Book Lovers Rejoice: The Brooklyn Book Festival Returns

Book Lovers Rejoice: The Brooklyn Book Festival Returns

The Brooklyn Book Festival kicked off its annual celebration of all things literary Sunday.

The weeklong celebration brings together authors and readers for conversations and readings across Brooklyn, culminating on October 1, when the Brooklyn Borough Hall Plaza and Columbus Park will transform into a sea of stories, hosting local and national bookstores. The Festival's Literary Marketplace is a bookworm's paradise, claiming to be the largest outdoor book market in the northeast, with over 200 publishers and literary organizations coming together.

On Saturday, September 30, the younger book enthusiasts get their day at the Brooklyn Commons in Downtown Brooklyn. Children's Day promises delightful readings, interactive workshops, book signings, art projects, and its very own Children’s Book Market.

A festival tradition worth checking out at least once is the Gowanus Dawn Reading which takes place in canoes on the Gowanus Canal. This year it will be on Friday, September 29, at 7:45 a.m. – watch the performers and listen to Robinson Jeffers’ poetry from the 9th Street Bridge over the Gowanus Canal and the parking lot northeast of the bridge.

The 2023 Festival poster was designed by Brooklyn-based artist Oliver Jeffers.

“The Brooklyn Book Festival strengthens the literary world and embodies the spirit of our Borough by honoring authors with a range of perspectives and backgrounds," says Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso. "I am particularly thrilled that this year’s BoBi recipient, Hilton Als, is an author raised in Brownsville. The Brooklyn Book Festival is the city’s festival. Everyone is welcome!”

So, check out the lineup, mark your calendars, and get ready for a literary adventure at the Brooklyn Book Festival! Oh, and don't miss the Atlantic Antic street fair that takes place a few blocks south on October 1.

Below is the lineup the organizers sent us in case you want to keep scrolling instead of clicking. Almost all the events take place in Brooklyn and not just in Downtown Brooklyn – local bookstores, bars, and libraries are all opening their doors across Brooklyn, and there are virtual events as well:

Monday, September 25th at 1PM Origin Stories St. Francis College179 Livingston Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201, Auditorium

Origin stories aren't just for superheroes. This reading from St. Francis College MFA faculty and students will feature an exciting lineup of writers reflecting on their own origin stories as writers, as well as the origin stories of their writing. Writers, including Felice BelleTheo Black GangiClarence A. Haynes, and Caroline Hagood, will ponder possible superpowers, and muse on how they got here, and what it is that they fight for. Presented in partnership with Books Are Magic.

Monday, September 25th at 7PM Tables of Contents Reading Series Insa, 328 Douglass St, Brooklyn, NY 11217 $35

Tables of Contents welcomes Jamel Brinkley (Witness), and Rachel Eliza Griffiths (Promise), and Isle McEIroy (People Collide) for our September reading series! The evening will feature readings from each author paired with small dishes inspired by their work, followed by a conversation among the authors moderated by Tables of Contents chef and founder Evan Hanczor. Tickets include all food and one complimentary drink, with literary cocktails by Sammi Katz and Olivia McGiff on offer alongside beer, wine, and non-alcoholic beverages.

Tuesday, September 26 at 6PM Zine-making for Personal & Community StorytellingBrooklyn Community Pride Center - 1360 Fulton Street, Ground Floor; Brooklyn, NY 11216

Zines are handmade books, typically created by hand with basic materials–paper, scissors, pens, and ideas. Zine-making can facilitate the development of personal and community-based storytelling. Join the Brooklyn Community Pride Center’s Zine-Making Workshop in partnership with Booklyn, Inc.

Tuesday, September 26 at 6PM Yearnings of a Chat Bot: Are Poets the Original Chat Bots? Park Slope Library, 431 6th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11215

The romantic ideation of the half human/half robot is one that we have been musing since computerized sentience in woman/man/creature form has graced our movies and tv shows: TerminatorBlade RunnerEx-MachinaMetropolis, etc. This longing to understand the Machine-Man, the Maschinenmensch, comes from the fact that we have always had relationships with machines, from our old alarm clocks to our shiniest smart phones and watches. So if robots are learning to be more human, isn't the reverse true? Humans want to be mechanical ubër beings. Featuring Jiwon ChoiCaroline HagoodWilliam Lessard, and James Yeh. Presented with Hanging Loose Press.

