PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature PUSHING PAST GLASS CEILINGS Valerie Graves, Rita Mae Brown, Morgan Parker & Giannina Braschi

About This Show

Women of different ages from disparate walks of life share their experiences of breaking through pre-assigned cultural norms, pushing past the heteronormative patriarchy, and self-empowerment.

about the panalists

Giannina Braschi, one of the most revolutionary voices in Latin America today, writes in Spanish, Spanglish, and English. Her work explores the enculturation process of millions of Hispanic immigrants to the USA and dramatizes the three political options of her native Puerto Rico — nation, colony, or state. Her books include Empire of Dreams, Yo-Yo Boing!, and United States of Banana.

Morgan Parker’s latest book is There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé (Tin House Books 2017). Her work has been published in The Paris Review, Poetry, The New York Times, The Nation, Buzzfeed, and elsewhere. Parker is the recipient of a National Endowment of the Arts Literature Fellowship, winner of a Pushcart Prize, and a Cave Canem graduate fellow. She lives in Brooklyn.

Rita Mae Brown is the bestselling author of the Sneaky Pie Brown series, the Sister Jane series, the Runnymede novels, and 56 other books. An Emmy-nominated screenwriter and poet, Brown lives in Afton, Virginia. Brown’s latest book, A Hiss Before Dying: A Mrs. Murphy Mystery

Valerie Graves, named one of Advertising Age’s 100 Best and Brightest, is a nationally-recognized creative director of various Fortune 500 accounts such as Ford, General Motors, AT&T, and Pepsi. Graves broke barriers in the advertising industry as one of the first black copywriters at BBDO, Kenyon & Eckhardt, and JWT. Pressure Makes Diamonds is her memoir.

Wednesday, May 3 at 7pm

General Admission


Estimated Runtime
90 minutes

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Photo credit:

John Clifford (for Giannina)

Kwesi Abbensetts (for Morgan)

Mary Motley Kalegris (for Rita)