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Celebrate Black literary arts with an afternoon of author talks, readings, and performances at the Langston Hughes Community Library and Cultural Center. This year’s theme is Tell the Stories, Teach the History!

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LISSETTE ACOSTA CORNIEL is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Race and Ethnic Studies at the Borough of Manhattan Community College, CUNY, in New York City where she teaches Dominican History and the History of Latinos in the U.S.

JHENSEN ORTIZ is the Librarian at the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute Archives and Library where he manages the collection development and donations, related to the Dominican Republic and its diaspora, while also providing reference and instruction assistance. He holds an MLS/MA in Library and Information Science, and History from Queens College, CUNY and a BA in History from The City College of New York.

EARTHA WATTS HICKS is the founder of Earthatone Publishing and Earthatone Books. She is a fiction fellow at the Hurston/Wright Foundation and the Center for Black Literature’s North Country Institute and Retreat for Writers of Color, among other honors. Watts-Hicks leads writing and publishing workshops for the New York Public Library, The National Writers Union, and The New York City Parks Department. She recently published Graffiti Mural, a collection of poetry and short stories. 

MARC W. POLITE is a poet and essayist, born and raised in Harlem, New York. He writes about social concerns, labor issues, film, technology, and literature. His cultural criticism appears in numerous publications, including The Amsterdam News, Poets & Writers, Black Star News, TIME Magazine, among numerous others. Polite is also the founder and editor-in-chief of the blog Polite On Society, and the author of Everything to Learn, Nothing to Teach, Poetic Ruminations: Volume 2, and The Binge Watcher’s Guide to Black Mirror

MINNETTE COLEMAN is an Atlanta-born Harlem resident and member of the prestigious Harlem Writers Guild. The author of three extraordinary historical novels, The Blacksmith’s Daughter, No Death by Unknown Hands, and The Tree: A Journey to Freedom, Coleman has also been published in the Quaker Higher Education Journal and the Killens Review of Arts and Letters. She is currently working on what she calls an African American future-history novel.  

ELIZABETH NUNEZ is the author of a memoir and ten novels, four of which were selected as New York Times Editors’ Choices. Nunez has won the PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Award, a Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, an American Book Award, and a NALIS Lifetime Literary Award from the Trinidad and Tobago National Library. She is a cofounder of the National Black Writers Conference and executive producer of the CUNY-TV series “Black Writers in America.” Nunez is a Distinguished Professor at Hunter College, where she teaches fiction writing. She divides her time between Amityville and Brooklyn, New York. 

CLEYVIS NATERA was born in the Dominican Republic, migrated to the U.S. at ten years old, and grew up in New York City. She holds an MFA from New York University. Her writing has won awards and fellowships from PEN America, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, The Kenyon Review’s Summer Writers Workshops, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. She lives with her husband and two children in Montclair, New Jersey. Neruda on the Park is her first novel. 

MAISY CARD is the author of These Ghosts are Family: A Novel and a public librarian. She holds a fiction MFA from Brooklyn College and an MLIS from Rutgers University. Her nonfiction has appeared in Lenny Letter and is forthcoming in School Library Journal. Her short fiction has been published by Sycamore Review, Ampersand Review, and elsewhere. Born in St. Catherine, Jamaica, Card was raised in Queens, New York. 

REGINA BERNARD-CARREÑO is a New York City-based writer and professor with an MA in African American Studies and a PhD in Urban Education. She teaches at the School of Professional Studies (CUNY), but previously served as Baruch College’s Chair of Black and Latino Studies. She has led reading groups at the Center for Fiction and book clubs for children across New York City. She has published three books on feminism, Black Studies, and Nuyorican Poetry and is currently at work on several projects.


Saturday, October 22

Author Talk with Lissette Acosta Corniel: “Elena: Running to Dance and Other Defects in Colonial Santo Domingo” (Moderated by Jhensen Ortiz)

Open Mic: Presented by the Harlem Writers Guild

A Panel of Contemporary Caribbean Novelists: Presented by The Center for Fiction (Moderated by Regina Bernard-Carreño)

Richard Wright’s Black Boy: A Literature to Life Adaptation for the Stage 

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Funding is provided in part by the Library Action Committee of Corona-East Elmhurst, Resorts World Casino, NYS Education Department Special Legislative Grants from Assemblyman Jeffrion L. Aubry, discretionary funds from NYC Coalition of Theaters Initiative, Council Member Francisco Moya, and Queens Borough President Donovan Richards.