Watch NBF Presents: Black History Reexamined

In two groundbreaking works, 2020 National Book Award–honored authors Tamara Payne (The Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X, Winner, Nonfiction) and Isabel Wilkerson (Caste: The Origins of Our Discontent, Longlist, Nonfiction) deconstruct and re-contextualize Black experiences in America—Payne through the lens of the famed civil rights leader Malcolm X, and Wilkerson through centuries of racialized hierarchies. Join Payne and Wilkerson for a conversation on research, race, and re-writing American history.

Moderated by Wesley Lowery, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, author, and correspondent for CBS News.

Books are available for purchase at Bookshop.org with thanks to this season’s bookseller, Loyalty Bookstores.

To view a replay of the live chat, please tune in to the conversation directly on the Foundation’s YouTube Channel.

Watch NBF Presents: Happy Debut Year

To kick off the new year, the Foundation celebrated three 2020 National Book Award–honored authors whose first books made an undeniable impact on the literary landscape. Tommye Blount (Fantasia for the Man in Blue, Finalist, Poetry), Megha Majumdar (A Burning, Longlist, Fiction), and Douglas Stuart (Shuggie Bain, Finalist, Fiction) discussed releasing debuts in 2020, discovering an audience, and what comes next, for them and for contemporary literature. Moderated by MJ Franklin, an editor at the New York Times Book Review.

Books are available for purchase at Bookshop.org with thanks to this season’s bookseller, Loyalty Bookstores.

To view a replay of the live chat, please tune in to the conversation directly on the Foundation’s YouTube Channel.

The Foundation Elects W. W. Norton & Company’s President, Julia A. Reidhead, to Board of Directors

NBF welcomes Reidhead to its Board of Directors and the Board elects longtime member PD Villarreal as Treasurer

PD Villarreal.

The National Book Foundation announced the appointment of Julia A. Reidhead, Chairman and President of W. W. Norton & Company, to the Board of Directors. The Foundation also announced today that attorney and longtime board member PD Villarreal has been elected Treasurer and will continue to serve on the Foundation’s Executive Committee.

These appointments follow the retirement of W. Drake McFeely, W. W. Norton & Company’s former President and Chairman, who served as the Foundation’s Treasurer and had been a member of the Board of Directors for thirteen years.

“We thank Drake McFeely for his years of outstanding service to the Foundation,” said David Steinberger, Chair of the Board of Directors. “We are gratified to welcome Julia A. Reidhead, continuing W. W. Norton & Company’s presence on the Board, and we thank our Board colleague PD Villarreal for taking on the added responsibility of succeeding Drake as Treasurer.”

“It is a privilege and a joy to be able to lend my expertise to the National Book Foundation as its newest Board member,” said Julia A. Reidhead, Chairman and President of W. W. Norton & Company. “The Foundation is responsible for not only honoring authors through the Awards, but also bringing reading and books to people everywhere through its many programs. I’m eager to support that mission and to continue W. W. Norton’s place in this talented group of individuals.”

“Being part of the National Book Foundation’s Board of Directors for almost 15 years has been a truly rewarding experience,” said PD Villarreal. “I’m honored to support the organization’s mission, and I look forward to the expansion of my involvement in this new role as Treasurer, and continuing to uplift the many facets of the Foundation.”

“Both of these new appointments to our Board of Directors are an exciting start to the new year,” said Jordan Smith, Interim Executive Director of the National Book Foundation. “Having these esteemed individuals serving on the Board of Directors, working to amplify the Foundation’s work of celebrating the best literature in America and expanding its audience, makes us a stronger organization.”

With the addition of Julia Reidhead and the recent appointment of the Foundation’s former Executive Director and current Senior Vice President and Publisher of Pantheon and Schocken Books, Lisa Lucas, the Foundation’s Board now stands at 20 governing members. In addition to David Steinberger and PD Villarreal, the current members of the Executive Committee are: Graywolf Publisher Fiona McCrae, Vice Chair; CNN executive Calvin Sims, Secretary; and Grove Atlantic President and Publisher Morgan Entrekin who had previously served as Vice Chair.

