The fifth annual Brooklyn Book Festival will take place on September 12, 2010 at Borough Hall Plaza, Borough Hall Courtroom, St. Francis Auditorium and The Brooklyn Historical Society. This free event includes readings, discussions, and panels with such literary, comedic and musical luminaries as: Salman Rushdie, Venus Williams, Sarah Silverman, Paul Krugman, Dennis Lehane, Paul Auster, Naomi Klein, Gary Shteyngart, Rosanne Cash, Jennifer Egan, John Ashbery, Nelson George, Mary Gaitskill, Colson Whitehead, Francine Prose, Esmeralda Santiago, Pete Hamill, Russell Banks, Michael Connelly, John Hodgman, Kristen Schaal, Sam Lipsyte, Sloane Crosley, Paul Harding just to name a few. Check out the massive free schedule of events after the jump.
2010 Brooklyn Book Festival Map
ALL EVENTS FREE
Brooklyn Book Festival Bookend Events
It’s Only Rock ’n’ Roll (But I Like It). Musically inspired readings by three chart-topping American fiction writers: Steve Almond (Rock and Roll Will Save Your Life), Jennifer Egan (A Visit from the Goon Squad), and Colson Whitehead (Sag Harbor). Followed by Q&A.
Youth Is a Foreign Country. To an adult, looking back on adolescence and young adulthood often seems like a nostalgia of liberation. But what if youth and its traumas continue to haunt you into adulthood? Readings by novelists Farai Chideya (Kiss the Sky), Myla Goldberg (The False Friend), and Reif Larsen (The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet), followed by Q&A.
Brooklyn Poet Laureate Presents. Brooklyn’s new poet laureate, Tina Chang, introduces some of her favorite poets to read from their work. Featuring Mark Doty, Terrance Hayes, Ada Limón, and Tracy K. Smith. Moderated by Tina Chang.
How Things Shake Out. Stewart O’Nan (Songs For the Missing), Siri Hustvedt (The Shaking Woman) and T Cooper, The Beaufort Diaries read from their new books and discuss the intersection of reality and fiction.
Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can’t Lose: Sports and Power in America. Michael Weinreb (Bigger Than the Game), Dave Zirin (Bad Sports), and Will Leitch (Are We Winning?) show us the money, unmask the juiced-up, ego-fueled game of professional sports, and salvage what’s left to love.
Troupe Classics. Performs classic children’s books.
You’ve Got to Be Kidding. Former National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature Jon Scieszka (Spaceheadz), National Book Award finalist E. Lockhart (The Treasure Map of Boys), and Mac Barnett (The Brixton Brothers) take on the absurdity of life in books and writing, and talk about their ways of making us laugh, including hamster space aliens and panicky smart alecks. Moderated by Betsy Bird.
Librarian Reception. The Brooklyn Book Festival invites librarians to a special morning event hosted by the Brooklyn Historical Society. Join us from 10:00am to noon for a TARGET sponsored continental breakfast. Special guest appearance by The Quotables, presenting an interactive quotes game with prizes! Speaker: Marilyn Johnson, author of This Book is Overdue! How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All. RSVP REQUIRED: RSVP www.brooklynhistory.org
The Economic Crisis and What To Do About It. A conversation with Nobel Prize–winner Paul Krugman and Robin Wells, moderated by Jeff Madrick—all frequent contributors to the New York Review of Books. Introduced by Robert Silvers, editor of the New York Review of Books.
Mothers and Daughters. An adult imagining and reimagining the relationship with one’s mother invariably leads back to the complex web of childhood and upbringing. Short readings followed by a discussion and Q&A. Featuring fiction authors Marlon James (The Book of Night Women), Elizabeth Nunez (Anna In-Between), and Jayne Anne Phillips (Lark & Termite).
The PSA Presents: Established and Emerging Poets. The nation’s oldest poetry organization celebrates its 100th anniversary with some of the country’s best emerging and established poets—Martín Espada, Dorothea Lasky, John Murillo, and Jean Valentine. Moderated by Rob Casper.
