Caribbean events and panels at the Brooklyn Book Festival

Below are a list of Caribbean-related events and panels before and during the Brooklyn Book Festival this Sunday, 18 September. The list may be incomplete. Events are listed in chronological order, with location noted at the end of each description. Of special note are two “Bookend” events: “Write This in Fire” on Wednesday, 14 September, 6:30pm and “Readings, Rum & Reasoning” on 17 September, 7pm. More information available at the Brooklyn Book Festival’s site.

All events free unless otherwise noted.

**Bookend events** 


Write This in Fire: Bocas Presents Five Burning Voices from the Caribbean
Wed, 14 September, 6:30pm
Old Stone House
336 3rd St, Brooklyn, NY 11215

Celebrated Jamaican writer Olive Senior, winner of the 2016 OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature, heads a lineup of extraordinary, incendiary Caribbean writers of prose and poetry. Also featuring Tiphanie Yanique of the US Virgin Islands (author of Wife, winner of the OCM Bocas Prize for poetry), and Jamaican Jacqueline Bishop, (The Gymnast and Other Positions) winner of the OCM Bocas Prize for non-fiction, alongside two searing talents from Trinidad: prizewinning fiction writer Sharon Millar (The Whale House) and poet Shivanee Ramlochan (featured in the anthology Coming Up Hot).

More info here

Edward Paulino at Grandchamps Kitchen & Market
Wed, 14 September, 6:00pm
Grandchamps Kitchen & Market
197 Patchen Avenue, Brooklyn, NY

Celebrate the publication of Dividing Hispaniola and discuss the border campaign against Haiti with Edward Paulino, assistant professor of history at CUNY John Jay and cofounder of Border of Lights, an organization that promotes solidarity between Haitians and Dominicans. Grandchamps Author Spotlight is an open discussion of literary works highlighting Haitian affairs. Writers, scholars, and folks of the community gather for a conversation over Haitian fare  at Grandchamp Kitchen & Market.


Cuban Heavy Metal Sci-Fi: An Evening with Yoss
Thu, 15 September, 8:00pm
ISSUE Project Room
22 Boerum Place, Brooklyn

One of Cuba’s bestselling science fiction authors, Yoss is a notorious literary rocker, as the lead singer for Havana band Tenaz. Co-hosted by BOMB Magazine, ISSUE Project Room, and Restless Books, the event will begin with a discussion of the Cuban literary and metal scenes, and the role that science fiction plays in the culture. Then, Yoss takes the stage to perform some metal classics. Ticket price includes a free drink and a copy of Yoss’ intergalactic space opera, Super Extra Grande.

More info here.

Far From Home: Naomi Jackson and Masande Ntshanga in Conversation
Sat, 17 September, 3:00pm
Barnes & Noble
106 Court St
Brooklyn, NY 11201

Join hosts Africa is a Country and Chimurenga Magazine for a conversation between two acclaimed writers—Naomi Jackson, whose The Star Side of Bird Hillwas longlisted for the NBCC’s John Leonard Prize and the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize, and winner of the PEN International New Voices Award, Masande Ntshanga (The Reactive)—to be streamed live on Pan African Space Station.

More info here.


Readings, Rum & Reasoning – A Caribbean Literary Lime
Sat, 17 September 7:00pm
South Oxford Space
138 South Oxford Street, Brooklyn, NY 11217

Whether it’s the fantastic or the realistic, six Caribbean writers gather to reason and lime about how writers shape society and how society shapes what they write. Featuring Imam Baksh (Guyana), Nicole Dennis-Benn (Jamaica), Bernice L. McFadden (US/Barbados), Carol Ottley-Mitchell (St. Kitts – Nevis), Elizabeth Nunez(Trinidad & Tobago), Olive Senior (Jamaica). Co-presented by Caribbean Cultural Theatre, Caribbean Reads, and Read Jamaica in celebration of the 10th Anniversary Season of the Poets & Passion – A Caribbean Literary Lime. And yes, we have rum…

More info here.


**Festival events**

Brooklyn Book Festival
Sunday, 18 September 2016
More information:


The Legacy of Octavia Butler presented by Greenlight Bookstore

Octavia Butler’s classic novel Kindred is nearing its 40th anniversary, and its narrative exploring slavery through time remains strikingly relevant. As a black woman who used science fiction and fantasy to address race and social issues, Butler is increasingly recognized as a vital and empowering voice in literature and culture. Contemporary writers and artistsJohn Jennings (Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation), Daniel José Older(Shadowshaper), Ben Winters(Underground Airlines) and Ytasha L. Womack (Afrofuturism) discuss Butler’s influence on their own work, and the significance of writers of color and social justice movements in genre fiction.
Borough Hall Courtroom, 209 Joralemon St


Exile, Within and Without

There are various kinds of exile—from one’s country, one’s community, even oneself. Join Cameroonian Patrice Nganang, author of Mount Pleasant; Jamaican Olive Senior, author of The Pain Tree; and South African Imraan Coovadia, author of Tales of the Metric System, for a discussion of the ways, large and small, exile and displacement inform their work. Moderated by Anderson Tepper.
Borough Hall Media Room, 209 Joralemon St

Who? New!

