BKBF releases 2017 program schedule

Friday, August 25, 2017

Press Contacts:
Kathy Daneman
Kathy Daneman Public Relations
718-778-0285 / kathy@kathydaneman.com

Laura Dolan
Geto & de Milly, Inc.
212-686-4551 / ldolan@getodemilly.com




FULL WEEK of literary events begins on begins on Monday, September 11, and runs through “Festival Weekend,” featuring “Children’s Day” Saturday, September, 16 and flagship “Festival Day” with authors, Sunday, September 17.


New York City’s largest free literary event features 300+ top authors in lively discussions, celebrating the critical importance of ideas and the written word at this pivotal time in history.


BROOKLYN, NY — Friday, August 25, 2017 — Today the Brooklyn Book Festival (BKBF) and Brooklyn Book Festival Literary Council released the complete schedule for a full week of Literary Events beginning Monday, September 11 and culminating in Children’s Day (Saturday, September 16) and Festival Day (Sunday, September 17). “Bookend” events reflect the diversity of the city and investigate the complexities of today’s world.

The Festival’s Bookends include more than 60 special events highlighting the literary diversity of New York City in venues throughout the boroughs. On Monday, September 11, the week kicks off with iconic artist, performer and author Patti Smith presenting her new book Devotion at St. Ann & the Holy Trinity Church.

FESTIVAL DAY AND “BOOKEND” EVENT WEEK AUTHORS INCLUDE: Patti Smith, Karl Ove Knausgård, Colson Whitehead, Jacqueline Woodson, Claire Messud, Jonathan Lethem, Carolyn Forché, Chris Hayes, Thi Bui, Jonathan Safran Foer, Dame Darcy, Joyce Carol Oates, Nelson George, Jessica Abel, Siri Hustvedt, Ibi Zoboi, Stig Abell, Robin Coste Lewis, Jami Attenberg, Hisham Matar, Morgan Parker, Layli Long Soldier, Gabrielle Bell, Deborah Campbell, Sarah Dessen, David Barclay Moore, Santiago Gamboa, Alex Gilvarry, Victor LaValle, Maja Lunde, Pankaj Mishra, Mitali Perkins, and HUNDREDS more.

CHILDREN’S DAY AUTHORS INCLUDE: Laurie Berkner, Alexandra Bracken, Angela Dominguez, Sharon Draper, Maira Kalman, George O’Connor, Javaka Steptoe, Gene Luen Yang and many more.

Visit www.brooklynbookfestival.org/events for the 2017 schedule.


Brooklyn Book Festival, September 17, 2017

The flagship 14-stage Festival Day is New York City’s largest free literary event, attracting tens of thousands each year. This year’s festival features more than 300 writers of beloved works of fiction and nonfiction, poetry and graphic novels who will participate in panels, readings and other creative performances. Attendees are welcome to take a stroll through the vibrant outdoor Literary Marketplace, hosting more than 200 independent booksellers and publishers. This year’s Festival themes address pressing contemporary social and literary topics from refugees and immigration to music writing, science fiction and the always relevant topic of love.

The Brooklyn Book Festival is as international as New York City itself—this year’s slate of authors represent nations and cultures the world over: Australia (Ali Cobby Eckermann), Bolivia (Rodrigo Hasbún), Brazil (Fernanda Torres), Canada/Trinidad (André Alexis), Colombia (Santiago Gamboa), Haiti (Kaiama L. Glover, Yanick Lahens), India (Avinuo Kire), Jamaica (Erna Brodber, Kei Miller), Kenya (Peter Kimani), Kosovo/Finland (Pajtim Statovci), Libya (Hisham Matar), Madagascar (Naivo), Norway (Jostein Gaarder, Karl Ove Knausgård and Maja Lunde), Pakistan (Sorayya Khan), Poland (Wioletta Greg), South Korea (Young-ha Kim), and Switzerland (Pascale Kramer).

Teen readers will also find their favorite authors on the main Festival Day, Sunday, September 17, where they can experience diverse and vibrant conversations about storytelling at the Brooklyn Law School Student Lounge. Start the day with a Sneak Peek Trivia Giveaway for a chance to win prizes including early, not-yet-published YA novels and festival swag. YA readers can check out panels including Jay Asher, Veronica Chambers, Ibi Zoboi, and Mitali Perkins discussing why fitting-in isn’t a necessity; get cozy with Sarah Dessen, Lilliam Rivera, Gabby Rivera, and Adam Silvera talking about some romantic reads; then go a bit darker with E. Lockhart, Danielle Vega, Tiffany D. Jackson, and Barry Lyga’s panel on secrets; among other YA panels!