Wrong Turns. Three fiction writers read from their books about characters who take a wrong turn in life, and can’t go back. Short readings followed by Q&A. Lauren Grodstein (A Friend of the Family), Nancy Mauro (New World Monkeys), and Donna Hill (Getting Hers).
Kafka on the Block. In conjunction with BAM’s Next Wave Festival performance of Metamorphosis (Vesturport Theatre, Iceland) directed by Gísli Örn Gardarsson, BAM hosts a panel discussion on Kafka’s legacy with Joshua Cohen (Witz); Francine Prose, (Reading Like a Writer), and Matthew Sharpe (The Sleeping Father; Nothing Is Terrible; Jamestown). Moderated by Liesl Schillinger, contributor to The New York Times Book Review.
Food, Metaphor, and Memory. A panel discussion exploring the ways in which food can provide a means of understanding culture and ethnicity in literature, and how it evokes some of our earliest personal stories and memories. Featuring Lara Vapnyar (Broccoli and Other Tales of Food and Love), Monique Truong (Bitter in the Mouth), and Amy Besa (Memories of Philippine Kitchens). Moderated by Jessica Hagedorn (Dream Jungle).
Verbal Catalysts. The city’s top teen poets from Urban Word and Community Word perform with special guests.
DRAWN! Illustrator Draw-off. Illustrators bring magic to words with the simple stroke of a pencil. Watch award-winning illustrators create spontaneously to a few energetic prompts from the audience, and hear them discuss the magic behind their illustrative work. Featuring Mike Cavallaro (Foiled), Shane Evans (Olu’s Dream), and Vanessa Brantley Newton (Presenting . . . Tallulah). Moderated by Darren Farrell (Doug-Dennis and the Flyaway Fib).
The Culture of Disaster: How Crisis Defines America. Nietzsche once said, “What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger.” Or does it? Naomi Klein (The Shock Doctrine), Kurt Andersen (Reset), Jordan Flaherty (Floodlines), and Paul Reyes (Exiles in Eden) look at issues such as Hurricane Katrina, the economic collapse, and military engagements overseas and consider whether they in fact make us stronger as a society, or more vulnerable.
Past Is Not Past. Brooklyn Book Festival presents the cream of the crop of today’s historical fiction. Readings by Marlon James (The Book of Night Women), Dennis Lehane (The Given Day), and Bernice L. McFadden (Glorious), followed by Q&A.
Only the Dead. Readings of Brooklyn’s revered authors, from Walt Whitman to Car Sagan, are performed by actors from Troupe.
Me . . . In The World. When the world around you seems impossible, and you know there’s nothing you can do about it, the literary result is often wry, biting, and funny, as authors respond to yearnings for or against normalcy with disgruntlement, amazement, or amusement. Featuring novelists Kate Christensen (Trouble), Sam Lipsyte (The Ask), and Rakesh Satyal (Blue Boy). Moderated by Greg Cowles of the New York Times.
Pop Life: Music, Memory, and America’s Coming of Age. Rob Sheffield (Talking to Girls About Duran Duran), Joshua Clover (1989), and Ta-Nehisi Coates (The Beautiful Struggle) discuss the ways that memory and personal and political meaning inhabit the most ephemeral music and popular culture. Moderated by Julie Burstein, creator of public radio’s Studio 360 and the author of the forthcoming Spark: How Creativity Works.
Foreign Destinations and Destinies. Three American authors who have taken their characters and plots to foreign lands, read from their books and discuss the device of foreign settings as atmosphere and influence. Sandra Rodriguez Barron, Lan Samantha Chang and Andrew Ervin (Extraordinary Renditions).
One Story, One Borough. Following a campaign that will inundate Brooklyn subway trains with short stories in the days leading up to the festival, One Story presents readings by three Brooklyn authors published in the magazine: James Hannaham (God Says No), Reif Larsen (The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet), and Caedra Scott-Flaherty.
Concrete Jungle Where Dreams Are Made. Laura Toffler-Corrie (The Life and Opinions of Amy Finawitz), Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich (8th Grade Superzero), and 2009 Newbery Award winner Rebecca Stead (When You Reach Me)bring us relatable, inspiring characters embracing challenges with friendships and popularity—while trying to solve a mystery or two—set against very different New York landscapes. Moderated by Wendy Lamb.
