Brooklyn Book Festival Releases full 2018 schedule of programs

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—–Bookend Events in Every Borough—–

FULL WEEK of literary events begin on Monday, September 10, and runs through Monday, September 17, featuring Children’s Day Saturday, September 15 and flagship Festival Day with literary marketplace, Sunday, September 16.

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 Book Festival 2018 poster by Julia WertzBROOKYLN, NY—August 30, 2018—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 10, featuring Children’s Day (Saturday, September 15) and Festival Day (Sunday, September 16). The Festival’s Bookends include more than 50 special events highlighting the literary diversity of New York City and the uniqueness of each of the five boroughs.

On Monday, September 10, the week kicks off with a dance party at Pioneer Works. Throughout the week there will be singing and spoken word, Punjabi poetry and ping pong. Readers and writers will celebrate the literature of Brazil and Puerto Rico, launch new novels, and laud the art of translation. Activists and scholars will discuss civilization and collapse, dissidents and resistance, the disparity of gender and masculine toxicity. There will be LitProv and Literaoke, as well as Pitch Wars and the Poetry World Series. Top to bottom, east to west, New Yorkers will have the opportunity to revel in stories from far and near, before marching off to one of the final Bookends events on Monday, September 17 to contemplate that truly New York question: Should I Stay or Should I Go?

FESTIVAL DAY AUTHORS INCLUDE: Martin Amis, Justine Bateman, Mahogany L. Browne, Jennifer Egan, Akwaeke Emezi, Omar Epps, Jennifer Esposito, Eve L. Ewing, Liana Finck, Masha Gessen, Linda Greenhouse, Pete Hamill, Terrance Hayes, A.M. Homes, Michael Imperioli, N.K. Jemisin, Tayari Jones, R.O. Kwon, Hari Kunzru, Michael Kupperman, Min Jin Lee, Laura Lippmann, Terry McMillan, Carmen Maria Machado, Lydia Millet, Ibtihaj Muhammad, Neel Mukherjee, Audrey Niffenegger, Sigrid Nunez, Joyce Carol Oates, Joseph O’Neill, Meghan O’Rourke, Gregory Pardlo, Ed Piskor, Ingrid Rossellini, Isabella Rossellini, April Ryan, Rob Sheffield, Amber Tamblyn, Lynne Tillman, Simon Winchester, Kevin Young, Dave Zirin, and HUNDREDS more.

BOOKEND EVENT WEEK AUTHORS INCLUDE: André Aciman, Alexander Chee, Scott Cheshire, Meehan Crist, Mark Doty, Mona Eltahawy, Joseph Fink, Alex Gilvarry, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Eliza Griswold, Yahdon Israel, Brendan Kiely, Alexandra Kleeman, Jordan Klepper, Rebecca Makkai, Walter Mosley, Tracy O’Neill, Dawn Raffel, Alex Segura, and Tiphanie Yanique, and many more.

CHILDREN’S DAY AUTHORS INCLUDE: Mac Barnett, Pablo Cartaya, Soman Chainani, Jordan Crane, Sayantani DasGupta, Ame Dyckman, Chris Grabenstein, Tad Hills, Vashti Harrison, Gordon C. James, Minh Lê, Jessica Love, Scott Magoon, Meg Medina, Alexandra Penfold, LeUyen Pham, Isabel Roxas, Dan Santat, Kate Schatz, Eliot Schrefer, Miriam Klein Stahl, David Ezra Stein, Andrea Tsurumi, Brigit Young, Renée Watson, Ashley Woodfolk, Jacqueline Woodson, Katie Yamasaki, and many more.

Visit for the 2018 schedule.

Brooklyn Book Festival & Literary Marketplace
September 16, 2018
10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Borough Hall and Vicinity

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 nearly 250 independent booksellers and publishers. This year’s Festival themes address pressing contemporary social and literary topics from fatherhood, celebrity, and the modern American family to immigration, innovation, building queer legacies, and the role of food and drink for nourishment and renewal in cultures.

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: Angola (Ondjaki), Argentina (Hernán Diaz), Cameroon (Léonora Miano), Colombia (Hector Abad), Croatia (Dubravka Ugresic), India (Preti Taneja), Iraq (Dunya Mikhail), Jamaica (Marcia Douglas, Lorna Goodison), Nigeria (Akwaeke Emezi, Helon Habila), Somalia (Nuruddin Farah), and Uganda (Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi).

