It’s been an electrifying month at the New York Book Forum (NYBF)! We’re still humming with the bright energy of Meera Dasgupta’s—the 2020 United States Youth Poet Laureate—and Serena Yang’s—the 2021 NYC Youth Poet Laureate—compelling poetry establishing the third installment of our In Conversation series.

In August, NYBF President Janet McCarthy Grimm introduced you to the excellent Dr. Camea Davis, director of the National Youth Poet Laureate Program, an initiative of Urban Word NYC. How crucial it has felt for our organization to advocate for this program!

On Wednesday, October 20, we hope you will join us for what will be the fourth installment of that same series. McCarthy Grimm will again take the stage, this time with Ann Friedman, founder and CEO of Planet Word, the fresh and exciting “Museum of Language Arts” in Washington, D.C.

If you are a CBS Sunday Morning devotee like myself, you may already have seen Planet Word’s marvelous coverage thereon; if not, I encourage you to watch this segment in anticipation of our program. As with past our virtual events, we will be hosting a premiere on our YouTube channel, with links to come.

A note on Hurricane Ida: It is with tremendous grief we must acknowledge the catastrophe this storm has wrought on Louisiana and its surrounding regions. Should you identify any points of relief our organization can offer in this time, please do not hesitate to write.

Those of us in New York have—fortunately—been less impacted by this weather, though, we’re still surveying the damage from this past evening. The driving rain leaves the sparrows on my stoop waterlogged and bewildered; nevertheless, the softball tournament we’d planned for last weekend was indeed cancelled on advisement of the city’s Department of Parks & Recreation. All children’s book donations received to date for this event have been stored, to be gifted at a later date.

Lastly, as co-chair of the paused New York Book Show, it has troubled me to continue in our holding pattern. This indispensable showcase has endured 33 years and engaged innumerable publishing folks for just as long. Yet, the physical requirements have been difficult to strategize in this WFH environment, let alone account for the additional strain we might cause on our tenuous shipping channels. In a given year, we receive ~500 books to review for print-related attributes; we convene ~20 judges from all facets of the industry. These elements make the road ahead foggy.

Rest assured, we will keep you apprised of our fall slate—dare I say, spring?—in the coming months.

Very Best.

Zachary Lutz
Asst. VP & Creative Director
New York Book Forum, Inc.