Downtown Brooklyn: A Journal of Writing

call for submissions! deadline extended!

We are happy to announce that the university is funding the production of our 27th issue! The stipend has been cut by two-thirds, so we don't know what will happen next year, but for now, we're still alive!

Please consider submitting new work for our consideration, and please also encourage your classmates, professors, and/or colleagues to send us work, too! See flyer below (hard copies of which are available in the English Department).

the latest issue

We were fortunate that the university again funded our work in the 2016-17 academic year, and we were able to publish #26, which was the first issue to appear in the form of a Tumblr blog (no print, no PDF). See link below. Enjoy!

Read Issue #26

previous online issues

In 2014, budget cuts at the university forced us to abandon print and publish #23 of the magazine online. 

We also published #24 online in 2015, but the message we seemed to be getting from the university at that time was that there would be no further funding, so the editor reluctantly announced that #24 would be the last issue. 

However, since then, the university has provided enough financial support for us to publish additional issues. We are now operating on a year-to-year, wait-and-see basis. Keep your fingers crossed!

Issues #23-25 are available in PDF via the following links.

Read Issue #25

Read Issue #24

Read Issue #23

back issues in print

Issues #1-22 are available for reading in the periodicals collection of the LIU Brooklyn Library (they cannot be checked out). 

A limited number of free copies of some of these issues may be available from the Editor. See Wayne Berninger in Humanities 454.

Issues #1-22 are also available for study in the Little Magazine Collection at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

writing assignments from the editor

Visit our Facebook page for a steady stream of tongue-in-cheek (or are they?) "writing assignments."

about the magazine

The university environment exposes us to a variety of personalities and ideas, but on a primarily commuter campus, it's easy to feel alienated from each other and from the overall campus culture. It's difficult to take advantage of what your campus has to offer if you always have to rush straight to the subway after class. It's hard enough just to get to class on time, let alone find out that the person next to you in the elevator is a great writer. But who knows?

The person sitting behind you in class might be your future favorite novelist or the next [insert name of favorite poet]. If you aren't tuned in to what other people are doing on campus, you're really missing out.

The literary magazine of the English Department at LIU Brooklyn, Downtown Brooklyn: A Journal of Writing (ISSN 1536-8475) was founded in 1992 to showcase poetry and literary prose by writers at LIU Brooklyn. One issue has appeared every year since 1992. The magazine showcases a wide variety of work (in traditional forms as well as more experimental styles) by undergrads; grad students; alumni; current and former faculty; and administrative, clerical and other staff from across the Campus—not only from English. Our aesthetic is eclectic. Our mission is to promote not any particular style but all the different kinds of writing being created on campus.

Watch this blog for the next call for submissions and for news about the publication of each new issue.

Daniel Owen: Furniture Press Poetry Prize

We are pleased to note that Sandra Simonds' pick for the 5th Annual Furniture Press Poetry Prize is Restaurant Samsara by LIU Brooklyn Creative Writing MFA alum Daniel Owen.

More info.

Sam Farhi: New Film

Sam Farhi, an alum of the Creative Writing MFA program, has written a short film commissioned by Adidas and directed by Daniel Arsham and Ben Nicholas. 

Hourglass - Present is the second chapter of a film series commissioned by adidas Originals to accompany an ongoing collaboration with Daniel Arsham. Films that explore the life and thoughts of Daniel Arsham through alienation, discovery & archaeology. The screenplay was written by Sam Farhi, Ben Nicholas and Daniel Arsham. 

Holiday Party!

Creative Writing MFA Program: Student / Faculty Reading

Reading by Students in Professor Barbara Henning's ENG 165 Poetry Writing Workshop

Creative Writing MFA Program Master Class Series: Anne Waldman and Lynne Tillman

WRITE NOW: Prescriptions for the Anthropocene: A Master Class in Poetry with Anne Waldman (December 2)

"This is an extraordinary time for writers as we face an expanding universe and our planet struggles with the destructive carbon footprint of the human. We will consider the rhizome of our interconnectedness, and find generative ways to write through chaos and negativity.This is a poetry/hybrid workshop for all curious writers. We will immerse ourselves in “experiments of attention” engaging memory, dream, documentary poetics, 
agit prop, erasure, cut-up, performance, and collaboration. We will cross genres and genders of possibility.And the linguistic possibility of shifting identity and focus.Inspiration and reference will be given to modernist, and post-mod contemporary writers associated with the Outrider tradition. We will discuss archive, artistic-community, the 100 year
 project and what it means to be contemporary with one’s time. Writing, discussion, critique."

