March 2011 eNewsletter

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

NBF's Celebration of American Poetry Continues


NBA Poetry Blog Logo 

On February 14, the Foundation kicked off its National Book Awards Poetry retrospective with the launch of a daily blog featuring original essays by contemporary poets on the 51 Winners of the National Book Award for Poetry. Here are some highlights of the blog so far:


"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."
- Katie Peterson on Wallace Stevens


"A cat flattening itself in the sun is like seaweed; a strawberry with its many seeds is a hedgehog; the sea is a giant grave. These are among the unique juxtapositions of Marianne Moore, who at every turn displays a dogged commitment to precision, not just of language, but of syllable and image."
- Lee Felice Pinkas on Marianne Moore


"With three Pulitzer Prizes and a National Book Award to his name, MacLeish was clearly celebrated in his day. But how is it that...I'm only now learning about this important poet and his contribution to American letters? Someone should have pulled my coat a long time ago. Archibald MacLeish is the truth!"
- John Murillo on Archibald MacLeish


"By all accounts Roethke was a wreck; a passionate, vituperative crank; a verb-crazy word-drunk wonder-drunk mad poet who could ask 'What's madness but nobility of soul / At odds with circumstance?' then promptly exclaim, 'The day's on fire!'
Scott Challener on Theodore Roethke

In addition to the blog, the retrospective includes a series of public discussions and readings in three U.S. cities. On February 24, in New York, Elizabeth Alexander, Stephen Burt, Tony Hoagland, James Longenbach, Maureen McLane, and Susan Stewart participated in a panel discussion at The New School entitled Lineage: American Poetry Since 1950, moderated by Katie Peterson. On February NEA logo, 201125, Burt, Hoagland, Longenbach, McLane, Peterson, and Stewart read from their own work at The Center for Book Arts. Upcoming Lineage programs will take place on April 7 at the Ace Hotel in Portland, Oregon, and on April 13 at The Loft in Minneapolis.

For more information on the Award Winners, bloggers, and poets participating in upcoming public programs, visit

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

Additional funding has been provided by

New York Council for the Humanities the New York Council for the Humanities. 


Request Copies of National Book Awards Poetry Timeline

NBA Poetry Winners Timeline
The Foundation is offering free copies of its colorful, fold-out timeline of the National Book Award Winners in Poetry since 1950. With a collage of book covers and author photos on one side and lists, by decade, of all winning titles on the other, the timeline is a great tool for teachers and librarians, and an excellent giveaway for bookstores. Email requests should be sent to Amy Gall at with NBA Poetry Timeline in the subject line. Please also mention how many copies you'd like.  

View a PDF of the timeline > 


Get Your Tickets for Eat, Drink & Be Literary 


bam 2011 authorsEach 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: 

  • 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 - SOLD OUT - 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 

Elizabeth StroutTickets are $50 and cover admission to the reading, dinner, wine, tax, and tip. For more information, visit

Listen to a podcast of January's Eat, Drink & Be Literary with Elizabeth Strout 

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 and 1999 NBA Winner in Nonfiction for Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II. Gordon and Dower will participate in a reading and discussion, hosted by NPR's Neil Conan


Colleges interested in learning more about NBA on Campus should contact Sherrie Young at


Victor Martinez (1954 - 2011)

Victor Martinez

The Foundation sadly marks the passing of writer Victor Martinez, whose

Parrot in the Oven: mi vida was the 1996 National Book Award Winner for Young People's Literature.


(Photo credit: Robin Platzer/Twin Images)

Read Martinez's 1996 NBA Acceptance Speech >


Remembering Victor Martinez at Mission Local > 

Congratulations to L.A. Times Book Prize Finalists!

LA Times Book Prize LogoThe Foundation would like to congratulate the past NBA Winners and Finalists recently short-listed for the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes in the following categories:


Christopher Hitchens,
2007 National Book Award Finalist in Nonfiction for
God Is Not Great,
short-listed for Hitch-22: A Memoir

Edmund Morris,
1980 National Book Award Finalist in Biography
(Hardcover) for The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt, short-listed for Colonel Roosevelt

Current Interest

Patti Smith,
2010 National Book Award Winner in Nonfiction for Just Kids, short-listed for the same book


Jennifer Egan,
2001 National Book Award Finalist in Fiction for Look at Me, short-listed for A Visit from the Goon Squad

Jonathan Franzen,
2001 National Book Award Winner in Fiction for The Corrections, short-listed for Freedom


Ron Chernow,
1990 National Book Award Winner in Nonfiction for The House of Morgan: An American Banking Dynasty and the Rise of Modern Finance, short-listed for Washington: A Life

John Dower,
1999 National Book Award Winner in Nonfiction for Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II, and 2010 National Book Award Finalist in Nonfiction for Cultures of War: Pearl Harbor / Hiroshima / 9-11 / Iraq, short-listed for Cultures of War

Thomas Powers,
1980 National Book Award Finalist in General Nonfiction (Hardcover) for The Man Who Kept the Secrets: Richard Helms and the CIA, short-listed for The Killing of Crazy Horse



2010 NBA Fiction Winner Nominated for PEN/Faulkner Award

Gordon, Lord of Misrule, paperback cover

Jaimy Gordon's

Lord of Misrule, the 2010 National Book Award Winner in Fiction, was among the five recently nominated for the PEN/Faulkner prize.


According to the Pen/Faulkner Foundation, the prize was founded in 1980 by National Book Award Winner Mary Lee Settle and her fellow writers, and named for William Faulkner, who used his Nobel Prize funds to create an award for young writers.



NBA Finalists Win NBCC Awards

Congratulations to past NBA C.D. WrightFinalists Jennifer Egan and C.D. Wright on their National Book Critics Circle Awards.


Important Dates

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 


NBA Daily News

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List of Foundation's Donors as of Sept, 2010