The write stuff: Literati gather Downtown for Book Fest

The write stuff: Literati gather Downtown for Book Fest
Stacks on stacks: Bookseller Sydney Garcia peddles her wares at the Brooklyn Book Festival outside Borough Hall.
Photo by Alexa Telano

This festival takes all types.

Bookworms swarmed Downtown on Sunday to celebrate the written word at the 10th edition of the Brooklyn Book Festival, and attendees said the best part of the event was getting their noses out of a book and hobnobbing with the people who write them.

“There’s just so many people, lots of interesting people,” said writer Catherine Kirkpatrick, who also showed off a number of books she had penned forewords for at a booth. “We had a Pulitzer-Prize-winning poet come by our table, which was really incredible.”

An estimated 40,000 people turned out to peruse books and journals at the open-air market stalls around Borough Hall Plaza, and listen to talks by local and visiting literati including Augusten Burroughs, Salman Rushdie, Joyce Carol Oates, Jonathan Lethem, and John Leguizamo (yes, the actor — he wrote a book) at nearby venues.

And it wasn’t just readers and writers having all the fun — publishing-industry pros say they yearly book bash is a great excuse to catch up with others in their field.

“It’s really great to have everyone from the publishing world in one place,” said Kendra Sullivan, who works with Lost and Found — a City University of New York program that unearths works from interesting and influential authors that otherwise might have gone undiscovered. “The festival allows for collaboration that would just be impossible by e-mail.”

Reach reporter Harry MacCormack at hmaccormack@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow him on Twitter @HMacBKPaper.