PEN on Twitter

On my blog The Great Gray Bridge, I’ve put up a preview post for visitors to my site and others who may not be familiar with World Voices, or don’t know it’s starting in just a few days. Mentioned the Margaret Atwood and Mona Eltahawy events I’ll be covering the night of May 3. Also, put a plug (below) for PEN in to my post and have shared the whole thing out via Facebook and Twitter. 

«PEN encourages active literary citizenship so if you are a writing or publishing professional, and have been considering getting involved, I suggest you do so. The international and domestic work PEN does on behalf of free expression is extremely effective and important.»

Speaking of Facebook and Twitter, if fellow Festival Correspondents are on FB and/or Twitter, please ‘friend’ or follow me there so we can keep track of one another before and during World Voices. On Fb, you can friend me at ‘Philip Turner,’ ‘like’ my blog The Great Gray Bridge, or on Twitter follow me at @philipsturner. Lilly at PEN has told me the Twitter hashtag we’re using for World Voices is #PENFest12. Thanks. 


Just tweeted this out:

Looking forward to blogging the PEN World Voices Festival tonight covering  and  

which has already been retweeted by .

Next, put this up on Facebook:

Looking forward to blogging the PEN World Voices Festival tonight covering @MargaretAtwood 6-7:30 and @MonaEltahawy 8-9:30 at the New School’s Tishman Auditorium. Come listen if you’re free. Will be posting later to the PEN tumblr and on my blog. Blogging the PEN World Voices Festival April 30-May 6 | The Great Gray Bridge


It’s tempting to give a blow-by-blow of Thursday’s fascinating “Understanding Egypt” panel discussion, about the current state of the Egyptian revolution. Tempting, but impossible to capture the dynamic, wide-ranging conversation among the three forceful speakers: Egyptian-American feminist writer Mona Eltahawy, distinguished novelist Elias Khoury, and moderator, Palestinian-Italian journalist Rula Jebreal.

So, given the frequently upsetting news from Egypt, where young people are dying in the streets battling the current military leadership, I thought I’d focus on surprising areas of optimism touched on especially by Eltahawy, who travels back and forth between Egypt and the U.S., trying to transmit the competing narratives back and forth to each other.

Take the Salafis, a more populist, rural version of Islamist conservatives. The candidate they’re running in the upcoming Presidential election is “like Rick Santorum,” says Eltahawy, perpetrating a war on women. But she is hopeful that the Islamist bubble will burst, (like the Tea Party bubble?), because in politics, an unfamiliar game to them, “they will have to make alliances that will taint them” in their eyes of their more purist constituents.

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