Inspired by Alice in Wonderland
Decatur Book Festival, Atlanta, GA
Are books and literature critical when it comes to protecting and cultivating our democracy? Come hear from three National Book Award–honored authors as they discuss the roles books have in our society. Can they influence the way we think as citizens? Can they contribute to our civic education? This panel will feature 2016 Poetry Winner Daniel Borzutzky (The Performance of Becoming Human), 2016 Young People’s Literature Finalist, 2017 Young People’s Literature Longlister Jason Reynolds (Ghost & Long Way Down), and 2017 Nonfiction Finalist Nancy MacLean (Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Steal Plan for America). Moderated by Pellom McDaniels III, Ph.D. from Emory University where he is the curator of African American collections in the Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library.
Brooklyn Book Festival, Brooklyn, NY
Come hear from a lineup of 2017 National Book Award–honored authors discussing their work, craft, and why literature matters. The panel includes Nonfiction Winner Masha Gessen (The Future Is History), Fiction Finalist Min Jin Lee (Pachinko), Poetry Finalist Shane McCrae (In the Language of My Captor), and Young People’s Literature Finalist Erika L. Sánchez (I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter). Ken Chen, a poet, lawyer, and the Executive Director of the Asian American Writers’ Workshop, will moderate this panel.
Boston Book Festival, Boston, MA
In a world where we've seen a diversification of award winners in the US and beyond, what does this mean for the literary landscape and for writers themselves? How far have we come, how far do we have left to go, and how will this change writing and reading in the future? Featured in this conversation will be 2017 National Book Award–honored authors Danez Smith (Poetry Finalist, Don't Call Us Dead), Carmen Maria Machado (Fiction Finalist, Her Body and Other Parties), and 2017 5 Under 35 honoree Lesley Nneka Arimah (What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky) as they discuss their work, achievements, and what awards and accolades mean for authors and readers. Moderated by Shuchi Saraswat, curator of the Transnational Literature Series at Brookline Booksmith, an events series focused on migration, exile, and displacement and works in translation.
Wisconsin Book Festival, Madison, WI
In a country deeply divided by geography, politics, income, and so many other things, join the National Book Foundation at the Wisconsin Book Festival for a conversation exploring how fiction helps us to understand ourselves, our neighbors, and the world around us. Featuring 2015 National Book Award Fiction Finalist Karen Bender (Refund) and others.
Greensboro Public Library, Greensboro, NC
Join the National Book Foundation and the Greensboro Public Library for an evening with 2016 National Book Award Nonfiction Longlister Patricia Bell-Scott (The Firebrand and the First Lady: Portrait of a Friendship: Pauli Murray, Eleanor Roosevelt, and the Struggle for Social Justice) and 2017 Nonfiction Finalist Erica Armstrong Dunbar (Never Caught: The Washingtons’ Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge). These two scholars will come together for a discussion about their work to uncover the truth, cast a new light on lesser-known figures from the archives of American history, tell the stories of the marginalized and forgotten, and to deepen our understanding of the world we live in. Moderated by Allen Johnson, News and Record Editorial Page Editor
North Carolina A&T State University, Greensboro, NC
Join the National Book Foundation and North Carolina A&T State University for a discussion with 2016 National Book Award Nonfiction Longlister Patricia Bell-Scott (The Firebrand and the First Lady: Portrait of a Friendship: Pauli Murray, Eleanor Roosevelt, and the Struggle for Social Justice) and 2017 Nonfiction Finalist Erica Armstrong Dunbar (Never Caught: The Washingtons’ Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge). These authors will share their roles in elevating stories that have gone too long untold, explore why the stories of these women have been forgotten, why we need to remember them, and how their lives—small and large—helped to change the world.
Los Angeles Public Library, Los Angeles, CA
Literature can transform the way we look at the world, deepening our understanding of even the most complex issues of today. Recognizing the strength of the written word, the National Book Foundation is launching its Literature for Justice program, which is designed to bring broad awareness to the issue of mass incarceration in America through the power of books. Every year for the next three years the Foundation will announce a list of five books, selected by a committee of writers and experts, that will humanize, contextualize, and render more real the causes, consequences, and complexities of mass incarceration. Join us for the launch of this program at the Los Angeles Public Library, where committee members, authors, experts, activists, and other well-known figures will help announce these illuminating and urgent works. 2008 and 2013 National Book Award Fiction Finalist Rachel Kushner (The Flamethrowers, Telex From Cuba) and 2016 Nonfiction Finalist Heather Ann Thompson (Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy) and others will join in for the launch. This event is made possible by the Art for Justice Fund.
Texas Book Festival, Austin, TX
On the heels of bringing in a new group of honored authors at the upcoming 2018 National Book Awards, the Foundation continues to celebrate 2017 at the Texas Book Festival. Nonfiction Finalist David Grann (Killers of the Flower Moon) and Young People’s Literature Finalist Ibi Zoboi (American Street), and others will discuss their work, craft, and why literature matters.
Portland Book Festival, Portland, OR
Awards season is here at last! Just four days before the 2018 National Book Awards, you’ll have a chance to join the National Book Foundation at the Portland Book Festival to hear from a panel of 2018 Awards Finalists and Longlisted authors (and maybe even forthcoming Winners!). The panel will include writers honored in the categories of Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Translated Literature, and Young People’s Literature. They’ll be discussing their work, craft, and why literature matters for an evening that encapsulates the excellence of literature in America. Panelists to be announced following the Longlist announcement.
The New School, New York City, NY
Each fall, on the night before the National Book Awards, all of the Finalists gather at the New School to read from their honored titles at a signature Awards event that is open to the public. The 2018 reading will feature the Finalists in Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Young People’s Literature, and the newly added category of Translated Literature. Hosted by Buzzfeed AM to DM’s Isaac Fitzgerald and Saeed Jones. Tickets are $10 to attend. This event is made possible by the New School.
Miami Book Fair, Miami, FL
Fresh from the 2018 National Book Awards, join the National Book Foundation at the Miami Book Fair for a special evening that highlights the best of contemporary literature in America. Every 2018 National Book Award Longlister, Finalist, and Winner is invited to Miami for a super-sized Awards reading—the first chance to hear from these honored authors following the whirlwind of the National Book Awards. The reading will feature recognized works from all Awards categories, including Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Young People’s Literature, and—for the first time—the new Translated Literature category. Lisa Lucas, Executive Director of the National Book Foundation, will moderate the evening. This event is made possible by the generosity of the James L. Knight Foundation.
Houston Public Library, Houston, TX
James Baldwin, whose remarkable work represents a significant contribution to the literary world, should be taught and read by all Americans. Yet this literary legend and four-time National Book Award Finalist is too often overlooked in our reading lists, lesson plans, and home libraries. Join the National Book Foundation at the Houston Public Library as it launches a new program celebrating the literary legacy and seminal works of James Baldwin and encouraging readers of today to pick up his books. The program will include a screening of the critically acclaimed film I Am Not Your Negro, and will include a discussion with noteworthy authors and Baldwin scholars (panelists to be announced) addressing the importance of Baldwin and his work’s lasting relevance. This event was made possible by The Ford Foundation and Velvet Film.
Rutgers University, Camden, NJ
What do authors see as the role of literature and books in our democracy? Through their writing, do authors actively work to influence the way we think? Do they see their work contributing to our civic education? Come hear National Book Award–honored authors discuss the role of books in exploring the themes and issues that are critical to protecting democracy. Panelists to be announced.
Unless otherwise noted, all programs made possible by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.