Brooklyn Book Festival celebrates 10 years
September 18, 2015
The Brooklyn Book Festival is celebrating its tenth anniversary this weekend in style. More than 300 authors participating in 90 programs on 14 stages (spread out around the plazas north of Borough Hall) are on the schedule for Sunday, September 20, making this the largest free literary event in New York City. Authors include Salman Rushdie, Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz, Pulitzer Prize winners Margo Jefferson and Gregory Pardlo, Edwidge Danticat, Joyce Carol Oates, Terry McMillan, Pete Hamill, and Jonathan Lethem, the 2015 recipient of the festival’s annual BoBi award, presented to an author who exemplifies the spirit and character of Brooklyn.
This year the Festival has expanded to two days, with the addition of the first-ever Children’s Day on Saturday, September 19, taking place at MetroTech Commons. The Festival has always dedicated one stage to children’s literature, but this year’s Children’s Day offers two stages—Picture Book and Young Reader’s stages—plus a full day of workshops and two marquee auditorium events.
“The Children’s Day offers us the opportunity to significantly expand our programming for children,” says festival co-producer Liz Koch. “The Brooklyn Book Festival Children’s Day is a celebration of childhood reading and gives children the opportunity to meet the creators of the books that they love—the authors and illustrators.”
Along with Carolyn Greer, Koch was a founding co-producer of the Brooklyn Book Festival, which began as an initiative of then-Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz. The Brooklyn Literary Council, a team of publishing industry volunteers, was created to help plan the festival, and have been integral to the planning process ever since.
“The festival began as a celebration of Brooklyn’s contemporary importance as a home for writers and of its past literary history,” Koch says. “It grew to an international festival and this year welcomes authors from nearly 20 countries, including from the Caribbean, Mexico, Africa, France and Switzerland.”
Nearly 40,000 people attended last year, a number that will presumably rise in 2015.
Best of all, the Festival is free. Each hour brings an overload of panel discussions, readings, and other literary events, and tickets are not required for admission. Take a look at the schedule, pick your favorites, and arrive early.