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A Tin House Guide to the Brooklyn Book Fest, with Book Fest Bingo!

Fall in Brooklyn means pigeons clad in back-to-school finery, Park Slope kids high on the scent of new pencils, and most of all, the Brooklyn Book Festival. The 2012 festival goes down this Sunday, September 23rd, from 10 A.M.- 6 P.M., with “Bookend” parties and events happening now through Saturday night. On the big day proper, Tin House will be reppin’ at booth #36. Stop by to check out our latest titles, score a copy of the Portland-Brooklyn issue, and hear what’s new with our Summer Writer’s Workshop.

In honor of the occasion, we’ve created the Tin House Brooklyn Book Fest Bingo Board below. Think of it as part taxonomic guide to the Fest’s wildlife, part checklist of what to do. Print out a copy or pick one up from our booth. (Here’s a link to a printable BBF Bingo Board.) Then, find five in a row of the listed Book Fest sightings and bring your board back to us. If you’re one of the first three people to do so, you’ll score the awesome swag below. Photo documentation of your spottings is highly encouraged, and may appear here on the blog; undocumented BINGOs will be subject to waterboarding gentle interrogation by Tin House interns before said swag is awarded.

The Mindblowing Prizes!
1st: A one-year subscription to Tin House, plus copies of What Happened to Sophie Wilder, Misfit, and Parsifal, all in a tote!
2nd: A one-year subscription, plus one of the three books!
3rd: A one-year subscription!

But the Tin House booth is just one proverbial narwhal in a veritable sea of fantastic offerings at the Fest. Here’s a sampling of the other events and booths I’m most stoked to check out:

1:00 P.M. The Other Coast: Stories from L.A.
(Brooklyn Borough Hall Courtroom, 209 Joralemon Street)
Emma Straub, Seth Greenland, and Karolina Waclawiak are your spirit guides on a literary exploration of that most inscrutable and mysterious of territories: Los Angeles.  Hear how the other coast lives as they read from and discuss Laura Lamont’s Life in Pictures, The Angry Buddhist, and How to Get Into the Twin Palms.


A sure sign of Team Billy Collins

2:00 P.M. Poets Laureate Past and Present
(Brooklyn Borough Hall Courtroom, 209 Joralemon Street)
Former American Poet Laureate and benevolent soul-at-large Billy Collins reads with the Tina Chang, Brooklyn Poet Laureate, and NYC Youth Poet Laureate Ishmael Islam in a confluence of varied American poetic voices to do Whitman proud. Introduced by Alice Quinn. Oversized “Team Billy Collins” foam fingers encouraged.

2:00 P.M. Literary Lions
(Saint Ann and the Holy Trinity Church, 157 Montage Street)
In this megawatt panel, Brooklyn residents past and present Paul Auster, Edwidge Danticat, and Pete Hamill take to the stage to read and answer questions. (For you self-identified lost tourists from the BBF Bingo Board, this is your opportunity to use the Q&A to ask which train will get you back to the Times Square Hyatt.)

3:00 P.M.: Worlds Built over Time
(Saint Francis Auditorium, 180 Remsen Street)
At last year’s Fest, Adrian Tomine signed an Optic Nerve boxed set for me in perfect, tiny script at the Drawn & Quarterly booth. In retrospect, I fear that my expansive praise and broad interpretation of the tenets of personal space put Mr. Tomine on edge.  I hope to make it up to him this year by restraining myself to intense and meaningful gazing from the audience as he takes part in the Worlds We Built panel with fellow illustration powerhouses Jaime Hernandez (Love and Rockets), Carla Speed McNeil (Finder), and Gabrielle Bell (The Voyeurs). Respectful distance, folks, respectful distance!

3:30 A Fiction Triumverate: McFadden, Oates, Whitehead
(Saint Ann and the Holy Trinity Church, 157 Montage Street)
The Brooklyn Book Fest always hosts a handful of panels whose combined lit celeb power is weapons-grade.This is one such panel. Introduced by Tin House editor Rob Spillman, A Fiction Triumverate features Joyce Carol Oates, Colson Whitehead, and Bernice L.McFadden. I’d be glad to watch them do the Times crossword or eat noodles, but all stops will be pulled as they read from their work and answer questions.

5:00 P.M. Enduring Unlikable Women
(Saint Francis Screening Room, 180 Remsen Street)
Dana Spiotta, Gilbert Hernandez, and our own Elissa Schappell converge for a reading and a discussion of “difficult” women characters, the notions they trouble, and, I hope, an unpacking of the b.s. that is that appellation. This totally unbiased source would be hard-pressed to think of a better set of authors to take this on. Bonus points if you wear your VIDA t-shirt for the occasion.

5:00 P.M. The Poet Novelist
(St. Francis McArdle, 180 Remsen Street)
Perhaps you’re like me; perhaps this summer, you spent all of an 8-hour flight downing Leaving the Atocha Station and then floating somewhere above your own vacation in a state of supreme linguistic and social hyper-awareness. Even if you somehow (somehow!) skipped this experience, you won’t want to miss Ben Lerner, Eileen Myles, and Sapphire as they talk about writing lives lead in both poetry and prose.

Other Book Fest stops to make include, but are hardly limited to, Ugly Duckling (for The Selected Poems of Hamster!), New Directions (for the latest on a new Cesar Aira release!), Melville House, A Public Space, and Electric Lit.

Come rain or shine, we’ll see you there!

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