After a summer of free outdoor writing workshops, young authors from the New York Writers Coalition will present their work to veteran writers at the 8th annual Summer Literary Festival in on Saturday, August 18.
Professional writers such as Earl Lovelace, author of "It's Just a Movie," Tayari Jones, author of "Silver Sparrow," and Jessica Hagedorn, author of "The Gangsters of Love, have been guiding the students for six weeks while they work on fiction, non-fiction, poetry and other genres.
The founder and Executive Director of the NYWC, Aaron Zimmerman, said the festival's goal is to highlight the neighborhood's literary significance by inviting established and aspiring writers to collaborate together.
“(We want) to give back to the community and honor the history of Fort Greene as a literary neighborhood,” he said.
And that history is a long and storied one. Literary stars such as Walt Whitman and Richard Wright, as well as modern writers such as Jhumpa Lahir and Jennifer Egan, have called this section of Brooklyn home. And their influence has not just been one of words.
“(Whitman) was instrumental in getting Fort Greene Park built,” said Zimmerman.
The aspiring wordsmiths rage in age from seven through adulthood — at least officially.
“There have been a few six year olds who sneak into workshops with older siblings,” said Zimmerman.
Regardless of age however, the festival attracts hundreds of people into the park every year to enjoy literature and develop an appreciation for literature.
This year’s festival also celebrates Trinidad and Tobago’s 50th year of independence by inviting Trinidadian-native Lovelace, as well as famous steel orchestra band, CASYM.
The party continues at afterwards, with wine for the adults, lemonade for the children, as well as cake and book-signings.
The event takes place at Fort Greene Park at 3:00 p.m. Free.