About

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
Elizabeth Canela
Seth Cummins
Timothy Houlihan
Terence Kelly
Regina Myer
Johnny Temple
Tupper Thomas
Ellyn Toscano
Brian Vines  

Carolyn Greer, Co-Producer, President
Liz Koch, Co-Producer, Vice President

Brooklyn Literary Council

Ibrahim Ahmad

Viking Penguin

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.”

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

Scribe

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

CLMP

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 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 othersShe is a Literary Agent at Janklow & Nesbit and lives in Brooklyn, NY. hafizahgeter.com

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 80 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

Nickelodeon

Joan Hilty is Executive Editor of franchise story 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.

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 Maloney

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.

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

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.

Benjamin Samuel

BOMB Magazine

Benjamin Samuel is the Managing 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, Crime Reads, Publishers Weekly, Men’s Journal, InsideHook, and Guernica.

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

Pioneer Works Broadcast

Rob Spillman is an Editor at Pioneer Works Broadcast 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 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.

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

Currently Senior Editor at Z2 Comics, Camilla Zhang has over ten years of experience in the industry, having worked for Marvel, DC Comics, Mad Cave Studios, and Kickstarter. She is also a prose and comics writer who has been published by Entropy Magazine, School Library Journal, The Mary Sue, Reading with Pictures, Top Cow Comics, and Crossed Genres. She is a New York City native and a VONA 2017 alum who studied under Marjorie Liu. She 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
Patrik Henry Bass
Donna Hill
Rob Spillman
Kendall Storey
Johnny Temple

Non-Fiction Committee

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

Laura Dolan
Elyssa Goodman
Carolyn Greer
zakia henderson-brown
Thérèse Nelson
Jenny Xu

 

Poetry Committee

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

Jennifer Benka
Ricardo Alberto Maldonado
Meghan O’Rourke
Camille Rankine

Youth and Children Committee

Jenne Abramowitz, co-chair
Rotem Moscovich, co-chair

Esther Cajahuaringa
Nikki Garcia
Alyson Heller
Connie Hsu
Mabel Hsu
Liz Koch
Anuoluwapo Ohioma
Polo Orozco
Jennifer Ung

International Committee

Liz Koch, co-chair
Anderson Tepper, co-chair

Jee Leong Koh
Lily Philpott
Jill Schoolman
Rob Spillman
Danny Vazquez

Comics & Graphic Novels Committee

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

Leigh Hurwitz
Calvin Reid
Kadiatou Tubman

Bookends Committee

Carolyn Greer, co-chair
Paul W. Morris, co-chair

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 or volunteer who will assist you. (Look for the official red shirts.) If you are the victim of a crime while attending – CALL 911.