“There’s simply no way to fully absorb all that is happening at this year’s Brooklyn Book Festival,” said Johnny Temple, Chair of the Brooklyn Literary Council. “From our stalwart stars like Colson Whitehead and Joyce Carol Oates to first-timers like Hisham Matar and Marita Golden and hundreds of other beloved authors, the literary bounty gathering in the Borough of Kings has the power to both reflect and impact our city, nation and world.”

Below are just a few Festival Day highlights:

Extroverted Girls and Introverted Women
A collection of short stories, a book of poems, and a novel that tackle sexuality, placemaking, mental health, and the complexities of young womanhood. Hear Jenny Zhang (Sour Heart), poet Morgan Parker (There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyonce), and Julie Buntin (Marlena) discuss how they navigated the complexities of adolescence in their writing and creation of female characters. Moderated by Jia Tolentino.

Family Secrets
The common adage “blood is thicker than water” doesn’t guarantee that family members will always be faithful and truthful to one another. Compelling new work from Joyce Carol Oates (A Book of American Martyrs), Lauren Sanders (The Book of Love and Hate), and Karl Ove Knausgaard (Autumn) illustrates the pain and drama of familial betrayal, from the destruction of one family by another, to a daughter discovering her father’s illicit behavior, to a well-meaning father who tries to prepare his unborn daughter for the strange mysteries of the world. Moderated by Mira Jacob (The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing).

Best of Brooklyn: Colson Whitehead and Lynn Nottage in Conversation
Before he was an award-winning novelist with a #1 New York Times Bestseller, Colson Whitehead (The Underground Railroad, National Book Award Winner) was a boy growing up in New York City in the 70’s. A few decades later, 2017 BoBi honoree Whitehead has become a key player in the city’s rich literary history. He will be joined by fellow Pulitzer-Prize winner, and New York native, playwright Lynn Nottage (Sweat; Ruined). Moderated by Johnny Temple.

Fitting in & Standing Out
#1 New York Times and international bestselling author of 13 Reasons Why, Jay Asher (What Light) and bestselling author Veronica Chambers (The Go-Between) sit down with Pushcart-nominated debut author Ibi Zoboi (American Street) to discuss what it means to find yourself beyond the stereotype of how others see you. Moderated by award-winning author Mitali Perkins (You Bring the Distant Near).

Head Over Heels
Love is in the air when NYT bestselling superstar Sarah Dessen (Once and for All) and newcomers Lilliam Rivera (The Education of Margot Sanchez) and Gabby Rivera (Juliet Takes a Breath) sit down to talk romance, relationships, and the riskiness of opening your heart. Moderated by bestselling author Adam Silvera (They Both Die at the End).

Lust for Life: The Search for Meaning, Inside and Outside Family
How much of our idea of fulfillment and identity is tied to our roles within the family, as spouses, parents, and children? And when is it necessary to forge new paths alone? American author Jonathan Safran Foer (Here I Am), Brazilian Fernanda Torres (The End), and Bolivian Rodrigo Hasbún (Affections) offer fascinating portraits of lives caught in the balance. Moderated by Elissa Schappel.

Spanning Place and Time: Migration and Memory
The immediacy of memory—personal, familial, cultural—creates a sense of being both lost in time and present within it. In Swallowing Mercury, Polish poet Wioletta Greg reaches back to 1980s communist Poland, Norwegian writer Maja Lunde’s The History of Bees explores family legacies impacted by environmental changes, and Colombian author Santiago Gamboa’s Return to the Dark Valley delves into the turbulent lives of global migrants in a violent world. Moderated by Gabriel Sanders of Tablet Magazine.

Poetry as History, History as Poetry
Poets Carolyn Forché (Blue Hour), Robin Coste Lewis (Voyage of the Sable Venus), Erika L. Sánchez (Lessons on Expulsion) and Mai Der Vang (Afterland) discuss how poetry can serve as a method of reclaiming and preserving historical narratives, and share the histories they delve into in their recent collections. Moderated by Ricardo Maldonado.

American Landscapes
Poets Will Brewer (I Know Your Kind), Layli Long Soldier (Whereas), Morgan Parker (There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé), and Javier Zamora (Unaccompanied) read from their work and discuss how their new collections explore distinct perspectives of the American experience. Moderated by Hafizah Geter.

