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

Marisa Farina, Chair
Elizabeth Canela, Secretary
Eric W. Olson, Treasurer

Janet Bunde
Faith C. Corbett
Seth Cummins
Timothy Houlihan
Regina Myer
Camille Rankine
Louella Dizon San Juan
Johnny Temple
Tupper Thomas
Brian Vines

Liz Koch, Producer, President

Brooklyn Literary Council

Ibrahim Ahmad

Viking Penguin

Ibrahim Ahmad joined Viking Penguin as executive editor in 2021, and his authors include #1 New York Times bestsellers and winners of the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award. As editorial director at Akashic Books, where he worked for two decades, Ahmad published a list of extraordinary writers from around the world. He acquires an eclectic range of literary fiction and crime fiction, with a particular focus on incendiary, urgent voices that subvert and expand the existing literature; his nonfiction interests include current affairs, politics, history, science and technology, biography, business, and pop culture.

Alex Carp

New York Times Magazine

Alex Carp is a research editor at the New York Times Magazine and a former editor of the Voice of Witness book series. His reporting and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The New York Review of Books online, and The Believer.

Mark Chait


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.

Laura Dolan

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.

Novella Ford

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

Novella Ford is the Associate Director of Public Programs and Exhibitions at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, a research division of The New York Public Library.  In her role, she has launched the annual Schomburg Center Literary Festival and has organized hundreds of public programs at the intersection of scholarship and popular culture. She connects diverse audiences to the archives and engages history through dialogue, performance, literature, and visual arts. Most recently she served as the guest editor of Pen + Brush Gallery’s literary magazine, In Print No. 5 and serves on the board of Cave Canem Foundation, a home for the many voices of Black poetry.

Mary Gannon


Mary Gannon is the Executive Director of The Community of Literary Magazines and Presses (CLMP), a 55-year-old nonprofit service organization that supports independent literary publishers. Gannon is a veteran nonprofit administrator with more than twenty years of experience in the literary field. Prior to joining CLMP, she was the Associate Director/Director of Content for the Academy of American Poets, where she oversaw the award-winning website Poets.org, the popular Poem-a-Day series, American Poets magazine, and the Academy’s Education Program. She also served as Editorial Director of Poets & Writers, Inc., where she headed up Poets & Writers Magazine and pw.org. An award-winning poet, Gannon has published numerous articles about publishing and the literary field, profiling such notable authors as Anne Carson, John Haskell, Major Jackson, Heidi Julavits, Jay McInerney, and David Remnick. 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

Hafizah Geter

Janklow & Nesbit

Hafizah Augustus Geter is a Nigerian U.S. writer born in Zaria, Nigeria, and raised in Akron, Ohio, and Columbia, South Carolina. Her debut memoir, The Black Period: On Personhood, Race, and Origin, (Random House, 2022) is a New Yorker Magazine Best Book of 2022, a Good Morning America Anticipated Book, and winner of a 2023 PEN Open Book Award and a 2023 Lambda Literary Award in LGBTQ Nonfiction. She is the author of the poetry collection Un-American (Wesleyan University Press), an NAACP Image Award and PEN Open Book Award finalist. Her writing has appeared in The New Yorker, Bomb Magazine, Boston Review, The Believer, The Paris Review, The Funambulist, and Harper’s Bazaar, among others. She is a literary agent at Janklow & Nesbit and lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Donna Hill

Medgar Evers College

Donna Hill began her career in 1987 writing short stories for the confession magazines. Since that time she has more than 100 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 Writing at Medgar Evers College and lives in Brooklyn, NY, with her family. Her most recent novel Confessions In B-Flat, received a Starred review from Publisher’s Weekly and is being adapted for the screen by Amblin Partners and executive produced by Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer. Her latest novel is I Am Ayah—The Way Home, which also received a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly and compared to elements in Octavia Butler’s Kindred by Kirkus Reviews. She can be found at donnaohill.com