The Legacy of Zinn (1922-2010). Amy Goodman, David Zirin and Laura Flanders (GRITtv) discuss the intellectual and popular influence of Howard Zinn, Brooklyn-born historian, author, anarchist, socialist, activist, and playwright with an introductory dramatic reading from the 423-page file on Zinn kept by the FBI and recently released through the Freedom of Information Act.
Photography Workshop: Seeing a Book. Isabel Hill, photographer, architectural historian, urban planner and award-winning documentary filmmaker will present a workshop about how a photography concept becomes a published book—from envisioning to publishing.
Paul Auster in Conversation with John Ashbery, this year’s 2010 Brooklyn Book Festival BoBi Award winner.
Poetry of the Gumshoe. From Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler to Law & Order, the fiction of the tough cop and detective has created its own language and a vivid, sui generis idea of Western culture. Readings by Gabriel Cohen (The Ninth Step), Michael Connelly (The Reversal), and Paco Ignacio Taibo II (The Uncomfortable Dead), followed by Q&A.
COMPOSED: In Conversation with Rosanne Cash. Celebrated music journalist Jancee Dunn (Why Is My Mother Getting a Tattoo?) talks to the first daughter of country music about her new memoir, life with her famous father, and coming into her own as an artist.
The Transformation of the Book. Four poets discuss how authors and publishers are expanding and re-framing the notion of what a book is, and what it can do. Jen Bervin, Mendi Lewis Obadike, Tan Lin, John Yau. Moderated by Camille Rankine.
The Problem with Music. Does music have the same role in our lives it once did, or has it become mere background noise in our more-now-again age of oversaturation? Do rock, punk, and hip-hop still provide a voice and a sense of community to the alienated and disaffected? And what of technology’s role in these changes? Four music writers discuss the state of the art. With Sara Marcus (Girls to the Front), Greg Milner (Perfecting Sound Forever), Elijah Wald (How the Beatles Destroyed Rock ’n’ Roll), and Thomas Chatterton Williams (Losing My Cool).
Reading the World: A Spotlight on International Writers. Come celebrate publishers of international literature—New Directions, Archipelago Books, Ugly Duckling, and Zephyr Press—and their authors and translators. Declan Spring of New Directions with author/translator Susan Bernofsky; Matvei Yankelevich of Ugly Duckling Presse with Russian poet Marina Temkina; Bill Martin (Zephyr) with Polish poet Milosz Biedrzycki; and Greek translator Karen Emmerich (Archipelago Books) will discuss and read from their work.
Brooklyn’s Cookin’. Brooklyn is the cherry on top of the foodie movement. Join Edible Brooklyn’s Rachel Wharton and popular Brooklyn chefs Frank Falcinelli and Frank Castronovo (The Frankies Spuntino: Kitchen Companion & Cooking Manual), Ramin Ganeshram (Sweet Hands: Island Cooking from Trinidad & Tobago), and Amy Besa (Memories of Philippine Kitchens) for some Brooklyn cookin’ talk.
About a Boy. Newbery Honor–winning Jacqueline Woodson (Peace, Locomotion), debut author Torrey Maldonado (Secret Saturdays), and Pulitzer Prize–winning playwright Charles Fuller (Snatch)offer us a rare look into the minds and hearts of young boys who could really use a second chance.
Change Is Gonna Come: The Fluid Life of New York City. In a city like New York, change is constant. Yet with that change comes numerous and oftentimes competing interests. Sharon Zukin (Naked City), Roberta Brandes Gratz (The Battle for Gotham), Jonathan Soffer (Ed Koch and the Rebuilding of New York City) and Martin Lemelman (Two Cents Plain) consider the perpetual ebb and flow of the Big Apple and how it affects us all. Moderated by Phillip Lopate (Waterfront).
