All Events
6:00 pm
October 4, 2021

Poetry

Poet Toi Derricotte is this year’s recipient of the BoBi Award, the Brooklyn Book Festival’s highest honor. She is joined in conversation by poet Hafizah Geter to discuss her poetry which examines her life experiences and what it is like to be a Black woman, and Cave Canem and how the community she helped build shaped the future of poetry.

2021-10-04 18:00:00
1:00 pm
October 4, 2021

Non-Fiction

Poet, essayist, and critic Hanif Abdurraqib has been celebrated for the lyricism and intimacy of his writing, as well as the piercing clarity of his insights on music, race, and American culture. His newest work, A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance, is rightfully being lauded as his strongest to date. WNET’s Jenna Flanagan talks with Hanif about the new book and his creative process and journey.

2021-10-04 13:00:00
8:00 pm
October 1, 2021

Fiction

Water has taken over a hot world and few places survive, but a magical place called Garbagetown and a girl full of love. Greed runs rampant when a powerful new metal arrives on earth in the wake of a meteor shower, spawning a resource frenzy that engulfs a small community. Join Lincoln Michel (The Body Scout) as he leads a conversation with award-winning author Benjamin Percy (The Ninth Metal) and New York Times bestselling author Catherynne  M. Valente (The Past is Red) discuss the environmental critique within their books and the response of human nature in the face of abundance and desperation. 

2021-10-01 20:00:00
1:00 pm
October 4, 2021

Poetry

The Brooklyn Book Festival proudly honors poet Toi Derricotte with its 2021 BoBi Award, the Festival’s highest honor, in recognition of her work as a poet and award-winning writer, and as the co-founder of Brooklyn-based Cave Canem. Award presentation by Literary Council co-chair Camille Rankine with readings and tributes by Hafizah Geter, and other guests. 

2021-10-04 13:00:00
October 4

1:00pm

1:00 pm
September 30, 2021

International / Poetry

Uyghur poetry has flourished for many centuries, its richness reflecting the cosmopolitanism of a culture at the crossroads of Eurasia. Since 2017, the tradition has been critically threatened by China’s mass internment and cultural genocide of the Uyghur people. Join Uyghur poets Tahir Hamut Izgil and Muyesser Abdel’ehed Hendan, as well as historian and translator Joshua L. Freeman, for a reading and panel discussion of exile, crisis, and resilience in contemporary Uyghur verse. Moderated by Alana Marie Levinson Labrosse.

 

2021-09-30 13:00:00
1:00 pm
September 29, 2021

Children

Actor Henry Winkler and SCBWI executive director Lin Oliver will discuss the next hilarious, action-packed adventure in their New York Times bestselling Alien Superstar series: HOLLYWOOD VS. THE GALAXY. Buddy Burger is a young alien who escapes his planet only to end up in an even wilder place: Hollywood, California. He lands a role on a popular Hollywood sitcom and becomes an overnight heartthrob. Book #3 continues Buddy’s adventures and is filled with humor, heart, and laugh-out-loud adventures. Henry and Lin will discuss their inspiration from working in Hollywood, how they met, and their writing process for the Alien Superstar series. 

2021-09-29 13:00:00
10:00 pm
October 3, 2021

Fiction / Non-Fiction

Two acclaimed authors discuss their hybrid mode. In The Devil’s Treasure, the iconic author Mary Gaitskill has created a chimerical hybrid of fiction, memoir, essay, criticism, and visual art that transcends categorization. This collage of four novels, interspersed with a single short story, is a kind of director’s cut revealing the personal and societal forces that inform each individual piece of work. In The Empathy Diaries, Sherry Turkle ties together her coming-of-age and her path breaking research on technology, empathy, and ethics. Growing up in postwar Brooklyn, Turkle searched for clues to her identity in a house filled with mysteries. Before empathy became a way to find connection, it was her strategy for survival.  Moderated by Meghan O’Rourke, editor in chief of the Yale Review.

2021-10-03 22:00:00
10:00 pm
October 3, 2021

Fiction

Getting by is never easy, especially when the odds are overwhelmingly stacked against you. Join Publishers Weekly’s “Writer to Watch” Dantiel Moniz, whose Florida-based story collection Milk Blood Heat explores lives interrupted by violence; award-winning novelist Francisco Goldman, who illuminates the profound challenges of living between worlds in his new novel Monkey Boy; and New York Times bestselling author Morgan Jerkins, whose novel Caul Baby depicts women who don’t give up the fight. These three authors explore what it means to survive and the pursuit of perseverance in their novels. Moderated by Natalie Green, National Book Foundation.

2021-10-03 22:00:00
10:00 pm
October 3, 2021

Fiction

In Nudes, Elle Nash’s short stories traverse the lives and desires of working-class women, from ex-sex workers to brides-to-be. Brontez Purnell’s 100 Boyfriends follows queer men across the country as they navigate messy relationships and emotional minefields. And Melissa Broder’s Milk Fed follows a woman who obsessively counts calories as she severs ties with her mother and finds herself on an unexpected spiritual journey. Join these authors for a conversation about their new books and how the sexiest stories are sometimes also the funniest. Moderated by Rakesh Satyal (No One Can Pronounce My Name).

2021-10-03 22:00:00
10:00 pm
October 3, 2021

Fiction

Each season BKBF presents debut authors, who we want to shine the light on for our audience. This year we introduce novelists Elizabeth Gonzalez James (Mona at Sea), Siphiwe Gloria Ndlovu (The Theory of Flight), and Colleen Van Niekerk (A Conspiracy of Mothers). Acclaimed author, Jonathan Lethem, will introduce the debut authors and talk about his own debut experience some 40 books ago. Introduced by author C.J. Farley.

2021-10-03 22:00:00
October 3

10:00pm

10:00 pm
October 3, 2021

Fiction / YA

A power outage. A sweltering summer night. The glowing warmth and electricity of Black teens in love. Come celebrate the beauty and magic that can be found on a starry night in New York City at this blockbuster panel as six bestselling and award-winning authors—Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk, and Nicola Yoon—discuss their novel, Blackout. Moderated by author Jasmine Guillory (While We Were Dating).

2021-10-03 22:00:00
9:00 pm
October 3, 2021

Comics

From creating slice-of-life cyclops and mermaid stories to horror-infused dramas and Afrofuturist epics, worldbuilding—complete with specific rules, cultures, and logic—is no small feat. Join creators Tim Fielder (Infinitum), Kat Leyh (Thirsty Mermaids), John Jennings (After the Rain), and Aminder Dhaliwal (Cyclopedia Exotica) as they discuss the unique challenges and joys of speculative storytelling and how fantastical worlds can say more about our own. Moderated by writer and editor Danny Lore (Queen of Bad Dreams, FIYAH Magazine).

2021-10-03 21:00:00
9:00 pm
October 3, 2021

Fiction / International

Sexuality, in its various forms—as a source of self-assertion and defiance, mystery and wonder, power and control—is a crucial feature of modern identity. From the refugee camps of Eritrean-Ethiopian author Sulaiman Addonia’s Silence Is My Mother Tongue to the magical landscapes of British-Jamaican author Leone Ross’s Popisho and the gritty French milieux of Virginie Despentes’ Vernon Subutex series (translated by Frank Wynne), characters often redefine themselves through their personal visions of the erotic and taboo. Moderated by Nadja Spiegelman, Astra Magazine.

2021-10-03 21:00:00
9:00 pm
October 3, 2021

Fiction

A dystopian London, a child caught in the midst of a deadly epidemic, and a grieving taxi driver in a ghostly Washington, D.C. Join the authors of A River Called Time (Courttia Newland), Phase Six (Jim Shepard), and Creatures of Passage (Morowa Yejidé) for a conversation on what draws them to speculative fiction, from world-building to the mechanics that make a story tick. Moderated by Carolyn Kellogg.

2021-10-03 21:00:00
October 3

9:00pm

9:00 pm
October 3, 2021

Non-Fiction

When critical analysis and even basic facts of American history are under attack, regarding events of four centuries ago or from earlier this year, what can we learn from stories of Black life that have been distorted, immortalized, or lost? How can African American storytelling traditions help charge and change what we understand about our lives today? Join us for a conversation on the intersecting power of Black cultural legacies and America’s national collective memory, with Farah Jasmine Griffin (Read Until You Understand: The Profound Wisdom of Black Life and Literature), Tiya Miles (All That She Carried: The Journey of Ashley’s Sack, a Black Family Keepsake), and Clint Smith (How the Word Is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America). Moderated by arts leader Rob Fields.

2021-10-03 21:00:00
9:00 pm
October 3, 2021

Fiction

Join award-winning mystery authors Naomi Hirahara and Walter Mosley for a discussion about their prolific and versatile writing livest. Hirahara’s latest mystery, Clark and Division, revolves around a Japanese American family building a new life in 1940s Chicago after their release from mass incarceration during World War II. Mosley’s indefatigable detective, Easy Rawlins, returns in Blood Grove, solving a new mystery on the streets of Southern California in 1969. Moderated by Dwyer Murphy, editor in chief of CrimeReads.

