In the next event in a series of conversations that bring guest artists to campus to discuss what they face in making art in the modern world, Paul Muldoon discusses various concepts of freedom with the United States Poet Laureate Joy Harjo (When the Light of the World was Subdued, Our Songs Came Through), the CEO of PEN America Suzanne Nossel (Dare to Speak: Defending Free Speech for All), and the playwright Lynn Nottage (Clyde’s, Intimate Apparel, MJ: The Musical). Presented by the Princeton Atelier.
Per Princeton University policy, all guests are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to the maximum extent, which now includes a COVID booster shot for all eligible to receive it, and to wear a mask when indoors. Please note that panelists may be unmasked while presenting onstage.
Suzanne Nossel is Chief Executive Officer at PEN America and author of Dare to Speak: Defending Free Speech for All. Prior to joining PEN America, she served as the Chief Operating Officer of Human Rights Watch and as Executive Director of Amnesty International USA. She has served in the Obama Administration as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Organizations, leading US engagement in the UN and multilateral institutions on human rights issues, and in the Clinton Administration as Deputy to the US Ambassador for UN Management and Reform. Nossel coined the term “Smart Power,” which was the title of a 2004 article she published in Foreign Affairs Magazine and later became the theme of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s tenure in office. She is a featured columnist for Foreign Policy magazine and has published op-eds in The New York Times, Washington Post, and LA Times, as well as scholarly articles in Foreign Affairs, Dissent, and Democracy, among others. Nossel is a member of the Oversight Board, an international body that oversees content moderation on social media. She is a former senior fellow at the Century Foundation, the Center for American Progress, and the Council on Foreign Relations. Nossel is a magna cum laude graduate of both Harvard College and Harvard Law School.
Photo by Lynn Savarese
Lynn Nottage is the first woman in history to win two Pulitzer Prizes for Drama. Her plays have been produced widely in the United States and throughout the world. Recent work includes the libretto for the opera Intimate Apparel (LCT), the libretto for the musical MJ (Broadway), Clyde’s (Broadway, 2ST), and co-curating the performance installation The Watering Hole (Signature Theater). Other work includes the musical adaptation of The Secret Life of Bees (Atlantic); Mlima’s Tale; Sweat (Pulitzer Prize, Obie, Evening Standard Award, Susan Smith Blackburn Prize); By the Way, Meet Vera Stark (Lilly Award); Ruined (Pulitzer Prize, Obie, Lortel, NY Drama Critics’ Circle, AUDELCO, Drama Desk and OCC awards); Intimate Apparel (American Theatre Critics and NY Drama Critics’ Circle). TV: Writer/Producer of She’s Gotta Have It (Netflix), Consulting Producer on Dickinson (Apple TV+). Awards: PEN/Laura Pels Master Dramatist Award, Doris Duke Artist Award, American Academy of Arts and Letters Award, MacArthur “Genius Grant” Fellowship. She is an Associate Professor at Columbia University School of the Arts and is a member of the Dramatists Guild.
23rd U.S. Poet Laureate, memoirist and musician Joy Harjo . Photo by Matika Wilbur
In 2019, Joy Harjo was appointed the 23rd United States Poet Laureate, the first Native American to hold the position and only the second person to serve three terms in the role. Harjo’s nine books of poetry include An American Sunrise, Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings, How We Became Human: New and Selected Poems, and She Had Some Horses. She is also the author of two memoirs, Crazy Brave and Poet Warrior, which invites us to travel along the heartaches, losses, and humble realizations of her “poet-warrior” road. She has edited several anthologies of Native American writing including When the Light of the World was Subdued, Our Songs Came Through — A Norton Anthology of Native Nations Poetry, and Living Nations, Living Words, the companion anthology to her signature poet laureate project. Her many writing awards include the 2019 Jackson Prize from the Poetry Society of America, the Ruth Lilly Prize from the Poetry Foundation, the 2015 Wallace Stevens Award from the Academy of American Poets, and the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America. She is a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, Board of Directors Chair of the Native Arts & Cultures Foundation, and holds a Tulsa Artist Fellowship. A renowned musician, Harjo performs with her saxophone nationally and internationally; her most recent album is I Pray For My Enemies. She lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma.