinthine Westbeth Artists’ Housing. The residents will again open their homes to PEN authors and the public for this intimate annual event, which ends with a reception and champagne toast in the gallery.
For more information, click here: Westbeth
WRR: The choice of Chief Justice Sonia Sotomayor to give the Arthur Miller Freedom to Write Lecture is bold. A native New Yorker, Sotomayor made her reputation as a lawyer and a judge, which is a different kind of writing. What motivated PEN’s choice to invite her as the capstone to the Festival?
Orsos: We’ve asked her because we wanted to have her specific answers on what constitutes freedom inside and outside of the System. In other words, we need to know if there are different notions of freedom depending on which side one stands. It is our mission to continuously work on these fundamental issues: defining and re-defining core terms IS the actual implementation them into our lives. The more you think about democracy, the more you ponder upon freedom and first amendment rights, the stronger its practice become.
This year we’re asking a judge to inspire us.
The Arthur Miller Freedom to Write Lecture: Sonia Sotomayor
Sunday, May 5, 5:00 pm
In May 2009, President Barack Obama nominated Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court; she assumed her role as Associate Justice on August 8, 2009. Her memoir, My Beloved World, was published this year. In past years, the Arthur Miller Freedom to Write Lecture has been delivered by Orhan Pamuk, David Grossman, Umberto Eco, Nawal el Saadawi, Christopher Hitchens, Wole Soyinka, and Salman Rushdie. This year, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States Sonia Sotomayor will add her voice to the storied chorus, delivering an address from the same Great Hall where Lincoln gave his historic anti-slavery speech. A conversation between Justice Sotomayor and award-winning writer, scholar, and public intellectual Henry Louis Gates, Jr. will follow the lecture.
In 2006, Joy E. Stocke founded Wild River Review with Kimberly Nagy, an outgrowth of the literary magazine, The Bucks County Writer, of which Stocke was Editor in Chief. In 2009, as their editorial practice grew, Stocke and Nagy founded Wild River Consulting & Publishing, LLC.
With more than twenty-five years experience as a writer and journalist, Stocke works with many of the writers who appear in the pages of Wild River Review, as well as clients from around the world.
In addition, Stocke has shepherded numerous writers into print. She has interviewed Nobel Prize winners Orhan Pamuk and Muhammud Yunus, Pulitzer Prizewinner Paul Muldoon, Paul Holdengraber, host of LIVE from the NYPL; Roshi Joan Halifax, founder of Upaya Zen Center; anthropologist and expert on end of life care, Mary Catherine Bateson; Ivonne Baki, President of the Andean Parliament; and Templeton Prizewinner Freeman Dyson among others.
In 2006, along with Nagy, Stocke interviewed scientists and artists including former Princeton University President Shirley Tilghman and Dean of Faculty, David P. Dobkin for the documentary Quark Park, chronicling the creation of an award-winning park built on a vacant lot in the heart of Princeton, New Jersey; a park that united art, science and community.
She is president of the Board of Directors at the Cabo Pulmo Learning Center, Cabo Pulmo, Baja Sur, Mexico; and is a member of the Turkish Women’s International Network.
In addition, Stocke has written extensively about her travels in Greece and Turkey. Her memoir, Anatolian Days and Nights: A Love Affair with Turkey, Land of Dervishes, Goddesses & Saints, based on more than ten years of travel through Turkey, co-written with Angie Brenner was published in March 2012. Her cookbook, Tree of Life: Turkish Home Cooking will be published in March, 2017 by Quarto Books under the Burgess Lea Press imprint . Stocke and Brenner are currently testing recipes for a companion book, which will feature Anatolian-inspired mezes from around the world.
Stocke’s essay “Turkish American Food” appears in the 2nd edition of the Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America (OUP, 2013). The volume won both International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) for Beverage/Reference/Technical category, 2014; and the Gourmand Award for the Best Food Book of the Year, 2014.
She is the author of a bi-lingual book of poems, Cave of the Bear, translated into Greek by Lili Bita based on her travels in Western Crete, and is currently researching a book about the only hard-finger coral reef in Mexico on the Baja Sur Peninsula. She has been writing about environmental issues there since 2011.
A graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, with a Bachelor of Science in Broadcast Journalism from the Agriculture Journalism School where she also received a minor of Food Science, she participated in the Lindisfarne Symposium on The Evolution of Consciousness with cultural philosopher, poet and historian, William Irwin Thompson. In 2009, she became a Lindisfarne Fellow.
Works by Joy E. Stocke in this Edition
AIRMAIL – LETTERS FROM AROUND THE WORLD
AIRMAIL – VOICE FROM SYRIA
ARTS – ART
COLUMNS – THE MYSTIC PEN
FOOD & DRINK – ANATOLIAN KITCHEN
FREYMAN & PETERSON- Your Life is a Book: How to Craft and Publish Your Memoir
LITERATURE – BOOK REVIEWS
LITERATURE – ESSAYS
LITERATURE – MEMOIR
LITERATURE – POETRY
LIVE FROM THE NYPL
The Euphoria of Ignorance: Being Jewish, Becoming Jewish, The Paradox of Being Carlo Ginzburg
Fountain of Curiosity: Paul Holdengraber on Attention, Tension and Stretching the Limits of Conversation at the New York Public Library
Paul Holdengraber – The Afterlife of Conversation
2013 – Three Questions: Festival Director Jakab Orsos talks about Art, Bravery, and Sonia Sotomayor
Critical Minds, Social Revolution: Egyptian Activist Nawal El Saadawi
INTERVIEW – Laszlo Jakab Orsos: Written on Water
Tonight We Rest Here: An Interview with Poet Saadi Youssef
Georgian Writer David Dephy’s Second Skin
On the High Line: Diamonds on the Soles of Our Shoes
Car Bombs on the West Side, Journalists Uptown
New York City – Parade of Illuminations: Behind the Scenes with Festival Director Jakab Orsos
The Pen Cabaret 2008: Bowery Ballroom — Featuring..
Anatolian Days and Nights: A Love Affair with Turkey, Land of Dervishes, Goddesses and Saints
Daring Collaborations: Rolex and LIVE from the NYPL at the New York Public Library Composing a Further Life: with Mary Catherine Bateson
WRR@LARGE: From the Editors – UP THE CREEK
Up the Creek: Volume 1, Number 1
Up the Creek: Volume 1, Number 2.5
Up the Creek: Volume 1, Number 3.3
Up the Creek: Number 4.4
Up the Creek: Beautiful Solutions
Up the Creek: Blind Faith, July 2009
Up the Creek: Create Dangerously
Up the Creek: What Price Choice?
Up the Creek: Before and After: September 11, 2001
Up the Creek: Candle in a Long Street
Up the Creek: Crossing Cultures: Transcending History
Up the Creek: Man in the Mirror; A Map of the World
Up the Creek: Stories and the Shape of Time
Up the Creek: The Divine Road To Istanbul
Up the Creek: What It Means to Yearn
WRR@LARGE – WILD COVERAGE
UNESCO World Heritage Site Under Threat of Mega-Devlopment Sparks International Protests
The Other Side Of Abu Ghraib — Part One: The Detainees’ Quest For Justice
The Other Side of Abu Ghraib – Part Two: The Yoga Teacher Goes to Istanbul