The PEN American Center has recruited a new director for its World Voices Festival and public programs, Laszlo Jakab Orsos. Orsos brings an interesting resume to the table with a work history boasting positions in cultural center curating, journalism, and screenplay writing. Before coming on board to PEN, he worked as Director for the Hungarian Cultural Center. While working in that capacity, Orsos launched Extremely Hungary, an event series centered around Hungarian culture.
Festival Chair Sir Salman Rushdie fully supports Orsos’ appointment to the position. The World Voices Festival initiated in 2005 when Rushdie presided as president of the PEN American Center. The festival has flourished and is now in its seventh year.
Orsos shares his thoughts about his new job: “Working for PEN will be so fulfilling for me. PEN fights for the freedom of intellectuals and for creative independence, which are the foundations of my personal philosophy, too…I hope that with dedication and energy, I will be able to build on the legacy of my predecessor and explore new ways to present literature and communicate the power of intellectual courage.”
Rushdie was recently spotlighted as a participant at this year’s Brooklyn Book Festival where he interviewed debut novelist, Tishani Doshi about her book The Pleasure Seekers. Before the interview officially began, Rushdie told the audience how happy he was to take part and jokingly mentioned that he has a book festival occurring every spring in a faraway town called “Manhattan.”