MDC’s Miami Book Fair Announces 2017 Evenings With… Lineup

Miami, Nov. 9, 2017 – They are some of the most well-known authors, journalists, artists, and political players – and they’re headlining Miami Dade College’s (MDC) 34th Miami Book Fair, Nov. 12 – 19 at the Wolfson Campus, Chapman Conference Center in downtown Miami.

This year’s Evenings With… program will feature punk rock poet/writer Patti Smith, broadcast journalist Dan Rather, Senator Al Franken, novelist Isabel Allende, Miami author Edwidge Danticat, and political strategist Donna Brazile, among others. WLRN is a presenting sponsor of the Evenings With… program.

“The Miami Book Fair brings the top minds to South Florida. WLRN is proud to partner with the fair in bringing these thinkers, writers, and creators to our region to share their stories with us,” said John Labonia, WLRN Public Media General Manager.

Complete list of Evenings With… and special events:

Special Event: A Conversation with Dan Rather
Sunday, Nov. 12, at 6 p.m. | Chapman (Bldg. 3, 2nd Floor) Tickets $15

With a storied career that has spanned more than six decades, Rather has earned his place as one of the world’s most celebrated journalists. Rather joined CBS News in 1962 and quickly rose through the ranks. In 1981, he became anchor and managing editor of the CBS Evening News–a post he held for 24 years. His reporting across the network helped turn 60 Minutes into an institution, launched 48 Hours as an innovative news magazine program and shaped countless specials and documentaries. With his latest book, What Unites Us: Reflections on Patriotism (Algonquin Books), Rather wants to inspire conversation and listening, and to remind us how we are connected and united.

An Evening With Lawrence O’Donnell
Monday, Nov. 13, at 6 p.m. | Chapman (Bldg. 3, 2nd Floor) Tickets $15

O’Donnell is the host of The Last Word on MSNBC. Formerly an Emmy Award-winning executive producer and writer for The West Wing, O’Donnell also served as senior advisor to Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, chief of staff to the Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works and the Senate Finance Committee. For years he has deployed one of America’s shrewdest political minds in an effort to understand the country’s dynamics, the essence of what makes America difference and how we got to where we are now. Playing with Fire: The 1968 Election and the Transformation of American Politics (Penguin Books) represents O’Donnell’s master class in American electioneering, embedded in the epic human drama of a system, and a country, coming apart at the seams in real time.

Special Event: Patti Smith
Monday, Nov. 13, at 8 p.m. / Chapman (Bldg. 3, 2nd Floor) Tickets $15

Smith is an award-winning writer, performer and visual artist. Her memoir Just Kids received a National Book Award, and her recent book M Train is a critically-acclaimed New York Times bestseller. Smith was awarded the prestigious title of Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres by the French Republic. Her seminal album Horses has been hailed as one of the top one hundred albums of all time, and in 2007 she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In her ground-breaking new book, Devotion (Why I Write) (Yale University Press), Smith offers a detailed account of her own creative process, inspirations, and unexpected connections. Whether writing in a café or a train, Smith generously opens her notebooks and lets us glimpse the alchemy of her art and craft in this arresting and original book on writing.

An Evening With Kwame Alexander, In Conversation with Edwidge Danticat
Tuesday, Nov. 14, 6 p.m. / Chapman (Bldg. 3, 2nd Floor) Tickets $15 

Alexander is a poet, speaker, educator, and New York Times bestselling author of 24 books, including The Crossover, which received the 2015 John Newbery Medal for the Most Distinguished Contribution to American Literature for Children. He is the cofounder of LEAP for Ghana, an international literacy program. Solo (Blink), Alexander’s YA novel written in poetic verse, tells the story of seventeen-year-old Blade Morrison, the son of a washed-up rock star, who travels to Ghana and discovers a friendship he couldn’t have imagined, and a reconciliation he never expected. Her memoir, The Art of Death: Writing the Final Story (Graywolf Press) is at once a personal account of her mother dying from cancer and a deeply considered reckoning with the ways that other writers have approached death in their own work.

Born in Haiti, Danticat is the author and editor of many acclaimed and award-winning works of fiction and nonfiction, including Krik? Krak! (a National Book Award finalist) The Farming of Bones (an American Book Award winner) Behind the Mountains, The Dew Breaker, Claire of the Sea Light and Brother, I’m Dying, which was a finalist for the National Book Award and a winner of a National Book Critics Circle Award for autobiography, Join these two master storytellers in conversation.

An Evening With Wallace Shawn
Tuesday, Nov. 14, 8 p.m. / Chapman (Bldg. 3, 2nd Floor) Tickets $15 

A graduate of both Harvard and Oxford University, Shawn is an Obie Award-winning playwright and a noted stage and screen actor, whose credits include Manhattan, All That Jazz, Star Trek, Gossip Girl, The Princess Bride, and Toy Story. He is co-author of the critically acclaimed cult classic movie My Dinner with Andre and author of the plays The Fever, The Designated Mourner, Aunt Dan and Lemon, and Grasses of a Thousand Colors. Shawn is the author of the nonfiction collection Essays, in which he stepped back from the appearance of things to explore their deeper social meanings. In his latest essay collection, Night Thoughts (Haymarket Books), Shawn takes on the most essential questions about the world, including civilization, morality, Beethoven, 11th-century Japanese court poetry, and his hopes for a better world.

Special Event: Isabel Allende
Wednesday, Nov. 15, at 6 p.m. / Chapman (Bldg. 3, 2nd Floor)

Born in Peru and raised in Chile, Allende is the bestselling author of The House of the Spirits, Eva Luna, Stories of Eva Luna, Of Love and Shadows, and Paula. Her books have been translated into more than 35 languages and have sold more than 65 million copies worldwide. In her latest novel, In the Midst of Winter (Atria Books), Allende returns with a sweeping story about three very different people who are brought together in a mesmerizing story that journeys from present-day Brooklyn, to Guatemala, and to 1970s Chile and Brazil. The Washington Post’s Jonathan Yardley writes, “[The novel] embraces the cause of “humanity,

Donna Brazile in Conversation with Ana Navarro
Wednesday, Nov. 15, at 8 p.m./ Chapman (Bldg. 3, 2nd Floor)

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Democrats turned to Brazile, veteran Democratic political strategist to right the party’s ship. What Brazile found at the DNC, however, was unlike anything she had experienced before–and much worse than is commonly known. That story is told in Hacked: The Inside Story of the Break-ins and Breakdowns That Put Donald Trump in the White House. Packed with never-before-reported revelations about what went down in 2016, Hacks is equal parts campaign thriller, memoir, and roadmap for the future.

Ana Navarro is one of the country’s leading Hispanic Republican voices and frequently comments on political issues and current affairs in national and international print and broadcast media. She is known for her honest, blunt often humorous commentary. Join these two veteran political strategists as they discuss the tumultuous, unprecedented 2016 election and its implications for America’s present and its future.

An Evening With Barbara Pierce Bush and Jenna Bush
Thursday, Nov. 16, at 6 p.m. / Chapman (Bldg. 3, 2nd Floor)

Born into a political dynasty, Barbara and her sister Jenna grew up very much in the public eye. As small children, they watched their grandfather become president of the United States; just twelve years later they stood by their father’s side when he took the same oath. They spent their college years being trailed by the Secret Service and chased by the paparazzi. But the tabloids didn’t tell the whole story. In Sisters First: Stories from Our Wild and Wonderful Life (Grand Central Publishing), they take readers on a revealing, thoughtful, and deeply personal tour behind the scenes of their lives, with never-before-told stories about their family, adventures, loves and losses, and the special sisterly bond that fulfills them.

An Evening With James McBride
Thursday, Nov. 16, at 8 p.m. / Chapman (Bldg. 3, 2nd Floor) Tickets $15

McBride is an accomplished musician and author of the National Book Award–winning The Good Lord Bird, the #1 bestselling American classic The Color of Water, and the bestsellers Song Yet Sung and Miracle at St. Anna. He is also the author of Kill ’Em and Leave, a James Brown biography. A recipient of the National Humanities Medal in 2016, McBride is a Distinguished Writer in Residence at New York University. Five-Carat Soul (Riverhead Books) is his latest collection of short fiction, the first since his National Book Award–winning novel The Good Lord Bird. In his latest collection of short fiction, Five-Carat Soul (Riverhead Books), stories spring from the place where identity, humanity, and history converge. Funny and poignant, insightful and unpredictable, imaginative and authentic— each story is told with McBride’s unrivaled storytelling.

An Evening With the National Book Awards Winners and Finalists
Friday, Nov. 17, at 6 p.m. / Chapman (Bldg. 3, 2nd Floor) Tickets $15

Book Fair, in partnership with the National Book Foundation and with the generous support of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, welcomes the Finalists and Winners of the prestigious National Book Foundation’s National Book Awards. Previous winners of the Award—including William Carlos Williams, Joyce Carol Oates, and William Faulkner—comprise a who’s who of American literature. Following the awards ceremony in New York City in November, winners and finalists in the categories of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and young people’s literature will travel to Miami for this remarkable gathering of literary talent.   Sponsored by KNIGHT LOGO.

Closing Event: Senator Al Franken
Sunday, Nov 19, at 6:30 p.m. / Chapman (Bldg. 3, 2nd Floor) Tickets $15

In Senator Franken’s new, candid memoir, Al Franken, Giant of the Senate, the honorable gentleman from Minnesota takes his army of loyal fans along with him from Saturday Night Live (SNL) to the campaign trail, inside the halls of Congress and behind the scenes of some of the most dramatic and/or hilarious moments of his new career in politics. Senator Franken has represented Minnesota in the United States Senate since 2009. He rose to fame as a writer, comedian and sharp political satirist on SNL, for which he won four Emmy Awards for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy, Variety, or Music Series. He is also the author of Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot and Other Observations, as well as Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right.

Miami Book Fair
Founded in 1984 by Miami Dade College and partners, Miami Book Fair engages the community through inclusive, accessible programs that promote reading and support writers year round. The annual eight-day festival has grown into the largest and most comprehensive community-rooted literary gathering in the United States. The Fair features readings and discussions with the world’s most renowned authors, generating discourse on contemporary literature and current issues of international importance. The Fair also include culinary presentations; live music and interdisciplinary performances; interactive, educational activities for children; and more than 200 booksellers and publishers during the Street Fair. Events take place in English, Spanish, Haitian Creole, and French. In addition to the annual festival, the Miami Book Fair responds to community needs with a year-round schedule of activities, including The Little Haiti Book Festival, highlighting Haiti’s literary acumen; creative writing and publishing workshops; author presentations; reading campaigns and Read to Learn Books for Free, a partnership with The Children’s Trust that distributes more than 150,000 free books a year to children in Miami-Dade County.

Miami Book Fair 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 Authority; and the Friends of the Fair; as well as many corporate partners. Miami Book Fair: Building community, one reader at a time.

Miami Book Fair media contacts: Lisa Palley, 305-642-3132 or Deyanira Navarrette, 305-495-7168,