Newark Will Welcome Harlem Book Fair, A Festival Of Literature, Art, Film, And Poetry For All Ages

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Mark Your Calendars: April 27-28, Various Locales in Newark

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, on April 27 - 28, will be a multi-cultural book festival that reflects the demographics of the Greater Newark area.  The HBF-Newark, which will be held rain or shine, expects to attract 10,000 people and will showcase up to 150 exhibitors.  The HBF-Newark marks the first time the fair has been hosted in a university setting; it will be jointly hosted by the City of Newark; Rutgers University, Newark; the New Jersey Institute of Technology; Essex County College; Wells Fargo Bank; and the Newark  Alliance, a Newark-based business consortium. Most events will take place at Rutgers-Newark.

The Harlem Book Fair was founded by Max Rodriguez; 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 Newark event director.

A partial list of local participating authors includes Moody Holiday, Anasa Maat, Valerie Wilson Wesley (pictured), playwright Richard Wesley, and poet and essayist Amiri Baraka.

 The HBF-Newark will present a varied program of authors, readings, and discussions:

  • Both fiction and non-fiction as well as poetry
  • Children’s and young adult literature, as well as children’s book illustrators
  • Financial literacy
  • Digital technology
  • Hip hop literature
  • Education
  • “Art to Books,” a gallery display by book illustrators
  • Screenings of literary-themed films

In addition, the City of Newark and the Newark corporate community have declared 2012 as the “Year of Newark Literacy.”The Newark Literacy Awards program will recognize Newark-based literacy organizations and their effective impact on the Newark community during the fair.

A final schedule will b e posted online at

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


Members of the media should contact Carla Capizzi, 973/353-5263.