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Bronx Literary Festival 2014


May 17, 2014

Program Locations:

For all ages


Bx Lit Fest


Litfest Welcome

Storyteller Thelma Ruffin Thomas, Artistic Director for Pearls of Wisdom Storytellers will tell stories involving the audience in interactive “Raps” -great family fun!

Storyteller Thelma Ruffin Thomas
Storyteller Thelma Ruffin Thomas is a retired librarian who worked for The New York Public Library for 33 years and began telling stories professionally over a decade ago. Ms. Thomas is the Artistic Director of the Pearls of Wisdom, member of the National Association of Black Storytellers, The Storytelling Center, Inc.,The Network of Biblical Storytellers, Inc., Black Librarians Caucus, Harlem Arts Alliance and one of the founding members of African Folk Heritage Circle. Thelma is also the recipient of the 2011 ORACLE Award presented to her by the National Storytelling Network for her outstanding dedication and hard work in the storytelling community.

Rafael Landron reads from his bilingual children’s book Beba y la isla nena

Rafael Landron is a spoken word poet and author. His bilingual children’s book Beba y la isla nena chronicles the social movement of Vieques P.R. through the eyes of a manatee named Beba. Rafael is an adult educator at Boricua College where he finds inspiration and believes that creativity and imagination will end militarism.

Teen Writing Workshop with Advocate of Wordz
This workshop for high-school students will offer an introduction into writing and performing poetry as well as explore poetry’s  role in everyday life.

Advocate of Wordz is an acclaimed Performing Poet, Actor, Comedian, Teacher and Film Director. He is a resident artist with Lincoln Center and the Nuyorican Poets Cafe. His work has been written about and featured in many major publications including the LA Times, Fox News, Univision & PBS. He has a published book of poetry entitled Advocate Of Wordz: A book of poetry and other creative nonsense that is imperative to your life, which is available on Amazon.

Women Writing Workshop with Peggy Robles-Alvarado & Lorraine Currelley
The Untamed Woman, a writing workshop that explores the power of the female voice through writing and recitation.

MAD About Dance
MAD About Dance is an energetic and multi-ethnic modern dance company known for its varied repertoire, ranging from colorful theatrical pieces to the abstract, uniting classical and contemporary dance in exciting ways. It is dedicated to presenting accessible works focusing on experiences that connect us all. The repertoire is a rich cross-section of works including collaborations with composers, writers and other artists.

Youth Will Be Served: Safe Spaces for Creative Young Minds
How can young people benefit from participating in writing and poetry programs? This panel will explore how various community organizations are engaging young minds and expanding vocational and creative arts opportunities.
Panelists: Charlie Vázquez, Bronx Writers Center; Maya Nussbaum, Girls Write Now; and DK Wright, Urban Word. Facilitator: Gary Johnston.

Readings by Ernesto QuinonezBodega Dreams and Chango’s Fire and  poet MariposaBorn Bronxeña: Poems on Identity, Love & Survival

Ernesto Quiñonez’s first novel Bodega Dreams, has become a landmark in contemporary literature. It is required reading in many high schools and colleges around the country and in 2004, it was heralded as a “New Immigrant Classic” by the New York Times. He is first and foremost married to the novel, though he has been known to have flings with screenplays and other Hollywood literary floozies. In 2005, he released his second novel Chango’s Fire .

Puerto Rican poet and performance artist Mariposa María Teresa Fernández was born and raised in the Bronx. The first in her family to graduate from college, she earned a BA and an MA at New York University. In her poems, which often combine Spanish and English lines, Mariposa explore themes of empowerment, family, and identity. She is the author of Born Bronxeña: Poems on Identity, Love & Survival (2001). Her poetry has been included in The Norton Anthology of Latino Literature (2010, edited by Ilan Stavans), The Afro-Latin@ Reader: History and Culture in the United States(2010, edited by Miriam Jiménez Roman and Juan Flores), and Bum Rush the Page: A Def Poetry Jam (2001, edited by Tony Medina and Louis Reyes Rivera).

Open mic hosted by Bridget BartoliniFive Boro Story Project
On-site registration. All ages welcomed.

Bridget Bartolini is an educator, storyteller, and Founder of the Five Boro Story Project, an initiative that produces community events to showcase stories and art inspired by the neighborhoods of New York City. She produces free, hyper-localized public programs that create opportunities for New Yorkers to connect to our neighborhoods and our neighbors through stories, song, poetry, dance, film, and discussion about the places where we live. The programs aim to strengthen community connections, preserve local history, challenge negative perceptions of the outer boroughs and marginalized areas, and celebrate the diverse neighborhoods of NYC. 

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