The Kennedy Center

Iberia Festival Iberian Suite: global arts remix

March 3–24, 2015

Literature & Forums

All literature panels and forums are free, with general admission tickets distributed 30 minutes prior to each event in front of the venue. Maximum 2 free tickets per person.

Forums across the festival range from a deeper exploration of our Picasso ceramics exhibit to discussions on art from the Latin community and cultural connections within the Iberian Peninsula and around the world.

Our three-day literature series, moderated by Marie Arana—novelist, biographer, Writer-at-Large for the Washington Post, and Senior Advisor to the U.S. Librarian of Congress—offers an array of literary voices, reaching from Spain and Portugal to many Latin American countries, as well as Africa and the Caribbean. Novelists, playwrights, poets, essayists, and translators gather to celebrate the abiding legacies of a worldwide culture. This series promises a stimulating exchange of ideas and an inspiring celebration of words. Each literature panel is immediately followed by a book signing with the panel's authors outside the venue. Watch Marie Arana’s overview of the literature series.


Literature Panel: From My Language, I See the Sea (Da Minha Língua Ve-Se o Mar)

Afonso Cruz, Ondjaki, José Luis Peixoto, and Tatiana Salem Levy--celebrated artists from Portugal, Angola, and Brazil--talk about writing and their abiding love for the Portuguese language. Free ticketed event

  • Mar 14
  • Family Theater

Literature Panel: The Measure of Cervantes's Tongue

Award-winning American translator Edith Grossman and novelist and literary critic Eduardo Lago--who know the language of Cervantes as few do--share their knowledge of the literary master. Free ticketed event

  • Mar 14
  • Family Theater

Literature Panel: A Tribute to José Saramago

Novelist Laura Restrepo, novelist/poet Ondjaki, author and literary critic Adriana Lisboa, and Saramago's widow and translator Pilar del Río embark on a rousing tribute to the Portuguese Nobel Laureate. Free ticketed event

  • Mar 14
  • Family Theater

Literature Panel: The Hispanic-American Identity - A 500-Year Saga

Esmeralda Santiago, Francisco Goldman, Cristina Henríquez, and Achy Obejas explore what it means to be a member of America's largest minority and how their contrasting works speak to an overall Hispanic American identity. Free ticketed event

  • Mar 15
  • Family Theater

Literature Panel: The Boundless Spanish Imagination

Valerie Miles moderates a discussion with Carlos Ruiz Zafón and Antonio Muñoz Molina--two of the most successful contemporary Spanish-language novelists--on how Spain's literary traditions have shaped their work. Free ticketed event

  • Mar 15
  • Terrace Theater

Literature Panel: A Song for Iberia: Six Voices of Literary Masters Then and Now

Five writers--César Aira, Juan Gabriel Vásquez, Javier Cercas, Alonso Cueto, and Carmen Boullosa--join translator Anne McLean to talk about their work amidst echoes from their literary predecessors.

  • Mar 15
  • Terrace Theater


Forum: Picasso: The Challenge of Ceramics

In connection to the Picasso exhibit, this panel of experts discusses Picasso's ongoing fascination with the whimsical medium of ceramics and the relationship between image and object.

  • Mar 4
  • Eisenhower Theater

Forum: Latin American Cultural Presence and Influence in America

Two experts from the Smithsonian--Eduardo Díaz and James Counts Early--lead a discussion about the contributions of Latin Americans and their enriching influence on American culture.

  • Mar 6
  • Family Theater

Forum: Iberian Connections: Cross-cultural Interaction Within the Peninsula and Around the Globe

This discussion gathers together some of the foremost specialists of history of the Iberian world for an open dialogue about the exchanges established across Iberia's reach, both within the peninsula and beyond.

  • Mar 18
  • Terrace Gallery