Tuesday, September 26 at 6:30PM The Role of the Artist in a Time of Crisis The Africa Center at Aliko Dangote Hall, 1280 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10029

From Booker Prize-winning poet, novelist, essayist, short-story writer, anthologist, aphorist, and playwright Ben Okri and Africa Center CEO Uzodinma Iweala, comes a fascinating discussion on the role of the artist in a time of crisis. Whether it be climate change, the refugee crisis, racism, philosophy, the pandemic, or any number of varied topics he takes, Okri’s work raises urgent questions about the role of the artist in times of crisis. A discussion sure to highlight the timelessness and acute relevance of Okri’s writing.

Tuesday, September 26 at 6:30PM Transcending Geographical and Temporal Boundaries on the Page Franklin Park, 766 Franklin Avenue, 618 St Johns Pl, Brooklyn, NY 11238

What’s it like to resurrect a past book and prepare it for a second life in translation? Whether it’s a debut translated into a new language or a special reissue of essays first conceived decades past. What social mores or cues have changed that could impact reception? How do language and geographic location influence the subject and reader connection? Sharing a penchant for the uncanny, mysterious, and novel, longtime chroniclers of the human condition, D.T. Max (The New Yorker) and Peruvian journalist Julio Villanueva Chang (Etiqueta Negra) discuss the relaunch of formative works. This event will be primarily presented in Spanish. 

Tuesday, September 26 at 7PM Starting Out: The Editor-Writer Relationship Poetry Society of America, 19 Smith Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201

What is an editor's role? How can an author work with an editor to elevate their writing? Join Writing and Editorial Fellows from A Public Space for a conversation about the editor-writer relationship. They'll discuss lessons learned and insights gained, formative experiences, and their questions for each other about the surprises they found on their side of the relationship. With Editorial Fellow Lydia Mathis and Writing Fellows Cory Howell Hamada and Kyle Francis Williams. Moderated by Ruby Wang, associate managing editor at A Public Space. Audience members will have an opportunity to ask questions.

Tuesday, September 26 at 7PM Foul Heart Huntsman: An Event with Chloe Gong Frank Sinatra School of the Arts, 35-12 35th Ave, Queens, NY 11106 $28

Live and in person with the Astoria Bookshop, at the Tony Bennett Concert Hall, celebrate the conclusion of the Foul Lady Fortune duology! Tickets include a seat at the event AND a signed copy of Foul Heart Huntsman, PLUS limited edition vinyl sticker with a quote from Foul Heart Huntsman hand-picked by Chloe Gong herself!

Tuesday, September 26 at 7PM World in Verse: An Evening of International Poetry, Virtual

Join Words Without Borders for a virtual multilingual reading and celebration of international poetry in translation, in partnership with the Academy of American Poets. Featuring Mesándel Virtusio ArguellesUilleam BlackerKristine Ong MuslimRoque Raquel Salas RiveraIryna ShuvalovaXavier Valcárcel, and more, introduced by Arthur Sze (winner of the 2019 National Book Award for Poetry). Sze selected the poems featured at the reading as part of a special initiative between Words Without Borders and in’s Poem-a-Day series for National Translation Month.

Tuesday, September 26 at 7pm Kafka is the Rage Unnameable Books615 Vanderbilt Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11238

Brooklyn Social Media invites you to an evening with Francis Levy, author of The Kafka Studies Department, in conversation with Rocco Landesman, Broadway producer and former Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. The Kafka Studies Department, with illustrations by Hallie Cohen, is a highly original, quirky collection of short, parable-like stories infused with dark humor, intellect, and insight about the human condition.

Tuesday, September 26 at 8pm What's Community Got to Do with It?LIC Bar carriage house, 45-58 Vernon Boulevard, Long Island City, NY 11101

Join the Resort writing community as we revisit the old stomping grounds of the LIC Reading Series (2015-'20). Denne Michele Norris (writer and editor-in-chief, Electric Literature), Greg Mania (writer, comedian, screenwriter), and Matt Ortile (The Groom Will Keep His Name) will be in conversation with Resort & LIC Reading Series founder Catherine LaSota about the ways we have developed community online and in person. What makes a supportive community? How does community play a role in our writing lives? Audience participation is encouraged but not required. Ask questions of our panel and win raffle prizes!

