May 2012 eNewsletter


Presenter of the National Book Awards
May 2012
Innovations In Reading 2012
Announcing the 2012 Innovations in Reading Prize Winners    


We're thrilled to announce the winners of this year's Innovations in Reading Prizes:


  • Bookends: A Television Program for Teens Who Like to Read (Fort Collins, CO)
  • Lilli Leight (Coral Gables, FL)
  • Literacy Chicago for Reading Against the Odds (Chicago, IL)
  • Street Books (Portland, OR)
  • Inger Upchurch for Real Men Read Storytime and Mentoring (Memphis, TN) 

To learn more about the Innovations in Reading Prize and each of the winners, click here.


Now Accepting 2012 National Book Award Submissions 


2012 NBA guidelines

We are now accepting submissions for the 2012 National Book Awards in Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, and Young People's Literature. Guidelines are posted, for informational purposes only, on our website. Publishers who would like to receive the official guidelines and entry form should email Amy Gall ( with a contact name, publishing company, and mailing address. The postmark deadline for entry forms is June 15, 2012.  


BookUp Named Finalist for 2012 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award


BookUp, our after-school reading program for middle-schoolers, has been named a 2012 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award finalist! The award is given annually by the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities and its partner agencies, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. We'd like to thank our wonderful instructors and partners for making BookUp such a successful program. For more information about the award, visit  

Save the Date: Joseph Mitchell's Harbor

River to River
On June 19, we will partner with the South Street Seaport Museum to present Joseph Mitchell's Harbor: Of Rivermen, Oyster Beds, the Old Hotel, the Fulton Fish Market, and Other Tales of a Lost New York City Waterfront. This free event is part of the 2012 River to River Festival, sponsored by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. For more information, visit



Nikky Finney's NBA Acceptance Speech Now Included in Head Off & Split


Head Off & Split"We begin with history." These are the first words of Nikky Finney's acceptance speech for the 2011 National Book Award for Poetry, a poem in itself which host John Lithgow declared "the best acceptance speech for anything that I've ever heard in my life." Fittingly, the speech is now included in Finney's winning collection, Head Off & Split, published by TriQuarterly Books. To watch a video of Finney accepting the National Book Award, click here.  


Write to Us! Introducing "Readers Write"


"Readers Write" is a new section that gives you a chance to share your thoughts on books and reading. We'll ask a question one month and publish selected readers' responses the next. For our first installment, in honor of our new Innovations in Reading Prize winners, we'd like to hear what "innovation in reading" means to you. Have you found a tool, website, or local program that has changed the way you read or think about books? Email Katie McDonough ( with your short (75 words max.) responses. We look forward to hearing from you!  


Get Your Tickets for Eat, Drink & Be Literary

Eat, Drink & Be Literary Tickets for Eat, Drink & Be Literary, our dinner-and-a-reading series at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), are going fast! Evenings with Ann Patchett and Edwidge Danticat are sold out, but tickets are still available for Sapphire on June 7 and Denis Johnson on June 21. For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.




June 19

Joseph Mitchell's Harbor, part of the River to River Festival
New York, NY


September 23

Brooklyn Book Festival

Brooklyn, NY


November 11-17

National Book Awards Week

November 12

5 Under 35 celebration of emerging fiction writers
Brooklyn, NY

November 13 (morning)
National Book Awards Teen Press Conference
New York, NY

November 13 (evening)
National Book Award Finalists Reading
New York, NY

November 14 

National Book Awards

New York, NY





For literary news and more information on all of our programs, please visit our website at, twitter "like" us on Facebook, and join our more than 205,000 followers on Twitter!

The National Book Foundation Supporters