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Toxic Masculinity: Where Do We Go From Here?

PEN America and the Brooklyn Book Festival present “Toxic Masculinity: Where Do We Go From Here?” hosted by the New York Public Library. Brendan Kiely, author of recently released Tradition, Yahdon Israel, writer and creator of Literaryswag, Lynn Melnick, author of the new poetry collection Landscape with Sex and Violence, and Donna Freitas, author of Consent on Campus: A Manifesto will join in conversation to discuss the ways they as writers and activists have reckoned with #MeToo, toxic masculinity, rape culture, and privilege, as well as where they think we need to go from here. Panelists will consider the literary world and the roles authors and journalists have to play in giving voice to and supporting those who have been silenced and are now speaking up.


Donna Freitas is the author of Consent on Campus: A Manifesto, out this September, and the forthcoming memoir from Little, Brown, Consent: A Manifesto of Unwanted Attention. She’s lectured on her research about sex, relationships, and consent on college campuses and nearly two hundred universities across the United States. She is also the author of 11 novels for young adults and children, including The Healer out from Harper in October. She is a professor at Adelphi University and lives in Brooklyn.

Brendan Kiely is the New York Times best-selling author of Tradition, All American Boys (with Jason Reynolds), The Last True Love Story, and The Gospel of Winter.


Yahdon Israel is a writer and the creator of Literaryswag, a cultural movement that intersects literature and fashion to make books cool. He has written for Avidly, The New Inquiry, Brooklyn Magazine, LitHub, and Poets and Writers. Yahdon is the Awards VP of the National Book Critics Circle, the host of the Literaryswag Book Club, a monthly book club that’s free and open to public and the host of LIT, a weekly web series about books and culture.

Lynn Melnick is the author of the poetry collections Landscape with Sex and Violence and If I Should Say I Have Hope. Her poetry has appeared in APR, The New Republic, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Poetry, and A Public Space. A former fellow at the New York Public Library’s Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers, she also serves on the Executive Board of VIDA: Women in Literary Arts.