Mission Statement: The mission of the Brooklyn Book Festival is to celebrate published literature and nurture a literary cultural community through programming that cultivates and connects readers of diverse ages and backgrounds with local, national and international authors, publishers and booksellers. To this end, the Brooklyn Book Festival develops original programming that is hip, smart, diverse, inclusive and collaborative and presents free and low-cost public events including the Brooklyn Book Festival, Children’s Day and Bookend events.
The Brooklyn Book Festival is New York City’s largest free literary festival and connects readers with local, national and international authors and publishers during the course of a celebratory literary week.
The Festival presents original programming and enthusiastically welcomes New York City’s cross cultural book readers as well as national and international attendees. The Festival is known for fostering creative dialogue among the authors, presenting new literary voices as well as established authors, and for serving the literary community by providing a highly visible platform for the work of authors and publishers.
The Brooklyn Book Festival was launched in 2006 as a one-day event to address the need for a free, major literary event that embraced the diverse constituencies of New York City. It has since grown to include 8 days of city-wide Bookend events, its flagship Festival Day with 300 authors and a Literary Marketplace with 250 independent and major publishers, and the BKBF Children’s Day that celebrates childhood reading. The Festival’s credo is “hip, smart and diverse”. This year’s dates are September 28 – October 5.
Board of Directors
Tupper Thomas, Chair
Marisa Farina, Secretary
Eric W. Olson, Treasurer
Louella Dizon San Juan
Carolyn Greer, Co-Producer, President
Liz Koch, Co-Producer, Vice President
Brooklyn Literary Council
Jenne Abramowitz has associated Brooklyn with books ever since she first read the work of Maurice Sendak as a child. She’s now a Senior Editor at Scholastic, where she works with a diverse and talented list of children’s authors and illustrators on their middle grade and chapter book fiction.
Ibrahim Ahmad is the editorial director at Akashic Books, where he has worked in various capacities since 2000. He teaches at the Wilkes MFA Low-Residency Creative Writing Program and Literary Publishing MA Program, leads frequent workshops on writing and publishing, and is the cofounder, with Akashic publisher Johnny Temple, of Brooklyn Wordsmiths, an editorial and consulting program. In 2015 he was named one of four finalists for the inaugural Star Watch prize by Publishers Weekly, awarded to “young industry professionals who have distinguished themselves as future leaders of the industry.” He currently serves on the steering committee of the Independent Publishers Caucus.
New York Times Magazine
Alex Carp is a research editor at the New York Times Magazine, a regular contributor to New York Magazine’s National Circus, and a former editor of the Voice of Witness book series. His reporting and essays have appeared in those publications as well as The New Yorker, The New York Times Sunday Review, The New York Review of Books Daily, Politico Magazine, and elsewhere. He lives in Brooklyn.
Mark Chait, formerly an executive editor at HarperCollins and a senior editor at Penguin, is now a founding member of a burgeoning publishing startup Scribe. A Seattle native, he has lived in Brooklyn for more than 20 years.
Geto & de Milly
Laura Sinagra Dolan is a member of the Brooklyn Book Festival Literary Council and Nonfiction Programming Committee. A public affairs and strategic communications executive, she served as communications director for the Brooklyn Borough President’s Office during the festival’s early days. As a music and film critic, her writing has appeared in publications including The New York Times, Rolling Stone and the Village Voice.
Random House Graphic
Gina Gagliano is the Publishing Director of Random House Graphic, Random House’s dedicated publisher of kids and YA graphic novels. She sits on Random House Children’s Books Diversity & Inclusion Steering Committee and Outreach Committees. Prior to working at Random House Children’s Books, she was most recently Associate Director, Marketing & Publicity at First Second Books. She’s coordinated programming and events for the Splat! Graphic Novel Symposium, the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art, and the Toronto Comics Art Festival. She co-runs the informal Women in Comics Publishing NYC events series (with Abby Denson), and co-hosts the informational graphic novel publishing podcast Graphic Novel TK (with Alison Wilgus). You can find her online at @_GinaGagliano.
Mary Gannon, CLMP’s Executive Director, is a veteran nonprofit administrator with more than twenty years of experience in the literary field. Prior to joining CLMP she served as the Associate Director/Director of Content for the Academy of American Poets for five years, where she oversaw the production of the organization’s award-winning website, Poets.org, its popular Poem-a-Day series, and its Education Program, including Teach This Poem, a weekly offering that received the 2018 National Book Foundation’s Innovations in Reading Prize. She also served as Editorial Director of Poets & Writers, Inc., the country’s largest nonprofit organization serving poets and writers of literary prose, where she headed up Poets & Writers Magazine and pw.org. Also an award-winning poet whose poems have been published widely, Mary has published numerous articles about publishing and the literary field and has profiled such notable authors as The New Yorker editor David Remnick and nonfiction writer John Haskell, fiction writers Jay McInerney and Heidi Julavits, and poets Anne Carson and Major Jackson. She is co-author with her husband, Kevin Larimer, of The Poets & Writers Complete Guide to Being a Writer, published by Avid Reader Press in 2020.
