In its second year, program will feature Colum McCann, Colson Whitehead, and Ayana Mathis, among others
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 summer literary series at which local, independent bookstores curate outdoor readings that include a Q&A and book signing with featured authors.
The Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy announced this week the summer 2013 program, which will begin on Monday, July 8, at 7 p.m. The series will run for six consecutive Mondays at Pier 1’s Granite Prospect, and is co-curated by bookstores in DUMBO, Red Hook, Fort Greene, Greenpoint, Park Slope and Cobble Hill.
“We are very pleased to be welcoming Books Beneath the Bridge back to our lineup of free events in Brooklyn Bridge Park this year,” said Nancy Webster, executive director of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy. “BBTB quickly became one of our most talked about events last summer and we couldn’t be happier with the lineup of authors for its second year.”
Among last year’s featured authors were Patti Smith and Martin Amis, and more than 2,500 bookworms came out to enjoy the scenic readings. This summer’s lineup includes National Book Award-winner Colum McCann, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Sharon Olds, and New York Times bestselling author (and Brooklynite) Ayana Mathis, among others.
“We've been looking forward to the return of Books Beneath the Bridge since our event last year; it was a huge success, and loads of fun – there's nothing quite like seeing nearly 300 people held rapt by your favorite authors,” said Jenn Northington, events director at WORD Bookstore. “The series is also one of the best examples I've seen of the big things that can happen when independent bookstores and neighborhood organizations team up.”
Each participating bookstore has the chance to curate its respective events, selecting a theme and author of its choice.
In addition to hearing renowned authors read from and discuss their work, guests will be treated to beautiful bridge views and sunsets. Some of the readings also will feature music and group drawing sessions. Each event is free and open to the public.
Event Details and Lineup
Monday nights, July 8 – August 12
Granite Prospect, Pier 1 – Old Fulton at Furman Streets
July 8: Freebird Bookstore
James Gulliver Hancock, “All the Buildings in New York: That I've Drawn So Far”
July 15: Greenlight
Poetry with Sharon Olds and Edward Hirsch
July 22: powerHouse Arena
Colum McCann, “TransAtlantic”
July 29: Community Bookstore Park Slope
Proust in the Park
A reading of Swann's Way in celebration of its 100th anniversary
August 5: WORD
5 Borough Blues
Colson Whitehead, Manhattan
Victor LaValle, Queens
Kevin Baker, Bronx
Alina Simone, Brooklyn
Shay Youngblood, Staten Island
August 12: BookCourt
Ayana Mathis, “The Twelve Tribes of Hattie”