Wednesday, September 27 at 6pm VOICE: A Lens to Black Experiences, Virtual

Diversity is a call to arms, challenging society to be inclusive. The Black community is richly diverse, comprising many villages. We compare the teachings of forefathers from other places and grandmothers who'd migrated north or across oceans by choice. We are the ancestors in our lineage. We perceive the world differently and filter those experiences through our writing. This reading and Q&A features Judy C. Andrews, The Artist AnubisMinnette ColemanAngela DewsKendall GlaspieEartha Watts HicksJanell PearsonMarc W. PoliteDiane Richards, and Dr. Robert J. Woodbine via Zoom. Presented with The Harlem Writers Guild.

Wednesday, September 27 at 6pm A Night of Ancient Mystery, Mozart, & Merriment, Salmagundi Club, 47 5th Avenue, New York, NY 10003

Please join the Coffee House Club's Urbane Conspirators and HIP Lit for an unforgettable night cloaked in Gothic suspense as mysteries abound in readings, conversation, and music. To be held at Salmagundi, a private arts club housed in a historic brownstone mansion in Greenwich Village. All in celebration of the paperback release of Joanna Margaret's The Bequest with author Jessie Chaffee in conversation. The festivities will be punctuated with melodic renditions from Don Giovanni, starring singer Abby Hase. Stay for the mingling and revelry that will ensue. RSVP required.

Wednesday, September 27 at 6:30PM Powerful and Dangerous: the Legacy of Audre Lorde, Virtual

The Alice Austen House, nationally designated site of LGBTQ+ history, will host a virtual reading celebrating the legacy of Audre Lorde's teaching. Join us as former students Rosette CapotortoKathleen Walsh D'ArcyMelinda Goodman, and Donna Masini read their poetry and share memories of their time in Lorde's literature program.

Wednesday, September 27 at 7PM Played a Good Book Lately? NYU, 370 Jay Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201

We all remember Choose Your Own Adventures, but interactive stories have come a long way since the days of page-jumping pulp. What does it mean for a game to be literary in today's media-saturated landscape? Join game designer and author Sharang Biswas, game editor and narrative designer Jess HaskinsNaomi Clark and game designer and writer Clara Fernandez-Vara as they discuss games inspired by or adapted from literature.

Wednesday, September 27 at 7PM Easily Slip Into Another World: A Life in Music with Henry Threadgill, Revolution Books437 Malcolm X Blvd at 132nd St, Harlem, New York, NY 10037 Donations requested

Henry Threadgill is a towering figure of contemporary American music. His autobiography is a riveting account of the music scene in Chicago in the 1960s, his experiences as a Black soldier in Vietnam, and the ensembles he has led—and is a powerful meditation on history, race, capitalism, and art. Henry Threadgill is one of only three jazz artists to receive the Pulitzer Prize. Brent Hayes Edwards, author of Epistrophies: Jazz and the Literary Imagination, will be in conversation. Raymond Lotta of Revolution Books will host.

Wednesday, September 27 at 7PM Radical Publishing in Political Headwinds The Word Is Change - 368 Tompkins Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11216

Publishers from independent presses discuss the imperative of publishing books that uplift marginalized and insurgent voices, create and complicate representation, and spark and amplify movements. This is even more critical during challenging political times when marginalized communities are disempowered, scapegoated, and stripped of their rights. Margot Atwell (Feminist Press), Ramsey Kanaan (PM Press), Malav Kanuga (Common Notions Press), and Cat Fitzpatrick (LittlePuss Press) will speak on the challenges and importance of publishing radical books against political headwinds. They'll also discuss their dreams for the future of radical indie publishing and indie literary community. Moderated by Whitney Hu (Feminist Press).

Wednesday, September 27 at 7PM The Lost Sons of Omaha: An American Tragedy St. Ann & the Holy Trinity Church157 Montague Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201-3587, Virtual attendance also available

On May 30, 2020, in Omaha, Nebraska, 38-year-old white bar owner and Marine veteran Jake Gardner fatally shot James Scurlock, a 22-year-old Black man protesting the murder of George Floyd. Following an indictment, Gardner took his own life. In The Lost Sons of Omaha: Two Young Men in an American TragedyJoe Sexton offers a meticulously reported and nuanced account of the two deaths, while disentangling fictions about them on social media. Sexton, a veteran New York Times and ProPublica reporter, is joined by acclaimed actor Dion Graham (The Wire). 

