February 2011 eNewsletter

National Book Awards, Over 60 Years of Honoring Great American Books
February 2011 eNewsletter

National Book Awards Poetry Retrospective Begins February 14


On February 14, the Foundation will kick off its National Book Awards Poetry retrospective with a daily blog featuring original essays by contemporary poets on the 51 Winners of the National Book Award for Poetry. Here's a preview of Katie Peterson's essay on Wallace Stevens, Winner of the Award in 1951 for The Auroras of Autumn:


"Stevens' work, situated in ordinary life, doesn't assume ordinary life's dignity. The poems of The Auroras of Autumn and the entire Collected Poems recognize the effort that must be made to refresh our love of what is mortal and perishable. Stevens makes that effort through an almost unbearable density of language, those 'liquid lingerings' that remain with the reader for days. Phrases from the poems begin to seem like mantras because of their sonority. I have muttered one line from the long poem 'Sunday Morning' everywhere from the dentist (try it when you're getting a filling--it's really distracting in a good way) to moments before a first date: 'gusty / emotions on wet roads on autumn nights.'"


The retrospective will also include a series of public discussions and readings featuring some of America's foremost poets and poetry scholars in three U.S. cities: at The New School and The Center for Book Arts in New York, The Loft in Minneapolis, and Literary Arts in Portland, Oregon. On February 24, in New York, Elizabeth Alexander, Stephen Burt, Tony Hoagland, James Longenbach, Maureen McLane, and Susan Stewart will participate in a panel discussion at The New School entitled Lineage: American Poetry Since 1950, moderated by Katie Peterson, using the National Book Award as a point of departure to assess post-War poetry trends and achievements. The following evening, Burt, Hoagland, Longenbach, McLane, Peterson, and Stewart will read from their own work at The Center for Book Arts.NEA logo, 2011

For more information on the Award Winners, bloggers, and poets participating in upcoming public programs, visit www.nationalbook.org/2011_nba_poetry_blog_events.html.

The National Book Awards Poetry retrospective is funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.  

New York Council for the HumanitiesAdditional funding has been provided by the New York Council for the Humanities.


BookUp Texas Instructor Angie Cruz Receives Award

Angie CruzThe Foundation would like to congratulate BookUp Texas instructor Angie Cruz on receiving the Woman and Youth Award from the Boys and Girls Clubs of Brazos Valley. Last fall, Angie led the effort to establish BookUp's first site outside New York City in rural Bryan, Texas. The new site began with a small group of five students last September, but over the course of just one semester, membership has grown to a total of twenty students led by two instructors. To read the article on the Boys and Girls Clubs' annual awards ceremony in The Bryan-College Station Eagle, visit www.theeagle.com/local/Kids--nonprofit-honors-supporters.


Tickets on Sale for New Season of Eat, Drink & Be Literary


2011_02_06_bamEach winter/spring, the National Book Foundation, in partnership with the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), presents eight acclaimed authors for Eat, Drink & Be Literary: Dinner and a Reading in BAMcafé. Each event begins at 6:30 p.m. with live music and wine, followed by a delicious buffet dinner prepared by executive chef Tim Sullivan. At 7:30 p.m. the literary program begins with a reading by the featured author, followed by a discussion with the moderator and a question-and-answer session with the audience.

Upcoming evenings include:

  • Edmund White - Thursday, February 10 at 6:30 p.m.
    Moderated by Michael Greenberg  
  • Jennifer Egan - Thursday, March 31 at 6:30 p.m.
    Moderated by Deborah Treisman  
  • Ann Beattie - Thursday, April 7 at 6:30 p.m.
    Moderated by Deborah Treisman
  • Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie - Thursday, April 14 at 6:30 p.m.
    Moderated by Michael Greenberg 
  • Colum McCann - SOLD OUT - Thursday, April 28 at 6:30 p.m.
    Moderated by Deborah Treisman 
  • Edward Albee - SOLD OUT - Thursday, May 5 at 6:30 p.m.
    Moderated by Michael Greenberg
  • Cristina García - Thursday, May 12 at 6:30 p.m.
    Moderated by Michael Greenberg 

Tickets are $50 and cover admission to the reading, dinner, wine, tax, and tip. A 20% discount is available to those who buy tickets to five or more events. For more information, visit www.bam.org/view.aspx?pid=277.


