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Yahdon Israel, Senior Editor

Yahdon has a passion for promoting literacy and connecting readers with books. He brings an entrepreneurial spirit to these pursuits as the founder of a popular book club, host of a literary podcast, creative writing teacher, event producer, magazine editor, and writer, as well as his work in support of several prestigious literary awards.

A graduate of Pace University, Yahdon has an MFA from The New School, and teaches creative writing at CUNY and the Sackett Street Writers’ Workshop. His work has appeared in Poets & Writers, Guernica, LitHub, and other outlets. He was Editorial Director of Northside Media and Editor-in-Chief of Brooklyn Magazine. He also served as Content and Social Media Director for MakersFinders, Inc.

Yahdon began snapping pictures of stylishly dressed New Yorkers reading books around town and posting them on Instagram with the hashtag #LiterarySwag. This practice morphed into a cultural movement comprising the Literaryswag Book Club, which boasts hundreds of members, monthly meetings, and a robust social media presence; and the podcast Lit, a weekly interview series hosted by Yahdon featuring writers talking about books and culture. Yahdon describes Literary Swag as “the intersection of fashion and literature, which makes literature more accessible to people who don’t read” (the quote is from this NBC News video interview with him).

Yahdon has also served as a preliminary reader for both the Whiting Award and the Aspen Words Literary Award, and has worked extensively with the board of the National Book Critics Circle, including helping to produce the NBCC Awards ceremony.

At Simon & Schuster, Yahdon will acquire both fiction and nonfiction.