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
Louella Dizon San Juan, Secretary
Eric W. Olson, Treasurer
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 an Executive 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 joined Viking Penguin as executive editor in 2021. 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, and nonfiction in categories that include current affairs, politics, memoir, and pop culture. As editorial director at Akashic Books, where he worked for two decades, Ahmad published a list that included extraordinary writers from around the world. He leads frequent writing workshops, teaches publishing courses at Wilkes University, and 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.”
|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.
|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. She is the guest editor of Pen + Brush Gallery’s literary magazine, In Print No. 5. She created the inaugural Schomburg Center Literary Festival in 2019 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.
|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.
|Janklow & Nesbit|
Hafizah Geter is a Nigerian-American poet and writer born in Zaria, Nigeria. She is the author of the debut poetry collection UN-AMERICAN from Wesleyan University Press, nominated for a 2021 NAACP Image award, and a finalist for the 2021 PEN Open Book Award. Hafizah’s full-length nonfiction debut, THE BLACK PERIOD: ON PERSONHOOD, RACE & ORIGIN, is forthcoming from Random House, September 2022. You can read her poetry and nonfiction in The New Yorker, Tin House, Boston Review, Longreads, Paris Review, BOMB Magazine, The Believer, among others. She is a Literary Agent at Janklow & Nesbit and lives in Brooklyn, NY. hafizahgeter.com
|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 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.
|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.
|St. Francis College|
Ian S. Maloney is 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 and is a Project Coordinator with the New Literary Project.
|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 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.
|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 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 advisory councils for Lit Crawl NYC, National Book Foundation, Brooklyn Public Library, 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, 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.
|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, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and MacDowell. She chairs the board of The Poetry Project, and teaches at The New School.
|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 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 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 oversaw audience development, public engagement strategies, and cultural community partnerships. She launched the Center’s innovative digital programming strategy with groundbreaking conversations on contemporary social justice issues with leading edge writers, artists, and scholars. She held prior appointments at Justice and Sustainability Associates, Washington, and Bates College, Maine. 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.
|Pioneer Works Broadcast|
Rob Spillman is an Editor at Pioneer Works Broadcast and the author of the memoir All Tomorrow’s Parties.
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 is co-chair of the international committee of the Brooklyn Book Festival and has written on books and authors for a variety of publications, including The New York Times Book Review, The Los Angeles Times, Vanity Fair, World Literature Today, Words without Borders and the Paris Review Daily.
|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.
|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
Patrik Henry Bass
Alex Carp, co-chair
Mark Chait, co-chair
Rebecca Flint Marx
Brett Fletcher Lauer, co-chair
Hafizah Geter, co-chair
Ricardo Alberto Maldonado
Youth and Children Committee
Jenne Abramowitz, co-chair
Rotem Moscovich, co-chair
Liz Koch, co-chair
Anderson Tepper, co-chair
Comics & Graphic Novels Committee
Gina Gagliano, co-chair
Joan Hilty, co-chair
Meg Lemke, member-at-large
Carolyn Greer, co-chair
Paul W. Morris, co-chair
Catherine LaSota, advisory
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.