Movietelling: Writing at the Edge of Word + Image. Frank O’Hara famously said most poets were worse than the movies, but then he’d never heard of Movietelling. It’s a multimedia literary performance genre that’s as new as YouTube and video art and as old as 1920s Japan, where storytellers would “talk” over silent films in lieu of intertitles. Meera Nair (Video), Marilyn Nelson (The Homeplace and The Fields of Praise) and Queens Poet Laureate Paolo Javier (60 lv Bo(e)mbs) read pieces they’ve written in response to the moving image.
Primal Impulses and Prose. Mary Gaitskill (Don’t Cry), Ben Greenman (What He’s Poised to Do), and Simon Van Booy (The Secret Lives of People in Love) each write poignantly about primal impulses—those that are spoken or unspoken, yet felt; and those that are accepted or unaccepted, yet change lives.
War in Words: Reporting from Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Middle East. Jeremy Scahill (Blackwater), Moustafa Bayoumi (Midnight on the Mavi Marmara), and Nir Rosen (Aftermath) discuss the perils of reporting the current major conflicts. GRITtv’s Laura Flanders moderates.
Doing Time With. Some of today’s most successful storytellers are inspired by crimes ripped from the headlines—this panel presents authors who have been behind bars or worked in the halls of justice: performance artist Lemon Andersen, former prosecutor Alafair Burke, and defense attorney Daniel Serrano. Short readings and a discussion moderated by Marcela Landres, followed by Q&A. MAIN STAGE
What Fresh Hell is This? Imagine you’re stuck someplace. You can’t get out. The behavior of everyone around you continually increases your discomfort. Now what do you do? Readings by Sigrid Nunez, Stewart O’Nan, and Benjamin Percy, followed by Q&A.
Culture vs. Cash. Explore the breach between the role of the musician as artist and the role of the record companies as a business. Oftentimes music rises up out of subcultures that are about much more than profits, but ultimately the industry is a business that must support itself financially. Dan Charnas (The Big Payback), Will Hermes (The Big Bang), Kristin Hersh (Rat Girl), and moderator Greg Tate (James Brown’s Body and the Revolution of the Mind) look at the conflicting interests of artists and executives.
You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby—Or Have You? Mad Men has done a lot to remind audiences of the inequalities women faced prior to the feminist movement of the seventies, and the 2008 election was a powerful eye-opener to many about the continuing existence of sexism and its effect on our lives. Rebecca Traister (Big Girls Don’t Cry), Leora Tanenbaum (Slut!), and Jennifer Baumgardner (Abortion & Life) discuss the excitement and frustration of the run-off, the historic election, and the issues they raised.
The International Graphic Novel: Drawing from Life. Three acclaimed cartoonists, whose work takes on social and political themes, talk about the on-the-ground research and background work they have all done in preparation for creating their books. Featuring author Nick Abadzis (Laika), Josh Neufeld (A.D.), and Jessica Abel (La Perdida). Moderated by Matt Madden (Drawing Words and Writing Pictures).
Eating Our Words. Do chefs ever get the equivalent of writer’s block in the kitchen? Do food writers ever lose their appetite after a difficult day at the keyboard? Gabrielle Hamilton (chef and owner of Prune), Ted Lee (one half of the James Beard Award–winning cookbook writing team of Matt Lee and Ted Lee), Francis Lam (food columnist for Salon), and Melanie Rehak (Eating for Beginners) discuss the differences and similarities between writing and eating, thinking and tasting, working out a recipe and working out a sentence.
Happily Ever After? Lauren Oliver (Before I Fall), Jenny Han (It’s Not Summer Without You), and Sara Shepard (Pretty Little Liars) talk about characters who are forced to relive their past and come to terms with haunting memories after committing terrible acts. Moderated by Kirsten Miller (The Eternal Ones).
Unheard of Magnitude of Fiction Bill Evans, co-author of Category 7, N.K. Jemisin (The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms) and Karen Lord (Redemption in Indigo), read from their gripping books, which challenge us to imagine havoc and consequences wreaked by nature and gods.