Joan Hilty


Joan Hilty is Executive Editor at Nickelodeon Animation/Avatar Studios. She previously directed comics and graphic novel licensed publishing at ViacomCBS Consumer Products, and is a founder of the book producer Pageturner. She was a longtime editor for DC Comics/Vertigo and a syndicated cartoonist. She co-directs comics programming for Miami Book Fair and teaches at the School of Visual Arts in New York City

Mabel Hsu

HarperCollins Children's Books

Mabel Hsu is an executive editor at HarperCollins Children’s Books and co-chair for the children’s committee of the Brooklyn Book Festival. She publishes picture books through young adult novels, including graphic novels, and focuses on narratives that explore character drama, feature intersectional representation, and transform genre tropes. Mabel has previously mentored through POC in Publishing and Representation Matters, and continues to work to expand access into the industry. She authors works for select clients, including Disney, Pixar, and more. You can find her online at @helloomabel.

Brett Fletcher Lauer

Poetry Society of America

Brett Fletcher Lauer is the Deputy Director of the Poetry Society of America and the poetry editor of A Public Space. He is the author of the memoir Fake Missed Connections: Divorce, Online Dating, and Other Failures and the poetry collection A Hotel In Belgium. He is also the co-editor of several anthologies, including Please Excuse this Poem: 100 News Poets for the Next Generation and Isn’t It Romantic: 100 Love Poems by Younger American Poets.

Lisa Lucas

Pantheon & Schocken Books

Lisa Lucas is the Senior Vice President and Publisher of Pantheon & Schocken Books at Penguin Random House. Formerly, she served as the executive Director of the National Book Foundation and the Publisher of Guernica Magazine.

Ian S. Maloney

St. Francis College

Ian S. Maloney is Divisional Dean for Humanities, Communications, and Education and Professor of Literature, Writing, and Publishing at St. Francis College in Brooklyn, NY, where he directed the SFC Literary Prize. Ian holds a PhD from the City University of New York Graduate Center. He currently serves as Community Outreach Director and Board Member for the Walt Whitman Initiative, Contributor at Vol. 1 Brooklyn, and Project Coordinator with the New Literary Project.

Melanie McNair

The Center for Fiction

Melanie McNair is a writer who first found her love for the literary world at Malaprop’s Bookstore/Cafe in her hometown of Asheville, NC. She has served as Senior Director of Public Programming at the Center for Fiction since its opening in its new home in Brooklyn, curating events that celebrate storytelling across genres and showcase the talents of authors, artists, actors, musicians, journalists, and change-makers from all over the world.

Paul Morris

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 many magazines. He sits on advisory councils for Lit Crawl NYC, National Book Foundation, and other literary initiatives.

Rotem Moscovich

Knopf Books for Young Readers

Rotem Moscovich is the editorial director of picture books at Knopf Books for Young Readers, where she’s excited to publish a wide range of voices for readers everywhere. She edits fiction and nonfiction picture books, as well as graphic novels, and has a master’s degree from the Center for the Study of Children’s Literature at Simmons College. Find her online: @Spanish_Broom or rotem.nyc.

Camille Rankine

Carnegie Mellon University

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, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and MacDowell. She chairs the board of The Poetry Project, and is an assistant professor at Carnegie Mellon University.

Benjamin Samuel

BOMB Magazine

Benjamin Samuel is the Senior Editor of BOMB Magazine. He’s the former Director of Programs for the National Book Foundation 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, Men’s Journal, Guernica, and elsewhere.

Clarisse Rosaz Shariyf

PEN America

Clarisse Rosaz Shariyf has served as PEN America’s senior director of literary programs since September 2015. She oversees curation, production, audience building, and strategy for a range of programs and initiatives honoring literary excellence, lifting writers whose voices need to be heard, and curating public programs featuring American and international authors and artists. Formerly, as the manager of public programs at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, The New York Public Library, she produced a year-round schedule of panel discussions, performances, film screening, and symposia spanning the history and culture of the global Black experience. She holds an MA in Social Sciences from the University of Chicago and an MA in English Civilization from the University of the French West Indies.

