Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sunday Morning in Downtown Brooklyn: The Brooklyn Book Festival at Borough Hall and Columbus Park

We shook off the complacencies of the peignoir to get to Borough Hall on time for the 10 a.m. opening of the Brooklyn Book Festival.
It started to rain presently, and not everyone was as prepared as this young booklover.

Here are our friends from Poets & Writers, in whose magazine we published stuff like a report on the South Florida literary scene and how we publicized our first book, which came out in 1979 before these people were born.

We love the Brooklyn Public Library and have written a love note to it in the form of a short story.

We also love The Authors Guild, which we joined in November 1978. We were so excited that we were eligible when we got the contract for our first book. We've taken advantage of many Authors Guild benefits, like its program for out-of-print books and their reduced prices for authors' websites. We paid our dues last week!

In 1982, after our second book "of literary merit" was published, we were so excited to be asked to join PEN. We served in the 1980s on the Committee for the PEN Fund for Writers and Editors with AIDS headed by its founder, our friend Gregory Kolovakos and have often gone to PEN events like the annual PEN World Voices Festival - and this year, even to the formal annual membership meeting.

The classy famous blogger and book-biz reporter Ed Champion was interviewing a distinguished literary personage as we passed by.

We love the Novel-T literary baseball T-shirts. They asked us to do a reading at an event last May
at the powerHouse Arena, a great bookstore and space on Front Street in the heart of Dumbo.

Other great Brooklyn indie bookstores were at the fair, like the Greenlight Bookstore on Fort Greene's Fulton Street

and Greenpoint's Word Bookstore, our favorite Franklin Street haunt.

The Council of Literary Magazines and Presses, CLMP, used to be the CCLM, the Coordinating Council of Literary Magazines back in the day when we spent hours in their little-mag library on Eighth Avenue and Fourteenth Street and were a preliminary judge in their 1977 college literary magazine contest.

One of those literary magazines which started publishing us in the mid-1970s was Brooklyn's Hanging Loose, which spawned one of the best small presses we know. We're proud the magazine printed four of our stories over the years.

These nice people at The Avery Anthology published one of our stories in their first issue in 2006, and they managed to keep going strong despite that.

BOMB Magazine is one of the great literary magazines we know from the old days. They always were smart enough to reject our submissions and accept those of our more talented friends.

We like Tablet and Nextbook even though they don't recognize us as a Jewish writer. These are, after all, the Days of Awe.

And awe is basically the only reaction you can have to the Brooklyn Book Festival, right?

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