The Writers Studio Kids Write Workshop. Hands-on creative writing workshop for high school students. Students will sample and discuss a short work by a well-known contemporary author. Workshop includes a writing exercise based on a discussion of the craft in the sample reading. Students will write in class for 30 minutes, followed by a brief, facilitated critique of their work. Taught by Kids Write Director Rebecca Gee, a published poet and award-winning mixed media artist.
Poetry and Prose. A panel discussing how poetry and prose (be it fiction, creative nonfiction, essays, or journalism) relate to and inform each other, with well-known practitioners of both. Featuring Monica Ferrell, Phillip Lopate, Katha Pollitt, and Maureen N. McLane. Moderated by Meghan O’Rourke.
Sarah Silverman and David Rakoff in Conversation. Humorists Sarah Silverman (The Bedwetter) and David Rakoff (Half Empty) discuss their work.
Is Beauty Painful? Popular culture dictates that, to beautiful people, the world is their oyster. But perhaps beauty creates its own painfulness. Readings by Jenny Hollowell (Everything Lovely, Effortless, Safe), Peter Hedges (The Heights), and Matthew Sharpe (Jamestown), followed by Q&A.
Romancing the Novel. Award-winning romance novelists Donna Hill (Private Lessons), Sarah MacLean (Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake), and others read from their books, which tickle and tease and perhaps teach about love, lust, and affairs of the heart.
It Ain’t Easy Being Green. Sustainable environmental practices may be better for us, but are they really helping save the planet? With Colin Beavan (No Impact Man), Heather Rogers (Green Gone Wrong), Anna Lappé (Diet for a Hot Planet), and Miyun Park (Gristle).
International Noir. As the enormous popularity of international noir fiction continues to produce many new authors and titles, the international stage will host a discussion of the unique features of this genre and its enduring appeal. Featuring Hirsh Sawhney (editor of Delhi Noir), Mexican author Paco Ignacio Taibo II (The Uncomfortable Dead), French author Caryl Férey (Zulu),and Pete Hamill (North River).
The Body Electric: The Cult and Culture of Movement in America. Stefanie Syman, author of a new history of yoga (The Subtle Body), humorist and yoga-foe-turned-zealot Neal Pollack (Stretch), and choreographer Elizabeth Streb (How to Become an Extreme Action Hero)discuss the mind/body split and how our approach to stillness and movement shapes who we are—and who we can be.
When It All Goes Wrong. Adele Griffin (The Julian Game), Tracy White (How I Made It to Eighteen), and Sofia Quintero (Efrain’s Secret) discuss what happens when life gets out of hand, from online stalking to addiction to the lure of living double lives.
Plot Aside . . . Adam Haslett (Union Atlantic), Katharine Weber (True Confections), and Jess Walter (The Financial Lives of the Poets) discuss the themes and ideas that motivate, shape, and inform their plots, characters, and writing.
Poetic Distortion, a Cave Canem Workshop led by Evan Burton. Visual artists have known for centuries that representation requires some artificial manipulation; one must compress, augment or distort reality to transfer it to a medium. This workshop will focus on examples and techniques of poetic distortion with the hope of creating poems that echo the elegance, strangeness, and drama of some forms in life. Open to all levels.
Live from the NYPL PRESENTS: The Pleasure Seekers: Salman Rushdie in Conversation with Tishani Doshi. Salman Rushdie talks to novelist, poet and dancer Tishani Doshi about her acclaimed new novel The Pleasure Seekers and about Indian-Pakistani literature and diaspora-Indian literature in general, poetry, dance and, perhaps, the delights of Goan fish curry and chocolate Ganeshes. Introduced by Paul Holdengräber.
The World in Fiction. Three fiction writers talk about the relationship between reality and imagination in their work: Jabari Asim (A Taste of Honey), Russell Banks (The Reserve), and Mona Simpson (My Hollywood). Moderated by David L. Ulin of the Los Angeles Times.
Cabaret BBF Style. Four notorious authors shake up the Brooklyn Book Festival with song and comedy. Singing by Rakesh Satyal (Blue Boy) and Melvin Van Peebles (Confessions of a Ex-Doofus-ItchyFooted Mutha), mixed with a comic presentation by Sam Anderson (New York Magazine) and David Rees (Get Your War On).