Rob Spillman

The OpEd Project
Rob Spillman is a Fellowship Coach with The OpEd Project and the author of the memoir All Tomorrow’s Parties

Johnny Temple

Akashic Books

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 2013 Ellery Queen Award and is the editor of the anthology USA Noir, which was selected as a New York Times Editors’ Choice. Temple has taught courses on the publishing business at Wilkes University, Wesleyan University, and Pratt Institute. He also plays bass guitar in the bands Girls Against Boys, Soulside, and Fake Names, which have 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, Poets & Writers, and BookForum.

Anderson Tepper

Anderson Tepper is co-chair of the international committee of the Brooklyn Book Festival and curator of international literature at City of Asylum in Pittsbugh. He was a guest curator of PEN America’s 2023 World Voices Festival. Formerly of Vanity Fair, he writes regularly on books and authors for a variety of publications, including The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and World Literature Today.

Jafreen Uddin

Asian American Writers' Workshop

Jafreen Uddin is Executive Director of the Asian American Writers’ Workshop, a national literary nonprofit dedicated to amplifying Asian and Asian diasporic storytelling. She is the first woman to lead the organization since its founding in 1991. She previously served as Deputy Director of Development for Special Events at PEN America and as Events Manager with the Brennan Center for Justice. Jafreen regularly supports and volunteers her time with a number of arts and social change organizations, and is currently Chair of the Adult Internship Grant Committee for We Need Diverse Books.

Meredith Walters

Brooklyn Public Library

Meredith Walters is the Brooklyn Public Library’s Director of Programs and Exhibitions.

Camilla Zhang

Z2 Comics

In the past fifteen years freelance editor Camilla Zhang has worked at Marvel, DC Comics, and Z2 Comics, among others. While she is most known for her contributions as Kickstarter’s former Comics Outreach Lead, she is also a prose and comics writer. Her stories have been published by Entropy Magazine, Top Cow Comics, and Crossed Genres. She was born and raised in New York City and is a VONA 2017 alum who studied under acclaimed comics and genre fiction writer Marjorie Liu. Camilla is driven by the desire to make the world a more empathetic and compassionate place. She is represented by Cecilia Lyra of P.S. Literary.

Brooklyn Book Festival Committees

Fiction Committee

Ibrahim Ahmad, co-chair
Benjamin Samuel, co-chair

Stephanie Anderson
Donna Hill
Zain Khalid
Greg Mania
Rob Spillman
Kendall Storey
Johnny Temple
Kate Tuttle

Nonfiction Committee

Alex Carp, co-chair
Mark Chait, co-chair

Danielle Davenport
Gabrielle Davenport
Laura Dolan
Elyssa Goodman
Carolyn Greer
Evan Hanczor
zakia henderson-brown
Jenny Xu


Poetry Committee

Brett Fletcher Lauer, co-chair
Hafizah Augustus Geter, co-chair

Tina Chang
Ricardo Alberto Maldonado
Meghan O’Rourke
Nikay Paredes
Camille Rankine

Youth and Children Committee

Mabel Hsu, co-chair
Rotem Moscovich, co-chair

Jenne Abramowitz
Esther Cajahuaringa
Alyson Heller
Connie Hsu
Mabel Hsu
Liz Koch
Anuoluwapo Ohioma
Polo Orozco
Jennifer Ung

International Committee

Liz Koch, co-chair
Anderson Tepper, co-chair
Margie Cook
Jee Leong Koh
Lily Philpott
Emma Raddatz
Rob Spillman

Comics & Graphic Novels Committee

Joan Hilty, co-chair
Camilla Zhang, co-chair

Leigh Hurwitz

Bookends Committee

Stephan Herrera, co-chair
Paul W. Morris, co-chair
Novella Ford
Mary Gannon
Natalie Green
Catherine LaSota, advisory
Andrew Lloyd-Jones
Ian Maloney
Clarisse Rosaz Shariyf
Jafreen Uddin


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 at a Festival Info booth for assistance or CALL 911.