More information on Julia A. Reidhead and PD Villarreal can be found below.

 


 

Julia A. Reidhead is Chairman and President of W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., the oldest and largest book publishing house owned wholly by its employees. She oversees all of the company’s departments, including Trade, with its critically acclaimed, award-winning works of nonfiction, fiction, and poetry for general readers; College, with its flagship textbooks in biology, history, economics, physics, music, composition, and other disciplines, as well as the legendary Norton Anthologies, read by 59 million students worldwide; W. W. Norton & Company Ltd., which makes the firm’s books available globally; and W. W. Norton Canada, which provides textbooks to the Canadian marketplace. She also oversees Norton’s imprints, which include Liveright Publishing Corporation, Countryman Press, Norton Young Readers, and Norton Professional Books for psychotherapists and educators. She is the first woman to lead the firm in its nearly 100-year history. In addition to her post at Norton, Reidhead chairs the Board of Governors of Yale University Press and serves on the Board of Directors of the Association of American Publishers.

 

PD Villarreal is a highly experienced litigator with a track record for successfully managing large, complex, and varied disputes across multiple industries. He has held senior positions at Allergan, GlaxoSmithKline, General Electric, and more. PD is a graduate of Columbia University (Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa) and a graduate of Yale Law School. He has given guest lectures at Harvard Business School, Stanford Law School, Yale Law School, and Notre Dame Business School, among others. In addition, he has been widely recognized through numerous awards for his work in ADR, Litigation Management, and Diversity. In 2012, he was named one of the 10 Most Innovative Lawyers in America by Law360. He has served on numerous nonprofit boards including the CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution, the LatinoJustice Fund, and the Midwest Immigrant Rights Center. He is currently on the Board of the National Book Foundation.

 

National Book Foundation Announces 2021 Spring Season of NBF Presents

Twenty-two National Book Award–honored authors to appear in a lineup of all virtual programming through June 2021

The National Book Foundation announced its spring NBF Presents lineup of 12 events taking place through June 2021, continuing the programming made possible by a multi-year, $900,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. NBF Presents, which includes all of the Foundation’s public programs, represents the National Book Foundation’s continued commitment to providing widespread access to high-caliber, topical literary programming for readers everywhere. All announced programming for this season will be held exclusively online and at no cost to viewers. Loyalty Bookstores in Washington, DC will return as the season’s bookseller.

National Book Award–honored authors and translators confirmed to appear at NBF Presents events in the spring season include Rumaan Alam, Tommye Blount, Jericho Brown, Kacen Callender, Toi Derricotte, Natalie Diaz, Camonghne Felix, Terrance Hayes, Sophie Hughes, Victoria Jamieson, Laila Lalami, Megha Majumdar, Fernanda Melchor, Omar Mohamed, Tamara Payne, Deesha Philyaw, Douglas Stuart, Nafissa Thompson-Spires, David Treuer, Karla Cornejo Villavicencio, Isabel Wilkerson, Charles Yu, and more to come.

This season’s NBF Presents events will consider topics both domestic and international—from the history of Blackness in America to the significance of translated literature—and connect authors and translators writing across fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and young people’s literature with readers around the world.

“We are thrilled to offer a second virtual season of NBF Presents and once again bring engaging and timely arts content to audiences wherever they may be watching.” said Jordan Smith, Interim Executive Director of the National Book Foundation, “Our hope is that the words of these authors resonate with viewers and fuel important community conversations.”

Alongside the NBF Presents events hosted by the Foundation online, the National Book Foundation will present programs with returning partners Tucson Festival of Books and Virginia Festival of the Book to celebrate the most recent crop of 2020 National Book Award–honored authors.

