Speaking


Joanne has addressed audiences, given readings and moderated discussions around the world, speaking on a wide range of topics including:

  • her own fiction
  • the writer’s role in imagining societies
  • literature as a bridge between cultures>issues of freedom of expression worldwide
  • the role of the writer in peace
  • the imagination as home
  • women in literature
  • prisms of fiction and journalism

Upcoming Events and Talks:

83rd PEN International Congress: Reclaiming Truth in Times of Propaganda
Wednesday, September 20, 2017, 2:00pm
Panel Discussion “America’s Reckoning: Threats to the First Amendment in Trump’s America” with Paul Auster, Dru Menaker, Larry Siems and Joanne Leedom-Ackerman, moderator
Premier Hotel Dnister
Jan Matejko str. 6
Lviv, Ukraine

Selected Events and Talks:

  • Finding Room for Common Ground – No Enemies, No Hatred: The First International Conference of Four-PEN Platform, Malmö, Sweden, August 28-30, 2017
  • The San Miguel de Allende, Mexico Center of PEN International, Panel Discussion: Celebration of 25 years of International PEN’s Women’s Writers Committee with Joanne Leedom-Ackerman, Lucina Kathmann, Jennifer Clement and Elizabeth Starcevic, Bellas Artes Miguel Malo Auditorium, San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico, February 28, 2017
  • Association of Writers & Writing Programs Conference, Panel Discussion ” Writers and Advocates: Individual Activism and the Larger Creative Writing Vocation” with Christy Zink, Elizabeth Kadetsky, Joanne Leedom-Ackerman, Arielle Bernstein, Stacy Parker Le Melle, Minneapolis Convention Center, April 11, 2015
  • International Crisis Group 2014 Global Briefing, Panel Discussion “Authoritarians and Islamists: the Struggle for North Africa’s Identity” with Issandr El-Amrani, Rob Blecher, Emma Bonino, Moderated by Joanne Leedom-Ackerman, The Hotel, Brussels, Belgium, October 23, 2014
  • Principia Club 2014 Capitol Hill Briefing, Panel Discussion  with Honorable Lamar Smith (R-TX); the Honorable Bob Goodlatte (R-VA); the Honorable Rodney Davis (R-IL); former Congressman Chris Shays (R-CT); Gary Jones, COP  and Joanne Leedom-Ackerman, author and former Christian Science Monitor reporter, House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology Hearing Room, September 18, 2014
  • Urgent Witness: A Freedom-to-Write Conference, Panel Discussion “Bringing the News from Around the Globe” with Gazmend Kapllani, Joanne Leedom-Ackerman, George Seremba, Larry Siems, Brown University, McCormack Family Theater, March 10, 2014
  • Summit for Emerging Women Leaders, Johns Hopkins University, Charles Commons, March 8, 2014
  • PEN/Faulkner Talk and Discussion of The Dark Path to the River, School Without Walls, Washington, DC, November 14, 2013
  • Association of Writers & Writing Programs Conference, Panel Discussion “The Freedom to Write: Writers, Politics, & Propaganda” with Pireeni Sundaralingam, Joanne Leedom-Ackerman , Yibing Huang [Mai Mang], and Idra Novey, Hynes Convention Center, March 8, 2013
  • International Writers Project Festival, Freedom to Write Panel Discussion with Joanne Leedom-Ackerman, Larry Siems, Henry Reese, Tararith Kho, Shahryar Mondanipour, Erik Ehn and Linh Dinh, Brown University, March 15, 2011
  • The Association of Writers & Writing Programs,  2011 Annual Conference & Bookfair, Celebrating 50 Years of Freedom to Write Advocacy: Panel Discussion with Larry Siems, Honor Moore, Major Jackson, Joanne Leedom Ackerman, Azar Nafisi, Washington, DC, February 5, 2011
  • The Association of Writers & Writing Programs,  2011 Annual Conference & Bookfair, Washington Journalists Turned Fictionalists: Panel Discussion with Tim Wendel, Dan Fesperman, Joanne Leedom-Ackerman, Sarah Pekkanen, Washington, DC, February 5, 2011
  • Author series with Joanne Leedom-Ackerman, Davis Library, Bethesda, MD, November 17, 2010
  • PEN/Faulkner presents Discovering Stories That Need To Be Told: An Evening with Isabel Allende, Introduction by Joanne Leedom-Ackerman, at the Washington National Cathedral, April 30, 2010
  • The Writers Center Emerging Writers Series, Story/Stereo: A Night of Literature and Music with Kathleen Flenniken and Anthony Varallo, Bethesda, MD, March 18, 2010
  • PEN/Faulkner Talk and Discussion of No Marble Angels, Cardozo High School Washington, DC, November 20, 2009