Each season, the Brooklyn Book Festival chooses five debut books to present as books that we think should not be missed! This year we feature JJ Amaworo Wilson(Damnificados), Natashia Deon (Grace),Matt Gallagher (Young Blood), R.J. Hernández (An Innocent Fashion)
and Jessica Winter (Break In Case of Emergency). Novelist Emma Straub, (Modern Lovers)
will introduce the authors who will read from their novels.
Main Stage, Columbus Park


Brutally Honest: Real-World Destruction in Literature

Fiction has increasingly become an outlet for writers worldwide to work through cultural pain, and to search for insight into the traumatic events that saturate media headlines. Jonathan Lee (High Dive) infuses a historic bomb plot in Thatcher’s England with new life, empathy, and interest; Karan Mahajan (The Association of Small Bombs) dissects the long term effects of terrorism on both the victims and the perpetrators; and Sharon Millar (The Whale House) tackles class divides and social tumult in modern day Trinidad. Moderated by Anna North, (The Life and Death of Sophie Stark).
Brooklyn Law School Student Lounge, 250 Joralemon St

New Works: A Poetry Reading

Poets Camille Rankine (Incorrect Merciful Impulses), Ocean Vuong (Night Sky with Exit Wounds), Monica Youn (Blackacre), and Rickey Laurentiis (Boy With Thorn) will read from their recently published volumes of poetry. Moderated by Ricardo Alberto Maldonado, 92nd Street Y Unterberg Poetry Center.
Main Stage, Columbus Park


The Racial Realities of Fiction presented by the Times Literary Supplement

Stig AbellThe Times Literary Supplementeditor, leads a conversation with T. Geronimo Johnson (Welcome to Braggsville), best selling author Esmeralda Santiago (Conquistadora) and debut novelist Ali Eteraz (Native Believer) in a conversation about race in their novels, in culture and in contemporary society in America and the UK.
Borough Hall Courtroom, 209 Joralemon St


You Can’t Make This Stuff Up

“Write what you know” takes on new meaning in recent releases by NYT bestseller Charles Bock (Alice and Oliver), novelist and short story writer Elizabeth Crane (The History of Great Things), and NAACP Image Award Finalist Bernice L. McFadden (The Book of Harlan). These novelists borrow from their own personal histories to weave beautiful, heartbreaking stories that are both intimate and universal. Moderated by Tiphanie Yanique (The Land of Love and Drowning).
Brooklyn Historical Society Library, 128 Pierrepont St


From Sci-Fi to Meta (and Heavy Metal): New Dimensions in Latin American Fiction

From the futuristic fantasies of Cuban writer and rocker Yoss (Super Extra Grande) to the metafictional twists and turns of Mexican author Álvaro Enrigue(Sudden Death) and Chilean Carlos Labbé(Loquela), contemporary Latin American fiction continues to surprise and astonish in new ways. Bolaño translator Natasha Wimmer leads a conversation with these groundbreaking authors.
Borough Hall Media Room, 209 Joralemon St

Magic and Mayhem in New York

NYT bestselling author Libba Bray (Lair of Dreams: A Diviners Novel) moderates a discussion on the mystique, mythology, magic, and mayhem of New York, and how the city can shape a story and its characters with authors Marina Budhos(Watched), Daniel José Older(Shadowshaper), and Sarah Porter (Vassa in the Night).
Saint Ann’s School Rotunda

We the People

First and second generation immigrants and refugees, documented or not, are living in communities across America. Through their memoirs of migration, authors Kao Kalia Yang (The Song Poet) and Dan-el Padilla Peralta (Undocumented: A Dominican Boy’s Odyssey from a Homeless Shelter to the Ivy League) and José Orduña (The Weight of Shadows: A Memoir of Immigration and Displacement) talk candidly about adapting to and confronting American life. Moderated by Moustafa Bayoumi.
Brooklyn Law School Moot Courtroom, 250 Joralemon St


On Identity and Sexuality

To what extent do discriminatory politics, social and cultural distinctions, and immigration oppress and build individuality? Join Malaysian writer Tash Aw, author of The Face: Strangers on a Pier; Jamaican-born Nicole Dennis-Benn, author of the debut Here Comes the Sun; and Swedish writer Jonas Hassen Khemiri, author of Everything I Don’t Remember, for a conversation about the freedoms and burdens of identity and sexuality and the ways in which they intersect in their work. Moderated by Emily Raboteau.
Borough Hall Media Room, 209 Joralemon St

Source Texts

In Salman Rushdie’s Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight NightsElizabeth Nunez’s Even in Paradise and Michael Seidlinger’s The Strangest, there are echoes of Scheherazade’s One Thousand and One Nights, Shakespeare’s King Lear, and Camus’s The Stranger, respectively. How close the author plays to a text, and how much she or he departs, varies. Join us in a discussion about choices in using a literary classic as a muse. Moderated by Baz Dreisinger (Incarceration Nations).
St. Francis College Auditorium, 180 Remsen St