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Miami Book Fair International Offers Mix of Literary Talent With Popular Evenings Series and Various Author Presentations Nov. 8-13

poet elizabeth alexander

Elizabeth Alexander, award-winning poet, essayist and scholar. She wrote and delivered President Barack Obama’s inaugural poem, <em>Praise Song for the Day</em>

Miami, November 4, 2009 - Miami Book Fair International (Fair) will again treat book lovers to a week of cultural and educational activities, including a bevy of author presentations beginning Sunday, Nov. 8, 2009 at Miami Dade College’s (MDC) Wolfson Campus.

The author presentations will begin with award-winning poet, essayist and scholar Elizabeth Alexander at 5 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 8. Alexander is best known for writing and delivering President Barack Obama’s inaugural poem, Praise Song for the Day. She is the author of five poetry collections, most recently American Sublime (2005), a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in poetry, and is currently a professor of African American Studies at Yale University.

The beloved Evenings With series will kick off with Margaret Atwood and continues with Barbara Kingsolver, Jeannette Walls, Richard Powers, Isabella Rossellini, and Orhan Pamuk. Other evening programs include a presentation by food critic Ruth Reichl and Color of Comics: Does It Matter, a discussion on race and multicultural representation in comics and graphic novels featuring a panel of authors and artists who work in the format.

There is also a free program dedicated to Francophone novelists and poets, entitled An Evening of Francophone Literature, at 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 13, 2009 in Room 3208-09 of the Chapman Conference Center at MDC’s Wolfson Campus.    

All Evenings With presentations will be held in the Chapman Conference Center (Bldg. 3, 2nd Floor) at the MDC Wolfson Campus, 300 N.E. 2nd Ave., downtown Miami. All Evenings With require a ticket that must be purchased for $10 in advance. To purchase, visit

Evening programs include:

·    Elizabeth Alexander (Praise Song for the Day) – 5 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 8 – Free.

·    Margaret Atwood (The Year of the Flood) – 7:30 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 8 - $10 admission.

·    Ruth Reichl (Gourmet Today: More Than 1,000 All-New Recipes for the Contemporary Kitchen) – 6 p.m., Monday, Nov. 9 – Free.

·    Barbara Kingsolver (The Lacuna) – 7:30 p.m., Monday, Nov. 9 - $10 admission.

·    Jeannette Walls (Half Broke Horses: A True-Life Novel) – 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 10 - $10 admission.

·    Richard Powers (Generosity: An Enchantment) – 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 11 - $10 admission.

·    Isabella Rossellini (Green Porno) – 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 12 - $10 admission.

·    Orhan Pamuk (The Museum of Innocence) – 7:30 p.m., Friday, Nov. 13 - $10 admission.

·    Color of Comics: Does It Matter? – 6 p.m., Friday, Nov. 13 – Free.

·    An Evening of Francophone Literature – 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 13 – Free.

As a precursor to all the presentations, Fair organizers will introduce Twilight Tastings, where on each evening leading up to the special sessions, local fine eateries will offer a complimentary samples of their cuisine along with a drink. Some of the featured restaurants include: Hard Rock Café; Mamajuana Café; and Miami’s Finest Caribbean Restaurant.        

Other highlights of the week-long Fair include author readings, book signings, the IberoAmerican Authors program, the popular Street Fair (Nov. 13-15 on the closed streets of downtown Miami surrounding the Wolfson Campus), Children’s Alley, Comix Galaxy, and much more.

Miami Book Fair International is the largest and is regarded as the finest literary gathering in America. It is the premier event of the Florida Center for the Literary Arts at Miami Dade College. The Center promotes reading and writing throughout the year by consistently presenting quality literary activities open to all in South Florida. Literacy projects target children of all ages—from kindergarten to high school—as well as college students and adults. Established and emerging writers from South Florida and all over the U.S. read, lecture, and teach workshops. They work with K-12, MDC students, and diverse members of the community, helping to deepen their understanding of literature, and encouraging their work of writers at all stages of development. The Center envisions South Florida as a nexus of literary activity in the Americas and beyond, and will continue to champion its mission of promoting the advancement and appreciation of the literary arts in all forms. Miami Book Fair International is made possible through the generous support of the State of Florida and the National Endowment for the Arts; the City of Miami; Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners; Miami-Dade County Public Schools; the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau; the Miami Downtown Development; and the Friends of the Fair; as well as many corporate partners.

Miami Dade College has a long and rich history of involvement in the cultural arts, providing South Florida with a vast array of artistic and literary offerings including The Miami Book Fair International, The Florida Center for the Literary Arts, The Miami International Film Festival, the Cultura del Lobo performance arts series, The Cuban Cinema Series, the Miami Leadership Roundtable speakers’ series, numerous renowned campus art galleries and theaters, and the nationally recognized School of Entertainment and Design Technology. With an enrollment of more than 170,000 students, MDC is the largest institution of higher education in the country and is a national model for many of its programs. The college’s eight campuses and outreach centers offer more than 300 distinct degree programs including baccalaureate, associate in arts and science degrees and numerous career training certificates leading to in-demand jobs. In 2006, MDC admitted its 1.5 millionth student.

For regular updates on these and all other related events please go to, call 305-237-3528 or email


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Juan Mendieta, 305-237-7611,, MDC communications director
Tarnell Carroll, 305-237-3359,, media specialist
Lisa Palley, 305-642-3132,
Sue Arrowsmith, 305-237-3710,, media specialist
Alejandro Rios, 305-237-7482,

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