Wednesday, September 27 at 7PM Selected Shorts: Ken Burns Presents Willa Cather's America Symphony Space2537 Broadway at 95th St., New York, NY 10025-6990 $19 - $33

Filmmaker Ken Burns hosts this sesquicentennial celebration of Willa Cather, one of the most significant and treasured American writers of the 20th century. This special evening of short fiction in performance brings to life the landscapes of the Pulitzer Prize–winning author so masterfully captured in her prose. With performances by Patricia Clarkson, mezzo-soprano Linda CollazoSonia ManzanoDavid Strathairn, and more.

Wednesday, September 27 at 7PM True Eco-Terror: Writing Frightful Economic and Ecological Dystopias and Disasters, Virtual

What makes for true eco-terror? Join this panel discussion to consider the smart ways storytellers create vivid and disturbing, sometimes prophetic, reflections of our world and detail our small places in them. Insight will be offered by Theo Gangi (A New Day in America), Damir Salkovic (Collapse Years), and Jeff VanderMeer (Veniss Underground) and moderated by Jeffrey Krizman, the Editor-in-chief of the Mad Duck Coalition.

Wednesday, September 27 at 8PM A Poetry Reading with Nauset Press Highbury Pub, 1002 Cortelyou Rd, Brooklyn, NY 11218

Three poets, Caitlin McDonnellCarolyn Steinhoff, and Betsy Andrews (who will be accompanied by art and music), will read from their books of poems published by Nauset Press. Each in her own way, these poets grapple with what it means to write from within the impossibly ramped-up state of perpetual crisis in which we all live: planetary collapse, pandemics, authoritarianism, loneliness, loss. Each finds and relishes the persistent joys that come to us in spite of everything as we live out our days. 

Wednesday, September 27 at An Evening with The Keepthings Presented by Ditmas Lit Hinterlands Bar, 739 Church Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11218

The Keepthings publishes short essays about lost loved ones, inspired by the things they left behind. Co-hosted by Ditmas Lit, this event will feature Keepthings contributors including Rachel ClineMatthew LansburghTara Lindis, and Claudia Zuluaga sharing their stories and the objects that inspired them in front of a live audience for an evening of collective remembrance.

Wednesday, September 27 at 8PM INFECTION MELODIES + SILENCE: Theodore (ted) Kerr & Michael R. Jackson

The Invisible Dog, 51 Bergen St, Brooklyn, NY 11201 $15 ($10 ISSUE members)

Writer and organizer Theodore (ted) Kerr and Tony award-winning playwright, composer, and lyricist Michael R. Jackson present an informal and far-reaching conversation. Together, they will explore their shared love of 1990s female songwriters, tackle the limits and possibilities of using culture to discuss social issues, and examine the role silence plays in their work. ISSUE celebrates its 20th anniversary with a series of commissioned programs, including inviting past Suzanne Fiol Curatorial Fellows, such as Kerr, to present work in collaboration with important community members who inspire their practice.

Thursday, September 28 at 5:30PM John Oliver Killens Literary Salon: A Celebration of Black Fire This Time Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA), 80 Hanson Pl, Brooklyn, NY 11217

The Center for Black Literature, in collaboration with MoCada, will present the Killens Literary Salon with contributors to Black Fire This TimeKeisha-Gaye Anderson (Gathering the Waters), James E. Cherry (Edge of the Wind), Judy Juanita (De Facto Feminism), Quincy Troupe (Duende: Poems), and moderator Heather Buchanan (Aquarius Press). Black Fire This Time by Kim McMillon (Editor) and Ishmael Reed (Foreword) explores all facets of the Black Arts Movement and features poets and writers on the theme of "Black is Beautiful, Black is Powerful, Black is Home." 

Thursday, September 28 at 6:30PM NYC's Eighties: Shimmer and Shadow Monk McGinns, 57 Murray Street, 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10007

Authors Kerri Schlottman (Tell Me One Thing) and Laura Scalzo (American Arcadia), discuss New York City in the 1980s and how it inspired their recently launched novels. From the dueling crises of AIDS, drugs, and the fall of the middle class, this decade, seemingly so long ago and yet so recent, has stories still to be unraveled and understood. Inspired by the relentless pursuit of creative expression, both novels interweave stories of social justice, privilege, and the myth that art can save us.

