“We are trying to save writers’ lives.”   - Arthur Miller on PEN
The Arthur Miller PEN America Freedom to Write Lecture

P E N   W O R L D   V O I C E S   F E S T I V A L

Named for the former PEN president and fierce defender of the freedom of expression, the annual Arthur Miller Freedom to Write Lecture is the keynote event of the week-long PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature and features leading voices addressing critical free expression challenges.”

Watch Ta-Nehisi Coates 2023 Lecture

Past Lectures include:

2022 lecture: May 13 – Novelist and PEN Ukraine President Andrey Kurkov

Richard Flanagan’s 2021 lecture. More about Richard Flanagan

2020: Explore PEN America Digital World Voices Festival: “These Truths”

2020: Nikole Hannah-Jones & the 1619 Project. [Postponed due to Festival cancellation.]

The 1619 Project, The New York Times


      2019: Arundhati Roy

“Literature Provides Shelter.  That’s Why We Need it.”  The Guardian (abridged lecture)


      2018: Sec. Hillary Rodham Clinton & in conversation with Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie


      2017:   Masha Gennen


      2016 Roxane Gay


      2015: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie


      2014: Colm Tóibín

“The Censor in Each of Us” The New Yorker (based on lecture)


      2013: Sonia Sotomayor


      2012: Salman Rushdie

“On Censorship” The New Yorker  (based on lecture)


      2011: Wole Soyinka


      2010: Christopher Hitchens


      2009:  Nawal El Saadawi


      2008: Umberto Eco


      2007: David Grossman

“Writing in the Dark” The New York Times Magazine (adapted from lecture)

“The writing cure” The Guardian (edited extract from lecture)


      2006: Orhan Pamuk (video unavailable)

“Freedom to Write” complete lecture text published by Prague Writers’ Festival and also in The New York Review of Book]


[author photos courtesy of]