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Guest Writers & Panelists


Gabriel CohenGabriel Cohen is the author of an acclaimed series of crime novels which are set in Brooklyn and feature detective Jack Leightner. His debut novel Red Hook was nominated for the Edgar Award for Best First Novel. He also is the author of The Ninth Step, The Graving Dock, Boombox, Neptune Avenue and the nonfiction book Storms Can’t Hurt the Sky. He has written for The New York Times, Poets & Writers, Time Out New York, and other publications. He teaches in Pratt Institute’s writing program and lectures extensively. His Web site is

Jennifer EganJennifer Egan is the author of A Visit From the Goon Squad, published in 2010. Her other work includes The Invisible Circus, which was released as a feature film by Fine Line in 2001; Emerald City and Other Stories; Look at Me, which was nominated for the National Book Award in 2001; and the bestselling The Keep. Also a journalist, she writes frequently for The New York Times Magazine.

Marlon JamesMarlon James was born in Kingston, Jamaica. His most recent novel, The Book Of Night Women, was internationally acclaimed and voted Best Book Of 2009 by the Library Journal. His first novel, John Crow’s Devil, was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the Commonwealth Prize, and was a New York Times Editor’s Choice. Currently a professor of literature and creative writing at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, he is at work on a new novel, A Brief History of Seven Killings. He divides his time between Jamaica, New York City and the Twin Cities.

Rick MoodyRick Moody has published novels, short fiction and nonfiction, including The Four Fingers of Death; Garden State; The Ice Storm, which was adapted into a feature film directed by Ang Lee; The Ring of Brightest Angels Around Heaven; The Black Veil: A Memoir with Digressions; The Diviners; and Right Livelihoods: Three Novellas. His work in music has been extensive. It includes the album Rick Moody and One Ring Zero and two albums with The Wingdale Community Singers, the most recent of which is Spirit Duplicator (2009). A new book, Discreet Music: Essays on Listening, is forthcoming.

Wesley StaceWesley Stace is the author of the international bestseller Misfortune, as well as the novel By George. His most recent novel, Charles Jessold, Considered as a Murderer will be published in the U.S. by Picador in February 2011. He has released 15 albums under the name John Wesley Harding. Learn more at


Jessica HagedornJessica Hagedorn is director of The Summer Writers Lab and is the Parsons Family University Professor of Creative Writing in the M.F.A. Program at Long Island University’s Brooklyn Campus. Her novels include Toxicology, Dream Jungle, The Gangster Of Love and Dogeaters, which was nominated for a National Book Award. She is the editor of Charlie Chan Is Dead: An Anthology of Contemporary Asian American Fiction. Her extensive work in theatre includes the stage adaptation of Dogeaters. Learn more at


Harold Augenbraum is Executive Director of the National Book Foundation, presenter of the National Book Awards. He has published seven books on Latino literature of the United States, including Growing Up Latino (1993, with Ilan Stavans), The Latino Reader (1997, with Margarite Fernández-Olmos), U.S. Latino Literature: A Critical Guide for Students and Teachers (2000, with Margarite Fernández-Olmos), the Encyclopedia Latina (2006, with Ilan Stavans), Lengua Fresca (2006, with Ilan Stavans) and, with five colleagues, the Norton Anthology of U.S. Latino Literature (2010). He translated Alvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca’s Chronicle of the Narváez Expedition (2002), the Filipino novelist José Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere (2006) for Penguin Classics, and Rizal’s second novel, El Filibusterismo, which Penguin will publish in the spring of 2011. In 2012, Penguin will also publish his edition of The Collected Poems of Marcel Proust.

Faith Childs is the President of the Faith Childs Literary Agency, Inc. She has been an agent for twenty-four years. The agency represents some of today’s leading writers of fiction, nonfiction and poetry, including Paule Marshall, Annette Gordon-Reed, and Elizabeth Alexander. In the decade before becoming an agent, Ms. Childs was an attorney. Ms. Childs serves on the boards of a number of nonprofit organizations. She lives in New York City with her husband.

Rakesh Satyal is a Senior Editor at HarperCollins Publishers, where he edits a variety of literary fiction and narrative nonfiction. An adjunct professor in the publishing program at New York University, he is also on the advisory committee of the annual PEN World Voices Festival. He is also the author of the Lambda Award-winning novel Blue Boy, a gender-bending comedy about a young Indian American boy’s fascination with the Hindu god Krishna.

Johnny Temple is the publisher and editor-in-chief of Akashic Books, an award-winning Brooklyn-based independent company dedicated to publishing urban literary fiction and political nonfiction. Temple won the American Association of Publishers’ 2005 Miriam Bass Award for Creativity in Independent Publishing; and the 2010 Jay and Dean Kogan Award for Excellence in Noir Literature. Temple plays bass guitar in the band Girls Against Boys, which has toured extensively across the globe and released numerous albums on independent and major record companies. He has contributed articles and political essays to various publications, including The Nation, Publishers Weekly, AlterNet, Poets & Writers, and Bookforum. He is also the Chair of the Brooklyn Literary Council, which works with Brooklyn’s borough president to plan the annual Brooklyn Book Festival in September.