2021-10-03 21:00:00
October 3

9:00pm

8:00 pm
October 3, 2021

Non-Fiction

How is writing about intimacy shaped by recent changes in how we hold emotional and physical space? On this panel Melissa Febos (Girlhood), Jeremy Atherton Lin (Gay Bar: Why We Went Out), Larissa Pham (Pop Song), and Sarah Schulman (Let the Record Show) will discuss the experience of writing about intimacy on the page, how writing can shape our experiences andunderstanding of what intimacy means, and how it has been affected by an era of social distancing. Moderated by poet and writer Naomi Extra (Glamour, Ms., Lit Hub).

2021-10-03 20:00:00
8:00 pm
October 3, 2021

Non-Fiction

Though they are often overlooked, the burdens of prison do not fall only on prisoners. The friends, loved ones, and communities of people who are incarcerated—and even those who have served their time and returned home—often find their lives reshaped. Sociologist Reuben Jonathan Miller (Halfway Home: Race, Punishment, and the Afterlife of Mass Incarceration) with Jaime Lowe (Breathing Fire: Female Inmate Firefighters on the Front Lines of California’s Wildfires) and Ashley C. Ford (Somebody’s Daughter) will discuss how assumptions about life inside and outside of prison may change our understanding of freedom. Moderated by The Marshall Project’s Keri Blakinger.

2021-10-03 20:00:00
8:00 pm
October 3, 2021

Comics / Non-Fiction

Education, agitprop, individual testimonies, evidence. There are many ways to break cycles of oppression. These authors combine their personal histories and talents with a determination to illuminate and challenge social inequities lingering from the past. Join authors Nate Powell (Save it for Later), Sharon Lee De La Cruz (I’m a Wild Seed), Beka Feathers (Re: Constitutions), and Dr. Rebecca Hall (Wake), in a wide-ranging discussion on understanding the historical roots of contemporary life in an effort to chart new and equitable social pathways into the future. Moderated by Calvin Reid (Publishers Weekly).

2021-10-03 20:00:00
8:00 pm
October 3, 2021

Fiction

Join two of today’s most celebrated writers, Pulitzer Prize winner Viet Thanh Nguyen and National Book Award finalist Lauren Groff, for a wide-ranging  conversation about their craft. Nguyen’s latest novel, The Committed, follows “the man of two minds” as he takes refuge in 1980s Paris, only to find himself immersed in the city’s criminal underworld. In Groff’s Matrix, a young woman in early medieval Europe is sent to oversee an impoverished order of nuns, finding an unexpected sense of purpose in the sisterhood. Exploring eternal questions of power, morality, friendship, and faith, these surprising and often subversive works reveal writers at the peak of their talents. Moderated by Leigh Haber, books director for Oprah Daily and O Quarterly.

2021-10-03 20:00:00
8:00 pm
October 3, 2021

Poetry

Poets Camonghne Felix (Build Yourself a Boat), Taylor Johnson (Inheritance), Naomi Shihab Nye (Everything Comes Next: Collected and New Poems), and Khadijah Queen (Anodyne) will discuss how poetry provides us with new ways to reckon with and understand our intersecting pasts, presents, and futures, and in doing so, builds new pathways towards hope and possibility. Moderated by Hafizah Geter.

2021-10-03 20:00:00
7:00 pm
October 3, 2021

Comics / YA

Most days that happen to all of us are ordinary . . . but sometimes, something magical happens (especially if you’re the protagonist of a book). Authors Nidhi Chanani (Jukebox), Shing Yin Khor (The Legend of Auntie Po), Molly Ostertag (The Girl from the Sea), and Olivia Stephens (Artie and the Wolf Moon) talk about how characters deal with unanticipated departures from the mundane, and how they conceptualize writing and drawing book-worlds where life becomes unexpectedly fantastical or supernatural. Moderated by MJ Franklin (New York Times).

2021-10-03 19:00:00
7:00 pm
October 3, 2021

Non-Fiction

Grieving the loss of a loved one can feel like a tangle of contradictions: an experience at once intensely personal and subjective while also deeply, fundamentally human. Join Kat Chow (Seeing Ghosts), Adam Mansbach (I Had a Brother Once), and Nadia Owusu (Aftershocks) as they share their own journeys navigating this fraught yet fertile terrain—and explore the shadowy meaning(s) of loss, beyond the platitudes and clichés. Moderated by Lauren Christensen.

