It's that time of the year where the community comes together for the love of literature, music and a damn good time for all. Beautiful minds from all over the world gather in Miami to share their creations with us, and it's one of the neatest events in the city.
Inaugurated in 1984, this tradition is still as strong as ever, as every November at the Miami-Dade College Wolfson Campus, usually 300+ authors arrive to share their creations. But, this year, it's said to be even bigger, even better. With over 500+ authors coming to the city, this event made sure to have something for everyone! From topics such as race relations, children's books, cultural commentary, LGBTQ, Romance, American History to African-American History, you'll want to be apart of this event.
This isn't just a simple book fair, rather a major event. You have their, An Evening With event, and it starts off on November 4th with the one and only Ta-Nehisi Coates. This National Book Award winner has produced some of the most important literature in the African-American community. Recently, he released, "The Water Dancer" and he plans to spend the evening reading and examining a variety of letters from The Underground Railroad Records, which Coates researched for The Water Dancer. The Underground Railroad Records contains a collection of first-account narrative slave letters. Letters from the book will be displayed in the Center's Knight Concert Hall lobby for guests to view and immerse themselves in a bit of history. Be smart and buy your tickets while you still can!
That's only the beginning, though! This event gains even more momentum with An Evening With Samantha Power, Bari Weiss, Eve Ensler, Richard Russo, Pat Mitchell, and so much more! If you've always wanted to spend some time with Tony Award-winners, New York Times writers, a Pulitzer Prize-winner, along with many other once in a lifetime speakers, this is certainly your chance.
If that's not enough, if you're a live music lover, you're in for a treat with The Porch! With local talent including DJs, bands, funky-nerdy literacy events and a large scale art exhibitions, you can't miss out on a good time such as this. This book fair is more of a live literary event unlike anything you've experienced. The Porch is a musical delight that's well worth the vibe, as their beer bar features brews by Miami's own Biscayne Brewery! The beer mixed with good food from the food court, you'll be in heaven!
Authors to attend this event:
Hanif Abdurraqib: In Go Ahead in the Rain: Notes to A Tribe Called Quest Hanif Abdurraqib traces the seminal rap group’s creative career.
Cedella Marley: Get Up, Stand Up is Cedella Marley’s inspirational adaption of the song by Bob Marley that teaches children to counter injustice,and lift others up with kindness and courage.
Lauren Duca: In How to Start a Revolution: Young People and the Future of American Politics, Teen Vogue columnist Lauren Duca shares a smart and funny guide and a much-needed reminder that young people are the ones who will change the world.
T'ai Ford: T’ai "Freedom" Ford’s second collection of poems, & more black, is direct, ingenious, vibrant, alive, queer, & BLACK.
Kwame Alexander: Kwame Alexander's children's book The Undefeated, is a love letter of a poem written about black life in the United States.
Kyandreia Jones: The year is 1781. YOU are James Armistead, a brave, literate enslaved person living in Virginia in Kyandreia Jones’s Choose Your Own Adventure SPIES: James Armistead Lafayette.
Reginald Dwayne Betts: Felon, from Reginald Dwayne Betts, tells the story of the effects of incarceration in fierce, dazzling poems.
Adrienne Brodeur: Adrienne Brodeur’s memoir, Wild Game: My Mother, Her Lover, and Me, is a daughter’s tale of living in the thrall of a magnetic, complicated mother.
Staceyann Chin: Powerhouse, world-renowned LGBTQ poet and spoken-word artist Staceyann Chin curates the first full-length collection of her poems Crossfire: A Litany for Survival.
Franny Choi: She's a writer of poems, essays, and plays! Her book of poems, Soft Science, explores queer, Asian American femininity.
Jennine Capo Crucet: In My Time Among the Whites: Notes from an Unfinished Education, a candid collection of essays, first-generation American Jennine Capó Crucet explores the condition of finding herself a stranger in the country where she was born.
Mona Eltahawy: The Seven Necessary Sins for Women and Girls is Mona Eltahawy‘s bold and uncompromising feminist manifesto that shows women and girls how to defy, disrupt, and destroy the patriarchy by embracing the qualities they've been trained to avoid.
The Miami Book Fair even has programs that help the community in more ways that one! Check it out:
Speak Up: This is a teen initiative focused on supporting the artistic, personal and professional growth of teenagers by offering creative writing workshops, quarterly open mic, and a youth slam poetry program.
You can register your teen to the Speak Up program starting January 2020.
The Emerging Writers National Fellowship Program: This program is aimed at increasing equity and representation in the literary sector by support new literary voices.
The 305 Genius Factory: This gem is a multidisciplinary creative writing program and learning center to empower under-resourced children and teens.
World in Translation: This is a series of cultural events and activities designed to expand the audience for works in translation, exposing South Floridians and visitors to an even greater range of international authors.
This is just a taste, as there are award-winning authors lined up for this event! They even have the ReadCaribbean, authors, books and programs for the LGBTQ+ community, an outdoor art exhibit, and Judaic themes & topics, just to name a few. You can tell they made sure to make this event extremely diverse, which is a breath of fresh air. Whether you're an avid book lover, food & music enthusiast, or just someone looking for programs for their family, you'll find all of this in one spot, all week. The festivities start on November 17-24, and the street fair starts on November 22-24!
Needing tickets? All Book Fair events requiring tickets are indicated throughout the Fairgoer's Guide by the ticket icon. Buy them HERE.