Bronx Book Festival to bring together borough’s literary community

The Bronx is writing a new chapter.

The inaugural Bronx Book Festival will take over Fordham Plaza on Saturday, with readings, book signings, open mics and more that spotlight the local book community.

Here are a few highlights of the all-ages festival:


9:50 a.m.

The festival kicks off with authors Daniel José Older (“Shadowshaper Cypher” series and “Star Wars Last Shot”) and Elizabeth Acevedo (“The Poet X”) in conversation with festival founder Saraciea Fennell, touching on topics such as literature access for underserved communities. Older and Acevedo will also do short readings.

The Immigrant Experience

11 a.m.

Rakesh Satyal (“No One Can Pronounce My Name”) and Ibi Zoboi (“American Street”) talk with Whitney Hu of the National Book Foundation about their and their families’ immigrant experience and how that informs their writing.

Evolving Stories of the Bronx

1 p.m.

Two Bronx authors from different generations — Arlene Alda (“Just Kids from the Bronx”) and Charles Rice-Gonzalez (“Chulito”) — will discuss how the borough has and hasn’t changed.

YA Rising: New Voices of Young Adult Fiction

2 p.m.

Young adult fiction continues to attract teens and adults, and six YA authors who have recently published will take a look at current trends of the genre as well as writing for today’s teens.

Resistance Through Art

3 p.m.

Authors Raquel Cepeda (“Some Girls” and “Birds of Paradise”), Sofia Quintero (“Show and Prove”) and Emi Valerio (“Say Yes to You”), Mosaic Literary Magazine publisher Ron Kavanaugh and moderator Henry Obispo, founder of Born Juice, talk resistance and art under the current administration.

We, Too, Sing America

5 p.m.

The festival will close with a celebration of Langston Hughes’ legacy and honor the borough’s spoken word poetry culture with an intergenerational open mic featuring Haydil Henriquez, Lacresha Berry and Roya Marsh.


The Bronx Book Festival is May 19 from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. at Fordham Plaza | FREE, registration opens at 9 a.m. | visit thebronxisreading.com for full schedule