Teen readers will also find their favorite authors on the main Festival Day, Sunday, September 16, 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 David Levithan, as he delves into soulmates, family love, and secret crushes with Mackenzi Lee, Benjamin Alire Sáenz, and Nisha Sharma; hearts will pound and pulses will race when Malinda Lo and Maureen Johnson join newcomer Lygia Day Peñaflor to talk scandals, obsessions, and getting away with murder; and contemplate tales of royalty, warriors, and cruel supernatural worlds with Melissa Albert, Dhonielle Clayton, and K. Arsenault Rivera.

“I’m very excited about all the incredible programming presented this year through the partnerships we’ve forged over the years,” said Johnny Temple, Chair of the Brooklyn Literary Council. “BAM is hosting a program with Isabella Rossellini, the Center for Fiction with Joyce Carol Oates, the Whiting Foundation with Kevin Young, St. Francis College with Jamel Brinkley, to name just a few partnership programs—and this only scratches the surface of the ridiculously talent-gorged author events at this year’s festival.”

Below are just a few Festival Day highlights:

Activist Athletes
Over the past years, we’ve seen a number of professional athletes speak out for respect and against racism and injustice. The response—from fans, owners, even the President—has ranged from support to outright hostility. Players have been called unpatriotic, accused of disrespecting the military, even blackballed from their leagues. What’s next for this movement? Writer/activist Shaun King leads former NBA player Etan Thomas (We Matter), The Nation’s Dave Zirin (Things That Make White People Uncomfortable), and Olympian Ibtihaj Muhammad (Proud:My FIght For An Unlikely American Dream) in a conversation.

Best of Brooklyn: N.K. Jemisin in Conversation
N.K. Jemisin is a three-time recipient of the Hugo Award for Best Novel for The Stone Sky, The Fifth Season, and The Obelisk Gate and the Brooklyn Book Festival 2018 BoBi honoree. She is joined in conversation by speculative fiction writer P. Djèlí Clark, author of The Black God’s Drums.

In Wrestling with the Devil, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o emerges from a Kenyan prison in 1978 with a novel written on toilet paper. In Dunya Mikhail’s The Beekeeper, Iraqi women abducted by ISIS are ultimately rescued. While in Helon Habila’s The Chibok Girls, Nigerian students kidnapped by Boko Haram manage to escape and find their way home. These urgent works of nonfiction speak of confinement, enslavement, and torture yet offer voices of resilience that demand to be heard. Moderated by Clarisse Rosaz Shariyf, Pen America.

Discovering America
The strange, twisted enigma of America has long fascinated writers, both foreign and local, while the questions of who we are and what we’ve become seem even more pertinent today. Join Croatian-born author Dubravka Ugresic (American Fictionary), Joseph O’Neil (Good Trouble), and Hernan Diaz (In the Distance) as they wrestle with the myths, mores, violence and vulnerability of Americans in new works that glimmer with fresh insight and subversive wit. Moderated by Eric Banks.

The Fatherhood Spectrum
A conversation about fatherhood and manhood begins with the reality that all fathers are sons and that all fathers have been boys. Three fathers, Omar Epps (From Fatherless to Fatherhood), Gregory Pardlo (Air Traffic: A Memoir of Ambition and Manhood in America) and Neal Thompson (Kickflip Boys) speak from the heart about the challenges, chaos and rewards of fatherhood and their personal paths from boyhood to being fathers.

Fractured Lives
The after-life is usually a term reserved for the deceased, but what about the life after you lose someone? Novels by Laura van den Berg (The Third Hotel), Michael Imperioli (The Perfume Burned His Eyes), and Sigrid Nunez (The Friend) look at how to calibrate (or not) after a life is lost, what the living has to endure, how that redefines who one is, how one behaves, where one goes. The program will include short readings and a discussion moderated by Alex Gilvarry (Eastman Was Here).

The Graphic City
In alternately gripping, funny, and tragic graphic novels about urban history, Julia Wertz (Tenements, Towers & Trash), Peter J. Tomasi (The Bridge), and Jason Lutes (Berlin) take us high up to skyscraper views of two great cities flanking the Atlantic—and beyond. Moderated by Publishers Weekly senior news editor Calvin Reid.

Hear from New York Times Book Critics
Dwight Garner, Parul Sehgal, and Jennifer Szalai discuss the literary landscape and its future with Times editor John Williams. Get better acquainted with the journalists behind the bylines as well as the book titles and industry issues exciting or dismaying them.

The Joy of Poetry
Poets Fatimah Asghar (If They Should Come For Us), Mahogany L. Browne (Black Girl Magic), Chen Chen (When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities), and Aimee Nezhukumatathil (Oceanic) share work that meditates on ideas of joy, gratitude and magic.

