2009 Fort Greene Park Summer Literary Festival

laurie_ftgreeneSaturday, August 22nd, marked the Fifth Annual Fort Greene Park Summer Literary Festival. The crowd gathered under ominous skies, hoping that the rain would hold off long enough so that the show, featuring literary stars Touré, Staceyann Chin, and  Colson Whitehead reading along with the kids and teens from the Fort Greene Park Summer Creative Writing Workshops, could go on.

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kora_playerBut then,  Master of Ceremonies Laurie Cumbo taught us the “sunshine dance,” and the clouds moved on.

The Lit Fest began with a beautiful performance by master kora player, Yacouba Sissoko.** **

There were lots of smiles and tons of applause as the writers from the 2009 Fort Greene Park Summer Youth Creative Writing Workshops kicked off the reading portion of the program.

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Tayon regist, Age 6

Tayon Regist, Age 6

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Our youngest writer, Tayon Regist (age 6) read  his poem ” My Heart.” 

My heart is red

My heart is a toy

My heart is beeping

My heart is love.

L to R: Najaya Royal (age 12) and Annaliese Treitmeier-McCarthy (age 13)

Left to right: Najaya Royal (age 12) and Annaliese Treitmeier-McCarthy (age 13)

Two veterans of the Fort Greene Park Workshops and Literary Festivals, Annaliese Treitmeier-McCarthy (age 13) and Najaya Royal (age 12) , condemned prejudice and social injustice in their powerful pieces.

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From left to right: Toure, Stacyanne Chin and Colson Whitehead

From left to right: Toure, Staceyann Chin and Colson Whitehead

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After a short snack break (tasty milk & cookies for the crowd,  generously donated by the popular Fort Greene restaurant, Rice) another local favorite took the stage.  Author, journalist, and CNN correspondent Touré read a farcical tale about a superhero with a magic afro fighting racism on the very real streets of Brooklyn.

Staceyann Chin electrified the crowd with a reading of two pieces from her recently released memoir, The Other Side of Paradise.

Another Fort Greene local, the amazing Colson Whitehead treated the crowd to two pieces – a brilliantly comical tribute to T.S. Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” and an equally hilarious and poignant excerpt from his novel, Sag Harbor.

Fort Greene Lit Fest Writers

Fort Greene Lit Fest Writers

Colson Whitehead, MC Laurie Cumbo, Staceyann Chin, and Touré pose with some of our young writers. It was a magical day, filled with impossibly beautiful music, poetry and prose, milk and cookies, and plenty of sunshine!

Photos : Melissa Cahill, Melanie Votaw and Leanne Stahnke

About the Festival

The Fort Greene Park Summer Literary Festival was presented by NY Writers Coalition, Akashic Books, GTHQ and the Fort Greene Park Conservancy, with additional support from The Walt Whitman Project.

Sponsors include  State Senator Velmanette Montgomery, Time Warner, the Hot Topic Foundation, Independence Community Foundation, the Valentine Perry Snyder Fund,  and the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation.

Some coverage of the Lit Fest:

NY Times

Dumbo Books of Brooklyn

Photo Gallery:

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Anwen Burns

Anwen Burns

Samori Covington

Samori Covington

Staceyann Chin

Staceyann Chin

Karen Marks

Karen Marks

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Our young writers

Our young writers

Toure & our young writers

Toure & our young writers

Toure and Colson Whitehead

Toure and Colson Whitehead

Ft. Greene Summer Literary Festival 2009

Ft. Greene Summer Literary Festival 2009

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