Executive Director

Marc W. Polite 2nd pic for book 2

BRONX BOOK FAIR SPOTLIGHTS MARC W. POLITE

Today the spotlight is on Marc W. Polite, Founder and Editor in Chief of Polite On Society. I welcomed the opportunity to interview Mr. Polite. I admit I am an avid
reader of Polite On Society and have enjoyed reading articles written by Mr. Polite in numerous publications. We celebrate Mr. Polite because of his commitment to
community, excellent literary standards and reading and literary advocacy.  He’s the first person to be featured on our Spotlight On Community  Leaders. 

Marc W. Polite is the winner of a Best Blog Commentary Award from the New York Association of Black Journalists. He writes on issues concerning history, labor, and technology. He holds a Bachelor’s in Political Science and a Master’s in History from The City College of New York. Mr. Polite is the founder and Editor in Chief of Polite on Society, which won a Best Black Blog Award from the Historical Black Press Foundation for its social commentary, political analysis, and literary reviews. His commentary has been featured on The Grio, Race Talk Magazine, Time Magazine, Black Star News, BMORENEWS, The New England Informer, and The Atlanta Post. He is also the author of “Everything to Learn, Nothing to Teach” , a collection of essays on social issues, contemporary politics, and some of his personal experiences.

When was Polite On Society founded and what is your mission?

Polite On Society was founded as a space for social commentary and political analysis. I founded it back in the Spring of 2009 (May to be exact) it was to be a progressive voice in the Black community. Growing from my social media presence, I decided to have a site where my content was available for people who want a different perspective from the mainstream media.

The mission statement of Polite On Society is as follows:

“There are certain things you just don’t talk about in polite society.”

Polite On Society is a blog of political and social commentary primarily aimed at the African-American community. It is purposely named to play on the idea that certain issues are not meant to be discussed in the context of society at large.  Some may be inadvertently offended, but not for its own sake. Here is a space where social truths are discussed, despite the fact that it may not be deemed proper etiquette to do so. The purpose of this blog  is to engage in dialog about the various aspects of life that often are not spoken of openly. Welcome to Polite On Society!

-Marc W. Polite, Founder

Does the Bronx play a role in your work, educational and cultural life? 

The Bronx definitely plays a role in my work. I have taken poetry workshops at the Bronx Museum of the Arts, and have conducted family research utilizing the resources of the Bronx County Historical Society. Using what BCHS provided, I was able to find out some important information about Reverend James A. Polite, my grand uncle. I have also been invited to recite my poetry at the South of France restaurant on Westchester Avenue.

How did you learn about the Bronx Book Fair?

I learned about the Bronx Book Fair as someone who is paying attention to the New York literary scene. Once I found out that there was another book fair within the five boroughs, it is something that I gravitated to naturally.

What have been some of your experiences while attending the Bronx Book Fair?

I had the experience at the Bronx Book Fair of linking up with other authors, and finding out about other organizations that support writers and those that aspire to enter the publishing industry.

What would you like attendees to take away from the Bronx Book Fair?

I would say to those attending the Bronx Book Fair that they should come through and talk to the authors. It is a day where you can learn a lot from conversations in the hallway between panels, and hopping from table to table seeing what is available.

Do you have any current or upcoming projects you are working on?

Yes, I do. I am releasing my third book “Poetic Ruminations: Volume 2” and there will be a book signing at Sister’s Uptown Bookstore and Cultural Center in Harlem on Thursday, May 17th, 2018 at 6pm. This is my second book of poetry, and I am excited about how people will respond to this collection.

Thank you, for sharing your insightful and inspiring words with our readers.

Thank you, for inviting me.

Interviewed by Lorraine Currelley, Executive Director, Bronx Book Fair.


POETS NETWORK & EXCHANGE, INC. AWARDED CAG GRANT
Lorraine Currelley   Image2

Poets Network & Exchange, Inc. is awarded a Bronx Council on the Arts CAG Grant for its 2018 project Bronx Book Fair! This year Poets Network & Exchange known for its award winning literary programming took on one of its largest projects, the Bronx Book Fair. Ms. Currelley a member of the Bronx Book Fair organizing committee since 2013 was elected the Executive Director in November of 2017.

Congratulations to our fellow Grantees! For all grantees visit, http://bronxarts.org/awardedprojects2018.asp

Lorraine Currelley, Executive Director, Poets Network & Exchange, Inc. and Bronx Book Fair.


BRONX BOOK FAIR FORMER DIRECTOR  SPOTLIGHT AND Q&A WITH
RON KAVANAUGH 

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Today the spotlight is on Ron Kavanaugh, Bronx Book Fair organizing committee member and former Bronx Book Fair Director. We had an opportunity to sit down for an interesting and informative Q&A session.

