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Interrogating the Future (Body) through the Present (Plague): Mario Bellatin + David Shook

Friday, May 13, 2022
7 pm—9 pm
Tickets free with registration


Organized by PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature, this livestreamed and in-person event features Mario Bellatin, a celebrated Mexican novelist and “transhumanist” writer. Bellatin will discuss writing as an extension of both the body physical and the body politic with David Shook, translator of the brand-new English translation of Beauty Salon, the allegory of plague that brought Bellatin his cult status as auteur of Latin America's most singular literary vision. The conversation will be moderated by Paul Holdengräber, an interviewer and curator, and the Founding Executive Director of Onassis Los Angeles (OLA).

Bellatin will sign books directly following the conversation. On-site book sales provided by Skylight Books.

On June 16, 2022, Bellatin will also participate in The Broad’s annual Poetry Night as part of our Art+Rhyme programming. Created in partnership with 826LA, Art+Rhyme provides high school classes the opportunity to engage with the Broad collection while developing critical and visual thinking skills through poetry.

This program will be presented in Spanish and English with simultaneous translation provided to our in-person audience, as well as ASL/LSM. A recording of the program with English and Spanish subtitles will be published at a later date.

Pro Bono ASL logo
ASL/LSM interpretation provided by Pro Bono ASL.







know before you go

Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.

Tickets include general admission to the museum from Wednesday, May 11–Sunday, May 15, during regular hours. Please note that access to Yayoi Kusama's Infinity Mirrored Room—The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away (2013) is not included and must be booked separately here.

For information on our current vaccine and mask policies, visit Know Before You Go & FAQVisitor policies are subject to change.

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PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature

PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature

The PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature celebrates world literature and free expression. The festival presents cross-cultural exchanges ranging from lively debates that delve into the most pressing issues of our time to intimate conversations that awaken us to the beauty and power of literature. This engaging program of talks, panels, conversations, and performances promises programming that will challenge, inspire, and entertain.

Mario Bellatin

Mario Bellatin

Mario Bellatin is a Mexican writer who has published dozens of novels with major and minor publishing houses throughout Latin America, Europe, and the United States, including Shiki Nagaoka: A Nose for Fiction and Jacob the Mutant, both from Phoneme Media. A practicing Sufi, Bellatin has won many international prizes, including, most recently, Cuba’s 2015 José María Arguedas Prize. He lives in Mexico City, Mexico.


David Shook

David Shook

David Shook's many translations include work by Mario Bellatin, Tedi López Mills, and Víctor Terán. Their collection of poetry, Our Obsidian Tongues, was long-listed for the International Dylan Thomas Prize. Shook founded nonprofit publishing house Phoneme Media, which has published over thirty books translated from twenty-six different languages, including the first-ever literary translations from languages like Lingala and Uyghur. They live in Los Angeles.

Paul Holdengräber

Paul Holdengräber

Paul Holdengräber is an interviewer and curator. He is the Founding Executive Director of Onassis Los Angeles (OLA). Previously, and for 14 years, he was Founder and Director of The New York Public Library’s LIVE from the NYPL cultural series where he interviewed and hosted over 600 events, holding conversations with everyone from Patti Smith to Zadie Smith, Ricky Jay to Jay-Z, Errol Morris to Jan Morris, Wes Anderson to Helen Mirren, Werner Herzog to Mike Tyson.

Before his tenure at the Library, Holdengräber was the Founder and Director of “The Institute for Art & Cultures” at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and a Fellow at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles. He has a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Princeton University and has taught at Princeton University, Williams College, Claremont Graduate University among others. In 2003, the French Government named Holdengräber Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres, and then promoted him in 2012 to the rank of Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres. In 2010, the President of Austria awarded him the Austrian Cross of Honor for Science and Art.