The Miami Book Fair International, celebrating its 30th Anniversary this year, will not only host a ton of books both new and used, major and underground – there’s also extensive programming that will likely cause bibliophiles to salivate.
Throughout the week of the fair, a slew of notable authors (more than 400) will be speaking about their work, and panels will be held on a wide range of literary subjects.
Here’s a selection of who and what you should definitely check out on the weekend of the fair:
Saturday, November 23, 10:00 AM
Sharon Olds won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for her book of poetry titled Stag’s Leap. Considered one of the most important living poets, her confessional verse addresses love, sex, and relationships – and the sorrow and pain that comes with loss. Olds will be speaking alongside Mary Jo Salter and August Kleinzahler, two award-winning poets in their own right.
Saturday, November 23, 12:00 PM
Known for crime novels that leap out of the genre’s boundaries as well as other works of fiction, Paul Auster creates characters and plots that resound with themes of existential dread and the search for meaning. His work is considered singular and in a niche of its own. Auster will speak about his most recent autobiographical work, titled Report from the Interior.
Saturday, November 23, 4:30 PM
T.D. Allman is an American freelance journalist who’s written on a wide array of subjects – he exposed the U.S. government’s secret war in Laos, he’s interviewed countless world leaders, and he also wrote a portrait of our own uncanny city called Miami: City of the Future. His most recent work is titled Finding Florida: The True History of the Sunshine State, which acts as a revisionist tale that challenges long-held assumptions about the development of Florida. He’ll be speaking about this work.
From Banned to Blowing Up: The Graphic Novel Explosion in Libraries
Saturday, November 23, 4:30 PM
Graphic novels have become an accepted part of literature – major collections, libraries, and academic programs have to started to address the art of the graphic novel like never before. A discussion will be held regarding the history of the form with Robin Brenner teen librarian at the Brookline Public Library in Massachusetts, Karen Green, librarian at Columbia University; Rich Johnson, founder of Penguin/Berkley’s Inklit graphic novel imprint; and George O’Connor, author of the popular graphic novel series, Olympians. Heidi MacDonald, editor-in-chief of The Beat, will moderate.
Sunday, November 23, 10:30 AM
The Dominican-American author Junot Diaz crafts genre-bending fiction that is equal parts smart, tender, dark, and hilarious. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for his book The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Diaz embraces a universe of influences – life in Latin America, comic books, the immigrant experience – and sculpts incredible prose that is dazzling as much as it is heart-wrenching. Diaz will be speaking about his latest work, titled This is How You Lose Her.
Sunday, November 24, 4:30 PM
Richard Blanco is a prize-winning poet who grew up in Miami. In 2012 he read for Barack Obama’s second inauguration, the first inaugural poet who was Latino and openly gay. His poems not only deal in contemporary issues of homosexuality, identity, and family – they are filled with landscapes of sadness and longing that are deeply affective. It’s best to let the bard speak for himself:
“The sea is never the same twice. Today
the waves open their lions’ mouths hungry
for the shore, and I feel the earth helpless.”
(Some Days the Sea, from his book Looking for the Gulf Motel)
Blanco will be speaking about his recent work For All of Us, One Today: An Inaugeral Poets Journey
Sunday, November 23, 2013, 11:30 AM
Richard Blanco joins two other renowned poets – Robert Pinsky and Campbell McGrath – for a panel discussion on their work and the generational difference that they each represent. Pinsky, the poet, essayist, and critic, will talk about his book Singing School: Learning to Write (and Read) Poetry.
McGrath, an acclaimed Miami-based poet and professor at FIU, will speak about his poetry collection In the Kingdom of the Sea Monkeys: Poems. Blanco will be addressing his book Looking for the Gulf Motel.
Sunday, November 24, 5:00 PM
Sam Lipsyte is an American novelist and short-story writer whose characters are often delusional, disgruntled, and engaged in highly imaginative and weirdly desperate situations.
His books, including The Ask and last year’s The Fun Parts, communicate in a variety of styles and registers, and are both despairing and fun to read.
Lipsyte will be autographing books, so if you haven’t done so, pick one or two up.