Join us for the 9th Annual Fort Greene Park Summer Literary Festival on August 24!

Photo Credit: Melvin Reeves

Photo Credit: Melvin Reeves

Killer stoop sales, the Brooklyn Flea, and the saucy return of Habana Outpost are Fort Greene staples come summertime. But when it comes to a community tradition in this ever-changing neighborhood that readers and writers from all generations flock to, there’s very little that matches the power of NYWC’s Fort Greene Park Summer Literary Festival — and we’re back for our ninth installment on Saturday, August 24 @ 2:00 p.m.

Young writers from the NYWC summer youth workshops in Fort Greene Park will share some powerful poetry and prose alongside some of Brooklyn’s most prized literary talent that includes BlackGirl Mansion author Angel Nafis and members of The Writers Foundry Chris Adrian, Timothy Small, and Jackson Taylor — all inaugural faculty members of St. Joseph College’s new MFA program. Our Master of Ceremonies is Laurie Cumbo.

This event is free and open to the public, and the reading takes place at the monument (Rain location: Queen of All Saints Church at 300 Vanderbilt Avenue). For Lit Fest news and updates, check out NYWC’s Facebook page (“Like” us, even!) and read on for more information about our readers and the festival’s history.

9th Annual Fort Greene Park Literary Festival Reader Bios

Photo Credit: Gus Elliot

Chris Adrian is the author of three novels, Gob’s Grief, The Children’s Hospital, and The Great Night, and A Better Angel, a collection of short stories. His short fiction has appeared in The Paris Review, McSweeney’s, The New Yorker, The Best American Short Stories and other publications.  A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and a 2009 Guggenheim Fellow, Adrian also received his M.D. from Eastern Virginia Medical School  and attended Harvard Divinity School. He is currently in the pediatric hematology/oncology fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco. (Photo Credit: Gus Elliot)

Angel Nafis_180Angel Nafis  is from Ann Arbor, MI  and is a Cave Canem Fellow. Her work has appeared in numerous publications, including FOUND Magazine’s Requiem for a Paper Bag, DecibelsThe Rattling Wall,Union Station Magazine, GirlSpeak WebzineShe has participated in Women of the World Poetry Slam and the National Poetry Slam and is an Urban Word NYC Mentor. Angel lives in Brooklyn and founded the quarterly Greenlight Bookstore Poetry Salon Reading Series. She also eats insane amounts of dark chocolate + sea salt, hides out in her room making mobiles for grown folks, and listens to the same Prince song over and over. Check out Angel’s Tumblr here.

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Timothy Small is a fiction writer. He worked as a journalist at the East Hampton Star, a weekly newspaper on Long Island, for three years, and since 2010, has served as the mentorship coordinator at the PEN American Center’s Prison Writing Program. Holding a B.A. from New York University and an M.F.A. from The New School, he currently teaches writing to undergraduate students at St. Joseph’s College, and is at work on a novel.


Reader4_Jackson Taylor_180h

Jackson Taylor is the author of the novel The Blue Orchard. His poetry has appeared in Sleeping Fish, Barrow Street, LIT, Witness, and the anthology What’s Your Exit?: A Literary Detour Through New Jersey. For more than twenty years he has directed the Prison Writing Program at PEN American Center. In 1996 he co-founded the graduate writing program at The New School, and he has also taught at Mediabistro, The Fortune Society, Friends of Island Academy and the Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen.


About NYWC’s Fort Greene Park Summer Literary Festival

Drawing upon the rich and diverse literary history of Fort Greene Park and its surrounding neighborhoods, The Fort Greene Park Summer Literary Festival provides a means for self-expression and creativity for the area’s young people, and builds community through arts and literature.  The young writers come from all over New York City, but specific outreach is made to economically disadvantaged communities, and many of the young people return to the workshops for many years.  The Lit Fest honors the power of the written word to build inclusiveness and give voice to the thoughts and experiences of everyone, not just the privileged and powerful.

Walt Whitman was instrumental in the park’s creation, and writers like Richard Wright, Marianne Moore, and many others wrote in the park. Many of the past featured writers live in the neighborhood, so Lit Fest helps reinforce the notion of Fort Greene as a literary community.

The Fort Greene Park Summer Literary Festival is presented by NY Writers Coalition, Akashic Books, Greenlight Bookstore and the Fort Greene Park Conservancy, with additional support from, Brooklyn Public Library, Queen of All Saints Roman Catholic Church, and The Walt Whitman Project. Sponsors include, Bay and Paul Foundations, City Council Member Letitia James, Kalliopeia Foundation, Meringoff Family Foundation, NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, Partnership for Parks, and Pinkerton Foundation, and Queen of All Saints Roman Catholic Church.

Special thanks to our media partners

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