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PEN winter opens with Sandra Cisneros and Patricia Merrill

By Pat Hirschl

What do the Pussy Rioters and Orhan Pamuk have in common? Both were subjects of PEN interventions. When the young Russian women went to jail for protesting Putin in a Moscow cathedral, and when Nobel laureate Pamuk was threatened with prison for writing about his native Turkey, both became PEN cases in its fight for writers in danger around the world. Pamuk was released, and the Pussy Rioters may be on their way home now, thanks to PEN and a cohort of human rights organizations around the world.

PEN lecture series
Tue at 6pm in Jan and Feb
Teatro Ángela Peralta
152 0614
100 Pesos

San Miguel PEN, the local center, writes about 100 interventions a year, as it has done for the past 34 years, according to International Vice President and longtime San Miguel PEN member Lucina Kathmann. For over 30 years, the PEN winter lecture series funded its efforts, as it will in 2014.

First up in the 2014 series prize-winning Chicana author Sandra Cisneros and Patricia Merrill Márquez, who filled the house last season, come together for a conversation about motherhood. Both daughters of Mexican mothers, the two plan a conversation about Cisneros’ Mothers who Motivate and Merrill’s  Mamas and Mamacitas. They speak on Tuesday, January 14, in the Teatro Ángela Peralta at 6pm, the same place and hour for the whole series.

Later, on January 21, Gerry Helferich introduces his new book, Theodore Roosevelt and the Assassin. Charlotte Bell covers “Hooked on Hookers,” a slide show and talk about a women’s rug cooperative in a farming community near San Miguel on January 28.

On February 4, Alberto Aveleyra, a student of travel through the ages reveals the secrets of how travel— especially in Mexico — will change your life. James Joyce scholar and Hamilton College professor emeritus Austin Briggs returns to reveal, “James Joyce’s Ulysses and the Scandal of Molly Bloom” on February 11. The season closes with a call to action on February 25 when Judyth Hill and Víctor Sahuatoba present, “Poetic Resistance: Writing to Support the Good.”

Come to the PEN lectures and support writers in danger and freedom of speech around the world. As last year, your 100-peso ticket to the PEN talk entitles you to a free glass of wine with dinner at nearby Vívoli Restaurant after the talk. According to Kathmann “This is always fun and often a good place to continue your conversation with the speaker.”

For more information, write or call 152-0614.

All dates Tuesdays at 6pm in the Teatro Angela Peralta
Jan 14, Sandra Cisneros and Patricia Merrill, “Variations on Mexican Motherhood”
Jan 21, Gerard Helferich, “Theodore Roosevelt and the Assassin”
Jan 28 Charlotte Bell, “Hooked on Hookers”
Feb 4, Alberto Aveleyra, “The Anthropology of Travel”
Feb. 11, Austin Briggs, “James Joyce’s Ulysses and the Scandal of Molly Bloom”
Feb 25 Judyth Hill and Víctor Sahuatoba, “Poetic Resistance: Writing to Support the Good”

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