2009 Brooklyn Book Festival information

Via Press Release:


Over 200 literary superstars and pop culture trailblazers at hip, smart, diverse festival of ideas



Major free public event featuring: Russell Banks, Jonathan Lethem, Anne Carson, Paul Auster,

Edwidge Danticat, Claire Messud, Colson Whitehead, A.M. Homes, David Cross,

Mary Gaitskill, Nicholson Baker, Oliver Sacks, Staceyann Chin, Gary Shteyngart, Amy Sohn, Nelson George, Melvin Van Peebles, Siri Husvedt, Lupe Fiasco, Heidi Julavits Sloane Crosley,,

Tao Lin, Jeffrey Rotter, Esmeralda Santiago, Keith Gessen, Naomi Klein, Thurston Moore,

M.T. Anderson, Greg Milner, Francine Prose, Jonathan Ames, Kate DiCamillo, Mo Willems,

T. Cooper, Tom Tomorrow, Judi Barrett, Christopher Myers….and many more!

On Sunday, September 13, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, the Brooklyn Literary Council and Brooklyn Tourism will host the fourth annual Brooklyn Book Festival, a huge, free public event presenting over 200 authors participating in panel discussions and readings, young adult and children’s programming and a literary marketplace of more than 150 booksellers, publishers and literary organizations. Readings are held at Brooklyn Borough Hall, in Borough Hall Plaza and Columbus Park, at St. Francis College and the Brooklyn Historical Society.

“Now more than ever before, Brooklyn is Booklyn,” said BP Markowitz. “And whether you’re browsing for books, listening to your favorite author read from his or her work, or attending one of the fascinating panels made up of literati of every stripe, Brooklyn is the place to be for booklovers from around the world.” The Brooklyn Book Festival “Best of Brooklyn” or “BoBi” Award for outstanding contributions to literature will be presented to Haitian author Edwidge Danticat, at the Festival Gala on Saturday, September 12.

Confirmed authors for the festival on September 13 include Paul Auster (Man in the Dark; Travels in the Scriptorium); Russell Banks (Dreaming Up America; The Reserve); poets Staceyann Chin and Anne Carson; Jonathan Lethem (Chronic City, You Don’t Love Me Yet); Edwidge Danticat (Brother, I’m Dying, winner of the 2007 National Book Critics Circle Award); Nelson George (City Kid: A Writer’s Memoir of Ghetto Life and Post-Soul Success); Francine Prose (Blue Angel, A Changed Man); A.M. Homes (The Mistress’s Daughter); musician Thurston Moore; Achy Obejas (Ruins); Jonathan Ames (The Alcoholic); Melvin Van Peebles, actor, director, screenwriter, playwright, composer; Sonia Sanchez, poet, playwright; Esmeralda Santiago (When I was Puerto Rican); and Colson Whitehead (Sag Harbor; Apex Hides the Hurt).

Programming will include fiction, nonfiction and poetry panels on hot topics ranging from “The Great Recession” (featuring Justin Fox, Naomi Klein, Kai Wright and moderator Errol Louis of the New York Daily News) and “Literature in a Digital Age” (John Freeman, Dwight Garner, Sarah Schmelling) to “Poetry, Pop and Hip-Hop” (Lupe Fiasco, Thurston Moore, Tracie Morris, Matthew Zapruder and moderator Touré) and “PSA Presents” (a reading by the nation’s oldest poetry organization, featuring some of the country’s best bards, including Anne Carson, Sonia Sanchez, Philip Schultz, Arthur Sze and Alice Quinn).

“The Brooklyn Book Festival continues to support publishers big and small as well as authors around the world,” said Johnny Temple, chair of the Brooklyn Literary Council. “Our fourth annual Festival is quickly shaping up to be our best one yet—more diversity, more literary superstars, more up-and-coming voices.”

