By Samantha Samel
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Books and bridges have long been defining components of Brooklyn’s identity, characterizing this scenic literary hub. A consummate mix of some of the borough’s finest qualities, Books Beneath the Bridge is the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy’s free summer literary series at which local, independent bookstores curate outdoor readings that include a Q&A and book signing with featured authors.
Now in its third season, Books Beneath the Bridge, whose lead sponsor is AT&T, takes place on Mondays through Aug. 11 at Pier 1’s Granite Prospect. Each participating bookstore has the chance to curate its respective events, which begin at 7 p.m.
“We are pleased to be hosting Books Beneath the Bridge again this year as part of our free summer programming lineup,” said Nancy Webster, executive director of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy. “This event has quickly become one of our most anticipated programs at the park and we are happy to be welcoming yet another impressive lineup of authors this summer.”
Participating bookstores — which include Freebird Books, Greenlight, WORD, the powerHouse Arena, BookCourt and Community Bookstore — have the opportunity to curate their respective evenings by selecting a theme and authors of their choice.
In addition to hearing renowned authors read from their work, guests will have the opportunity to ask questions during Q&A and meet the authors during a book signing following the reading. Some readings will feature music and group drawing sessions and all are framed by views of the sunset against the New York Skyline. Each event is free and open to the public.
"One of the best things about being an independent bookstore in Brooklyn is getting to collaborate with new independent businesses that make the borough unique,” said Stephanie Valdez, co-owner of Community Bookstore. “In that spirit, we've asked the new Morbid Anatomy Museum, an arts organization opening in Gowanus dedicated to exploring where art and medicine and death and culture interlace, to curate a Morbid Anatomy reading with us."
The remaining events for this summer’s program include:
July 21: The powerHouse Arena
“My Salinger Year” by Joanna Rakoff
“The Vacationers” by Emma Straub
July 28: Community Bookstore Park Slope
A Night with the Morbid Anatomy Museum: Readings from the Morbid Anatomy Anthology featuring Michelle Legro, Colin Dickey, and Evan Michelson.
August 4: WORD Brooklyn
Retelling Tales with Kate Bernheimer and Genevieve Valentine
August 11: BookCourt
Sackett Street Writers' Workshop: Marie-Helene Bertino, Scott Cheshire, Robin Elizabeth Black, Courtney Elizabeth Mauk, Julia Fierro