New Superstories
Superheroes aren’t what they used to be, and that means the possibilities are endless! Ed Piskor (X-Men: Grand Design), Kwanza Osajyefo (Black), and Sheena Howard (Superb) discuss how to keep what they love about the genre, and how to re-imagine the rest. Moderated by artist-creator Dean Haspiel (The Red Hook).

Passage of Time
Join distinguished international authors Martin Amis and Dubravka Ugresic as they discuss the indelible lessons of the passage of time on their lives and work. While Amis’s The Rub of Time considers many of his formative cultural and literary encounters of the past 30 years, Croatian-born Ugresic’s American Fictionary revisits the destruction of the Balkan wars of the early 90s through the disorienting perspective of her American exile at the time.

Poetry & Politics
Poets Eve L. Ewing (Electric Arches), Terrance Hayes (American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin), Lynn Melnick (Landscape with Sex and Violence), and Raquel Salas Rivera (Lo Terciario / The Tertiary) read their own poems and discuss how literature and activism intersect. Moderated by Camille Rankine, The New School, Creative Writing Program.

Re-Writing Africa, from Pre-Colonial Kingdoms to Today
Reconsidering the sagas of Sub-Saharan African countries from African perspectives, these three current novels have helped reclaim independent voices and re-imagine the continent’s powerful, if sometimes anguished, history. Ugandan author and Windham-Campbell Prize recipient Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi (Kintu), Cameroonian Leonora Miano (Season of the Shadow), and Liberian-American Wayetu Moore (She Would Be King) weave vivid tapestries of their homelands—from pre-colonial kingdoms and the first shadows of the slave trade to the formation of independent Liberia and today’s worldwide diaspora.

Tayari Jones and Jennifer Egan in Conversation
Two of the most critically acclaimed and influential authors writing today discuss their recent work with the director of the National Book Foundation, Lisa Lucas. In An American Marriage, Tayari Jones paints an intimate portrait of the effect mass incarceration has on a loving relationship. In Manhattan Beach, Jennifer Egan tells of the story of a female diver’s pursuit of her family secrets in 1940s Brooklyn.

TV vs. Reality
When on-air celebrity and imagery shape your earliest memories, how do you reconcile it all with the hard realities of adulthood? Catch the wide-ranging experiences, from quiz kids to musicals to stand-up comedy, of comics creators Michael Kupperman (All The Answers), Box Brown (Is This Guy for Real?), and Rina Ayuyang (Blame This on the Boogie). Moderated by Joan Hilty, Comics Editor at Nickelodeon.

Two-Ways—Weird Romance
Two astoundingly accomplished team-ups of authors explore their many attractions to weird romance and speculative fiction, and all the things that happen when you create genre-bending graphic novels in collaboration! Audrey Niffenegger and Eddie Campbell (Bizarre Romance) and Alex de Campi and Katie Skelly (Twisted Romance). Moderated by Tor Books editor Diana Pho.

War on Truth and Journalism
A spirited conversation with Pulitzer Prize-winning winning journalists Linda Greenhouse (Just a Journalist: On the Press, Life, and the Spaces Between) and Eli Saslow (Rising Out of Hatred), and award-winning journalist April Ryan (Under Fire) about current challenges to journalism when truth has been maligned, and journalists and the media are called out as enemies of the people. Based on their personal experiences and their committed professional lives, they will talk about their fears and hopes for the profession of journalism and for its impact on the future of our country.

What Really Drives Innovation?
When we look at the sweep of human history, the pace of innovation and invention over the past 250 years has been extraordinary. Many thinkers have explored the role of human nature and qualities behind the innovation revolution in technology and beyond. Two of today’s most popular and prolific nonfiction authors look at innovation anew: Simon Winchester (The Perfectionists) examines how “precision” created the modern world; Steven Johnson (Farsighted) explores how our decision-making mechanisms as humans have shaped our history. Moderated by Sheelah Kolhatkar, The New Yorker

BKBF Bookend Events
September 10-17, 2018 (events are held city-wide in all five boroughs)

The Festival’s Bookends include more than 50 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 16, and concluding on Monday, September 17.

“There are Bookend events citywide—including parties, book launches, political discussions, poetry and prose programs, literary salons and games, graphic arts and comics—in unique locations ranging from canoes on the Gowanus Canal to the Schomburg Center, Harlem’s Revolution Books to Park Slope’s Old Stone House and libraries, music venues, bars and bookstores,” said Carolyn Greer, Festival Co-Producer and Bookend Events Co-Chair. “We wish everyone could do everything- but like any restaurant with a great menu you have to make choices!”

