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PEN America at the 2017 Brooklyn Book Festival

Photo of crowds at the Brooklyn Book Festival market

This fall, PEN America is proud to take part in the 2017 Brooklyn Book Festival, with Bookend events in Manhattan and Harlem, a timely panel on free speech vs. safe space, and an active presence on the day of the Festival. 

The Brooklyn Book Festival gathers the brightest literary minds for the largest free literary event in New York City. The week kicks off with Bookend Events, a week-long series of literary celebrations across the five boroughs in bookstores, parks, bars, ferries, and other venues. The week culminates on Sunday, September 17 with nearly 100 programs staged at the Brooklyn Borough Hall.

PEN America is thrilled to take part in this week-long celebration of the literary community. Be sure to stop by our booth in the Literary Marketplace for the chance to meet PEN America Staff, learn more about our work, and receive discounts on your membership and PEN America publications. The full schedule of events we are taking part in is below.

Monday, September 11: We, Too, Sing America: Celebrating Langston’s Legacy
6:30PM. Langston Hughes House, East 127th St. 
Free with RSVP
Calling on talented poets from across New York City, PEN America and the I, Too, Arts Collective will present an evening of poetry in the Langston Hughes House in Harlem. This inter-generational event will feature youth poet laureates Sharon Lin, Nkosi Nkululeko, and Trace DePass, along with poets Ellen HaganHaydil HenriquezVincent Toro, and dance/poetry duo Nia & Ness, all of whom will bring Langston’s legacy to life: filling the brownstone with light, life, and poetry.

Wednesday, September 13: Between the Lines: My Soul Looks Back with Jessica B. Harris
6:30PM, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, 515 Malcolm X Blvd. 
Free with RSVP
The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and PEN America present Jessica B Harris, preeminent culinary scholar of the African Diaspora, cookbook author, and journalist, who has penned a memoir about a time in her life shaped by romance and friendships and chance encounters with cultural icons James Baldwin, Maya Angelou and Nina Simone. Harris will be in conversation with Chef Carla Hall, co-host of ABC’s popular Emmy award-winning lifestyle series The Chew. A book signing will follow.

Friday, September 15: PEN America and Catapult Present the Best Debut Short Stories of 2017
6:30PM. Housing Works Bookstore Cafe, 126 Crosby St. 
Free with RSVP
This event celebrates the publication of the PEN America Best Debut Short Stories 2017 anthology, which collects twelve award-winning stories as inaugural recipients of the inaugural PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers. Yuka Igarashi, series editor, and Nadxieli Nieto, PEN Literary Awards Manager, will introduce the evening, which will feature readings from 2017 award winners Angela AjayiAmber CaronEmily ChammahJim ColeCrystal Hana KimSamuel Clare KnightsGrace Oluseyi, and Amy Sauber. Copies of the anthology will be sold to benefit Housing Works.

Sunday, September 17: Free Speech vs. Safe Space: A Panel Discussion on the Great Campus Divide 
3PM. Brooklyn Law School Moot Courtroom, 250 Joralemon St.
PEN America and the Times Literary Supplement co-present this conversation on recent polarizing debates surrounding controversial speakers, trigger warnings, open discourse, and confrontations over safety and free speech. Stig Abell moderates the discussion with Jelani Cobb,  staff writer for The New Yorker and Professor of Journalism at Columbia University; Michelle Goldberg, author and senior contributing writer for Slate; and Suzanne Nossel, Executive Director of PEN America.