January 2012 eNewsletter

National Book Awards, Over 60 Years of Honoring Great American Books
January 2012 eNewsletter


2011 NBF Programs
BookUp Texas participants (© Angie Cruz). Edward Albee at Eat, Drink & Be Literary (© Elena Olivo).
2011 5 Under 35 honorees with host John Waters (© Beowulf Sheehan). 2011 Teen Press Conference (© Beowulf Sheehan).


Whether you're a new subscriber or a longtime friend of the Foundation, chances are you think of us first and foremost as the organization that presents the National Book Awards. Dating back to 1950, the National Book Awards is both our longest running and most recognized event, but it's only one of the many ways we promote books and reading in America all year long.


Bringing Literature to Diverse Audiences

Eat, Drink and Be Literary


Eat, Drink & Be Literary, 2012

Each year, in partnership with the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), we present a selection of acclaimed authors for
Eat, Drink & Be Literary: Dinner and a Reading in BAMcafé.
Each event includes a delicious buffet dinner, a reading by the featured author, a discussion with the moderator, and a Q&A session with the audience. Featured authors for February through June, 2012 are: Russell Banks, Téa Obreht, Teju Cole, Aleksandar Hemon, Ann Patchett, Sapphire, Edwidge Danticat, and Denis Johnson. For more information about the authors, visit www.nationalbook.org/dinnerandreading.html.

To purchase tickets, visit www.bam.org.


National Book Awards on Campus 


NBA On Campus, 2011On March 29 and 30, we will once again partner with Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota to present our annual National Book Awards on Campus Weekend. This year's program will feature Nikky Finney, 2011 NBA Poetry Winner for Head Off & Split, and Thanhha Lai, 2011 NBA Young People's Literature Winner for Inside Out & Back Again. NPR's Lynn Neary will interview Finney and Lai.
More information is coming soon to

River to River Festival


River to River Festival, 2012This summer, for the first time, we will partner with the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC) to present two new literary events as part of the eleventh annual River to River Festival in New York City. Information for the 2012 festival coming soon.


Brooklyn Book Festival


Brooklyn Book Festival, 2011Every September you can visit us at our booth at the Brooklyn Book Festival, the largest free literary event in New York City. At the 2011 Festival, we presented a program as part of Eat, Drink & Be Literary called Defining the Moment: USA 2011: Where Are We?, featuring writers Deborah Eisenberg, Fran Lebowitz, and Wallace Shawn. Look for us at the Festival again this year on Sunday, September 23. 

Developing the Next Generation of Readers




bookup2010Since 2007, the goal of our BookUp after-school program has been to encourage middle-school students to become lifelong readers. We started the program with three sites in New York City, and it has since grown to include five sites and more than 100 student participants each school year. In 2010, we kicked off BookUp's fourth year by expanding to its first site outside of New York: the Boys & Girls Club of Brazos Valley, led by novelist Angie Cruz, in Bryan, Texas. In 2011, we introduced BookUpNews, a blog by and for BookUp participants, where students can voice their opinions about the books they're reading and post essays and creative writing in response to their BookUp experiences. To learn more about BookUp, please visit www.nationalbook.org/bookup.html.

National Book Awards Teen Press Conference

National Book Awards Teen Press Conference, 2011At our annual National Book Awards Teen Press Conference, middle- and high-school students in New York City play the role of reporters as they direct questions to the five NBA Finalists in Young People's Literature. In 2011, for the first time ever, the Teen Press Conference was hosted by Scholastic Inc. and streamed live online, allowing students from across the country to experience this one-of-a-kind event right from their classrooms. More than 250 New York City students attended the conference, and 30,000 more viewed the event from their classrooms across the U.S. To watch a video of the Teen Press Conference webcast, please visit www.nationalbook.org/nba_ypl_prconference_2011.html.

Celebrating the Next Generation of Writers


5 Under 35


5Under35logoEvery year, we ask five former National Book Award Winners and Finalists to each select an emerging fiction writer whose work they deem particularly promising and exciting. These honorees are our 5 Under 35, and we celebrate them with a reading and party at powerHouse Arena in DUMBO, Brooklyn. The 5 Under 35 honorees for 2011 were: Shani Boianjiu, Danielle Evans, Mary Beth Keane, Melinda Moustakis, and John Corey Whaley. The event was hosted by filmmaker, actor, writer, and visual artist John Waters, with a special DJ appearance by 2008 NBA Poetry Finalist Patricia Smith. Photos from the event and interviews with the five honorees are available at www.nationalbook.org/5under35.html.

Recognizing Innovation in the Literary World

Innovations in Reading Prize


Innovations In Reading 2012Since 2009, we have been awarding our Innovations in Reading Prize to individuals and institutions that have developed innovative means of creating and sustaining a lifelong love of reading. By recognizing these creative and passionate members of the community, we hope to encourage them to keep up the good work, as well as inspire others to take up their own crusades for the worthy cause of reading. To see a list of past winners and to download the 2012 application, please visit www.nationalbook.org/innovations_in_reading.html.

Preserving and Sharing Literary History



NBF LogoWith archives dating back to 1950, ours is a long, rich history of literature in America. From the first transcribed National Book Award acceptance speeches to the current year's photos, audio, and video, we strive to make everything we do available to you on our website, www.nationalbook.org. Check our homepage daily for current literary news, and explore our blog-retrospectives (www.nbafictionblog.org, www.nbapoetryblog.org) to revisit your favorite NBA-winning titles of the past. In 2011, for the first time ever, we webcast the National Book Awards Ceremony and Benefit Dinner, making this invitation-only event available to anyone with a computer and a few free hours on a Wednesday night. We at the Foundation believe that literature is a vital part of American culture, and we'll continue doing everything we can to share our past, present, and future with you.


Important Dates

February 21

Innovations in Reading Prize postmark deadline


March 29-30

NBA on Campus

Concordia College

Moorhead, Minnesota


May 9

Innovations in Reading Prize winners announced



Summer 2012

River to River Festival

New York City


September 23

Brooklyn Book Festival
Brooklyn, New York 


November 14
National Book Awards Ceremony
New York City 


NBA Daily News


For up-to-date information on all things National Book Awards-related, visit our website daily at  www.nationalbook.org , "like" twitterus on Facebook, and join our more than 185,000 followers on Twitter!

The National Book Foundation Supporters