John Leguizamo and Salman Rushdie will headline the 10th annual Brooklyn Book Festival.
The announcement was made by the Brooklyn Literary Council on Tuesday, June 16 at a gathering at the Brooklyn Historical Society organized by the council, one of the committees that organizes that festival, which invited literary figures to mingle, kick start the pre-festival revels, and find out which writers would appear at the September event.
The festival is held every year in the borough that bears its name and showcases authors from around the country for panel discussions and readings, among other activities.
“This is always our first big celebration for our authors,” said Liz Koch, one of the festival’s co-producers. “We let people know: start getting excited about the book festival.”
“I thought it was fun,” Ryan Chapman, the marketing director of BOMB Magazine, said about the event. “I’d say I’m more excited for the festival. Any event that brings the Brooklyn literary community together is great.”
The festival will take place September 14 to 21. Bookend events—literary parties, trivia, performances and more—will run each day, and 10 of them will be outside Brooklyn for the first time, for the 10th anniversary.
Also to commemorate the 10th anniversary, Koch and her fellow co-producer Carolyn Greer announced that the festival will have two feature days instead of the usual one, with children-focused events taking place at the MetroTech Commons on the 19th. The main festival event will be the day after at various venues in downtown Brooklyn where more than 300 authors from around the globe will be present, along with 200 local and national publications and bookstores.
“Every September, Brooklyn becomes the book capital of the world,” Greer said. “When we started, it was a few authors from Brooklyn. Now we have authors from countries around the world.”
Johnny Temple, the council chair and Akashic Books publisher, named more than 30 authors who will attend, including Pete Hamill (author of A Drinking Life), Joel Simon (executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists), and Edwidge Danticat (Brother, I’m Dying).
“I’m excited about seeing Lincoln Michel, Helen Phillips, [and] James Hannaham,” said Halimah Marcus, editorial director of Electric Literature.
According to Temple and Greer, the roughly 20 other council members invited authors in different genres that they focus on. Temple said that as a publisher he knew numerous authors and reached out to invite many of them.
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, who attended the festival last year, spoke after Temple announced the author line-up.
“This book festival is a major component,” Adams said. “Don’t move through it too quickly. Pause.”