José Martí Weekend October 14 & 15

Jose Marti

José Martí Weekend on Governors Island will be October 14 and 15. This weekend’s program aims to further widespread interest in José Martí, one of the greatest writers in the Spanish language and someone whose legacy to the City of New York cannot be underestimated.

All events take place in English, in the Empire State Center for the Book pop-up house on Governors Island, Quarters 4B, Nolan Park (right next to the Admiral’s House, whose gardens General Winfield Scott Hancock once tended).

“Cuidaba en silencio, en la linda isla del Gobernador, a la entrada de Nueva York, de los jardines y canteros que allí embellecen la morada del mayor-general del ejército del Este…”

“On lovely Governors Island, at the entrance to New York City, [Winfield Scott Hancock] silently tended to the gardens and flowerbeds that grace the home of the Major General of the Army of the Atlantic…”

—José Martí, “El General Hancock,” written in New York City, February 12, 1886; published in La Nación (Buenos Aires), March 26, 1886

The weekend is presented by:
* The Department of Modern Languages and Comparative Literature, Baruch College, CUNY
* The Ph.D. Program in Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian Literatures and Languages, CUNY Graduate Center
* Centro Cultural Cubano de Nueva York
* The Empire State Center for the Book

The event is free and open to the public. We will be collecting funds for the Hispanic Federation on behalf of hurricane victims in the Caribbean, and ask that you consider donating whatever you can.

Schedule of events:

11:30 a.m.
Emma Otheguy introduces and reads from her new bilingual book for children Martí’s Song for Freedom / Martí y sus versos por la libertad. Martí scholar Anne Fountain joins her for a conversation about “Guantanamera.”

12:30 p.m.
Cuban painter/photographer Geandy Pavón shares the haunting vision of a hidden and wrinkled Martí that recurs in his work.

1:30 p.m.
Baruch professor Esther Allen, reveals the strange history of the equestrian statue of Martí that stands in the heart of Manhattan, and CUNY grad student Wilfredo Burgos Matos reads his translation of the crónica about Governors Island

2:30 p.m.
Scientist and Baruch Dean Aldemaro Romero Jr. dissects Martí’s connections with the celebrated 19th-century Cuban zoologist Felipe Poey.


11:30 a.m.
Baruch College professor Rick Rodriguez analyzes Martí’s views on the U.S. South and the American Civil War.

12:30 p.m.
Raquel Vinat of Cuba’s Instituto de Historia introduces three remarkable women, all abolitionists and exiles, whose lives intersected Martí’s in New York City.

1:30 p.m.
Historian Jorge Dominguez offers irrefutable evidence of where Martí spent his last months in Manhattan in 1894-1895, before departing on his fateful journey back to Cuba, to lead the island’s armed struggle for independence from Spain.

2:30 p.m.
New York University historian Ada Ferrer addresses the issue of race, and Martí’s handling of it, in Cuba’s struggle for independence.

Sherlock Holmes Weekend on Governors Island

Sherlock Holmes

Join us out on Governors Island for a weekend in celebration of Sherlock Holmes! Admission is free! Come to Nolan Park 4B, a short walk from the Manhattan and Brooklyn ferries. September 16-17, 11:00 AM to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Governors Island Ferry information

Sherlock Holmes Weekend is hosted by the Empire State Center for the Book. We will be out in Nolan Park in one of their lovely homes spending the day discussing Sherlock Holmes and the communities surrounding him.

Join us for talks, lectures, podcasts, a study of local communities, and just general enjoyment for the leading detective of mystery.

Quarters 4
Quarters 4
The Event is Free and open to all! Bring your deerstalker and come enjoy a day talking about the Great Detective!

Saturday, September 16th

Ira Matetsky, local Sherlockian and scholar, will be leading a discussion on Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes, and the Sherlockian World.

Christopher Zordan, a member of the Baker Street Irregulars, will be discussing from his field Holmes, Science, and the application of the Scientific Method.

Join Andy Heidel, proprietor of The Way Station and artist Eric Hamilton as they discuss Holmes’ influences in mysteries and geekdom from their book True Crimes from Rhymes Square and Andy’s newest book coming out soon The Cocktail Guide to the Galaxy..

2pm – 4pm
Priory Scholars of NYC will be leading an introduction to Sherlockian Scions. Ever wanted a way to meet up and discuss the Master? Various groups all over the US have dinners, meetings, and events that provide interactive opportunities with quizzes, discussion, and usually a chance to peel apart a case and take part in the Great Game. Stop by to see what it’s all about and how you can get involved!

