The Literary Bronx Project

The Literary Bronx Project is an ongoing public humanities research project that aims to redress the deficit of critical attention paid to Bronx literary culture. One measure of the intellectual urgency of this project is that the Bronx was without a single general-interest bookstore from the closing of the Barnes & Noble in Baychester in 2016 until the opening of The Lit.Bar in 2019. From classic authors like Poe and Melville to lesser-known but significant writers of our own time like Jerome Charyn and Mariposa, the Bronx has a rich but understudied literary past that we seek to recover, write about, and bring to public light. More specifically, we are motivated to find answers to the following questions:

  • How has the Bronx contributed to the tradition of American literature?
  • What does the landscape of the literary Bronx look like?
  • What Bronx authors and Bronx books should we be reading?
  • Why aren’t these Bronx writers getting the recognition they deserve?
  • What can we do about it?

Based at Lehman College in the Bedford Park section of the Bronx, the Literary Bronx Project is curated by Bret Maney, Assistant Professor of English at Lehman College, and is written primarily by members of the Lehman College community. In 2017, the project received generous support from the CUNY Research Foundation via a Research in the Classroom Idea Grant.

To get involved, suggest an idea, or pitch an article for the Literary Bronx, write to bret dot maney at lehman dot cuny dot edu with the words “Literary Bronx” in the subject line.