September 2014, Volume 18, Number 3

Cultural Spotlight


Literary Extravaganza Returns in November

Miami Book Fair International will cast its wide spell over book lovers of all ages this fall as it rolls out the 31st edition of this storied event on Nov. 16-23 at Miami Dade College.

Books, Culture Abound

Presented by The Center for Literature and Theatre @ MDC, this year’s Fair once again will attract hundreds of thousands of visitors to its events, which are recognized as the nation’s finest and largest literary gathering. Last year’s Fair featured more than 500 authors representing 25 different countries, nearly 700 literary sessions and presentations, more than 250 exhibitors, dozens of venues in and around Wolfson Campus, more than 8,500 books given away free to local schoolchildren and more than 1 million books for sale. The 2014 iteration promises to pack as much literary fun and excitement during its eight-day run.

A highlight of the Fair is its Evenings With series, featuring talks by bestselling authors Alexander McCall Smith, Patricia Cornwell, Anne Rice and many more, in addition to hundreds of dynamic writers including prominent academician and activist Dr. Cornel West, actor John Cleese and acclaimed Ibero-American authors. Visitors can also look forward to the ever-popular Street Fair, Children’s Alley activities, and a multitude of cultural presentations and live performances.

A New Chapter

Along with these perennial favorites, Miami Book Fair International is introducing several exciting new components this year, including PlayTime, an international children’s theater festival presented by Teatro Prometeo, and The Swamp, a pop-up lounge featuring live music and writers whose works explore the beauty, contradictions, uniqueness and weirdness of life in the Sunshine State. Both of these innovative additions to the Fair are made possible by a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, as part of its Knight Arts Challenge.

The Ibero-American authors program will include a series commemorating important literary figures, such as Gastón Baquero, Gabriel García Márquez, Octavio Paz and Julio Cortázar, in addition to a first-ever children’s literature symposium and a colloquium on the Spanish language and literary events with anticipated participation of representatives from book fairs in Colombia, Argentina, Spain, Mexico and Los Angeles.

Tell Your Story

Also new to Miami Book Fair International this year is 6WordsMiami, a community project in partnership with South Florida’s National Public Radio Station WLRN. Everyone is invited to submit their six-word stories – whether it’s a memoir, fiction, fantasy or other – though the Fair hopes some are inspired by Miami life.

A 6WordsMiami reading will take place at the Fair, but in the months prior, WLRN will offer radio segments on #6WordsMiami stories and their writers. Some stories will be paired up with original photography and published in a limited-edition postcard set.

Submissions will be accepted in English, Spanish or Creole. There is no limit to how many stories one submits. Submissions will be accepted through Oct. 1 at, and as well as through social media (@MiamiBookFair and @WLRN) using the hashtag #6WordsMiami.


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