Sunday, September 17th

Join us for a 221B open house! Ask questions, get information, and come see what Sherlock Holmes is about and how you can get involved in the community that stretches out internationally.

Katie Woodward, right off her artist residency at Bryant Park, will be leading a 221B and Sherlock Holmes Figure Drawing session! Bring your sketch books as Tiffany Rae Knight poses as a Steampunk take of Sherlock Holmes.

After your sketching session, talk about fashion and costuming within the Sherlock Holmes universes with Tiffany and designer Elicia Lord. They’ll be geeking out about constructing your own, the history of costuming in the Sherlock fandom, and how costumes play a part in the Cannon.

Members from Three Patch Podcast will be leading us in a discussion on Fandom 101! Come as they talk about Holmes, Sherlock BBC, and the other incarnations of how Sherlock Holmes has spread through popular culture and communities.

Amy Beshara Music, fiddler extraordinaire, will be sitting down with Tiffany from The Baker Street Babes to record a Live and Local Podcast. Amy is joining us straight back from her trip to Nepal. We’ll be picking her brain on the Violin, Nepal, and the types of instrument Holmes himself may have picked up on his travels- and how it would have shaped his own playing.

Marx Brothers Weekend on Governors Island


Marxfest presents A MARX BROTHERS WEEKEND! Come hang out with us in an historic house on Governors Island, NYC, and cling to the last moments of summer with a bunch of Marx Brothers fans, the Marxfest Committee, and members of the 2016 cast of I’ll Say She Is.

Events will include a walk-through exhibit; Marx-minded talks, discussions, readings, and music; and “A Deep Dive into CRACKED ICE — Duck Soup Before Duck Soup!” The full schedule is below.

Admission is free! Come to Nolan Park 4B, a short walk from the Manhattan and Brooklyn ferries.

Governors Island Ferry information

MARX BROTHERS WEEKEND is hosted by the Empire State Center for the Book.



12:00 pm: SCREENINGS!
(Rarities, Napoleon, Marxfest)

(Kevin Fitzpatrick, Trav SD, Kathy Biehl, Noah Diamond)

2:00 pm: TRIVIA!
(You Brett Your Life with Brett Leveridge)

(With Bill Zeffiro)

Duck Soup Before Duck Soup!
(Featuring members of the Marxfest Committee and the 2016 Off Broadway cast of I’ll Say She Is: Kathy Biehl, Melody Jane, Brett Leveridge, Jonny Porkpie, Matt Roper, Trav S.D., Seth Shelden, Matt Walters, Noah Diamond)


12:00 pm: SCREENINGS!
(Rarities, Napoleon, Marxfest)

(Trav S.D., Jonny Porkpie, Frederick Wemyss, Jim Beckerman, Noah Diamond)

2:00 pm: TRIVIA!
(You Brett Your Life with Brett Leveridge)

(Trav S.D.)

(The Marxes as Memoirists; Noah Diamond, Seth Shelden)

Emily Dickinson Weekend June 10-11

emily dickinson

The Emily Dickinson International Society will be on Governors Island June 10 and June 11 at Nolan Park 4B for the Empire State Center for the Book.

Programs throughout the day:


“Creator—Shall I—bloom?”: Emily Dickinson’s Poetic Career
Elizabeth Petrino
Chair & Associate Professor of English & American Studies
Fairfield University

The presentation will provide an overview to Dickinson’s life and work, including her method of poetic composition. Drawing on readings of her poems and short excerpts from her letters, we will focus on two poems in particular, “God made the little Gentian” (Fr 520) and “The Soul selects her own Society” (Fr409), which offer her perspective on poetic career and literary influence.
20 min.

The Musical Parlor of Emily Dickinson: How the Dickinsons collected, listened to, and performed the music of their time.
George Boziwick
Chief, Music Division
The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts

The Musical Parlor of Emily Dickinson recreates the intimate setting of music-making in the home of America’s most well-known poet. A selection of popular ballads, minstrel tunes and Irish dance music from Emily’s own music book illustrates in audio examples, pictures and commentary, how the Dickinson’s collected, listened to and performed the music of their time.
20 min.



Barbara Dana

Barbara Dana reads from her novel A Voice of Her Own: Becoming Emily Dickinson, based on the young life of the poet. Dickinson’s unique voice is shared in readings of the poems and letters.
30 min.

