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The Harlem Book Fair comes to Rutgers in Newark

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New Jersey’s largest city already is home to arts and cultural venues, six universities and the Dodge Poetry Festival, and many of the state’s largest corporations.  Now, Newark will join an elite group of cities  -- New York; Philadelphia; Washington, D.C.;  Boston; Los Angeles; Hempstead, NY; and Atlanta -- as partner to  the most lauded and well-attended African American literary events in the United States, the Harlem Book Fair. 

The Harlem Book Fair (HBF)-Newark launches on Friday and Saturday, April 27 - 28, 2012 as a dynamic multi-cultural community based literary festival that has as its theme “Let us Read.” The book fair will engage families, avid readers, aspiring writers and visitors to the city. 

In addition, HBF-Newark will host the first annual Newark Literacy Awards program on Friday evening, April 27, which will recognize Newark-based literacy organizations and their effective impact on the Newark community. Stay tuned for further details.

 Dr. Clement A. Price, Rutgers Board of Governors Distinguished Service Professor, is chairperson of the Newark fair, while Wilma Grey, director of the Newark Public Library, is event director. A partial list of local participating authors include Benilde Little, Moody Holiday, Anasa Maat, Valerie Wilson Wesley, playwright Richard Wesley, and poet and essayist, Amiri Baraka.  The HBF-Newark, which will be held rain or shine, is free, expects to attract 5,000 people and will showcase up to 100 exhibitors. Most events will take place on the Rutgers-Newark Paul Robeson Center and outdoor plaza.

Friday’s event schedule, titled “Family Fun,” will run from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., and target students, parents and educators in the following fun-filled activities:

§ Young Reader’s Alley, a world of reading and learning focused on children’s and young adult literature

§ Art to Books – a gallery display by book illustrators

§ Street Fair with more than 100 exhibitors selling books for all tastes and ages

§ Storytelling, teaching signing books

§ Book drive, used book sales

Saturday’s event schedule will run from 10 – 6 p.m. and will feature authors, poets, illustrators and entertainers in the following activities:

§ Flash Fiction – a short fiction reading contest

§ Special exhibits on various topics of literacy education, and events including

§  A look at Hip Hop literature

§  Screenings of literary themed films

§  Sound stage

A final schedule will be posted online at  www.harlembookfair.com.  Questions about participation in the fair should be directed to Max Rodriguez, 914-231-6778.

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