JOIN NOW > CONTRIBUTE >

GET OUR UPDATES

At Home in the World: On Writing, Immigration, and Belonging

Thursday September 14, 2017
07:00 pm

Tags: Event

Photos


 

As part of the of the Brooklyn Book Festival's Bookend events we partnered with the National Book Critics Circle to present authors Rumaan Alam, Nicole Dennis-Benn, Garnette Cadogan, Rigoberto Gonzalez, and Porochista Khakpour. They discussed immigration, Brooklyn/New York as a global center, and finding home as a writer. Moderated by NBCC board member Walton Muyumba

 

This is an official 2017 Brooklyn Book Festival event. Learn more about this year's festival here!


 




 

Rumaan Alam is author of the novel Rich and Pretty (HarperCollins, 2016). His writing has been published in New York Magazine, Los Angeles Review of Books, The Wall Street Journal, The Rumpus, Washington Square Review, Gettysburg Review, American Short Fiction, and elsewhere. He started his career in fashion publishing at Lucky magazine, has written extensively on interior design for Domino, Lonny, Elle Decor, architecturaldigest.com, and elsewhere, and has worked in advertising as a copywriter and creative director. He studied at Oberlin College, and lives in New York.

 

Garnette Cadogan is an essayist. He is a Martin Luther King Jr. Visiting Scholar (2017-2018) at the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at MIT, a Visiting Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture at the University of Virginia, and a Visiting Scholar at the Institute for Public Knowledge at New York University.

 

Nicole Dennis-Benn is the author of the debut novel, Here Comes the Sun (Norton/Liveright, July 2016). Dennis-Benn is a Lambda Literary Award winner, named by Time Out Magazine as an immigrant making a stamp on New York City. Her debut novel has received much acclaim including: a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, a NPR Best Books of 2016, an Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Entertainment Weekly, and Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2016, a BuzzFeed Best Literary Debuts of 2016, among others. Dennis-Benn's debut novel has received a starred Kirkus review and is deemed one of the best books to read this summer and beyond by New York Times, NPR, BBC, BuzzFeed, Book Riot, Bookish, Miami Herald, Elle, O Magazine, Marie Claire, Entertainment Weekly, Flavorwire, After Ellen, BookPage, Cosmopolitan, Brooklyn Magazine, among others. New York Times book reviewer, Jennifer Senior describes Here Comes the Sun as a “lithe, artfully-plotted debut”; Pulitzer Prize finalist, Laila Lalami, as well as Booklist have deemed it a "fantastic debut"; and Man Booker Prize winner, Marlon James says “[Here Comes the Sun] is a story waiting to be told”. Dennis-Benn was shortlisted for the Texas Library Association 2017 Lariat. She has been named a finalist for Lambda Literary Award, the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, the National Book Critics Circle John Leonard Award, and The New York Public Library Young Lions Award. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, ELLE Magazine, Electric Literature, Lenny Letter, Catapult, Red Rock Review, Kweli Literary Journal, Mosaic, Ebony, and the Feminist Wire. Her writing has been awarded a Richard and Julie Logsdon Fiction Prize; and two of her stories have been nominated for the prestigious Pushcart Prize in Fiction. Vice listed Dennis-Benn among immigrant authors "who are making American Literature great again."

 

Dennis-Benn has an MFA in Creative Writing from Sarah Lawrence College where she now teaches as a Visiting Faculty in the MFA Fiction Program. She is also a Visiting Faculty and Writer in Residence in City College's MFA Program; and has been awarded fellowships from MacDowell Colony, Hedgebrook, Lambda, Barbara Deming Memorial Fund, Hurston/Wright, and Sewanee Writers' Conference.

 

Dennis-Benn was born and raised in Kingston, Jamaica. She lives with her wife in Brooklyn, New York. 

 

Rigoberto González is the author of four books of poetry, most recently Unpeopled Eden, which won the Lambda Literary Award and the Lenore Marshall Prize from the Academy of American Poets. His ten books of prose include two bilingual children's books, the three young adult novels in the Mariposa Club series, the novel Crossing Vines, the story collection Men Without Bliss, and three books of nonfiction, including Butterfly Boy: Memories of a Chicano Mariposa, which received the American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation. The recipient of Guggenheim, NEA and USA Rolón fellowships, a NYFA grant in poetry, the Shelley Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America, The Poetry Center Book Award, and the Barnes & Noble Writer for Writers Award, he is contributing editor for Poets & Writers Magazine and writes a monthly column for NBC-Latino online. Currently, he is professor of English at Rutgers-Newark, the State University of New Jersey, and the inaugural Stan Rubin Distinguished Writer-in-Residence at the Rainier Writing Workshop.

 

Porochista Khakpour's debut novel, Sons and Other Flammable Objects, was named a New York Times Editor's Choice, one of the Chicago Tribune's Fall's Best and won the 2007 California Book Award winner in the First Fiction category. Her honors include fellowships from the NEA, the Johns Hopkins University Writing Seminars, Northwestern University, the Sewanee Writers' Conference, Ucross, and Yaddo. Her second novel The Last Illusion was one of 2014’s most anticipated books. She is working on a children’s book for Civil Coping Mechanisms’ new imprint WHITE RABBIT. HarperPerennial will publish her memoir Sick: A Life of Lyme, Love, Illness, and Addiction in 2017.

 

Walton Muyumba is author of The Shadow and the Act: Black Intellectual Practice, Jazz Improvisation, and Philosophical Pragmatism (University of Chicago Press). His work has appeared in Oxford American, The Chicago Tribune, The Crisis, The Dallas Morning News, The Los Angeles Review of Books, The New York Times, New Republic, and The Atlantic, among other outlets. Muyumba has published scholarship in The Cambridge History of American Poetry, College Literature, The Oxford Handbook of Critical Improvisation Studies, The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics, and Trained Capacities: John Dewey, Rhetoric, and Democratic Practice. He sits on the National Book Critics Circle Board of Directors and is an Associate Professor of American and African Diasporic literature at Indiana University-Bloomington.