Brooklyn Caribbean Literary Festival celebrates Festival Five

Team BCLF: Melissa Harper, program and logistics coordinator; Mellany Paynter, director of operations, and Marsha Masiah-Aaron, festival founder.
Team BCLF: Melissa Harper, program and logistics coordinator; Mellany Paynter, director of operations, and Marsha Masiah-Aaron, festival founder.
Photo courtesy Brooklyn Caribbean Literary Festival

The Brooklyn Caribbean Literary Festival (BCLF) returns this September to celebrate its fifth season in New York City from Thursday, Sept. 7, through Sunday, Sept. 10.

BCLF said it celebrates Caribbean literature and the region’s history of storytelling, focusing on Caribbean writers at home in the region and throughout the Diaspora.

Through the BCLF, “Caribbean thought and intellectualism, often underrepresented in popular culture, have a unique platform to be celebrated, appreciated and thrive,” it said in a statement.

As the premiere literary festival taking place at the epicenter of the Caribbean Diaspora, BCLF said its multifaceted programming “continues to amplify, expand and showcase the notable contributions of Caribbean and Caribbean American writers.”

BCLF said its efforts have been supported by The Center for Fiction, the Brooklyn Borough President, Greenlight Bookstore and Target Corporation.

This year, BCLF said it was a recipient of inaugural grants presented by the prestigious Hawthornden Foundation.

“The BCLF festival has been bringing together talented writers, captivating storytellers, and passionate literature enthusiasts from all walks of life for the last four years. It’s a true celebration of culture, diversity, and the power of words. Festival 5 will be full of vibrant energy and more events than any year prior. It is a must-attend 4-day experience,” said Director of Operations Mellany Paynter.

Since its inception in 2019, the BCLF said its festival has gathered under its wing over 250 Caribbean writers, publishers and creatives, including renowned contemporary and classic authors like Jamaica Kincaid, Elizabeth Nunez, Tiphanie Yanique, Velma Pollard and P. Djeli Clark.

This year, from Sept. 7-10, BCLF said lovers of literature will once again have the opportunity to “experience this dynamic literary festival”, as it brings Caribbean stories and storytelling to the forefront of New York’s culture scene.

“Festival 5 is a triumphant declaration of the persistence of Caribbean spirit and the insistence of its people to thrive. This year we marry various disciplines (film, music, and indigenous art forms) that each holds a story at its center in celebration of Caribbean culture,” said Festival Founder Marsha Massiah-Aaron.

The four-day festival, which will take place at several locations across downtown Brooklyn, will include panel discussions, a film screening, a Kalinda workshop, and poetry readings at events such as “Writing For The Future,” which exclusively features writers who write Caribbean stories for children.

Also on its roster is “5 Minutes With Elizabeth Nunez”, an original BCLF short film series celebrating a selection of novels by Elizabeth Nunez, and “Bad Man Doh Cry”, a literary conversation about the norms, dynamics, relationships and rites of passage of Caribbean masculinity through the selected works of three award-winning male writers.

“Without our stories, we are nothing. Our work at the BCLF has been to insist that the ones who own these stories and share them with the world are rightly acknowledged, credited, and celebrated,” said Massiah-Aaron.

For more information on The Brooklyn Caribbean Literary Festival, please visit