How Artists Think
Design legend Seymour Chwast (At War with War), internationally recognized cartoonist Liniers (Macanudo) and rising star, Brooklyn-based creator Leslie Stein (Present) undertake a sure-to-be-lively conversation. They’ll explore how their artistic lives and careers have been shaped by influences, opportunities, and the times they’ve lived in. A look into the minds of artists who have shaped graphic design, illustration, and comic-strip storytelling into their own distinct points of view. Moderated by Columbia University Libraries’ Karen Green.

Mothers and Other Monster Myths
For anyone who has a complicated relationship with their mother, join graphic memoirists whose diverse family stories tackle myths of what it means to be a good parent, and unpack the hefty baggage of intergenerational history, heritage, trauma and drama. With Gabrielle Bell (Everything is Flammable), Thi Bui (The Best We Could Do), and Julia Alekseyeva (Soviet Daughter), moderated by Hip Mama Magazine’s Ariel Gore (We Were Witches).

I’m Gonna Live Forever: Fame and Its Discontents
Once upon a time, the comics format portrayed famous people and events mainly through staid illustrated biography and history. Now it’s uniquely tackling the complex roots of celebrity, the absurdities of internet culture, and all the branching paths to fame, however fleeting, in the digital age. From comics about our celebrity president to a concept album about internet trolls, to the self-mythmaking years of folk-pop icon Mama Cass, this lively panel brings together comedian/musician Jonathan Coulton (Solid State) and acclaimed cartoonists R. Sikoryak (Terms and Conditions) and Pénélope Bagieu (California Dreamin’). Moderated by Jonathan Gray.

The Science of Intimacy
When you can “swipe right” on a possible partner on an app, it’s clear that the modern world of relationships is completely new, and somewhat terrifying. Yet, in the worlds imagined by Courtney Maum (Touch), Weike Wang (Chemistry), and Alissa Nutting (Made for Love), love gets even more unusual. The potential dawn of the post-sexual, the internal battle of falling out of love with one’s studies, and a newly-single woman living with her father and her unconventional sex-doll step-mom create the backdrop for this conversation on the new meaning of intimacy. Moderated by Tony Tulathimutte (Private Citizens).

Refugee Reportage
Direct from the front lines and behind the lines, eye-witness journalists Deborah Campbell (A Disappearance In Damascus: Friendship And Survival In The Shadow of War), and Oscar Martinez (A History of Violence: Living and Dying in Central America and The Beast: Riding the Rails and Dodging Narcos On the Migrant Trail), offer first person reports and understandings about the refugee crisis in different parts of the globe and talk about how politics and personal stories are interwoven.

Rock, Race, Influence and Appropriation
At the Grammys this year, Adele broke her trophy in half so that she could share it with Beyonce. A month later, Chuck Berry died and much of the media coverage looked at how admirers like the Rolling Stones made a fortune off his riffs. How has the discourse on music, influence and appropriation changed over the decades? Farai Chideya (The Episodic Career) leads a panel including Nelson George (To Funk and Die in L.A.), Jeff Chang (We Gon’ Be Alright), and Jack Hamilton (Just Around Midnight).

Books as Tools of Resistance, presented by Greenlight Bookstore
In times that demand widespread response to political and social problems, books become more than repositories for stories and ideas: they can be a means to pass along tactics and strategies for creating change. Andrew Boyd (Beautiful Trouble: A Toolbox for Revolution), L.A. Kauffman (Direct Action: Protest and the Reinvention of American Radicalism), Linda Sarsour, (contrib. What We Do Now: Standing Up for Your Values in Trump’s America), and Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor (From #Blacklivesmatter to Black Liberation) discuss the role of their books and others in contemporary social movements. Moderated by Bhaskar Sunkara (Europe in Revolt).

Free Speech vs Safe Space: A panel discussion on the great campus divide, co-presented by PEN America and the TLS
A conversation on recent polarizing debates surrounding controversial speakers, trigger warnings, open discourse, and confrontations over safety and free speech. Stig Abell moderates the discussion with Jelani Cobb, staff writer for The New Yorker and Professor of Journalism at Columbia University; Michelle Goldberg, author and senior contributing writer for Slate; and Suzanne Nossel, Executive Director of PEN America.