The Target Children’s Area will keep 2-year-olds to 9-year-olds captivated with book readings, a performance of children’s classics by the Troupe Theatre and author signings. Included in the lineup are Judi Barrett (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and Pickles to Pittsburgh); picture book author Mo Willems, creator of the world’s most famous pigeon and the early reader Elephant and Piggie; Victoria Kann, co-author of the delicious, cupcake-filled Pinkalicious and current bestseller Goldilicious; syndicated cartoonist Tom Tomorrow, who pokes fun at conformity with his first picture book The Very Silly Mayor; Brooklyn’s own Ayun Halliday, who will entertain children with Always Lots of Heinies at the Zoo; Nick Bruel, creator of laughs and mayhem in Bad Kitty Gets a Bath; Peter and Randall de Seve (The Duchess of Whimsy); poet and illustrator Christopher Myers (Black Cat, Jabberwocky); duo Maureen Sullivan and Alison Josephs, whose adventurous dog, Carlos, visits Grand Central Station and Coney Island in Ankle Soup and Custard and Mustard; and Sahar Simmons, creator of the series Briana’s Neighborhood.

The festival’s Youth Stoop, geared toward readers ages 10 – 18, boasts an array of bestselling authors and a menu of genres to please any appetite from fantasy and vampires to graphic novels and fiction about love. Best selling author Kate DiCamillo (The Tale of Despereaux; Because of Wynn Dixie) will read and discuss her new book The Magician’s Elephant together with Michael Buckley (The Sisters Grimm). For teenagers, or teenagers at heart, the festival presents National Book Award finalist Laurie Halse Anderson (Speak; Chains); and M.T. Anderson (The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, National Book Award winner). Dealing with tough issues in their books are Coe Booth (Kendra), Gayle Forman (If I Stay) and Matt de la Pena (We Were Here). Masters of heartbreak and longing at the festival include Anna Godbersen (The Luxe) and Aimee Freidman (Sea Change, a love story with a hint of enchantment). Graphic novelists Danica Novgorodoff (Refresh, Refresh), George O’Connor (Journey into Mohawk Country) and Raina Telgemeier (The Babysitter’s Club) will speak about their work, and fans of vampires and the supernatural will also be delighted with the authors at the festival.

New York Comic Con (NYCC) will have a powerful presence at this year’s Brooklyn Book Festival, with its premiere pop culture convention and stars at a colorful and exciting programming area that will include a performance tent, guest presentations, guest autographing sessions and a dedicated marketplace area. NYCC’s participation will be a positive way to spread further awareness of comics and graphic literature while providing free interaction and entertainment for thousands of NYCC fans.

“The Brooklyn Book Festival is an awesome gathering and I have had tremendous respect for the festival from the moment it started,” said Lance Fensterman, vice president and show manager for New York Comic Con. “We are proud to bring an intense graphic lit and pop culture presence to such a great festival. I am sure this will provide our customers with the opportunity to connect directly with lots of new fans. Plus, it’s all for free! This is a win-win in every respect.”

The Brooklyn Book Festival is also proud to expand its partnership with St. Francis College, which has created a $50,000 literary prize for an author’s fourth book of fiction. Named as the short list of finalists are Chris Abani (Song For Night); Aleksandar Hemon (Love and Obstacles); Jim Krusoe (Girl Factory); and Arthur Phillips (The Song Is You). The distinguished jury includes Michael Chabon, Heidi Julavits, Jonathan Lethem, Ben Marcus and Ayelet Waldman. The winning author will be revealed at the Brooklyn Book Festival Gala.

“The Brooklyn Book Festival is a wonderful opportunity for the students and faculty of St. Francis College to participate in the exciting and growing literary life of Brooklyn and New York City,” said Tim Houlihan, vice president for Academic Affairs and academic dean at St. Francis College. “We look forward to opening the College to writers, poets and playwrights from around the world, and we look forward to a long and fruitful partnership with the Brooklyn Book Festival.”

The 2009 Brooklyn Book Festival is presented by Brooklyn Tourism and the Brooklyn Literary Council, initiatives of Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz. Sponsors include the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation; the NYC & Company Foundation; New York Comic Con; Astoria Federal Savings; Citi; Boar’s Head Provisions; the New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge; and Time Out New York, media sponsor again this year. Cultural partners are BAM; the Brooklyn Historical Society; Brooklyn Public Library; and the National Book Foundation. Programming partners include Housing Works Bookstore Café; PEN American Center; Poetry Society of America; The New York Review of Books; St. Francis College; and The Nation.

For more information about the Brooklyn Book Festival, visit www.visitbrooklyn.org or check out the official Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pages/Brooklyn-Book-Festival-Official-Site/20650359836. On Twitter, follow the Brooklyn Book Festival at bkbf. For photos of the Brooklyn Book Festival, visit www.flickr.com/brooklynbookfestival09.