BKBF Bookend Event highlights include:

Monday, September 10: Literary Island. Join acclaimed Staten Island authors Alexandra Kleeman (You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine), Alex Gilvarry (Eastman Was Here, Memoirs of a Non-Enemy Combatant), Eddie Joyce (Small Mercies), and Lara Vapnyar (There are Jews in My House, Broccoli and Other Tales of Food and Love, Memoirs of a Muse, The Scent of Pine) for a conversation about writing on the Island, and its burgeoning literary community at the NYPL Stapleton Library. (Staten Island)

Tuesday, September 11: LIC Reading: Focus on Queens. Join the 3+ year old LIC Reading Series for a special night at LIC Bar highlighting our favorite literary borough. This evening features four authors who live and write in Queens: Nancy Agabian (poet, novelist, teacher, organizer), Trace DePass (2016 Teen Poet Laureate for Borough of Queens), Meera Nair (children’s and adult book author), and Alex Segura (mystery series and comic book author, podcast writer). We’ll discuss the writing community of Queens and the special place this borough holds in our writers’ hearts and work. (Queens)

Wednesday, September 12: Latinx in Publishing Presents: A Night of Spoken Word Poetry. Latinx in Publishing is proud to host a night of spoken word featuring some of the most dynamic Latinx performers in the poetry world today. Please join us at La Bodega Studios for performances by award-winning and acclaimed poets Denice Frohman (2013 Women of the World Poetry Slam Champion), Yesenia Montilla (The Pink Box), Raquel Salas Rivera (The Tertiary/Lo Terciario), Christopher Soto (Sad Girl Poems), Angela Maria Spring (Duende District Bookstore founder and owner), and David Tomas Martinez (Hustle). (Brooklyn)

Thursday, September 13: Poetry World Series New York. Emceed by the incomparable Mahogany L. Browne, two teams of award-winning poets—including Chen Chen, Tomás Q. Morín, Nicole Sealey, and Melissa Stein—take turns batting at topics pitched to them by the audience. Fastballs, curveballs, knuckleballs: these poets won’t know what’s coming next! Eminently qualified judges Mark Doty and Patricia Smith will score each batter’s reading, and the winning team takes the series title. Hilarity guaranteed. Bring a topic to Housing Works to pitch to the poets! (Manhattan)

Friday, September 14: Force of Nature—Writing a Hurricane. The 2017 Hurricane Season was one of the most active and devastating for the Caribbean. A year later poets Carmen Bardeguez-Brown (Puerto Rico), Asha Frank (Antigua & Barbuda) and Tiphanie Yanique (Virgin Islands) gather at the Bartow Community Center to reflect on the tremendous devastation, the road to recovery and those already forgotten. Presented by Caribbean Cultural Theatre and Riverbay Fund in partnership with Caribbean Reads; Friends of the Antigua & Barbuda Public Library; Caribbean Food Delights; Jamaica Progressive League; Poets & Passion—A Caribbean Literary Lime; and Read Jamaica. (Bronx)

Saturday, September 15: Meshugga Land: An Evening with Charlemagne Palestine & Steve Dalachinsky and Dawn Kasper. ISSUE Project Room is thrilled to present an evening with legendary composer-performer Charlemagne Palestine collaborating with stalwart Brooklyn poet Steve Dalachinsky in addition to a performance from interdisciplinary artist and 2015 ISSUE Artist-In-Residence Dawn Kasper. (Brooklyn)

Sunday, September 16: McSweeney’s Issue 53 Release Party. Come celebrate the launch of McSweeney’s Quarterly 53, which includes stories printed on party balloons that one must blow up to read. In collaboration with Events Are Magic, we’re lighting up the Invisible Dog Gallery with readings, copies for sale, free booze, and, of course, a room full of balloons. Come blow off Brooklyn Book Festival steam with a particolored celebration. Readers: Carmen Maria Machado, Rebecca Makkai, Sarah Wisby, Maria Reva (Brooklyn)

Monday, September 17: Jennifer Egan on Manhattan Beach. 2018 ONE BOOK, ONE NEW YORK winning author Jennifer Egan, in conversation at Brooklyn Public Library, Grand Army Plaza, with Meredith Wisner, former Asst. Director of Archives at the Brooklyn Navy Yard and Manhattan Beach researcher and oral historian Zaheer Ali from the Brooklyn Historical Society. Together they will paint a picture of day-to-day life along the Brooklyn Waterfront during WWII and celebrate the enormous contribution of women and African Americans who worked at the Navy Yard in 1940s. They will examine how the Brooklyn Navy Yard became an indelible central character in Jennifer Egan’s book, Manhattan Beach.