Family: They Mess You Up. Of course they do. But how they help or hinder you in developing a relationship to the world is the real marker of who you are now. Readings by Stephen Elliott (The Adderall Diaries), Jennifer Gilmore (Something Red), and Luis Alberto Urrea (Into the Beautiful North), followed by Q&A.
Being Is Scary. In lonely places, one often has to face the aches and desires for something more. Yet even longing has its dangers. Readings by Per Petterson (I Curse the River of Time), Scott Spencer (Man in the Woods), and Terese Svoboda (Pirate Talk or Mermalade), followed by Q&A.
Abstract Jungle. Though violent crime may have decreased in some cities of the world, a new aesthetic of bleakness has transformed the urban chronicle into a form of writer’s survival. Readings by Peter Akinti (Forest Gate), Henry Chang (Red Jade), and Brando Skyhorse (The Madonnas of Echo Park), followed by Q&A.
When the Shooting’s Over. What is the effect on the mind of hellish wartime action? In fiction, how are the experiences assimilated into characters’ lives? Short readings followed by a discussion and Q&A. Featuring Susan Abulhawa, (Mornings in Jenin), Feryal Ali Gauhar (No Space for Further Burials) and Chang-Rae Lee (The Surrendered).
Comics and Form: Is the Medium Still the Message? Do comics change when they are released from their traditional print medium? And how? Creators, publishers, and developers discuss the expanding boundaries of the format. Featuring Robert Berry (Ulysses “Seen”), Ben Katchor (The Cardboard Valise), Jillian Tamaki (Skim). Moderated by Karen Green (Columbia University).
Making It. Mitali Perkins (Bamboo People), Francisco X. Stork (The Last Summer of the Death Warriors), and Kate Milford (The Boneshaker) bring tales of their characters’ extreme survival to the stage, from a teen soldier in Burma to an orphanage in Mexico to a girl in 1913 Missouri, who finds herself in the middle of a battle between good and evil. Moderated by Anjali Wason (Body Talk).
All Politics Is Local. Is politics down and dirty or full of optimism for the future? Here city, state, and national politics are discussed from all angles of reform, asking whether or not real change is a utopian myth. Francis S. Barry (Scandal of Reform), former state assembly member Daniel L. Feldman (Tales from the Sausage Factory), and Robert Polner (The Man who Saved New York, co-authored by Seymour P. Lachman).
Michael Connelly and Dennis Lehane in Conversation with Alafair Burke. Three masters of crime and cliff-hanging suspense in conversation. Discussion and short readings, followed by Q&A.
Pete Hamill and Esmeralda Santiago in Conversation.
Venus Williams in conversation.
NBCC “Name that Author” returns to the book festival with 2008 champ Brigid Hughes (A Public Space), 2009 champ Martha Southgate (Third Girl from the Left), critics Eric Banks, Steve Kellman, and David Haglund. John Reed (Tales of Woe), emcee. NBCC president Jane Ciabattari, referee/quizmaster.
Hex and the City. Oh, to be young and hip in New York! What, you think it’s easy? Readings by Jennifer Belle (The Seven Year Bitch), Charles Rice-González (Chulito), and Joanna Smith Rakoff (A Fortunate Age), followed by Q&A.
War, Torture and the Death and Birth of Meaning. Nick Flynn (The Ticking is the Bomb), Feryal Ali Gauhar (No Space for Further Burials), and Rahna Reiko Rizzuto (Hiroshima in the Morning) talk with Amy Goodman (Democracy Now) about their own deep engagement with the atrocities of conflict and discuss their depiction in both fiction and non-fiction, and the way these events can shape both our identity and engagement with our everyday lives.
Border Crossings. Three writers with hyphenated identities and whose work crosses and bridges cultural boundaries read from their most recent books. Featuring Gary Shteyngart (Super Sad True Love Story), Luis Alberto Urrea (Into the Beautiful North), Maaza Mengiste (Beneath the Lion’s Gaze).
Tiger Beat. Teen author band Libba Bray, Daniel Ehrenhaft, Natalie Standiford and Barnabas Miller perform at the Festival.