Medgar Evers College
Donna Hill began her career in 1987 writing short stories for the confession magazines. Since that time she has more than 70 published titles to her credit since her first novel was released in 1990, and is considered one of the early pioneers of the African American romance genre. Three of her novels have been adapted for television. She has been featured in Essence, the New York Daily News, USA Today, Today’s Black Woman, and Black Enterprise among many others. She has received numerous awards for her body of work—which cross several genres—including The Career Achievement Award, the first recipient of The Trailblazer Award, The Zora Neale Hurston Literary Award, The Gold Pen Award among others, as well as commendations for her community service. As an editor she has packaged several highly successful novels, and anthologies, two of which were nominated for awards. Donna is a graduate of Goddard College with an MFA in Creative Writing and is currently in pursuit of her Doctor of Arts in English Pedagogy and Technology. She is an Assistant Professor of Professional and Creative Writing at Medgar Evers College and lives in Brooklyn, NY, with her family. She can be found at donnaohill.com
Joan Hilty directs comics and graphic novel licensed publishing at Nickelodeon, and is Editor-in-Chief of the book producer Pageturner. She has been a senior editor at DC Comics/Vertigo and a syndicated cartoonist. She also curates comics programming for the Miami Book Fair and teaches at the School of Visual Arts in New York City.
Brett Fletcher Lauer
Poetry Society of America
Brett Fletcher Lauer is the managing director of the Poetry Society of America and the poetry editor of A Public Space. He is the co-editor of Poetry in Motion from Coast to Coast (Norton, 2002) and Isn’t It Romantic: 100 Love Poems by Younger American Poets (Wave, 2004). His poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, Boston Review, Fence, Harper’s, Tin House, and elsewhere.
National Book Foundation
Lisa Lucas is the Executive Director of the National Book Foundation. Prior to joining the Foundation, she served as the Publisher of Guernica Magazine and the Director of Education at the Tribeca Film Institute.
St. Francis College
Ian S Maloney, PhD is Professor of English at St. Francis College in Brooklyn, NY. Since 2009, he has directed the biennial St. Francis College Literary Prize ($50,000 for a 3rd through 5th published work of fiction). He also serves on the board for the Walt Whitman Initiative.
The Center for Fiction
Melanie McNair’s interests include literature, performance art, theatre, radically inclusive intersectional feminism, drag queens, camping at the beach with books, musicals, and cats (but not the musical, CATS). She will go to great lengths to facilitate conversations she wants to listen in on and spends her time doing just that as the Director of Public Programming at the Center for Fiction.
House of SpeakEasy
Paul W. Morris is the Executive Director of the House of SpeakEasy Foundation. The former Vice President of the Authors Guild and former Director of Literary Programs at PEN America, he has held positions as a book editor at Viking Penguin and Managing Editor of Tricycle: The Buddhist Review, as well as at Entertainment Weekly and several other companies. He also served as the General Manager at BOMB Magazine. His writing has appeared in several anthologies, and his essay on Hermann Hesse was included as the introduction to a recent translation of Siddhartha. He is on the advisory council for Lit Crawl NYC. He actively participates in event programming and host committees for the National Book Awards, Guernica, Brooklyn Public Library, 826NYC, One Story, The Common, and other literary initiatives. He lives in New York City.
Knopf Books for Young Readers
Rotem Moscovich is the editorial director of picture books at Knopf Books for Young Readers. She feels lucky to have worked with so many talented creators, including Greg Pizzoli, Christopher Myers, Ann M. Martin & Laura Godwin, Chris Raschka, Adam Rex, Shelley Johannes, Ryan T. Higgins, Doreen Rappaport, Minh Lê, Dan Santat, and LeUyen Pham. Rotem loves picture books with clever characters and inspired/ing art, and connects with chapter books and graphic novels with characters that have inherent motivation and earned agency. She’s an immigrant, fascinated with biology, and excited to bring a wide range of voices to readers everywhere. She cares about every facet of bookmaking: from type to case cover art, and everything in between. She has a master’s degree from the Center for the Study of Children’s Literature at Simmons College, and lives in Queens, NY. Find her online: @Spanish_Broom or rotem.nyc.