“We are excited to support the 13th annual Brooklyn Book Festival and conclude our One Book season with a special evening featuring the 2018 winning author, Jennifer Egan,” said Media and Entertainment Commissioner Julie Menin. “With an abundance of creativity and diversity, New York City has an unmatched literary scene. Events like these bring together communities and readers of all ages to share the love of reading and literature.”

Brooklyn Book Festival Children’s Day
September 15, 2018
10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
MetroTech Commons in Downtown Brooklyn

The much anticipated annual Brooklyn Book Festival’s Children’s Day promises a full day of literary fun for young readers. Taking place Saturday, September 15, 2018 from 10 a.m. — 4 p.m. at MetroTech Commons in Downtown Brooklyn, this event devoted to kid lit boasts authors and illustrators from every shelf—from picture books to chapter books to graphic novels. Writers at Children’s Day will include best-selling authors Mac Barnett, LeUyen Pham, Kate Schatz and Miriam Klein Stahl, Vashti Harrison, Eliot Schrefer, Soman Chainani, debut authors Brigit Young, Sayantani DasGupta, Andrea Tsurumi, and award-winning authors Gordon C. James, Renée Watson, Chris Grabenstein, Pablo Cartaya, and Meg Medina among many more talented authors and illustrators.

Authors will read, draw and perform to bring beloved books to life at the Picture Book Stage at MetroTech Commons. Be sure to head over to see: Duo Caldecott Medalists Dan Santat and Minh Lê, Tad Hills, the New York Times best-selling author of Duck & Goose, Honk! Quack! Boo!, and debut author and illustrator Andrea Tsurumi presenting Accident! The Young Readers Stage will feature a wide range of incredible talent: Geisel Winner Laurel Snyder (Charlie and Mouse) New York Times best-selling author Mac Barnett (Mac B., Kid Spy: Mac Undercover), Shelley Johannes (Beatrice Zinker, Upside Down Thinker series, Incognito) and Debbie Michiko Florence (Jasmine Toguchi series).

This year marks the first New York Times for Kids live event. It’s an interactive session featuring: Book Review 101 with children’s books editor Maria Russo, live crossword puzzling with digital crossword editor Joel Fagliano, and a version of the Style section’s Social Q’s for the younger set.

There will also be one-of-a-kind performances in the NYU Tandon School Auditorium including the Story Pirates Greatest Hits Show with best-selling author Geoff Rodkey, and the Mexican music-vocal ensemble Grupo Cántaro performing family-friendly songs from their new musical picture book The Hummingbird Sings and Dances. The much-anticipated Illustrator Smackdown returns with artist Ruth Chan (Georgie’s Best Bad Day) presiding over the year’s most dynamic live-action drawing competition featuring illustrators Dan Santat (Drawn Together), LeUyen Pham (Elephant and Piggie Like Reading!: The Itchy Book), Scott Magoon (Misunderstood Shark), Rowboat Watkins (Big Bunny), Galia Bernstein (I Am a Cat), Katie Yamasaki (When the Cousins Came), and Mike Lowery (Mac Undercover).

“The Brooklyn Book Festival Children’s Day celebrates childhood reading for every age—it is a day of discovery and celebration with the opportunity to meet authors and illustrator’s face to face, a vibrant marketplace of children’s books, and kids will even find a new favorite book,” said Liz Koch, Co-Producer of the Festival. “Saturday’s activities also offer the opportunity for children to be not only readers, but creators.”

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, Author’s Guild, Brooklyn Borough President’s Office/NYC & Company Foundation, City Council Members Brad Lander, Stephen Levin and Carlos Menchaca, Con Edison, Cultural Services of the French Embassy, Disney, Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, Kirby Family Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, NYC Department of Parks & Recreation, New York State Council on the Arts, The Québec Government Office in New York, St. Francis College, and NYU Tandon School of Engineering. The festival’s media sponsors are abc7NY, C-SPAN, Book TV and WNYC.

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, Poetry Society of America, St. Francis College, The Times Literary Supplement, Whiting Foundation, and Windham Campbell Prizes.

Visit for the 2018 schedule.
Click here for original 2018 Festival image by Julia Wertz

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