Thursday, September 28 at 6:30PM Crown Heights Literary Celebration Franklin Park618 St Johns Pl, 11238

Come celebrate the thriving Crown Heights literary scene with a reading and mingle hosted by three of the neighborhood’s most exciting arts organizations: The Franklin Park Reading Series, Big Words, Etc., and The World Trans Forum. Hear poetry and prose from local authors Danilo Machado (This is your receipt and is not a ticket for travel), Anton Solomonik (Realistic Fiction) and Tyriek White (We Are A Haunting) and enjoy happy hour specials at popular area bar and beer garden Franklin Park.

Thursday, September 28 at 7PM Schomburg Center and NBF Presents: The Poetics of the Archive Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, 515 Malcolm X Blvd, New York, NY 10037-1801

National Book Award Winners Nikky Finney (Head Off & Split) and Robin Coste Lewis (Voyage of the Sable Venus) excavate and reimagine family and historical archives as poetry in their recent books Love Child’s Hotbed of Occasional Poetry and To the Realization of Perfect Helplessness. The authors join National Book Award Winner Jacqueline Woodson (Brown Girl Dreaming) in conversation on the careful work of community archival and the power of Black stories amidst continued book banning. Presented in partnership with the National Book Foundation and Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. 

Thursday, September 28 at 7PM No, YOU Tell It! "Fly By" True-Life Tales with a Twist Grove 34, 31-83 34th St. Astoria, NY, 11106 $10

No, YOU Tell It! storytellers work together to develop true tales on the page, then swap stories to embody their partner’s culture, identity, and life experience on stage. For this special show, four curated storytellers are trading tales inspired by Queens history from the archives of The Greater Astoria Historical Society ( Plus, story trivia for the chance to win fun literary prizes! Storytellers include Robin GelfenbienBen KatznerBriana McDonald, and Lowell Stephens. Featuring illustrations by Annie Shi. Follow @noyoutellit to learn about the storytellers, Queens history, and more.

Thursday, September 28 at 7PM And the Winners of the Literary Awards are . . . LATINXS! Virtual

Latinxs may be underrepresented in publishing, but their numbers are slowly and surely growing, and winning major literary awards like the Pulitzer, John Newbery Medal, National Book, PEN/ Jean Stein Award, Joyce Carol Oates Literary Prize, Anthony awards, etc. Join Latinx In Publishing and meet our Latinx award-winning panelists, including Andrea Beatriz ArangoJuana Martinez-NealAlex Segura, and Angie Cruz. Moderated by José Olivarez.

Thursday, September 28 at 7PM Exquisite Corpse Queens Edition Virtual

Eight Queens poets will come together virtually to create and perform an exquisite corpse poem on the theme of revelation as well as discuss Queens lit and community. Featuring allia abdullah-mattaMoncho AlvaradoNana Ekua Brew-HammondSherese FrancisAbeer Y. HoqueDena IgustiNadia Misir, and René Sing-Brooks. Hosted by the Lewis Latimer House Museum in Flushing, Queens.

Thursday, September 28 at 7PM The Rumpus Presents Sapphic Storytelling: Queer eQuinox McNally Jackson Books (Seaport location), 4 Fulton St, New York, NY 10038 $5, free to Rumpus members

The Rumpus presents Sapphic Storytelling: Queer eQuinox at McNally Jackson’s Seaport location. Featuring authors Hannah BeresfordJaquira DíazCJ HauserLars Horn, and T. Kira Madden. Moderated by Rumpus Editor, Alysia Li Ying Sawchyn. In this series, we present writers we adore and use the term “sapphic” as a tongue-in-cheek term to refer to queerness that nods to the writerly and lacunae-filled history of queer people of all sexualities and genders.

Thursday, September 28 at 7pm Chapbook Fellowship Winners Reading Poetry Society of America, 119 Smith Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201 $5, free for Poetry Society members

Join us for a reading at the Poetry Society of America to celebrate the publications of PSA Chapbook Fellowship winners Lauren Aliza Green (A Great Dark House), Emily Lee Luan (I Watch the Boughs), and Margaret Ray (Superstitions of the Mid-Atlantic).