A Colony in a Nation: Chris Hayes in conversation with Heather McGhee, presented by The Nation magazine
America likes to tell itself that it inhabits a post-racial world, yet nearly every empirical measure―wealth, unemployment, incarceration, school segregation―reveals deep racial inequality. With clarity and originality, New York Times best-selling author and Emmy Award–winning news anchor Chris Hayes has upended our national conversation on policing and democracy in an essential book―searing and insightful―that will reframe critical ideas about law and order in the years to come. He’ll be in conversation with Heather McGhee, President of Demos, and a recognized thought leader on the national stage.

Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams said of the festival: “Reading is fuel for the mind, body, and spirit. The Brooklyn Book Festival brings together book lovers from all across the city and the country, and I am excited for another diverse group of authors to entertain, educate, and enrich us. This year’s edition features a cornucopia of talent and vision including some of our borough’s brightest literary stars. I welcome Brooklynites and visitors from near and far alike to come and enjoy the wonderful written word, and maybe even a graphic novel or two.”

BKBF “Bookend” Events
September 11-17, 2017 (events are held city-wide)

The Festival’s Bookends include more than 60 special events highlighting the literary diversity of New York City in venues throughout the boroughs. Parties, film screenings, book launches, restaurants paired with authors, and music accompanied lit are all just part of the engaging literary entertainment leading up to the Brooklyn Book Festival’s main Festival Day on Sunday, September 17.

“Every day of Brooklyn Book Festival Week is a literary love fest,” said Festival Co-Producer and Bookend Events Co-Chair Carolyn Greer, “There are Bookend Events for everyone—from parties, screenings and book launches to political discussions and colloquies on comics—in unique and wonderful locations from Brooklyn’s Gowanus Canal, Greenwood Cemetery and Prospect Park Zoo to Harlem’s Schomburg Center, the LES’s Metrograph Cinema and WeWorks event spaces citywide!”

BKBF “Bookend” Event highlights include:

Monday, September 11: Bookends kick off with Patti Smith’s first event for her tour for her new book, Devotion in the beautiful cathedral of St Ann & the Holy Trinity Church; and an Opening Night Party for Brooklyn Book Party at the King’s Beer Hall (Brooklyn), presented by Authors Guild, Lit Hub, Catapult, and Electric Literature. (Brooklyn) Revolution Books presents Kamau Ware (the Other Side of Manhattan) the first of a trilogy of graphic novels. (Harlem)

Tuesday, September 12: The Nocturnal Brigade and author Tracey Hecht (The Fallen Star) at the Prospect Park Zoo in the afternoon for children and families, Malachy McCourt (Death Need Not Be Fatal) in Greenwood Cemetery’s historic chapel, Community Bookstore presents Nicole Krauss book launch (Brooklyn) and the LIC Bar celebrates NYC based authors with the LIC Reading Series. (Queens)

Wednesday, September 13: Early birds can join the Gowanus Dredgers Club for a canoe ride and reading from Virginia Woolf’s The Waves, BKBF presents a talk and drinks with Andre and Tenaya Darlington (The New Cocktail Hour and Movie Night Menus) at WeWork Dumbo and Gender Identity Via Speculative Lit, (Brooklyn), and Jessica B. Harris (My Soul Looks Back) at the Schomburg Center (Harlem), and Akhil Sharma (A Life of Adventure and Delight) one night only tastings paired with reading at RaRbar. (Queens)

Thursday, September 14: Litro Magazine and Restless Books present a Breaking Borders event at LaPalapa Restaurant with authors, actors, music and Mexican food, At Home In the World at the Center for Fiction with multiple authors including Porochista Khakpour, a screening of film classic “In A Lonely Place” at Metrograph Cinema with Megan Abbott (You Will Know Me), Latinix Representation and Identity with multiple authors including Daniel Jose Older at Housing Works Bookstore (Manhattan), The Center for Black Literature’s Literary Salon with Marita Golden (The Wide Circumference of Love) Karl Ove Knausgaard at St Joseph’s College, and The Center for Black Literature’s Literary Salon with Marita Golden. (Brooklyn)

Friday, September 15: Long-Memoried Woman: An Evening with Caribbean Women Writers, featuring authors from the islands at the Dreiser Community Center (Bronx) Mama Take the Mic at Powerhouse Arena with alternative parenting mags Hip Mama and Muthat and Feminist Press, Annual Brooklyn Indie Party at Greenlight Bookstore,and HIP Literary & Aerial Spectacular at the Muse. (Brooklyn)