Geto & de Milly
Cristiana Peña is a digital media strategist and web content developer for top-ranked NYC public relations firm Geto & de Milly, in addition to multiple freelance projects. Expert at leveraging digital platforms, she builds online communities to drive real-world action. Since 2013, Cristiana has served as chief of social media for CIRCAOldHouses.com, and has also conceptualized digital campaigns on behalf of community-based nonprofits and historic cultural sites, from the Upper West Side to The Bronx. She serves as executive director of the James Marston Fitch Charitable Foundation.
The New School
Camille Rankine is the author of Incorrect Merciful Impulses, published in 2016 by Copper Canyon Press, and the chapbook Slow Dance with Trip Wire, selected by Cornelius Eady for the Poetry Society of America’s 2010 New York Chapbook Fellowship. She is the recipient of a 2010 “Discovery”/Boston Review Poetry Prize, as well as fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the MacDowell Colony. She chairs the board of The Poetry Project, and teaches at The New School.
Peter Rothberg, The Nation‘s associate publisher, currently writes the ActNow weblog for the magazine’s website and serves as a weekly commentator on Air America Radio. He’s also produced The Nation’s weekly radio program, edited the magazine’s website, organized public events and directed the publication’s publicity and outreach efforts. Rothberg has also written speeches for NAACP executive director Julian Bond, and serves on the board of the Social Ventures Network.
Sarah Russo Public Relations
Sarah Russo is an independent literary publicist and expert in audience engagement. Over the years she has worked at Knopf, Doubleday, Scribner, Other Press, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, and Oxford University Press. Most recently she was Global Director of Audience Engagement at OUP managing a team of 42 publicists, trade marketers, social media marketers, and communications professionals across twelve time zones. Her team worked primarily on trade books and series, as well as dictionaries, online products, and breaking news from the research journals division.
Benjamin Samuel is the Managing Editor of BOMB Magazine and teaches writing at Columbia University. He’s the former Director of Programs for the National Book Foundation, where he serves on their Book Council, and the co-founder of Electric Literature’s Recommended Reading. He has an MFA from Brooklyn College, and his writing has been published by McSweeney’s, Lit Hub, Crime Reads, Publishers Weekly, Men’s Journal, InsideHook, and Guernica.
Clarisse Rosaz Shariyf
Clarisse Rosaz Shariyf is the Director of Public Programs at PEN America. Prior to joining PEN America, she produced a year-round schedule of events, and managed audience development, public engagement strategies, and cultural community partnerships at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, The New York Public Library. She has a decade of experience in curating public arts and educational programs.
Rob Spillman is the author of the memoir All Tomorrow’s Parties, and was the editor and co-founder of Tin House, a 19-year-old bi-coastal (Brooklyn, New York and Portland, Oregon) literary magazine.
Johnny Temple is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Akashic Books, an award-winning Brooklyn-based independent company dedicated to publishing urban literary fiction and political nonfiction. He won the American Association of Publishers’ 2005 Miriam Bass Award for Creativity in Independent Publishing. Temple also plays bass guitar in the rock band Girls Against Boys, which has toured extensively across the globe and released numerous albums on independent and major record companies. He has contributed articles and political essays to various publications, including The Nation, Publishers Weekly, AlterNet, Alternative Press, Poets & Writers, and Bust. Temple lives in Fort Greene, Brooklyn.
Anderson Tepper spent more than twenty years on the editorial staff of Vanity Fair and has written on books and international authors for a variety of publications, including The New York Times Book Review, the Nation, Words without Borders, Tin House, and the Paris Review Daily. He is co-chair of the international committee of the Brooklyn Book Festival.
Brooklyn Public Library
Meredith Walters is the Brooklyn Public Library’s Director of Programs and Exhibitions.
Brooklyn Book Festival Committees
Ibrahim Ahmad, co-chair
Benjamin Samuel, co-chair
Alex Carp, co-chair
Mark Chait, co-chair
Rebecca Flint Marx
Brett Fletcher Lauer, co-chair
Camille Rankine, co-chair
Jenne Abramowitz, co-chair
Rotem Moscovich, co-chair
Liz Koch, co-chair
Anderson Tepper, co-chair
Gina Gagliano, co-chair
Joan Hilty, co-chair
Meg Lemke, member-at-large
Carolyn Greer, co-chair
Paul W. Morris, co-chair
Catherine LaSota, member-at-large
Clarisse Rosaz Shariyf
Cristiana Peña, co-chair
Sarah L. Russo, co-chair
BKBF Public Safety Statement
The Brooklyn Book Festival is committed to creating a welcoming, harassment-free and safe experience for one and all including attendees, authors, exhibitors, staff and volunteers. Disruptive or harassing behavior will not be tolerated. If you are experiencing unwelcome actions, discriminatory or threatening behavior or encounter an unsafe situation, please alert a Festival staff member or volunteer who will assist you. (Look for the official red shirts.) If you are the victim of a crime while attending – CALL 911.