The Play’s The Thing. Dramatic readings and conversation with Jake Ehrenreich, A Jew Grows in Brooklyn, a musical and memoir about the reflections of a first generation American growing up in Brownsville, Brooklyn, in the shadow of the Shoah; Charles Fuller, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright of A Soldiers Story and Polish author Dorota Maslowska, Snow White, Russian Red and the play “A Couple of Poor, Polish-Speaking Romanians” (staged in NY in 2011).
TARGET CHILDREN’S AREA
10:30 Tad Hills (How Rocket Learned to Read; Duck & Goose)
Youth Workshops at the Workshop Tent
Make a Snake Book with Esther K. Smith, Purgatory Pie Press. Magic Books & Paper Toys, How to Make Books and The Paper Bride author will show you how to make two simple books. Make three folds in a square of paper—fold a few and glue one way, it’s a star or flower; glue the other way, a snake—or, if you prefer, a lovely garland! How long will our snake grow? That’s up to you!
Where I’m From: Exploring Brooklyn through Poetry. Teachers & Writers Collaborative presents a poetry-writing workshop for elementary school-aged children using Wallace Stevens’ Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird as a writing prompt. An experienced T & W teaching artist will lead participants in writing short poems about Brooklyn, including ways of “looking at” their hometown. The children will also write individual poems about their neighborhoods. Led by Melanie Maria Goodreaux, poet, playwright, actress and director who is originally from New Orleans.
Behind the Book Presents a Cartooning Workshop with Alex Simmons. Hone your drawing skills at the Behind the Book Cartooning Workshop with Alex Simmons, creator or the Kids Comic Con, author of graphic novel Blackjack, and a writer for DC Comics, where he has collaborated on Batman, Superman, Scooby-Doo and, most recently, Archie Comics.
The Comic Book Project presents When Commas Meet Kryptonite with Michael Bitz, Director of the Center for Educational Pathways. Join us to dream, design, and draft an original comic book. Transform ideas to ink and star in your own superhero story! (Ages 8-16).
BOOKEND EVENTS (SEPTEMBER 10 – SEPTEMBER 12)
Secret History of the Dividing Line: A True Account in Nine Parts (Parts I–IV, 1999–2004). Light Industry presents a screening of David Gatten’s unfinished 16mm film cycle, a project based around the life, writing, and library of William Byrd II, a Virginia planter who owned one of the largest collections of books in colonial North America.
Brooklyn Indie Press Celebration! With Akashic Books, A Public Space, Archipelago Books, Armchair/Shotgun, BOMB, Electric Literature, Melville House, powerHouse Books, Tin House, and others. Brooklyn’s finest independent publishers of books and periodicals come together at Greenlight Bookstore. Mingle with writers and publishers who make Brooklyn’s literary scene, and enjoy refreshments and live DJs to kick off BKBF weekend.
WORD Presents an Intimate Conversation with John Waters. John Waters, the iconic filmmaker, actor, and writer, comes to Greenpoint to talk about his new book Role Models with Carolyn Kellogg of the Los Angeles Times. For details, visit www.wordbrooklyn.com.
DEBUT LIT Presents “Opening Act,” a flash reading of original work by literary rock stars. Readings will be written on a theme provided by DEBUT LIT—it’s fun and it’s fast. Readers include Aryn Kyle (The God of Animals), John Murillo (Up Jump the Boogie), Sung J. Woo (Everything Asian), Brooke Berman (No Place Like Home), Matt Stewart (French Revolution), Fiona Maazel (Last Last Chance), and Daphne Beal (In the Land of No Right Angles).
Books to Movies: The Sweet Hereafter. In this 1997 adaptation of Russell Banks’s novel, directed by Atom Egoyan and starring Ian Holm and Sarah Polley, a big-city lawyer descends on a small Canadian town following a tragic school bus accident to organize a civil-action suit, while simultaneously mourning the loss of his own daughter to drug addiction. Atom Egoyan’s masterpiece is a sensitive examination of overcoming grief. Q&A with authorRussell Banks.
