New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

The Brooklyn Book Festival: A must-visit for literary lovers

New York’s largest free literary festival is back and better than ever, running through Oct. 2 with fun events and a massive marketplace for replenishing your book collection.
The Brooklyn Book Festival, the largest free literary festival in New York, is back. (Courtesy of Brooklyn Book Festival)

The Brooklyn Book Festival is every literary lover’s dream. The nine-day event includes intimate talks with authors, stacks of books from hundreds of sellers, and several virtual readings. Founded in 2006, the Brooklyn Book Festival seeks to provide a literary event to all New Yorkers. Although it started as a one-day event, the festival has since expanded into a free celebration that lasts over a week. 

This week of heaven for bookworms is full of virtual engagement opportunities and more than 50 literary events scattered throughout Brooklyn’s neighborhoods. 

The Festival’s overarching goal is to be “hip, smart, diverse.” In doing so, many of the week’s events touch on themes of social justice and the role of artists in a changing world. 

The Festival’s “Bookend events,” which are events highlighted throughout the week, center around the role of art in an ever-evolving society. The events discuss a broad range of topics — from a feature of an ekphrastic, feminist rendition of Stephen King’s “The Shining” to a panel about sci-fi fiction’s capacity to enact social change, the Festival is sure to please people from all walks of life. 

One such event was the New York Waterfront Diary at the Invisible Dog Art Center panel, which took place on Sept. 24 with photographer Sophie Fenwick, curator Sean Corcoran, writer Eddie Joyce, oral historian Nicki Pombier and poet Silvina López Medin. 

 In the midst of the Invisible Dog Art Center’s current organic matter-themed gallery filled with wax renditions of coral and seagrass, the esteemed panel gathered to discuss Fenwick’s recently published photographic and literary project: “The New York Waterfront Diary.” The panelists discussed the collection of New York waterfront photographs and poems Fenwick had gathered since the 1990s, highlighting the ever-present but always-changing waterfront of New York. 

If you can’t attend a Bookend event or just simply want to add to your own book collection, the Festival Day & Literary Marketplace on Oct. 1, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., is the perfect event. The Festival Day & Literary Marketplace will be situated around the Brooklyn Borough Hall area, where there will be countless events such as artist panels and live readings throughout the day. These events will run in the midst of the Literary Marketplace, a local and national bookseller extravaganza with over 200 sellers. 

Whether you make the trip to learn about New York’s ever-changing sociology at a Bookend Event, or to get lost in the Festival Day stacks, the 2023 Brooklyn Book Festival will certainly not disappoint.

Contact Tess McLafferty at [email protected].

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