The Brooklyn Book Festival celebrated its 7th year this past Sunday with a full slate of events for the lit-loving public. Tens of thousands of people descended on Downtown Brooklyn to check out some of Brooklyn's best authors, publishing houses, and literary magazines. It was one of those beautiful September days that makes you happy to be outside, especially when being outside means getting to listen to noted Shakespeare aficionado Tony Danza (seriously, he was quoting Shakespeare while being interviewed by Marty Markowitz) talk about his new book.
We've put together a slideshow of some of the best things we saw on Sunday. And there were SO MANY things to choose from. So, we might have missed a few big events, but it was still a good day.
Philip Levine, U.S. poet laureate for 2011-2012, participated in a panel of poets that attracted hundreds of people who queued up chaotically in Borough Hall's rotunda. Many (including us!) had to be turned away. "I thought I was the only one who liked poetry," one lady in line said. "That's what everybody thinks," a man told her.
Billy Collins, poet laureate from 2001 to 2003, also participated in the popular panel.
Cartoonist and author David Rees: "You could stab yourself right here and not get lead poisoning."
The monster in Victor LaValle's buzzy horror novel The Devil in Silver was inspired by a painting his friend made of a part-buffalo monster-creature. "For some reason," he said, "my wife and I thought we should hang it up in our house."
J.R. Angelella is the author of Zombie, which is about metaphorical zombies. "The people who hate the book most are the people for real zombies," he said. "They get so angry."
In the panel Who? New! five debut novelists were asked to read from their work. Kathleen Alcott: "Oh, honey. I know you only hurt me to teach me a lesson."
Ms. Alcott also writes for The Rumpus.
Mr. Danza was discussing his new book about his time as a teacher. But he was also spontaneously quoting Shakespeare and espousing his support for the teacher's union: "I'm a union guy, I can't help myself. If you chart the decline in reading and the decline in unions the last thirty years, it all adds up."
Barry Lyga read an excerpt of his latest novel I Hunt Killers off of an iPhone. "Oh, I have all my books right here," he told the crowd. "Thanks, Steve Jobs. Wherever you are."
Illustrator and graphic novelist Adrian Tomine signed copies of his new collection New York Drawings with individual sketches.
Denis Lehane with Amelia Gray and Sapphire, discussing violence in their work. Amelia Gray: "I just finished a short story in which...God, I don't I should say, there's too many kids around. But it involves cutting off body parts and sowing them back on..."