Literary Pub Contest staged by PEN American Center at St. Ann’s Warehouse. The first-ever PEN Quiz Night. Don’t miss the chance to compete with (and against!) your favorite authors. We’ll bring the paper and the pencils; you bring your literary mettle!
ringShout: A Place for Black Literature kicks off its new reading series. Join us for an evening of readings by four acclaimed African American writers. Featuring Ta-Nehisi Coates, Tayari Jones, Jeffery Renard Allen, and Danielle Evans. DJ sounds by Rob Fields.
Making Books Sing: A Warm-up for the Brooklyn Book Festival. In 1929, New York’s first Puerto Rican librarian, Pura Belpré, transformed her East Harlem library into a welcoming community center for all. Through a blend of storytelling, music, and puppetry, young audiences will learn about Puerto Rican folklore and the library’s important role in the community. Kids sing along and become puppeteers as Pura’s stories unfold. Followed by a bookmaking workshop.
Books to Film for Children. A series of short films based on children’s books for ages 2–6, followed by Q&A with Brooklyn Book Festival participants Jon Scieszka (with the film The True Story of the Three Little Pigs) and Chris Raschka (with the film Yo! Yes?).
Robin Hood: Prince of . . . MONSTERS! Mainspring Collective and the Irondale Center present Monster Literature, written and conceived by Daniel John Kelley, an action-packed and hilarious live theater series that celebrates great works of children’s literature that kids can read now. For details and advance tickets, visit www.monsterliterature.com.
The New Brooklyn Cookbook: Recipes and Stories from 31 Restaurants That Put Brooklyn on the Culinary Map. Join authors Melissa and Brendan Vaughan for a panel discussion and cocktail hour at The Brooklyn Kitchen, North Brooklyn’s leading hub of home culinary exploration, and the best place to learn how to make restaurant dishes in cramped apartment kitchens. Panelists will include the chefs, farmers, kimchi makers, and beer brewers who make this borough delicious!
Talking to Girls About Duran Duran. Author Rob Sheffield reads from his latest work and chats about new wave music, adolescent love, and John Hughes movie soundtracks. Rob is the best-selling author of Love Is a Mix Tape and has been a music journalist for over twenty years. Talking to Girls About Duran Duran is a poignant tour of his 1980s upbringing, as told through the music of that decade. Stick around afterward and enjoy Rob and other DJs spinning the tunes highlighted in the book. For details, visit www.thebellhouseny.com.
Genre Busters. Freebird Books & Goods presents a ninety-minute revue show with artists and authors who work in a genre to turn it on its head. Includes readings, slideshows, short lectures, video, Q&A, trivia prizes, and snacks.
SUNDAY (AFTER THE FESTIVAL)
Copper Canyon Listening Party Featuring Mountains and Lymbyc Systym. It’s not about reading, it’s about listening. Copper Canyon Press’ award-winning authors Mark Bibbins, Chris Martin, Brenda Shaughnessy, and Ben Lerner read from their work; also featuring special performances by acclaimed folk-gazer/electronic bands Mountains and Lymbyc Systym. For details, visit www.littlefieldnyc.com.
Amore: The Story of Italian American Song by Mark Rotella. Author Mark Rotella speaks about his book while songs discussed in the book are performed by Vincenzo Venuto for dinner guests at Brooklyn’s own Pizza D’Amore. Rotella’s book covers everyone from crooners like Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett, and female pop singers like Joni James and Connie Francis, to groups from the late ’50s and early ’60s like Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons and Dion and the Belmonts. Amore is the personal Top 40 of one proud son of Italy; it is also a love song to Italian American culture and an evocation of an age that belongs to us all.
Cosmos: A Personal Voyage. Screened under the evening sky, the Emmy Award-winning PBS television series based on the book Cosmos by Carl Sagan will enchant and fascinate all ages. Bring a picnic blanket and prepare to be dazzled. SyFy and the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy will provide Orion telescopes and the Amateur Astronomers Association of New York will be on-hand to help you locate stars and planets in the night sky. www.brooklynbridgeparknyc.org/