Thursday, September 28 at 7pm Queens, NY: Fact and Fiction Kew & Willow Books81-63 Lefferts Blvd, Kew Gardens, NY 11415

Join authors and historians Seth BornsteinRafael Herrin-Ferri, and Rob MacKay as they dive into Queens history. They will discuss the borough's built environment and how diversity influences our residences, the people, and their connection to our borough.

Thursday, September 28 at 8pm Carousel: Comics Performances The City Reliquary, 370 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211 $10 in advance, $12 at the door

Join Carousel for readings of graphic novels, gag cartoons, and comics as performed by the writers and artists, with slide projections. Followed by a book signing. Featuring Grayson Bear (Pokey), Alex Krokus (Loudest and Smartest), Amy Kurzweil (Artificial: A Love Story), Mattie Lubchansky (Boys Weekend), Kimberly Wang (Of Thunder & Lightning), and Julia Wertz (Impossible People). Hosted by R. Sikoryak (Constitution Illustrated). For more info:

Friday, September 29 at 7:45AM Gowanus Dawn Reading: 7th Annual Poetry in Canoes on the Gowanus Canal 9th Street Bridge, Gowanus Canal, Brooklyn, NY

Our 7th annual Gowanus Dawn Reading - we’ll perform Robinson Jeffers’ poetry in canoes on the Gowanus Canal! Watch and listen from 9th Street Bridge over the Gowanus Canal (and parking lot northeast of bridge). Dredgers Past Captain Brad Vogel and Gowanus performer Melody Bates lead the crew as they plumb the depths of poet Robinson Jeffers’ work.

Friday, September 29 at 3PM Playing God: Building and Destroying Fictional Worlds and Characters, Virtual

Queer Indie and the Writing Community Chat Show will host an interactive, live-streamed panel diving into the construction and destruction of fictional worlds and characters. Topics will include harvesting inspiration, various approaches to process, and how to incorporate realistic and relevant conflicts and motivations. Panelists include Christopher AggettTT BanksDr. Mario Dell’OlioChristopher HooleyAsh KnightA.C. MerkelAnya PavelleHalo Scot, and Ross Young.

Friday, September 29 at 6PM Beyond the Acclaimed Debut, Community Bookstore, 143 7th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215

The John Leonard Prize celebrates the year’s best first book. Incredible attention is lavished upon debut authors (the nominees and winners of this prize can attest), but once it’s time to get back to work, how do acclaimed writers work within the limelight and around expectation to carry on with their careers? 2022 finalist Zain Khalid (Brother Alive), 2020 finalist Megha Majumdar (A Burning), and 2018 finalist Jamel Brinkley (A Lucky Man and Witness) address these lucky obstacles with National Book Critics Circle board member Lauren LeBlanc as moderator.

Friday, September 29 at 6PM Fierce Reads Presents: The Thrills and Chills Tour McNally Jackson City Point, 445 Albee Square West Brooklyn, NY 11201

From seemingly prestigious boarding schools filled with malicious forces to cutthroat competitions and dark magic in the catacombs of Paris, these young adult authors know how to keep you up at night! Join Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé (Ace of Spades), Kalyn Josephson (This Dark Descent), Tomi Oyemakinde (The Changing Man), and Jamison Shea (I Feed Her to the Beast and the Beast Is Me), as they talk all things page-turning thrillers, dark fantasy, and the monsters that go bump in the night. Moderated by Tamara Fuentes, Entertainment Editor at Cosmopolitan. Presented with MacMillan.

Friday, September 29 at 6PM The Girl Before Her with Line Papin and Jean Chen Ho Housing Works Bookstore, 126 Crosby St, NY, NY 10012

Translated into English from French by Adriana Hunter and Lylan Dill, Line Papin's The Girl Before Her is described by Viet Thanh Nguyen (The Sympathizer) as "A fable, a dream, a nightmare, ... a sharp little book that fits like a wedge between the ribs." Join Kaya Press for an event featuring Papin in conversation with Jean Chen Ho, author of the novel Fiona and Jane, to discuss Asian diasporic identity, girlhood, and more. 

Friday, September 29 at 6:30PM Boog City's Poetry Talk Talk Young Ethel's, 506 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215 $8 suggested donation

Boog City's Poetry Talk Talk Series has featured various pairs of poets reading and in conversation with one another over the past three decades. This time around, we're excited to feature longtime collaborators and friends Todd Colby and Joanna Penn Cooper. We'll also have a music set from Todd and guitarist Nick Didkovsky.

