Top Cinco:Miami Book Fair

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The Miami Book Fair at MDC is, well, more than just an ordinary book fair. The variety immersed in the 350-artist lineup molds together the visual and musical art with political and journalistic discussion, all equally compelling for the 32nd year of the fair.

For the ones entangled in all of the enthralling choices, here is your Top Cinco Miami Book Fair Guide!

1. An Evening with Patti Smith

 When: Sunday, November 15th@ 7:00 PM- 8:00 PM  Where: Chapman Conference Center

In 2010, Patti Smith ventured to the Miami Book Fair after the release Just Kids, her memoir documenting her early years in New York and her thirty-year relationship with artist Robert Mapplethorpe. Although Smith is universally known for her stunning fusion of rock and poetry, she is also an incredible writer and supports that with her newest book release, M Train.

M Train hooks together pieces of her life like subway cart links, which Smith calls her “Memory Train”; a segued memoir meticulously narrated in her spellbinding, retrospective prose enriched in symbolism which weaves you into the internal loom that is her inspiring monolog, something any fan of hers is desirous for.

With the emerging forty-year anniversary of her debut record Horses approaching, and an upcoming onslaught of anniversary performances, Smith’s opening reading may also include a performance of her songs. Once again merging various pieces of art in her valiant ways, she’ll shake the room with her words… and hopefully with Lenny Kaye and his guitar.

2. World’s Smallest Poetry Reading: An O, Miami Party

When: Tuesday, November 17 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm  Where: The Swamp

Have you ever dreamed of the world’s smallest poetry reading? That reality is now intact. O, Miami and Jai-Alai Books have just released Eight Miami Poets, an anthology commemorating unpublished Miami poets. Swing by book fair pop-up lounge The Swamp to have a one-on-one booth reading from the authors, taking a more in-depth perspective on their verse. Mobile library Bookleggers ( ) will also be around, for your waiting room reading necessities.

Poets included are Annik-Adey Babinski, Legna Rodríguez Iglesias (translated by J.V. Portela), Fabienne Sylvia Josaphat, Yaddyra Peralta, Cherry Pickman, Sarah Trudgeon, Nick Vagnoni, and Zain Aslam.

3. Havana & Haiti: Reshaping The New Americas & The World

When: Friday, November 20 @ 11:30 am – 12:30 pm Where: The Swamp

In this panel, photojournalist collective Iris Photo Collective, including Carl Juste and Luis Rios, discuss their publication Havana and Haiti: Reshaping the New America’s and the World which documents the connection of political and personal cultures in Cuba and Haiti. Juste’s work is unhindered and angled at the beauty and emotion in two locations that are consistently censored by the emphasis of travesty reported in the mainstream media.

4. Bridges to/from Cuba

When: Saturday, November 21 @ 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm Where: Chapman Conference Center

Bridges to Cuba is a collective blog, created by Ruth Behar and Richard Blanco, publishing stories on Cuban ancestry and the ties between the culture and the experiences both on the island as well as in South Florida, with contributors ranging from scholars to celebrities.

Behar and Blanco join writers including Liz Balmaseda, Pulitzer-prize winning journalist and the Palm Beach Post writer Liz Balmaseda, book artist Rolando Estévez, and historian Orlando García Martínez in a further discussion on the newfound Cuban-U.S. relations.

5. The Soundtrack of Your Life

Sunday, November 22 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm  Where: Room 8201 (Building 8, 2nd Floor)

The Soundtrack of Your Life is the aggregate discussion of three recently published writers and music aficionados of their recently released books on their own historical perspectives of music. The discussion includes journalist Jessica Hopper and her release The First Collection Of Criticism By A Living Female Rock Critic, which documents her position as a music writer- starting from when she was 16 to now, and her advocacy and influence towards females in the music business.

Grantland writer Shea Serrano’s The Rap Year Book, a multimedia excursion documenting the most influential rap songs every year, dating back to 1979, and the prominent moments in hip-hop history. And, John Seabrook, staff-writer at the New York Times and pop-culture enthusiast’s The Song Machine: Inside the Hit Factory, which unravels the hooks and addictive elements of songs from the last two decades of music. 

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