February 2016, Volume 20, Number 1

Cultural Spotlight

Center of the Literary Universe

The 32nd annual Miami Book Fair presented another unforgettable year of programming, with more than 700 authors taking part in this one-of-a-kind cultural and educational experience.

Hundreds of thousands of visitors flocked to MDC’s Wolfson Campus in Downtown Miami to experience some of the country’s most talked-about, compelling and thought-provoking authors and works of late, including presentations by Tom Brokaw, Joyce Carol Oates, Edwidge Danticat, David Axelrod, Jesse Eisenberg, Peggy Noonan, Amy Tan, Paul Giamatti, Alan Dershowitz,  Jorge Ramos and Charles Hashim, to name a few. In addition, the Fair’s Ibero-American Program featured more than 80 authors from Spain and Latin America.

The range and caliber of authors who contribute to the Fair are part of the reason this MDC event continues to grow in both stature and popularity with the literary world and the general public alike. Both PBS and C-SPAN broadcast live from the Fair throughout the eight-day event.

Other Highlights of the 2015 Fair included the continuation of an exciting new partnership with the National Book Foundation, which brought award winners, finalists and other nominated authors of the National Book Award to the Fair for a thrilling evening of presentations.

Art and engaging activities also abounded at two of the Fair’s newer venues – The Swamp and The Porch. These community gathering spaces pop up just for the Fair, offering everything from live bands and DJs to poetry readings, film installations and storytelling competitions.

And, of course, the ever-popular Street Fair brought book lovers, families and local schoolchildren by the thousands to Wolfson Campus for presentations by their favorite authors along with storytelling, theater and other kid-friendly activities aimed at sparking young readers’ imaginations and igniting a love of literature.

Literature in Bloom Year-Round

The Miami Book Fair offers multidisciplinary, reading- and writing-inspired programs throughout the year, including these upcoming spring events:

  • Monthly First Draft literary socials in English and Spanish (Tomate una copa y escribe mejor)
  • Creative writing and publishing workshops, including screenwriting and nonfiction in English and Spanish (starting in February)
  • The Big Read, a community reading and multidisciplinary exploration of Edwidge Danticat’s National Book Award-winning Brother, I’m Dying (March 1-31)
  • A new partnership with the National Book Awards featuring a reading with the winners of the 5 Under 35 award (April 14)
  • The Writer’s Institute, intensive writing and publishing with Terrence Hayes, Smith Henderson, Daína Chaviano (Spanish), The Book Doctors and others (May 4-7)
  • A performance by Ranjana and Adrian Castro that meshes traditional Indian dance and Afro-Caribbean-influenced poetry
  • The Working Poet Radio Show featuring the Dark Noise Collective
  • A spring festival featuring authors from Spain at Koubek Center
  • Poetry performances in Spanish, including a reading by Paz Poetry Prize winner Carlos Pintado, during Palabra Viva Weekend

— AMS


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