Friday, September 29 at 6:30PM Brooklyn Poets Reading Series Brooklyn Poets, 144 Montague Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201, Virtual attendance also available

Named one of the best reading series in NYC by Time Out New York, the Brooklyn Poets Reading Series takes place six times a year at 144 Montague St and via Zoom. Each reading features three poets, with at least one from Brooklyn and one from outside the borough, pairing emerging with more established poets and focusing on those from underrepresented communities. This year's Bookend Event reading will feature poets Paul Hlava CeballosKwame Dawes, and Yesenia Montilla. Advance registration is required. 

Friday, September 29 at 7PM Let’s Get Mad: Celebrate a Mutha of a Decade Books Are Magic, 122 Montague St, Brooklyn, NY 11201 & after-party at Floyd's. Purchase of either book (bundled options for each author's book) or $10 Books Are Magic gift card

It's a rager: mother-writers and artists get real, down and dirty, furious and funny about the lives of mothers (and others) all to celebrate 10 years of MUTHA. Readings at Books are Magic Montague will include Minna Dubin (Mom Rage), Amanda Montei (Touched Out), cartoonist Lisa Lim (A Darker Shade of Noir), and Deesha Philyaw (The Secret Lives of Church Ladies). With editor-in-chief Meg Lemke and Pen Parentis’s M. M. De Voe (Book & Baby). More guests TBA at the after-party at Floyd’s–put your name down for bocce ball, because parents can play too. Presented in partnership with Pen Parentis.

Friday, September 29 at 7PM The Shining by Dorothea Lasky Powerhouse Arena, 28 Adams St, Brooklyn, NY 11201 $0 - $21 ($5 tier includes $5 gift certificate + free admission; $21 book bundle tier includes the book + free admission; and free limited general admission)

Dorothea Lasky’s The Shining is an ekphrastic horror lyric that shapes an entirely unique feminist psychological landscape. In this collection, Lasky guides us through the familiar rooms of the Overlook Hotel, both realized and imagined, inhabiting characters and spaces that have been somewhat flattened in Stephen King’s text or Stanley Kubrick’s film adaptations. Lasky will be joined in conversation by Heidi Julavits, author of Directions to Myself.

Friday, September 29 at 7PM Spirit and Flesh: Our Bodies, Our Blackness, Ourselves St. Ann & the Holy Trinity Church, 157 Montague Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201-3587 Virtual attendance also available

In her stunning 2022 debut, This Here Flesh: Spirituality, Liberation, and the Stories That Make UsCole Arthur Riley weaves three generations of family tales and contemplative reflections on belonging, dignity, and liberation. She joins Tracey Michae’l Lewis-Giggetts whose books Then They Came for Mine: Healing from the Trauma of Racial Violence and Black Joy: Stories of Resistance, Resilience and Restoration celebrate Black Americans’ resilience in the face of racially motivated violence and healing to stave off further trauma. The amazing East Coast Inspirational Singers kick off this spirited event.

Friday, September 29 at 7PM The New Voices of Arab American Literature The City Reliquary, 370 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211

In the contentious battleground of political America, Arab American writers have strived to drown out the divisive rhetoric through compelling, evocative portraits of life in the Arab world, diasporic ache, and subversion of embedded stereotypes. We meet with five Arab American writers to learn the narratives that guide their work, how they write and recollect in America, and the place Arab American literature occupies in the larger literary zeitgeist. Panelists include George AbrahamAndrea Abi-KaramHala AlyanZein El-Amine, and Nadia Shammas. Moderated by Ghinwa Jawhari. Presented by Radix Media

Friday, September 29 at 7PM Literature to Life Presents: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning, 161-4 Jamaica Ave, Jamaica, NY 11432

Literature to Life’s thrilling adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel chronicles the life of Oscar, an overweight science-fiction enthusiast who dreams of becoming the Dominican J. R. R. Tolkien. Growing up in Paterson, he obsesses over fantasy novels, falling in love, and the curse that has plagued his family for generations. Encapsulating magical realism and Dominican-American history, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao presents audiences with an astonishing vision of the contemporary American experience as we come to understand the culture of fear and violence resulting from Trujillo's 30+ year dictatorship.

