Words can barely describe the magnitude and production of the Miami Book Fair. But, then again, the Miami Book Fair International starts with just that: words.
Words. A written modicum of communication.
How these words are expressed: poetically, lyrically, scenically, anecdotally, with comedy, suspense, drama, romance, perhaps illustration. Words for all ages, ethnicity, socioeconomic brackets, levels of education or political affiliation. The immense power of these words and in the voices that produce them. Words. That's what the Miami Book Fair provides our city, for 31 years now, and when regarding the Miami Book Fair, these two words can't and should not be said enough: thank you.
Thank you to Mitchell Kaplan and the tireless Books and Books crew. Thank you to the Florida Center for the Literary Arts, to their Directors and staff who have been working relentlessly for the past six months. Thank you to Miami Dade College for hosting the event in our emerging city corridor. Thank you to the Knight Foundation for supporting the Fair and The Swamp. Thank you to the hundreds of volunteers, many Miami-Dade college students. Thank you to the hosts and coordinators and behind the scenes wizards who effortlessly connect the dots of what is almost logistically inconceivable.
This year's book fair had over 600 Authors, participating in hundreds of events spread out over eight days. The media elite, the largest literati alive, our country's best cultural commentators and publishing gurus, all here, on a breezy weekend in Miami.
The brain power gathered during the Miami Book Fair could change the world.
In fact, they are or already have.
Thank you, Miami Book Fair.
Thank you for producing an event that bridges Miami's multicultural community together. That's the thing about the Book Fair that often goes unnoticed.
Although the Fair starts and ends with words, somewhere in-between those words gather momentum and create and define culture. That's why the Miami Book Fair is so beautiful, for incorporating that culture into its programming. The Book Fair is the only event in this city that truly unites all of our emerging culture. It's not just books and author readings and booksellers. It's food and art and music and theater and our artists, our musicians, our museums, our foundations, all under one roof, for everyone, from the 9,000 kids who are bused in on Thursday and Friday, to the tens of thousands that line the street fair on the weekend, to the thousands who attend the specialty events mid-week. Thank you. That's all you can say, thank you. Thank you for giving this to Miami because that's what you do, year after year, you create this for Miami, engaging us, educating and entertaining us -- and from Miami we say a sincere thank you.
Miami has culture. We know it. We see it growing.
Starting next week people will begin to parachute into town for Art Basel, arguably the most progressive and culturally relevant gathering in the country. But Basel isn't really for Miami; Basel sort of uses Miami; and us Miamians sort of use Basel back. Most attendees of Basel are entitled tourists who have no idea what Miami is.
The Book Fair knows exactly what Miami is.
The Book Fair is Miami.
That's the truth and the final and ultimate thank you.