Simple, Complex, Straightforward, Fragmented: Stories Are Made of Words: A Master Class in Fiction with Lynne Tillman (December 2)

"This intensive workshop will concentrate on the elements that go into making a narrative. My emphasis is always on language and syntax, that is, style, tone, the shaping of a story -- what comes when and why --- and how to write with economy.  When is more actually less, and when should less be more, and etc. Deciding what to include or exclude is key to writing a story. Any story. As a group, we will ponder these questions, and your particular questions, to find ways to better our writing."

Saturday, December 2, 2017
11AM - 5PM
Media Arts Lounge, 2nd Floor Humanities Building
Long Island University
1 University Plaza, Brooklyn NY 11201

Lunch will be served.

Each workshop costs $200. To register, please send us a short cover letter describing your experiences with writing Poetry/Fiction, and a writing sample of 3-5 pages to Seats are limited.​

More info.

Roundtable on Jonathan Haynes's Book Nollywood: The Creation of Nigerian Film Genres

On November 18, 2017, there will be a roundtable discussion of Professor Jonathan Haynes's book Nollywood: The Creation of Nigerian Film Genres, at the 60th annual meeting of the African Studies Association. This year's conference is entitled "Institutions: Creativity and Resilience in Africa" and will be in Chicago.

Creative Writing MFA Program Presents: One-Day Master Class Workshops in Poetry and Fiction

The Creative Writing MFA Program in the LIU Brooklyn English Department is hosting two one-day workshops in poetry and fiction on Saturday, November 18 and Saturday, December 2, with Gregory Pardlo and Hirsh Sawhney and Anne Waldman and Lynne Tillman. There is a fee. Proceeds will help support MFA students in the Creative Writing Program. 

More info.

Jonathan Haynes: Scholarly Activity

On October 27, 2017, Professor Jonathan Haynes (English) will moderate a panel discussion of the films of Femi Odugbemi at Northwestern University. See flyer below.

Then, on October 30, 2017, Professor Haynes will deliver a lecture, "Trajectories of the Nigerian Film Industry," at Illinois State University in Normal.

Lewis Warsh: New Book

We are pleased to announce that Professor Lewis Warsh's new book -- Out of the Question: Selected Poems (1963-2003) [Station Hill Press of Barrytown, 2017] is available for purchase through Small Press Distribution. It will also be available at Warsh's upcoming reading with Cedar Sigo at the Poetry Project. See our earlier post for further information about that reading.

Undergraduate Courses, Spring 2018

Danny Lyon, "Turn of the Century Brownstone Apartments Being Painted and Renovated by Their Owners in Brooklyn" (1974).
US National Archives, No known copyright restrictions. Link

These course descriptions are provided by the professors teaching the courses.

For more information, write to them directly.

Get English Department faculty contact info here

English Majors — Before you register, make an appointment to meet with Wayne Berninger to review your outstanding requirements. Then register as early as possible to keep courses from being canceled.

Non-Majors — The writing and analytical skills gained in English courses are useful in a variety of professions. Any student may take these courses as general electives. A minor in English (four courses 100 or above) will satisfy the Distribution Requirement for any major. For more information, make an appointment to meet with Wayne Berninger.

Downtown Brooklyn: Call for Submissions -- Issue 27

Poets & writers!

Please submit poems and/or fiction for issue #27 of


the literary magazine of the LIU Brooklyn English Department

Submission deadline: 8 December 2017!

Who can submit work? Students, faculty & staff at LIU Brooklyn. This includes alumni & former employees of LIU Brooklyn, as well as Visiting Writers in the Creative Writing MFA program & writers who read in the English Department’s Voices of the Rainbow reading series. We consider poetry &/or fiction in a wide variety of traditional as well as experimental forms.

How to submit? Save your submission as a single Word document (not a separate file for each piece) & send it as an attachment to The first page of your document should be a cover letter. Include your name as you’d like it to appear, your e-mail address, & a short bio statement, in which you describe how you are connected to LIU Brooklyn. Are you a student? Say whether you are undergrad or grad, what your major or degree program is, & your expected date of graduation. If you are an alum, tell us what your major was & what degree you earned, as well as the year you graduated. Are you faculty or former faculty? Tell us your department, what your title is or was & what you teach or taught. Are you a staff member or former staff member? Tell us your title & what kind of work you do or did. If relevant, list recent publications, productions, or performances of your work. You will receive confirmation by e-mail that we have received your submissions. We will then notify as to acceptance ASAP, and the new issue should come out in time for the start of the Fall 2018 semester.