Miami Book Fair International Packs In Culture At Wolfson Campus

Complete with rows of colored tents on the streets surrounding Wolfson Campus and crowds of people stopping at each of them for books, the 32nd annual Miami Book Fair International was a literary success.

“[The book fair] was really great,” said Lisette Mendez, director of programs for the Center for Writing and Literature. “Despite the rain, we had great attendance.”

The Book Fair ran from Nov. 15 through Nov. 22. The festive Street Fair started on Friday and ran through the weekend. More than 100,000 people attended the MBFI, according to Juan Mendieta, Director of Communications at Miami Dade College.

“It’s a great event,” Wolfson Campus nursing major Josiah Canada, 18, said. “It’s great for bringing people together. That’s what I like about it.”

Canada, along with 800 other people, volunteered at the fair during the weekend, handing out stickers in the Children’s Alley.

“My granddaughter already went in a booth and wrote a book. She literally sat there the whole time and actually wrote out a book,” said Caryl Klose, 67.

Klose has been regularly attending the MBFI since the inaugural Book Fair. She went on Sunday with her daughter and two grandchildren to help expose the kids to books.

“[My granddaughter] wants to read Moby Dick, so we’re looking to see if there’s any kid versions of that or not,” Klose said.

Seven hundred and forty authors attended the Book Fair, including Patti Smith, Paul Giamatti, Sandra Cisneros, Mitch Albom, Jessie Eisenberg, and Kunal Nayyar.

There were activities designed specifically for children, such as the Children’s Alley, which featured tents with different events to entertain the young ones. There were also events such as The Teen Press Conference, presented by the National Book Foundation, and Pirates! A Show, by the Miami Children’s Museum.

The Book Fair also featured comic book artists and writers at panels taking place in the MAGIC screening room, which is located in building 8 on the first floor. Among them were Craig Thompson, artist and writer of Blankets, Jennifer Hayden, who wrote and illustrated Story of My Tits and Underwire, and Scott McCloud, cartoonist who wrote Understanding Comics, Reinventing Comics, and Making Comics.

The Porch was a new feature this year.  Mendez described it as “a gathering place complete with a mini farmer’s market, and fairgoers really seemed to enjoy hanging out there.”

Mendez said that the whole event was amazing.

“I love all of it,” Mendez said. “It’s impossible to love one part more than other parts.”

Gabrielle Rueda

Gabrielle Rueda, 19, is a mass communications/journalism major at Wolfson Campus. Rueda, a 2014 graduate of Archbishop Curley-Notre Dame High School, will serve as the Forum Editor for The Reporter during the 2015-16 school year. She aspires to become a reporter for a major newspaper or magazine and to one day publish her own book.