2021-10-03 19:00:00
7:00 pm
October 3, 2021

Comics / Non-Fiction

Groundbreaking Eisner Award-winning graphic memoirist Alison Bechdel (Fun Home) discusses her lifelong fascination with fitness crazes, and the search for self-transcendence that she found beneath it, with cartoonist Eric Orner, author of the forthcoming Smahtguy. Her new book The Secret to Superhuman Strength, documenting this journey with everyone from Jack LaLanne to Adrienne Rich in the back seat, is a heartrendingly comic chronicle for our times.

2021-10-03 19:00:00
7:00 pm
October 3, 2021

Fiction

What forces—both internal and external—cause a mind to dangerously fray and unravel? For the groundbreaking scientists in Chilean author Benjamin Labatut’s When We Cease to Understand the World (translated by Adrian Nathan West), knowledge comes at a high cost. In Brazilian writer Beatriz Bracher’s Antonio (translated by Adam Morris), meanwhile, social constraints and family secrets combine to doom an idealistic, wayward son to madness; and in Catalan poet Eva Baltasar’s debut novel, Permafrost (translated by Julia Sanches), a fiercely independent woman’s search for personal freedom nearly drives her over the edge. Moderated by author and translator Adrian Nathan West. Co-presented with the Nashville/Southern Festival of Books.

2021-10-03 19:00:00
7:00 pm
October 3, 2021

Fiction

Authors Vanessa Riley (Island Queen), Piper Huguley (Sweet Tea), and Marcella Bell (The Wildest Ride) discuss the sustained importance of the contemporary and historical romance novel in their books set in the 1800s Caribbean, the American South and Texas. In Island Queen, a freed slave rises to entrepreneurial heights and power, while juggling the competing attentions of men in her life.  A high-powered attorney returns to her southern small town and meets and meets an unexpected love interest in Sweet Tea.  And in The Wildest Ride , an undefeated rodeo champ is challenged by a worthy opponent, but their relationship might end up being an even wilder ride than the rodeo itself. Moderated by Sarah MacLean (Bombshell).

2021-10-03 19:00:00
6:00 pm
October 3, 2021

Food / Non-Fiction

Writing about family or historical figures presents a delicate challenge: How can a new work remain faithful to the work and words of others? How can it retain their voices, and the spirit that animates their efforts? How much should the themes of these personal stories transcend their subjects? And, of course, what can you do to avoid cliche or sentimentality? Mayukh Sen (Taste Makers: Seven Immigrant Women Who Revolutionized Food in America), Matthew Raiford (Bress ‘n’ Nyam: Gullah Geechee Recipes from a Sixth-Generation Farmer), and Laurie Woolever (Bourdain: The Definitive Oral Biography) discuss their recent books with oral historian, cookbook writer, and biographer Sara B. Franklin (ed. Edna Lewis: At the Table with an American Original).

2021-10-16 18:00:00
6:00 pm
October 3, 2021

Fiction

A family wrestles with the decision of whether or not to have a child in Peter Ho Davies’s A Lie Someone Told You About Yourself. In Brandon Hobson’s The Removed, a fractured family mourns the killing of their teenage son as their annual family bonfire approaches. Two mothers reckon with their marriage and their relationship with their troubled son in With Teeth by Kristen Arnett. These authors discuss how threads of joy, tragedy, and family conflict are woven into their latest novels. Moderated by Kendall Storey, senior editor at Catapult and Soft Skull Press.

2021-10-03 18:00:00
October 3

6:00pm

6:00 pm
October 3, 2021

Fiction

The long arm of history reverberates through the fiction of three international stars—from internationally acclaimed Icelandic novelist, Sjón, who imagines how a young man turns to Nazi-inspired fascism in the 60s in his forthcoming novel, Red Milk (translated by Victoria Cribb); to Sheng Keyi, whose parable of Tienanmen Square’s official erasure, Death Fugue (translated by Shelley Bryant), is, ironically, banned in China; to Havana’s crime master, Leonardo Padura, whose new novel, The Transparency of Time (translated by Anna Kushner), travels through time to solve the mystery of a missing Black Madonna statue. Moderated by Eric Banks, Director of the New York Institute for the Humanities.

2021-10-03 18:00:00
1:00 pm
September 27, 2021

Children

Ziggy Marley discusses his children’s books with Lisa Lucas. Multiple Grammy Award–winning musician Ziggy Marley has been making music and books for children for many years. In 2021 alone, he has two brand-new children’s picture books, Little John Crow and My Dog Romeo. Lisa Lucas, publisher of Pantheon Books, will interview Ziggy about his new books and how he became so dedicated to making art for children.

 

2021-09-27 13:00:00
6:00 pm
October 3, 2021

Poetry

Poets Kendra Allen (The Collection Plate), Jorie Graham (Runaway), Donika Kelly (The Renunciations), and Mai Der Vang (Yellow Rain) discuss their explorations of survival and human resilience in the face of political and personal trauma/struggle. Moderated by Jamia Wilson (This Book is Feminist).

2021-10-03 18:00:00
6:00 pm
October 3, 2021

Comics / Fiction

What makes the personal universal? No matter how different or niche, somehow, deeply personal stories always find a way to resonate with audiences large and wide. Join moderator Mariko Tamaki (Surely Books) and panelists Kristen Radtke (Seek You: A Journey Through American Loneliness), Hiromi Goto (Shadow Life), Lee Lai (Stone Fruit), and Julia Kaye (My Life in Transition) as they share the inner workings of portraying inner lives and what it takes to bare one’s soul through the art of specificity.

2021-10-03 18:00:00
5:00 pm
October 3, 2021

Fiction

Three writers whose acute sense of place is often sharpened by reflections about home—whether one they’ve left, one they’ve found (sometimes on the way to somewhere else), or ones their writing has brought to life for themselves. A conversation with Rachel Kushner (The Hard Crowd), Jerald Walker (How to Make a Slave and Other Essays), and Aminatta Forna (The Window Seat). Moderated by Merve Emre, Professor of English at the University of Oxford, critic, and editor of The Annotated Mrs. Dalloway.

2021-10-16 17:00:00
5:00 pm
October 3, 2021

Fiction

Contemporary Latin American authors frequently explore the tension between horror and humanity, unearthing personal and historical trauma while examining the dark side of our interconnected world. From those intimately affected by violence in Colombian Juan Gabriel Vásquez‘s Songs for the Flames (translated by Anne McLean), to the sociopolitical horror of Argentine Mariana Enríquez‘s The Dangers of Smoking in Bed (translated by Megan McDowell), these two leading authors of their generation illuminate the daily realities of the macabre. Moderated by Idra Novey.

 

2021-10-03 17:00:00
5:00 pm
October 3, 2021

Non-Fiction

Scientists and science writers discuss what it means to be alive in a world where life can be created, is under threat, and is still being discovered. Neil Shubin (Some Assembly Required: Decoding Four Billion Years of Life, from Ancient Fossils to DNA), Dr. Chanda Prescod-Weinstein (The Disordered Cosmos: A Journey into Dark Matter, Spacetime, and Dreams Deferred) and Carl Zimmer (Life’s Edge: The Search for What It Means to Be Alive) on the science, philosophy, and practice of drawing the line between life and everything else. An apple tree is alive—is an apple? Do extinct animals forecast the future of the Anthropocene? In an era when the definitions of life are being reconsidered, it is critically important that science education become more inclusive for all to be part of that discussion. Moderated by Bina Venkataraman, The Optimist’s Telescope.

2021-10-03 17:00:00
5:00 pm
October 3, 2021

Fiction

In three astonishing new novels, the past hovers over the present like a ghost. In Italian writer Andrea Bajani’s If You Kept a Record of Sins (translated by Elizabeth Harris), a mother’s abandonment lingers on in the memory of her grown son. Meanwhile, the protagonist of Sri Lankan author Anuk Arudpragasam’s A Passage North, contends with the echoes of the country’s thirty-year civil war. And in Haitian writer Myriam J.A. Chancy’s What Storm, What Thunder, the island’s devastating 2010 earthquake is recalled with an eerie relevance. Moderated by Anderson Tepper.

2021-10-03 17:00:00
5:00 pm
October 3, 2021

Fiction / Non-Fiction / Poetry

Presented by the Center for Fiction and the Poetry Society of America. The work of Richard Wright has never felt more necessary and prescient, with the recent publication of his restored novel The Man Who Lived Underground and the launch of Seeing Into Tomorrow, a major public art project in Brooklyn featuring haiku he wrote in the last years of his life. Malcolm Wright, the author’s grandson, who wrote the afterword to the newly published novel, joins writer and activist Kevin Powell and Kimiko Hahn (Foreign Bodies) in a conversation about Wright’s poetry and prose and its relevance today. Moderated by Ama Codjoe (Blood of the Air).

This program is part of Seeing Into Tomorrow, a major public art project featuring the haiku of Richard Wright. Seeing Into Tomorrow is made possible by a grant from the Downtown Brooklyn + Dumbo Art Fund, a partnership with Downtown Brooklyn Partnership and Dumbo Improvement District as part of New York State’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative.

2021-10-03 17:00:00