Brooklyn’s Book Festival brings reading fanatics together


Jahlil Rush | The Ticker

Jahlil Rush, Production Assistant

This year’s Brooklyn Book festival hosted multiple events that brought book lovers and reading fanatics together for a week-long celebration from Sept. 26 to Oct. 4.

The festival had events that were held in a hybrid format and all outdoor speaking events and booths were held at the Brooklyn Borough Hall Plaza.

Those who attended needed to show proof of vaccination and adhere to New York City’s COVID19 guidelines. Booths dedicated to providing vaccinated people proof were held in three different areas of the festival site and attendees were given a green bracelet to wear as vaccination proof.

The festival provided people with a diverse collection of reading materials. Judy C. Andrews, author of  the novel “An Ocean of Jewels,” noted the importance of conducting local events like the Brooklyn Book Festival.

“Festivals like these are extremely important,” she said. “Not only for older people who love reading but also for younger people as well.”

Andrews also touched on how a local literacy festival like Brooklyn’s can be beneficial to a new generation of Black and Brown writers and authors as the festival provides platforms for them to highlight their work.

The concept of the festival was formed in a government office when former Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz teamed up with Johnny Temple of Akashic Books, Tourism and Public Event Director Carolyn Greer and Arts Advisor Liz Kochto see how Brooklyn could celebrate and promote more reading.

Panels covered a variety of literacy genres from non-fiction to poetry. Some of the panels held during the festival included “Between the lines: Stories from the Underground, a panel dedicated to discussing the arrival of the book of the same name. It was hosted by Emma Straub, the author of “All Adults Here” and Min Jin Lee, the author of “Pachinko.”

Author and poet John Keene told Thirteen that he was happy to participate in the event again because it allowed him to reconnect with other authors and meet new ones.

“It was a pleasure to participate again, and it provided me with an opportunity to see Touré, whom I hadn’t even run into for over two decades, meet Hari Kunzru, whose work I deeply admire, and be in conversation with one of my former professors, A. M. Homes. I also was excited to see the sizable crowd too,” Keene said.

In a borough where arts and culture are known for taking top priority, the Brooklyn Book Festival is a testament to how local organizations can do great things.