Gwendolyn Brooks

Leimert Park Village Book Fair
4001 West 22nd Place Los Angeles, CA 90018 Phone: 323.730-0628


Cynthia Exum, Event Producer
(323) 730-0628
April 24, 2012

Cynthia Gibson
(310) 410-9039

Save the Date: The 6th Annual Leimert Park Village Book Fair
We Real Cool: Celebrating the Legacy of Gwendolyn Brooks

Lovers of books and poetry, mark your calendars! The 6th Annual Leimert Park Village Book Fair will celebrate another year of bringing a world-class, unrivaled literary event to the City of Los Angeles on Saturday, June 30, from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Thousands book lovers, families, and fans of all ages will converge to celebrate the written word on the Vision Theatre back-lot at the intersection of 43rd Place and Degnan in historic Leimert Park. The day-long festival will feature over 150 celebrity readings, book signings, writing workshops, panel discussions, poetry readings, stage performances and musical performances. The book fair will be themed after the Black Arts Movement of the ‘60’s and early 70’s, which Time Magazine described as the "single most controversial moment in the history of African-American literature – possibly in American literature as a whole."

As one of the region’s most anticipated literary events, the Leimert Park Village Book Fair has hosted some of the nation’s top authors, artists and poets including Pulitzer Prize winning author Isabel Wilkerson, California Laureate Al Young, award winning poet Nikki Govanni, Editor-in-Chief Emeritus of Essence magazine Susan L. Taylor, Oscar winner Louis Gossett Jr., Emmy-nominated music director Rickey Minor of “American Idol” and band leader of the Tonight Show, New York Times best-selling author Eric Jerome Dickey, award winning chef Govind Armstrong, Boxing legend Sugar Ray Leonard, renowned art collectors and philanthropists Shirley and Bernard Kinsey and actress/children’s author Kim Wayans. In addition, each year LPVBF distributes more than 1,500 free books to fair attendees, including over 300 books to local foster care children.

This year, the festival will pay tribute to a true literary trailblazer, Gwendolyn Brooks (1917 – 2000). The author of dozens of books, autobiographies, anthologies and poems, Brooks has the distinction of being the first African American author to win a Pulitzer Prize as well as the first black woman to hold the position of poetry consultant to the Library of Congress. In the Dictionary of Literary Biography Brooks was described as having “a strong commitment to racial identity and equality with a mastery of poetic techniques” and was credited for managing to “bridge the gap between the academic poets of her generation in the 1940s and the young black militant writers of the 1960s.” One of Brooks most well known and beloved short poems is “We Real Cool,” which she wrote as a commentary after spotting young boys in a pool hall during school hours. Brooks will receive special recognition during the book fair and at the kick-off reception.

The 2012 line-up of authors, panel discussions, celebrity guest speakers and entertainment promises to be the best year in the 6 year history. Tony Award-winning actress Sheryl Lee Ralph (“Dreamgirls”) will talk about her book, Redefining Diva and Black Arts Movement catalyst Amiri Baraka will be featured on the main stage. Isabel Wilkerson will return to LPVBF to discuss the history behind her Pulitzer Prize winning book, The Warmth of Other Suns, which was recently released in paperback. On-going announcements of confirmed guests will be posted on LPVBF’s website, Twitter and Facebook pages.

The Leimert Park Village Book Fair is produced by Cynthia E. Exum and Associates in partnership with Los Angeles City Councilmember Bernard C. Parks, 8th District, and in association with the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles and Eso Won Books. For more information visit: