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Fourth Dominican Book Fair in New York Comes to a Successful End

Culmina con éxito 4ta. Feria del Libro Dominicano en NY

Fourth Dominican Book Fair in New York Comes to a Successful End
New York, 10/08/2010

The celebration of the 4th Dominican Book Fair in New York turned upper Manhattan into the cultural capital of the Dominican Republic on October 1, 2 & 3rd with a huge turnout of the community, the sale of thousands of books and over 100 related events to choose from such as conferences, lectures, theater pieces, painting exhibitions, workshops and more than 30 book presentations by writers from the Dominican Diaspora as well as from the island.  

“The presentation halls and conference rooms were totally full which demonstrates the enthusiasm readers and writers share for Dominican books,”

The event, considered to be the most important sponsored by the Dominican Ministry of Culture outside the country, is organized through the office of the Dominican Cultural Commission in the United States. It was held at the Boricua College in Upper Manhattan and dedicated to the writer, Jorge Piña from the Meta-Poetry Movement and co-founder of Culturarte. It is also dedicated to the artists and writers from the state of Massachusetts for their support of Dominican culture and their contributions to the diffusion and enrichment of Dominican literature.

At the opening event held in Aaron Davis Hall at City College, Alejandro Arvelo, General Director of the International Book Fair in Santo Domingo, spoke on behalf of the Dominican Minister of Culture, José Rafael Lantigua, saying the Dominican Book Fair in New York is a unique event that was born a winner, adding that it provides a venue for the promotion of Dominican literature in the United States.
The Dominican Cultural Commissioner in the United States, Carlos Sánchez, said he appreciated and valued the backing of the Dominican and international community which massively attended this event and enjoyed its activities.

“The presentation halls and conference rooms were totally full which demonstrates the enthusiasm readers and writers share for Dominican books,” said Mr. Sánchez.

The fair opened to the public on Saturday October 2nd with a Dominican carnival and folklore show that stretched along the Boricua College promenade.

There was a busy schedule of events at the book fair, which opened with a conference given by Dominican Culture Minister José Rafael Lantigua and called “Reading: A Memorable Passion.”
Other conferences that captured the public’s attention were: “Returning to a Reading of Dominican Poetry from Salomé Ureña to Our Days,” given by Mateo Morrison, National Prize Winner for Literature in 2010; “Nearly a Century of Brief Dominican Narrative” by René Rodríguez Soriano; “Memory of the Reader,” by Miguel Aníbal Perdomo; “La Metapoesía”, by Joel Almonó and “The Poem is Meta-Language” by Jorge Piña, the writer being paid tribute at the Fair.

The panels also included “Work of the Novelist Manuel Salvador Gautier, in Celebration of his 80th Birthday”, done by the writers José Acosta, Rubén Sánchez Féliz, Kianny Antigua, and Eduardo Lantigua; and “The Historical Memory of the Dominican Community in Washington Heights” by Mary Grateraux, Cinthia Molina and Ana Ofelia Rodríguez.

The books presented at the Fair included the Diccionario de la Literatura Dominicana, by Franklin Gutiérrez; Una mujer de lluvia con sonrisa de relámpago, poetry by Lucila Rutinel; Días enteros para una sopa, by Jimmy Valdez; and Mujeres de vida alegre, by Ligia Minaya.

There were also lots of activities for children at the Book Fair such as paining workshops and magic acts held in the Children’s Pavilion under the watchful guidance of writer Elizabeth Balaguer. There was a special Dominican cultural event in the Mirabal Sisters Pavilion and the Artisan’s Pavilion.

The Dominican Ministry of Culture participated in the Fair with an official delegation headed by Culture Minister José Rafael Lantigua accompanied by the General Director of the International Book Fair of Santo Domingo, Alejandro Arvelo; Bernarda Jorge, Deputy Minister of Creativity and Popular Participation; Mateo Morrison, Deputy Minister of Institutional Development; Enegildo Peña, Deputy Minister of Culture for the Northern Region; León Félix Batista, Director of the National Publishing House; Juan Báez, Coordinator of Participation in International Book Fairs; Alcedo Sánchez, Coordinator of Mercadeo de Libros; Alexander Santana, Administration Deputy Minister; Basilio Belliard, Director of the Office of Books and Reading and Carlos Mena Pérez, Executive Assistant.

Writers who participated in the fair include Santiago Campo Gutiérrez, Fernely Lebrón, Haffe Serulle, Franklin Gutiérrez, René Rodríguez Soriano, Miguel Aníbal Perdomo, Joel Almonó, Leonardo Nin, Manuel de Jesús Cuevas, Rhina Espaillat and Dinorah Coronado.

Other writers were: Eduardo Lantigua, Yrene Santos, Kianny Antigua, Diógenes Abreu, Osiris Mosquea, Karina Rieke, Ligia Minaya, Fabio Ramón Monte de Oca, Alma Galán, Anastacio Jiménez, Yvelisse Fanith, Tomás Modesto Galán, Elizabeth Balaguer, Leopoldo Minaya, Luis Álvarez, among others.

The closure of the Fair took place in the events hall of the Commission with an homage to writer, Juan Rivero, one of the pioneers of Dominican literature in New York and Mateo Morrison, winner of the 2010 National Prize for Literature from the Dominican Republic, both of whom received a lot of attention and were welcomed with a musical version of their poems put on by the music and song section of the Commission, in addition to a presentation by a group of rap singers, comedians and dancers.

The “King of Merengue” Joseíto Mateo was also honored for his contribution to Dominican culture. He sang several of his most popular merengue songs such as, “La chiva blanca.” Plaques of recognition were bestowed upon Dominican writers living in Massachusetts, the state to which this year’s Fair was dedicated.

Each night of the Fair, after the organized events had ended, the Café Bohemio opened its doors and hosted a variety of singers, musicians, poets and theater people. The Café is located at 809 Dyckman Street in Manhattan.

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