Please share a brief history of the Bronx Book Fair with our readers.
Poet Americo Casiano wanted to start a book fair in the Bronx. He asked if I would be involved –of course my answer was yes. That was the fall of 2012. Along with Blind Beggar Press founders Gary Johnston and Claude Grant, we set out to bring a literary festival to the borough. We reached out to the New York Public Library’s Bronx Library Center, and in 2013, we hosted the first book fair.

Thanks, for sharing the foundational roots of the Bronx Book Fair. What are you most looking forward to at Bronx Book Fair 2018?
Meeting new readers is always a pleasure. The Bronx is a diverse community with African, Latino, and Asian representation. The Bronx Book Fair connects these cultures in one place and gives everyone a chance to discover new books, listen to panels, and engage each other in a diverse setting.

Please tell us about any current or upcoming projects you are working on that we can look forward to.
The Library Center is a unique space. As the largest library in the Bronx, it serves as an information and education hub. It gives visitors access to books, movies, classes, and research material that can be used to further explore one’s culture.

Does the Bronx play a role in your work, educational and cultural life? 
I live and work in the Bronx –at the Bronx Museum of the Arts. The museum is a vital hub for art and culture in the Bronx. As its social media manager, I have the great opportunity to engage a variety of communities. It also gives me access to a variety of events and exhibitions presented by other orgs throughout the Bronx and NYC.

Please tell us about any current or upcoming projects you are working on that we can look forward to.
When I’m not at the Bronx Museum, I’m the executive director of the Literary Freedom Project. LFP seeks to restore the importance of social and cultural identity through reading. Towards this goal, LFP publishes Mosaic Literary Magazine; develops literature-based lesson plans; presents One Book One Bronx, and Mosaic Literary Conference.

Please share any additional information that might be of interest. Example, past Bronx Book Fair experience.

The Bronx Book Fair is always a great day. The opportunity for the city’s most diverse borough to come together around books and literature is pretty cool. And we make a concerted effort to present programs for all ages.

Thank you! The Bronx Book Fair is free and takes place May 5, 2018 at the Bronx Library Center from 11:00 AM -7:00 PM! Visit the Bronx Book Fair at
https://www.bronxbookfair.com.

©Lorraine Currelley Copyright 2018. All Rights Reserved.


BRONX BOOK FAIR COMMITTEE MEMBER SPOTLIGHT AND Q&A
With JEAN HARRIPERSAUD
Jean
Today we shine the spotlight on Bronx Book Fair committee member Jean Harripersaud.  Jean Harripersaud is currently the Managing Librarian of New York Public Library’s Bronx Library Center.  She has been with the New York Public Library for the past 15 years, starting as a Librarian in the Bronx.  She has a Master’s in Library Science from Queens College and a Master’s in Public Administration from Baruch College. Jean has a passion to spread the joy of reading to the Bronx and firmly believes that “reading does indeed take you places.”(Dr. Seuss) and a book is
a great companion.

Brief History of the Bronx Book Fair
Launched in 2013, the Bronx Book Fair is dedicated to engaging and growing the community of poets and writers in the Bronx and to connecting those literary artists to readers and book lovers of all ages. Through readings, workshops, and presentations. Our goal is to engage the community with a variety of literature and programs that will broaden access to Bronx literary artists, increase library usage, and encourage a love of books and reading. I had the joy to speak with Jean Harripersaud in a Q&A about her work as a Bronx Book Fair Planning Committee member.

What brought you to the Bronx Book Fair?
A love of reading and a desire to spread the joy of reading to my fellow Bronxites.

What are you most looking forward to at the Bronx Book Fair?
Meeting Bronx Literary figures and of course, the wonderful people from the Bronx and beyond who will be in attendance.

What would you like attendees to take away from the Bronx Book Fair and the Bronx Library Center?
That the Bronx is a haven for all literary types, level, genres and ages.  Let’s get together and talk books – my favorite thing.

Does the Bronx play a role in your work/educational/cultural life?
If so, please explain.
I live and work in the Bronx.  I am very proud of the rich history of the Bronx, feel privileged to serve the peoples of the Bronx and am very enthused about the progress being made in the Bronx – especially having our own book fair and being a part of the team helping to make it happen.

Please tell us about any current or upcoming projects you are working on that we can look forward to.
At the Bronx Library Center we are working on getting more people to read more in order to raise reading levels across every age group in our lovely borough.  We have already seen some successes in the past 6 months with the increase of literary type programs – more folks are checking out more books to read.

Please share any additional information that might be of interest. Example, past Bronx Book Fair experience.

The Bronx Book Fair is the place to meet and connect with awesome literary talent from the Bronx.

“Thank you, Jean Harripersaud for a wonderful and informative interview!”
“Thank you, Lorraine Currelley!”

The Bronx Book Fair is free and takes place May 5, 2018 at the Bronx Library Center from 11:00 AM until 7:00 PM! https://www.bronxbookfair.com.

©Lorraine Currelley Copyright 2018. All Rights Reserved.


 

BRONX BOOK FAIR COMMITTEE MEMBER SPOTLIGHT AND Q&A
With MICHAEL ALVAREZ

Today we shine the spotlight on Bronx Book Fair committee member Michael Alvarez. Michael Alvarez is the Associate Director for the Central Bronx Neighborhood Branches of the New York Public Library.

Associate Directors

What​ ​brought​ ​you​ ​to​ ​the​ ​Bronx​ ​Book​ ​Fair?
As​ ​the​ ​then,​ ​Chief​ ​Librarian​ ​at​ ​the​ ​Bronx​ ​Library​ ​Center,​ ​the​ ​Bronx​ ​Book​ ​Fair​ ​in its​ ​infancy​ ​came​ ​to​ ​us,​ ​looking​ ​for​ ​a​ ​venue​ ​and​ ​the​ ​rest,​ ​as​ ​they​ ​say​ ​is​ ​history.​ ​ ​I​ ​am happy​ ​each​ ​year​ ​not​ ​only​ ​to​ ​be​ ​the​ ​host​ ​venue​ ​but​ ​to​ ​participate​ ​in​ ​the​ ​year​ ​long planning​ ​of​ ​the​ ​book​ ​fair.​ ​

What​ ​are​ ​you​ ​most​ ​looking​ ​forward​ ​to​ ​at​ ​the​ ​Bronx​ ​Book​ ​Fair?
I​ ​am​ ​very​ ​excited​ ​about​ ​the​ ​upcoming​ ​7​th​ ​Bronx​ ​Book​ ​Fair,​ ​as​ ​we​ ​are​ ​in​ ​the​ ​process of​ ​arranging​ ​several​ ​panel​ ​discussions​ ​and​ ​programs​ ​for​ ​people​ ​of​ ​all​ ​ages.​ ​ ​A​ ​few​ ​of these​ ​include:​ ​how​ ​to​ ​get​ ​published​ ​and​ ​reading​ ​recommendations​ ​for​ ​different​ ​age groups.

What​ ​would​ ​you​ ​like​ ​attendees​ ​to​ ​take​ ​away​ ​from​ ​the​ ​Bronx​ ​Book​ ​Fair​ ​and​ ​the
Bronx​ ​Library​ ​Center? 
Attendance​ ​to​ ​these​ ​fairs​ ​has​ ​steadily​ ​grown​ ​over​ ​the​ ​years.​ ​ ​The​ ​expectation​ ​is​ ​that attendees​ ​will​ ​get​ ​a​ ​chance​ ​to​ ​connect​ ​with​ ​others​ ​while​ ​they​ ​actively​ ​participate​ ​in the​ ​programs.​ ​ ​The​ ​culture​ ​of​ ​reading​ ​is​ ​heavily​ ​promoted​ ​at​ ​this​ ​event.​ ​ ​My​ ​desire is​ ​for​ ​everyone​ ​that​ ​is​ ​visiting​ ​the​ ​Bronx​ ​Library​ ​Center​ ​for​ ​the​ ​very​ ​first​ ​time​ ​to feel​ ​welcomed​ ​and​ ​have​ ​access​ ​to​ ​the​ ​rich​ ​resources​ ​on​ ​each​ ​of​ ​the​ ​six​ ​floors​ ​of​ ​the Center!

Does​ ​the​ ​Bronx​ ​play​ ​a​ ​role​ ​in​ ​your​ ​work/educational/cultural​ ​life?​ ​If​ ​so,​ ​please
explain.
In​ ​my​ ​current​ ​professional​ ​role,​ ​I​ ​oversee​ ​12​ ​of​ ​the​ ​vibrant​ ​Libraries​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Central
Bronx.​ ​ ​As​ ​such,​ ​I​ ​have​ ​the​ ​pleasure​ ​of​ ​spending​ ​a​ ​great​ ​of​ ​time​ ​in​ ​this​ ​borough​ ​and seeing​ ​first-hand​ ​how​ ​the​ ​New​ ​York​ ​Public​ ​Library​ ​is​ ​impacting​ ​lives:​ ​Early​ ​literacy instruction,​ ​Coding​ ​for​ ​teens,​ ​Adult​ ​Basic​ ​Education,​ ​Career​ ​Assistance,​ ​English​ ​for speakers​ ​of​ ​other​ ​languages​ ​and​ ​much,​ ​much​ ​more.

