By Marc W. Polite
Good afternoon, my readers. You have not seen a recap post from me in a very long time. Of course, we all understand why. When the pandemic hit last year, all literature-related events in person shut down and went exclusively virtual. The last time I went to this festival was back in 2019. Fortunately, in 2021, now a few events are beginning to take place. One of them was this past weekend’s Brooklyn Book Festival 2021, which I was fortunate enough to be able to attend.
Since this event was outside, I did a personal risk assessment and decided to go in person. I can tell you all that I am very glad that I did. This event was a big deal to me, especially considering not only all that has happened in the last year and a half. I would also like to note that this is the first in-person book-related event that I have attended since the Harlem Fine Arts Show in February 2020.
As in years past, the festival was held in downtown Brooklyn at Borough Hall. Luckily, the weather this past Sunday afternoon was conducive to people showing up for the fair. The booths were fairly spread out, and there were many vendors and publishing outlets present. I took the opportunity to venture around, and I saw a good combination of well-known vendors and some that I was previously unfamiliar with too. Among the ones I saw were the National Writers Union, Poets and Writers, Revolution Books, and Pathfinder Press. Some other outlets that I saw that were among those new (to me) are Duckett and Dyer, Power in the Pen, Too Far Media, Whiting Foundation, and the Cafe Royal Cultural Foundation. I also met Karen Taborn and Curtis Holmes, two authors who were present at the fair this past Sunday.
As advertised in previous blog posts, I was there tabling along with my fellow members of the Harlem Writers Guild. This is the first time we have gathered in person in a while as well. So in between the attendees visiting us at the booth, there was time to catch up. There’s no virtual substitute for this, at all.
Of course, I have been unable to promote books outside of virtual events until this festival. It was also the first time that I was able to promote my latest book, The Binge Watcher’s Guide to Black Mirror. I managed to get into some very interesting conversations at the booth, including discussions about artificial intelligence, video games, and sci-fi remakes. It felt like old times, masks aside. I want to thank everyone who took the opportunity to visit the Harlem Writers Guild booth this past Sunday afternoon. I am glad I was able to attend, and it is only right that I offer my readers here a quick recap of this event. Hopefully, as we head into 2022, there will be an opportunity for more events like this to return.
The next literary event that I have become aware of is this coming weekend’s El Festival Del Libro 2021. It will be at the El Barrio Artspace on October 8th and 9th. Until next post, peace.