“In planning a fully virtual festival for spring 2021, we knew the work wouldn’t be possible without longstanding supporters and partners,” said Brenda Viner, co-founder of the Tucson Festival of Books. “We’re thrilled to celebrate National Book Award–honored authors each year—especially years like this one—and work alongside the National Book Foundation to amplify outstanding books, support independent book sales, and engage our audiences with thought-provoking conversations.”

The Foundation will also connect with students through its continued college partnerships at Amherst College and Concordia College, as well as pilot curated classroom book distributions aligned with the season’s online programming to select college and university partners in Alabama, Hawai’i, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Mexico, and Washington.

“In such a strange and difficult year, it is a real gift for our students to continue engaging with National Book Award–honored authors and their work through NBF Presents programming,” said Dr. Channa Prakash, Dean of Arts & Sciences at Tuskegee University. “There is no better time than now to foster a life-long love of reading and for all students to benefit from the lessons that great literature teaches us.”

The full list of confirmed spring NBF Presents events can be found below, and an updated NBF Presents calendar is available at the Foundation’s website. These are free events but please RSVP directly at the Foundation or partner website as directed.

 

NBF Presents Spring Schedule

Thursday, January 21, 6:00pm ET
NBF YouTube channel
NBF Presents: Happy Debut Year

To kick off the new year, the Foundation celebrates three 2020 National Book Award–honored authors whose first books made an undeniable impact on the literary landscape. Tommye Blount (Fantasia for the Man in Blue, Finalist, Poetry), Megha Majumdar (A Burning, Longlist, Fiction), and Douglas Stuart (Shuggie Bain, Finalist, Fiction) discuss releasing debuts in 2020, discovering an audience, and what comes next, for them and for contemporary literature. Moderated by MJ Franklin, an editor at the New York Times Book Review.

 

Thursday, February 4, 6:00pm ET
NBF YouTube channel
NBF Presents: Black History Reexamined

In two groundbreaking works, 2020 National Book Award–honored authors Tamara Payne (The Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X, Winner, Nonfiction) and Isabel Wilkerson (Caste: The Origins of Our Discontent, Longlist, Nonfiction) deconstruct and re-contextualize Black experiences in America—Payne through the lens of the famed civil rights leader Malcolm X, and Wilkerson through centuries of racialized hierarchies. Join Payne and Wilkerson for a conversation on research, race, and re-writing American history.

 

Tuesday, February 16, 8:00pm ET
NBF YouTube channel
NBF Presents: Secrets of the South

Join National Book Award–honored authors Jericho Brown (The Tradition, 2019 Poetry Finalist), Tayari Jones (An American Marriage, 2018 Fiction Longlist), and Deesha Philyaw (The Secret Lives of Church Ladies, 2020 Fiction Finalist) for a conversation on Southern literature and how Black writers are redefining stereotypes of the South, one poem, story, and secret at a time. Moderated by Kiese Laymon, author of, most recently, Heavy: An American Memoir.

 

Friday, February 26, 7:00pm ET – Saturday, February 27, 11:00am ET
Amherst College
NBF Presents: LitFest 2021

The National Book Foundation returns to Amherst College’s annual LitFest for the sixth year running with two events dedicated to 2020 National Book Award–honored authors. The celebrations kick off on Friday, February 26 with novelists Megha Majumdar (A Burning, Longlist, Fiction) and Charles Yu (Interior Chinatown, Winner, Fiction), in conversation moderated by visiting writer Thirii Myo Kyaw Myint. Then, on Saturday, February 27, poets Tommye Blount (Fantasia for the Man in Blue, Finalist, Poetry) and Natalie Diaz (Postcolonial Love Poem, Finalist, Poetry) join John Hennessy, poetry editor of The Common and judge for the 2020 National Book Award for Poetry. Both events are free and open to the public. These programs are supported by Amherst College and The Common magazine.