Please​ ​tell​ ​us​ ​about​ ​any​ ​current​ ​or​ ​upcoming​ ​projects​ ​you​ ​are​ ​working​ ​on​ ​that​ ​we can​ ​look​ ​forward​ ​to.
Mentoring​ ​@​ ​The​ ​Library​ ​is​ ​currently​ ​being​ ​offered​ ​at​ ​the​ ​Mott​ ​Haven​ ​Library​ ​in
the​ ​South​ ​Bronx.​ ​ ​This​ ​free​ ​program​ ​is​ ​provided​ ​for​ ​high​ ​school​ ​students​ ​with​ ​a
focus​ ​on​ ​College​ ​Readiness​ ​and​ ​Career​ ​Preparedness.

Bio
Michael​ ​Alvarez​ works in the Bronx, where he is currently the Associate Director for the Central Bronx Community Branches of The New York Public Library. A supporter and facilitator of literacy, lifelong learning and community engagement. He is a founding member of the Bronx Book Fair Committee. With more than 30 years of experience in public service with The New York Public Library, Michael has served the public,primarily in the Bronx and Manhattan in a variety of professional roles from Librarian, Library Manager, and Chief Librarian to Associate Director. He is a leader who is passionate about working with his colleagues in promoting the vast collections, educational programs and services that are expertly and freely offered by the staff at each of the branches of The New York Public Library.

Lorraine Currelley, Executive Director  January 4, 2018.

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Happy New Year 2018 Bronx Book Fair Community,

Bronx Book Fair 2017 was a success because of your ongoing support and participation. Our deepest appreciation. What have we been up to? We remain busy at work on Bronx Book Fair May 5, 2018.  We’re excited about all that we have scheduled  and can’t wait to share our news! Please continue checking Facebook, Twitter and the Bronx Book Fair website for updates.

Thank you, for your continued support as I proceed as the executive director. Your words of affirmation continue to propel me forward. You are appreciated beyond measure.

Wishing you and yours a healthy, prosperous and blessed 2018!

Lorraine Currelley
Executive Director

lorraine currelley

Greetings Bronx Book Fair Community,

The Bronx Book Fair committee is actively engaged in planning  Bronx Book Fair 2018.  We are excited about the programming we have scheduled! We’ve invited a great lineup of literary artists for all age groups; children, tweens, teens and adults.

Artists representing the Bronx and the Greater New York City area. We’re introducing new innovative programming. This year we will introduce a health panel. This panel addresses health issues affecting our community of the Bronx.

Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Bronx Book Fair, May 5, 2018 11AM until 8PM!-
FREE Admission. All Welcomed!

We are so grateful to each of  you for your support!

Lorraine Currelley,
Executive Director

lorraine currelley

Greetings Bronx Book Fair Community,

My name is Lorraine Currelley. I am the newly elected Executive Director for the Bronx Book Fair.  I look forward to working in this new and exciting role, with the Bronx Book Fair committee. It is humbling and an honor to be recognized for my commitment and contributions to the literary and performing and fine arts communities. To work to provide the best in literary programming for the Bronx, our sister boroughs and the greater New York City area and surrounding communities is a privilege. I look forward to the committee’s continued support and confidence as we proceed. 

I will continue to advocate for literacy, and to create innovative programming, to enhance the artistic experiences for community residents and opportunities for the Bronx literary community of poets and writers. Look for the Bronx Book Fair committee members page. Get to know the Bronx Book Fair committee.

Launched in 2013, the Bronx Book Fair is dedicated to engaging and growing the community of poets and writers in the Bronx and to connecting those literary artists to readers and book lovers of all ages. Through readings, workshops, and presentations. Our goal is to engage the community with a variety of literature and programs that will broaden access to Bronx literary artists, increase library usage, and encourage a love of books and reading. The Bronx Book Fair has a vision for mobilizing the trusted, neutral, information-rich public space of the library to deliver literary and literacy programming. A vision that includes building effective collaborations. A vision that fosters mastery and promotes meaningful social engagement. Our work to date affirms this vision. Thanks, to the Bronx Library Center, Michael Alvarez, Associate Director and Jean Harripersaud, Adult Librarian for your commitment, work and for providing such a wonderful home for the Bronx Book Fair.

Best wishes to Ron Kavanaugh former director for the Bronx Book Fair. Your work on behalf of the Bronx community and the Bronx Book Fair does not go unnoticed. 

In April of 2018 we will present a month of literary programming leading up to Bronx Book Fair May 5, 2018. You can find us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

In Service to community,
Lorraine Currelley,
Executive Director
Bronx Book Fair

© Copyright Lorraine Currelley 2017.  All Rights Reserved.

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