  • Neustadt Festival of International Literature and Culture, University of Oklahoma, Norman, October 23, 2009
  • Humanity in Action Forum: Voices of the Other, Joanne Leedom-Ackerman and Michael Kunichika, Fordham Law School, New York, NY, July 7. 2009
  • Responsibility to Imagine: Literature on the Front Lines, Brown University, Providence, RI, May 23, 2009
  • PEN/Faulkner Talk and Discussion of No Marble Angels, School Without Walls, Washington, DC, May 21, 2009
  • There Will Still Be Light: A Freedom to Write Literary Festival, April 2009
  • Pleading Not Guilty, A Freedom to Write Panel, Ma Thida, Joanne Leedom-Ackerman, Myo Myint Nyein, Paul Auster, Siri Hustvedt, Larry Siems, Joukowsky Forum, Watson Institute, Brown University Providence, RI, April 21, 2009
  • PEN/Faulkner Talk and Discussion of No Marble Angels, IDEA Public Charter School, Washington, DC, November 25, 2008.
  • Reading and discussion: Power, Politics and the Prism of Literature -Azar Nafisi, Marie Arana and Joanne Leedom-Ackerman, Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, Washington, DC, November 3, 2008. Listen to podcast.
  • Reading and discussion: International PEN Congress. Maria Mercedes Carranza School, Bogota, Columbia, September 17, 2008.
  • Reading: No Marble Angels and The Dark Path to the River, Village Books, Pacific Palisades, CA, June 20, 2008.
  • Reading: No Marble Angels and The Dark Path to the River, Shore Books, Long Beach, CA, June 19, 2008.
  • Freedom of Expression Campaign for 100-Day Countdown to Beijing’s Olympics, Hong Kong, April 30-May 3, 2008.
  • International PEN’s Literary Festival: Free the Word—A Celebration of World Literature London, England, April 11-13, 2008.
  • “Under the Tongue”— A Festival of African Literature, Brown University, Providence, RI, April 15-16, 2008.
  • Reading: No Marble Angels and The Dark Path to the River, Metropolis Books 440 S. Main Street, Los Angeles, CA, March 29, 2008.
  • “Fiction and Survival: Imagination, Migration and Diaspora-A Panel Discussion” with Nadeem Aslam, H.G. Carrillo, and Joanne Leedom-Ackerman, moderated by Judith Plotz at George Washington University, Marvin Center Amphitheatre, February 25, 2008.
  • Reading with contributors from Electric Grace, Politics and Prose Book Store, 5015 Connecticut NW, Washington DC, December 5, 2007.
  • International Secretary’s Address, International PEN Congress, Dakar, Senegal, July 4-11, 2007.
  • “Gathering in Istanbul For Freedom of Expression” Istanbul, Turkey May 25-27, 2007.
  • “Short Stories: The Preservation of Multiculturalism and Diversity”, Ankara Short Story Conference. Keynote Speaker, Ankara, Turkey, May 19-23, 2007.
  • “Freedom to Write? Our Obligation to Protect Expression”, Associated Writing Programs Conference, Atlanta, Georgia, March 3, 2007. (Podcast available here or here)
  • Hong Kong Conference. Asia/Pacific/ International PEN conference. Hong Kong, February 2-5, 2007.
  • “The Role of PEN in the Contemporary World.” Keynote speaker at Japan PEN meeting, Tokyo, Japan, February 6, 2007.
  • Zagreb Literary Festival, Talk and Reading from “The Tutor” in No Marble Angels, Zagreb, Croatia, November 3, 2006.
  • “Strange Times, My Dear: Freedom to Write Literary Festival”, Brown University, Providence, RI, November 14-17, 2006.
  • “Does Freedom of Expression Have a Limit?” Gothenborg Book Fair, Gothenborg, Sweden, September 21, 2006.
  • “Hospitality Without Borders,” Gothenborg Book Fair, Gothenborg, Sweden, September 21, 2006.
  • “I Left My Shoes in Macedonia”, Ohrid Conference and International PEN Translation and Linguistic Rights Meeting, Ohrid, Macedonia, September 15-16, 2006.
  • International Secretary’s Address, International PEN Congress, Berlin, Germany, May 22-28, 2006.
  • The Role of PEN in the Contemporary World” at the International Peace Committee Conference in Bled, Slovenia, March 30, 2006 (Talk available under Other Publications/Articles on this website)
  • PEN/Faulkner talk and discussion of No Marble Angels at Bell Multicultural High School, Washington, DC., February 15, 2006.
  • PEN/Faulkner talk and discussion of No Marble Angels at Woodrow Wilson High School, Washington, DC February 16, 2006.

A number of the talks above will be available at www.pen-international.org/