Saturday, September 16: One Book, One Bronx: Lilliam Rivera , From the Inside Out: America’s Broken Criminal Justice System with Heather Ann Thompson (The Attica Uprising of 1971) and James Forman, Jr (Locking Up Our Own), Readings, Rum and Reasoning with authors including Kei Miller, presented by Caribbean Cultural Theatre, Caribbean Read and Read Jamaica. (Brooklyn)

Brooklyn Book Festival Children’s Day
September 16, 2017
10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
MetroTech Commons in Downtown Brooklyn

The Brooklyn Book Festival’s Children’s Day is a literary wonderland meant for the littlest readers and a day filled with beloved children’s book authors and illustrators, costumed literary characters, art projects with authors, workshops, yoga for children, music, readings and more!

Award-winning and New York Times bestselling authors and illustrators include: Alexandra Bracken, Maira Kalman, Eric Morse, George O’Connor, Jacqueline Woodson and many more.

“The Brooklyn Book Festival Children’s Day celebrates the childhood reading experience at every age—the comfort of being read to, reading your first book on your own, devouring a thrilling series in grade school, being captivated by a classic. A book well-loved is never forgotten,” said Liz Koch, Co-Producer of the festival and Children’s Day committee member. “Saturday’s many activities offer a lively, interactive opportunity for children to be not only readers, but creators.”

The Brooklyn Book Festival Children’s Day is Saturday, September 16 from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. at MetroTech Commons in Downtown Brooklyn. For young readers ages 2 to 11, the day will include favorite children’s and middle-grade authors. Authors will present their popular board books, picture books, chapter books and middle-grade books through readings, performance, workshops and music. Five stages of programming will entertain children and families all day. Kids can meet their favorite authors in person and have their books signed – they can even meet Mother Bruce, the bear star of Ryan T. Higgins’ award-winning picture book.

On the Picture Book Stage, authors will bring their book to life through readings and performance with Javaka Steptoe. For independent readers — the Young Reader’s Stage includes beloved authors talking about Adventure, “Reading without Walls” with Gene Luen Yang and Jacqueline Woodson, and Unforgettable Characters with Tom Angleberger (Origami Yoda), Booki Vivat (Frazzled #2) and debut novelist Celia C. Pérez (The First Rule of Punk). If that is not enough, join “the Queen of Children’s Music,” Laurie Berkner for a musical performance and reading of We Are the Dinosaurs. Plus they can make origami with Tom Angleberger, author of the New York Times bestselling series Origami Yoda.

The day includes a dueling draw-off among illustrators, writing and STEM workshops, a showcase of international children’s books and a Literary Marketplace just for kids. Join George O’Connor at the interactive “Art Spot” for creative projects with authors. In the Workshops room, little readers can explore everything from activism with The Little Book of Little Activists to rap with Eric Morse, author of What Is Hip-Hop?

Visit www.brooklynbookfestival.org/events for the 2017 schedule.

Click here for original 2017 Festival image by illustrator Adrian Tomine and designer Rodrigo Corral.

About the Brooklyn Book Festival
BKBF is presented by the non-profit Brooklyn Book Festival, Inc. and the Brooklyn Book Festival Literary Council. The Festival is made possible with the generous support of the Amazon Literary Partnership, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Brooklyn Borough President’s Office/NYC & Company Foundation, Con Edison, Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, Forest City Ratner Companies, LaVazza, National Endowment for the Arts, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, NYC Department of Parks & Recreation, New York State Council on the Arts, St. Francis College, NYU Tandon School of Engineering, and WeWork. The festival’s media sponsors are abc7NY and WNYC. Programs on the International Stage have been made possible by the support of the French Cultural Services, NORLA, Polish Cultural Institute New York, and the Swiss Arts Council.

Cultural and programming partners include BAM, Brooklyn Historical Society, Brooklyn Law School, Brooklyn Public Library, Center for Fiction, The Nation, National Book Foundation, New York Review of Books, New York University, Poetry Society of America, St. Ann & the Holy Trinity Church, St. Francis College, The Times Literary Supplement, Whiting Foundation, and Windham-Campbell Prizes.

For more information about the Brooklyn Book Festival, visit https://brooklynbookfestival.org or check out the official Facebook page, follow the Festival on Instagram (@bkbookfest) and on Twitter (@BKBF).