Celebrating books, authors at the Book Festival

Celebrating books, authors at the Book Festival|Celebrating books, authors at the Book Festival
Tequila Minsky|Tequila Minsky

On Sunday, Sept. 20, Brooklyn celebrates the written and printed word in and around Brooklyn Borough Hall in one of the borough’s year’s best events.

It’s Brooklyn Book Festival time again! The winding plaza outside of Brooklyn Borough Hall — pushed west because of construction — will again be filled with a myriad of booksellers, publishers and members of literary organizations. From 10 am – 6 pm outdoor stages and nearby indoor venues with host author programs for children, teens and adults.

This is the second year that the Caribbean Cultural Theatre; Poets and Passion will have a booth / tent. This year its booth –#121– is near the north stage (and Korean War Memorial), nearer to the High Street subway station. It’s west of Tillary Street due to the construction.

“We will have 12 authors in the tent,” says CCT Director E. Wayne McDonald. Last year was the first year CCT had a tent in the festival. “This was a tremendous hurdle for them to get to the Festival on their own.”

McDonald grapples with how to share resources, knowledge and a wider community of work of Caribbean authors. The tent’s authors have works that are independently or self-published or come from small presses.

CCT partnered with Read Jamaica that was created to promote Jamaican writers and books and their great diversity. Three writers, Kellie Magnus, Tanya Savage, and Owen Blakka Ellis, will be on-site to sign books. Also in the tent will be writers Joanne Hillhouse and Carol Mitchell, part of CaribbeanReads, a small publishing company serving talented Caribbean authors. “We will have access to dozen of titles from the region, for all ages,“ says McDonald.

In addition to the Sunday’s Book Festival schedule, dozens of “Bookend” events featuring writers take place around town before and after the Festival.

Caribbean Cultural Theatre is hosting a welcome party for Read Jamaica feting six visiting and local authors, Friday, Sept. 18, 7 pm, 138 South Oxford Place, Brooklyn. Jamaica’s Marlon James, one of six finalists for the prestigious Booker Prize for fiction with his “A Brief History of Seven Killings,” which centers on the attempted assassination of Bob Marley will be on-hand.

There will be a display and sale of Jamaica and Caribbean books by Read Jamaica.

Haiti Cultural Exchange is presenting on Saturday, Sept. 19, 1 pm, “Why Haiti Needs New Narratives” with Gina Athena Ulysse at the Dweck Center, Brooklyn Public Library–Grand Army Plaza.

Also on Saturday, 2-4 pm, Women’s Voices in Caribbean Literature will be presented by the Center for Black Literature at Medger Evers College to be held at MOCADA, 80 Hanson Place, Brooklyn.

The number of participating authors in the festival has grown during these last 10 years. The first year, 2006 there were 86; this year there are 275 authors including the Caribbean heritage authors.

Nine Caribbean-American authors will be on Book Fair panels: Marlon James (Jamaica), 10:00 am, St. Francis College Aud.; Tiphanie Yanique (Virgin Islands), noon, Brooklyn Historical Soc. Library; Esmeralda Santiago (Puerto Rico), noon, Boro Hall Courtroom; Naomi Jackson (Barbados), 1 pm St. Francis College Workshop Rm,; Edwidge Danticat (Haiti), 1 pm, Youth Stage – Brooklyn Hghts Libr; Joanne Hillhouse (Antigua and Barbuda) 1 pm Brooklyn Historical Soc. Library; Marlon James (Jamaica) 2 pm, Boro Hall Courtroom; Rowan Ricardo Phillips, 2 pm Main Stage; André Alexis (Trinidad and Tobago) 2 pm Boro Hall Media Room; Esmeralda Santiago 2 pm St. Ann & The Holy Trinity Church; Edwidge Danticat, 3 pm St. Ann & The Holy Trinity Church; and Colin Channer (Jamaica) 5 pm, Brooklyn Law School.

For more information, www.brooklynbookfestival.org.

Holding her “The Nanny Diaries” is Nandi Keyi-Ogunlade who will be at the Brooklyn Book Festival’s Caribbean Cultural Theatre tent-#121.
Tequila Minsky