Writer's Foundry to Sponsor PEN World Voices Literary Festival

BROOKLYN, N.Y. – April 29, 2013 – The Writer’s Foundry M.F.A. at St. Joseph’s College (SJC) is proud to announce that it will serve as a benefactor to this year’s PEN World Voices Literary Festival. On May 4, the Foundry will sponsor several lectures that will examine the numerous roles writing can play in the prison system, as well as the racism and suppositions that are inherent in the modern corrections industry. 

“The conversation that takes place between writers around the world is of vital importance, for writers are the conscience of culture,” said Jackson Taylor, program director of The Writer’s Foundry M.F.A. at SJC and author of the novel, The Blue Orchard. “If you look at political prisoners around the world, often you will find the poet, as the literary eye is a vigilant watchdog for truth. It is for these reasons that we are sponsoring this particular series of chats and why we are so proud to partner with PEN.”

The following is a list of upcoming lectures:

Saturday, May 4, 1 - 2:30 p.m.
Frederick P. Rose Auditorium, Cooper Union, 41 Cooper Square, N.Y.C.

David Frakt, Aleksandar Hemon, Alberto Mora, Darrel Vandeveld

Focusing on the harrowing events at Guantánamo, this program explores the role that writing can play in witnessing and confronting human rights abuses. What goes into the decision to write something down? What happens when you do? Does the act of writing alter events and transform its subject?

Saturday, May 4, 3 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Frederick P. Rose Auditorium, Cooper Union, 41 Cooper Square, N.Y.C.
Soffiyah Elijah, Laura Kurgan, Marc Mauer, Susan Tucker. Moderated by Jackson Taylor.

In the U.S., growth of the prison industry is largely a result of policy changes. The punishing post-release design assures that ever larger segments of the population are thwarted when trying to re-integrate into their communities. This panel discusses this form of institutionalized racism and how we can implement change through the legal system and education.

Saturday, May 4, 7 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Public Theater, 425 Lafayette Street, N.Y.C.
Shane Bauer, Laura Secor

The prisoner’s imagination often pens journals, stories, letters, poems or legal briefs. These writings might later become the currency of betrayal, confiscation, retribution, surveillance or damning evidence, and even result in further confinement. Shane Bauer, who spent more than two years in an Iranian prison, discusses with journalist, Laura Secor, how writing can both liberate and oppress.

For more information the PEN World Voices Literary Festival or the Writer's Foundry M.F.A. at SJC, please call 718.940.5800 or visit www.sjcny.edu.

The Writer's Foundry M.F.A. in Creative Writing program at the College's Brooklyn Campus stands in Clinton Hill on the border of Fort Greene, two of the most vibrant and deep-grounded neighborhoods in all of New York City. We seek to attract writers who dedicate themselves to excellence in all areas of literary life. Our basic assumption is that all acts of writing are creative, a product of imagination and thought.

About St. Joseph's College

St. Joseph's College has been dedicated to providing a diverse population of students in the New York metropolitan area with an affordable education rooted in the liberal arts tradition since 1916. Independent and coeducational, the College provides a strong academic and value-oriented education at the undergraduate and graduate levels, aiming to prepare each student for a life characterized by integrity, intellectual and spiritual values, social responsibility, and service. With campuses located in the Clinton Hill area of Brooklyn and in Patchogue, Long Island, the College offers degrees in more than 29 majors, special course offerings and certificates, affiliated and pre-professional programs.

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