Friday, September 29 at 7:30PM Annual Brooklyn Indie Party! Greenlight Bookstore, 686 Fulton St, Brooklyn, NY 11217

On Friday night, Greenlight is delighted to once again partner with Community of Literary Magazines & Presses (CLMP), as well as some of Brooklyn’s best independent book and magazine publishers, to throw a Brooklyn-sized party celebrating the spirit of literary independence in our borough. Partygoers are invited to mingle with Brooklyn authors and publishers, discover new works, enjoy some excellently curated music, enter for a chance to win a gift bag of featured books and magazines, and kick off the Brooklyn Book Festival weekend!

Saturday, September 30 at 4PM Lab[our] Issue Launch The Center for Fiction, 15 Lafayette Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11217

In partnership with the Brooklyn Book Festival, Lampblack invites you to share in the launch of our third volume: Lab[our]. Merchandise and copies of the issue will be available for purchase, along with drinks at the Center for Fiction café. There will be live readings from the magazine, featuring t'ai freedom fordJames Stewart IIIMali Collins, and jamilah malika abu-bakare.

Saturday, September 30 at 4PM Can Science Fiction Change the World? Virtual

For decades, science fiction has heralded imaginative worlds, opened portals to multiple universes, and invented life and sentience in the unlikeliest of places. Through such rich worldbuilding, the genre has also offered a portentous sneak-peak at civilization’s progress: aggressive climate crises, technological advancement, increased isolation, autocratic governments. Yet, the genre has never been more popular in pop culture, across literature and visual entertainment. But if the future that the genre warned us about feels prescient, then how can science fiction remain a step ahead? Can it really change the world? Panelists include Rebekah BergmanLuke Dani BlueJustin C. Key, and Cadwell Turnbull. Moderated by Sheila Williams. Presented with Radix Media

Monday, October 2 at 6:30PM #YeahYouWrite Someday Bar, 364 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11217. Please reserve tickets in advance by emailing

#YeahYouWrite presents Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah (Chain-Gang All-Stars), Veronica G. Henry (The Foreign Exchange), Daniel Magariel (Walk the Darkness Down), Terese Svoboda (Dog on Fire), and James Frankie Thomas (Idlewild) in a friendly and relaxed yet high-energy atmosphere. Enjoy "The Bookend," a Brooklyn-sourced #LiteraryCocktail (and take home the recipe), plus #LiteraryCocktails/Mocktails designed for each author's work. Read your prose, odes, and anecdotes about Brooklyn at #OpenMic. Come for dinner—or not. There's no cover or minimum. Books for sale and signing from Greenlight Books.

Monday, October 2 at 6:30PM Awst Press in NYC Presents: Choice, Chance, Escape Pete's Candy Store, 709 Lorimer St, Brooklyn, NY 11211

Join up and coming indie publisher Awst Press for a celebratory reading showcasing Awst’s newest release Scenic Overlook, a stunning debut novel-in-stories by Brooklyn-based author Anne Ray. In addition to a warm reception, a lineup of Awst’s NYC-based authors will give readings exploring the hard choices, chance encounters, and new environments that forge our identities. Readers include Ray, Edward M. Cohen (Before Stonewall), poet and musician Andrew Yoon (We Are Invited to Climb), and Barrelhouse founding editor Mike Ingram (Notes from the Road).

Monday, October 2 at 7:30PM The Miss Manhattan Non-Fiction Reading Series Presents: New York Stories Niagara, 112 Avenue A, New York, NY 10009

Miss Manhattan is excited to join the Brooklyn Book Festival as an official Bookend event with Miss Manhattan Presents: New York Stories. Created to give non-fiction writers a louder voice in the New York literary scene, the Miss Manhattan Non-Fiction Reading Series is hosted and curated by Manhattan-based writer and photographer Elyssa Goodman. This reading will feature fabulous voices of nonfiction sharing their favorite New York Stories, recalling the city in all of its grit, glamour, and glory: Felicia Fitzpatrick (PlaybillTeen VogueThe A.V. Club); Maria Smilios (The Black AngelsThe GuardianThe Rumpus); and Jesse Rifkin (This Must Be the PlaceWalk on the Wild SideRolling Stone

Check the website for the weekend events – there is so much happening!