NBF Partners with Concordia College for Annual
NBA on Campus, March 24 and 25

For the sixth consecutive year, the National Book Foundation is partnering with Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota and Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) to present the annual National Book Awards on Campus Weekend. This year, the program features Jaimy Gordon, the 2010 National Book Award Winner in Fiction for Lord of Misrule, and John W. Dower, a 2010 National Book Award Finalist in Nonfiction for Cultures of War: Pearl Harbor, Hiroshima, 9-11, Iraq. Gordon and Dower will participate in a reading and discussion, hosted by MPR's Kerri Miller and recorded for later broadcast on MPR. Miller is also the host of MPR's Midmorning and Talking Volumes, a joint book club of MPR, the Star Tribune, and the Loft Literary Center.


Colleges interested in learning more about NBA on Campus should contact Sherrie Young at syoung@nationalbook.org.


NBA Backlist: Past Winners and Finalists


NBA Archival Book JacketsFiction:
Alice McDermott is the author of six novels. Her second novel, That Night, was a National Book Award Finalist in 1987,  as well as a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and the PEN/Faulkner Award. Her third novel, At Weddings and Wakes, published in 1992, was also a finalist for the Pulitzer, the same year a film adaptation of That Night was released by Warner Brothers. In 1998 she won the National Book Award and the Before Columbus Foundation Award for Charming Billy, her fourth novel. The Round House Theatre in Bethesda, Maryland, has adapted Charming Billy for the stage. For more information about McDermott, visit www.nbafictionblog.org/nba-winning-books-blog/1998.html.



Sherwin B. Nuland won the National Book Award in 1994 for How We Die: Reflections on Life's Final Chapter, a book that aims to "dymythologize the process of dying."  The author of eleven books, Nuland retired as Clinical Professor of Surgery at Yale University in 2009 but continues to teach bioethics and medical history. In 2010, a new, updated edition of How We Die was published by Vintage. For more information about Nuland, visit www.nationalbook.org/bookchanged_snuland.html. 



Jean Valentine won the National Book Award in 2004 for Door in the Mountain. She won the Yale Younger Poets Award for her first book, Dream Barker, in 1965, and has since received awards from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Bunting Institute, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Academy of American Poets, and the New York Council for the Arts, among others. Her eleventh and most recent book of poetry, Break the Glass, was published by Copper Canyon Press in 2010. For more information about Valentine, visit www.jeanvalentine.com.


Young People's Literature:

Lloyd Alexander won the National Book Award twice: in 1971 forThe Marvelous Misadventures of Sebastian, and in 1982 forWestmark. He was a Finalist five more times for the following:The High King in 1969 (and in 1981 for the paperback);The First Two Lives of Lukas-Kasha in 1979;The Wizard in the Tree in 1982; and The Kestrel in 1983. He also received the Newbery Medal for the High King. For more information about Alexander, visit www.nationalbook.org/bookchanged_lalexander.html.


Innovations in Reading Prize Deadline Is Feb. 22

Innovations in Reading 2011 Logo

Don't forget to send in your application for the Foundation's third Innovations in Reading Prize, awarded annually to individuals and institutions that have developed innovative means of creating and sustaining a lifelong love of reading.The most important criteria for selecting winners are creativity, risk-taking, and a visionary quality, as well as a novel way of presenting books and literature. The Prize is less focused on the promotion of basic literacy and the pedagogy of reading than on the promotion of literary reading.

The postmark deadline for applications is February 22, 2011. Winners will be announced on May 4, 2011. For more information about the Prize and to see a list of previous winners, visit  www.nationalbook.org


Innovations is Reading is funded by a generous grant from Levenger. 


Important Dates

nbf logo

February 14

Launch of the NBF's Best of the National Book Awards Poetry blog,


February 24
Lineage: American Poetry Since 1950
The New School
New York City

February 25
Lineage Reading and Reception
The Center for Book Arts
New York City

March 24-25
NBA on Campus
Concordia College
Moorhead, Minnesota

April 7
Lineage: Oregon Poets Reflect on American Poetry Since 1950

Ace Hotel
Portland, Oregon

April 13
Lineage Poetry Program
The Loft
Minneapolis, Minnesota

November 16
National Book Awards
New York City


Request the 2011 Edition of the Reading Hot Spots Map


Doreading hot spots maps you work at a school, library, or independent bookstore in New York City? Get in touch with us to request up to 75 free copies of our popular Reading Hot Spots Map, a guide to the libraries, bookstores, and literary organizations in New York. Give them out to your customers and display them in your store. Email requests should be sent to Amy Gall at agall@nationalbook.org with Reading Hot Spots in the subject line.


NBA Daily News

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List of Foundation's Donors as of Sept, 2010