 

Saturday, March 6, 11:00am MST
Tucson Festival of Books
NBF Presents: Page, Stage, and Screen

2020 National Book Award–honored authors Lydia Millet (A Children’s Bible, Finalist, Fiction), Jenn Shapland (My Autobiography of Carson McCullers, Finalist, Nonfiction), and Charles Yu (Interior Chinatown, Winner, Fiction) come together for a cross-genre discussion on inspiration, reading, and recognition. Presented in partnership with the Tucson Festival of Books.

 

Thursday, March 11, 7:30pm CT
Concordia College
NBF Presents: The National Book Awards at Concordia College

The National Book Foundation’s sixteenth year of partnership with Concordia College features a reading and conversation with National Book Award–honored authors Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed (When Stars Are Scattered, 2020 Young People’s Literature Finalist) and David Treuer (The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee: Native America from 1890 to Present, 2019 Nonfiction Finalist). Moderated by John Ydstie, a former NPR correspondent. This program is supported by Concordia College and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in honor of Earl Lewis ‘78.

 

Saturday, March 13, 7:00pm ET
Virginia Festival of the Book
NBF Presents: The Work of Fiction

Three 2020 honorees for the National Book Award for Fiction: Rumaan Alam (Leave the World Behind, Finalist), Megha Majumdar (A Burning, Longlist), and Deesha Philyaw (The Secret Lives of Church Ladies, Finalist), discuss their books and fiction’s place in contemporary American culture. Presented in partnership with the Virginia Festival of the Book, this event will be available for free on-demand viewing at VaBook.org.

 

Thursday, March 25, 6:00pm ET
NBF YouTube channel
NBF Presents: Borders of Belonging

To question the “other” in American identity, join National Book Award–honored authors Laila Lalami (The Other Americans, 2019 Fiction Finalist), Nafissa Thompson-Spires (Heads of the Colored People, 2018 Fiction Longlist), and Karla Cornejo Villavicencio (The Undocumented Americans, 2020 Nonfiction Finalist) for a conversation on borders, immigration, and outsiders, and what it means to write one’s self into existence. Moderated by Concepción de León, a New York Times reporter.

 

Thursday, April 22, 6:00pm ET
NBF YouTube channel
NBF Presents: Poetry in Protest

It’s National Poetry Month, and to celebrate, National Book Award–honored authors Toi Derricotte (“I”: New and Selected Poems, 2019 Poetry Finalist), Camonghne Felix (Build Yourself a Boat, 2019 Poetry Longlist), and Terrance Hayes (Lighthead, 2010 Poetry Winner; How to Be Drawn, 2015 Poetry Finalist; American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin, 2018 Poetry Finalist) discuss the impact of protest poetry on American literature and American politics. Moderated by Kyle Dacuyan, Executive Director of The Poetry Project.

 

Thursday, May 20, 5:00pm ET
NBF YouTube channel
NBF Presents: The Art of Translation

Hurricane Season is the story of a dead witch set in a small town in Mexico. The book, translated from the Spanish, found a global audience and recognition. 2020 National Book Award Longlist author and translator Fernanda Melchor and Sophie Hughes come together for a conversation on the trust-fall act—and art—of literary translation, and the significance of a reader’s access to international perspectives. Moderated by Shuchi Saraswat, writer, editor, and founder of The Transnational Literature Series at Brookline Booksmith.

 

Tuesday, June 15, 6:00pm ET
NBF YouTube channel
NBF Presents: Revolutionary Joy

NBF Presents’ season finale recognizes the historical and literary significance of Black trans and nonbinary narratives with National Book Award–honored author Kacen Callender (King and the Dragonflies, 2020 Young People’s Literature Winner), and a discussion on trans and nonbinary stories that make room for both queer pain and joy. More details to come.

 


 

Unless otherwise noted, all programs made possible by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

To RSVP for events, please visit www.nationalbook.org or the websites of any of our partners.