For more information visit the Emily Dickinson International Society.

Authors & New York May 27 & 28

New York

The Empire State Center for the Book welcomes authors and writers who live and work in New York City for two days of talks, discussion, and book signings. All events are free and open to the public, and held at Governors Island Quarters 4B in Nolan Park, an 1855 former officer’s house. This is the pop-up location for the center and the New York State Writers Hall of Fame.

The diverse group of writers represents New York City in biography, fiction, history, illustration, non-fiction, and photography. Books and illustrations will be for sale at the house.


N. West Moss’ work has appeared in The New York Times, The Saturday Evening Post, McSweeney’s, Salon, Brevity, and elsewhere. The Subway Stops at Bryant Park, published by Leapfrog Press, is her first book, a collection of short stories, all of which are connected to Bryant Park in midtown Manhattan. Moss is a second-generation New Yorker who explores the way “progress” in this city leaves behind as many as it raises up.

Mark P. Bernardo is a journalist and editor who has written about travel, entertainment, art, culture, and lifestyle topics for publications such as Maxim, Bloomberg Markets, Bloomberg Pursuits, Robb Report, and Worth. An aficionado of art history and a fixture on the New York City museum scene, his interest in Roy Lichtenstein’s work was inspired by the author’s earlier career as an editor, writer, and color artist for Marvel Comics. His new book is Lichtenstein in New York: A Pop Art Life (Roaring Forties Press).

Photographer and writer Janko Puls focuses mainly on landscapes, urbanscapes, and seascapes. The human condition is his topic though, and he finds this expressed in inanimate objects as well. Architecture, embedded in the social and geological topography, plays a special role in this context. His book is Point of View New York City.


Kevin C. Fitzpatrick has written and edited seven books with ties to New York history, including World War I New York: A Guide to the City’s Enduring Ties to the Great War and The Governors Island Explorer’s Guide (Globe Pequot). In time for the centennial of America’s entry into the Great War, World War I New York is the first guidebook to the traces of the conflict in the region.

Writer and performer Trav S.D. is the author of the popular books No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous (2005) and Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube. He has contributed to The New York Times, American Theatre, the Village Voice, Time Out New York, Reason, The Villager, and many other publications. He also writes the popular show biz blog “Travalanche”.

Ed Hamilton, who grew up in the suburbs of Louisville, Kentucky, is the author of Legends of the Chelsea Hotel: Living with the Artists and Outlaws of New York’s Rebel Mecca and The Chintz Age: Tales of Love and Loss for a New New York. His fiction and non-fiction have appeared in dozens of small journals and newspapers. Ed lives in New York City.

Jennifer E. Steenshorne, PhD. is the Associate Editor of The Selected Papers of John Jay and a historian of New York City and the trans-Atlantic world in the colonial and early national periods. She has been with the Papers of John Jay project since its beginning in 2005. Dr. Steenshorne will be speaking on John Jay’s tenure as governor of New York State, from 1795 to 1801. She will discuss the many challenges Jay faced as governor, particularly the defense of New York during the Quasi-War with France and the terrible Yellow Fever epidemics of the 1790s.

Also at the house during the day Sunday will be Carolyn Raship, an illustrator and writer. She lives in Brooklyn. Carolyn will have illustrations for sale.

Children’s Book Weekend May 6-7

Empire State Center for the Book

The Empire State Center for the Book will host a Children’s Book Weekend on May 6 & 7 to celebrate Children’s Book Week and the opening of the 2017 Summer Season of Governors Island. The event which will include fourteen authors reading stories from their books over the course of the weekend. The readings take place on the hour from 11am to 4pm at the Center for the Book’s pop-up site at house 4B in Nolan Park.

Authors including Jeff Baron, Melanie Hope Greenberg and Robin Newman will read from their books. Their books will be available for sale and autographing. Parents and childcare givers are encouraged to bring blankets to sit upon while the authors read from the house’s front porch.

Saturday, May 6

11:30 Elizabeth Upton

12:00 Christopher Browne
12:30 Elizabeth Upton
1:00 Jackie Azúa Kramer
2:00 Rowboat Watkins
2:30 Sergio Ruzzier
3:00 Jeff Baron

Sunday, May 7
12:00 Melanie Hope Greenberg
1:00 Robin Newman
2:00 Michael Northrop
2:30 Julie Gribble
3:00 Delores Connors