Derrick Adams

Figure in the Urban Landscape 28 2018)


The Virtual Edition



The Virtual Edition

September 21 - 26, 2020


Reading the African Diaspora expands our long tradition of championing authors of African descent from across the globe and publications that celebrate Black history and culture. The inaugural day-long book festival has been reconfigured as a virtual festival taking place over six days. We will feature readings, panel discussions, book selling and more for all ages, from prose to poetry, comic books to young adult novels, fiction and non-fiction. 

The Schomburg Center Literary Festival is generously sponsored by the New York Life Foundation and Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation.

Schomburg Lit Fest



Lift Every Voice: 250 Years of African American Poetic Traditions

SEPT 17, 2020 @ 6:30 PM (ET)

Library of America, in partnership with the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, presents the launch of Lift Every Voice, a nationwide celebration of the 250-year-long African American poetic tradition. The celebration is anchored by the publication of the anthology, African American Poetry: 250 Years of Struggle and Song, edited by poet and Schomburg Center Director Kevin Young.

The evening will feature poets Nikky Finney (Love Child's Hotbed of Occasional Poetry), Sonia Sanchez (Shake Loose My Skin: New and Selected Poems), pulitzer prize winning poets Jericho Brown (The Tradition) and Tyehimba Jess (Olio) and many more. Visit our Eventbrite page in September for a full list of participants and the program schedule.

A Look Back at 2019

On Saturday, June 29, 2019 we hosted our first annual Schomburg Center Literary Festival featuring 23 programs, approximately 50 authors/moderators, and 34 vendors/exhibitors on 135th Street and inside the Schomburg Center. We set out to present a literary festival that centered stories and scholarship by writers of African descent, hailing from across the globe and our own backyard. Take a look at the 2019 Schedule to see the range of conversations inspired by Schomburg collections and our participants. It was rewarding to see intergenerational exchanges, the Schomburg showcased on the streets of Harlem, and the many forms of literature share stages named for Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, and Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. The day started with Batala New York, an Afro-Brazilian inspired, all women, percussion band and ended with our ambassador, Sonia Sanchez, whose generous spirit and commitment to justice and the written word is unparalleled. The festival was sponsored by Deustche Bank Americas Foundation. We also received support from HarperCollins.

Together, we provided a platform for writers who carry forward the essence of these words.  We have laid the foundation for a free literary event that commits to providing the community access to books by leading and emerging writers, featuring big ideas, scholarship, and worlds real and imagined. We look forward to doing it again this summer!  

Revist 2019 on Livestream 


515 Malcolm X Boulevard (135th St and Malcolm X Blvd)

New York, NY, 10037

The Schomburg Center Literary Festival

is generously sponsored by

the New York Life Foundation and Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation