National Book Foundation Announces 2024 Spring Season of NBF Presents

Twenty-one authors honored by the National Book Foundation to appear at 14 events between February and May 2024

The National Book Foundation announced its spring NBF Presents line-up of 14 events taking place in 12 cities from February through May 2024. NBF Presents, the moniker for all of the Foundation’s public programs, represents the Foundation’s commitment to connecting existing and emerging readers across the United States, in-person and virtually, with timely events featuring National Book Foundation–honored authors. NBF Presents is made possible in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature, and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF). This spring season includes public events to celebrate 5 Under 35, which is supported by Amazon Literary Partnership; and Science + Literature, which is supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Programming for the spring season will be held in-person, with select events streamed online at no cost to attendees.

Authors confirmed to appear at NBF Presents events in the spring have been honored by the National Book Foundation through the National Book Awards, 5 Under 35, and Science + Literature. They include: Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, M. T. Anderson, Mateo Askaripour, Aaliyah Bilal, Susan Choi, Jonathan Eig, Brad Fox, Paul Harding, Vashti Harrison, Chelsea T. Hicks, Malinda Lo, Sarah Thankam Mathews, José Olivarez, Hanna Pylvaïnen, Brandon Som, Arthur Sze, Justin Torres, Novuyo Rosa Tshuma, John Vaillant, Jenny Xie, Ada Zhang, and more to be announced. Recognized moderators are educators, writers, and past National Book Foundation committee members and judges, including Ricardo Nuila, January Gill O’Neil, Brian Teare, and Amelia Worsley, with more to be announced.

The Foundation’s national public programs are co-presented with book festivals, cultural centers, two- and four-year colleges, and public libraries. The spring season includes events curated alongside returning partners in Arizona, Florida, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, New York, Texas, and Virginia, as well as new partners in Puerto Rico, Vermont, and Wyoming. The Foundation is collaborating with Humanidades Puerto Rico and the Universidad de Puerto Rico en Cayey on the National Book Foundation’s first-ever in-person programming in the archipelagos.

“We’re excited and honored to collaborate on programming with the National Book Foundation this spring as part of our expanded literary offerings through Puerto Rico’s Center for the Book and the new initiatives led by its new director, Natalia Olivero Huffman,” said Sonya Canetti Mirabal, Executive Director of Humanidades Puerto Rico. “The National Book Foundation is a like-minded partner, focused on celebrating books, connecting authors and readers, and creating space for timely conservations. We look forward to honoring the richness of Puerto Rican literature, together.”

This spring, the National Book Foundation will celebrate two of its literary prizes with special co-presented events—both open to the public—in New York: the 2024 Science + Literature Ceremony at The Cooper Union on Wednesday, March 27, and the 2024 5 Under 35 Ceremony at the Brooklyn Museum on Thursday, May 9. The 2024 Science + Literature selected titles were announced last week in an exclusive with the Associated Press, and the Ceremony will feature honored authors Brad Fox, Arthur Sze, and Novuyo Rosa Tshuma for readings and conversation, hosted by writer Emily Raboteau, on their selected works; register here. The 2024 5 Under 35 honorees will be announced in March, and tickets are now available to purchase at the Brooklyn Museum’s website.

“As we celebrate the 75th anniversary of the National Book Awards, we remain committed to providing readers with opportunities for thoughtful, engaging conversations around books—from exceptional debuts to career-spanning selected works,” said Ruth Dickey, Executive Director of the National Book Foundation. “This spring season, we look forward to collaborating with our inspiring programming partners to ensure that writers and readers alike—in rural, suburban, and urban communities—are able to immerse themselves in, and build upon, the country’s vibrant book culture.”

The full list of confirmed spring NBF Presents events can be found below with additional details and registration information coming soon, and an updated NBF Presents calendar is available at the Foundation’s website. Events are free unless otherwise noted but tickets are limited, so please RSVP directly at the Foundation or partner website as directed.

NBF Presents Spring Schedule

Thursday, February 8, 12:10pm CST
In-Person & Livestreamed | Kansas City, MO
Association of Writers & Writing Programs
NBF Presents: Crafting Coming-of-Age 

Join 2019 National Book Award Winner Susan Choi (Trust Exercise) and 2022 National Book Award Finalist Sarah Thankam Mathews (All This Could Be Different) for a conversation on the impact of contemporary bildungsroman and what it means to grow up in adult fiction. Choi and Mathews read from their novels and discuss how and why coming-of-age stories capture writers and readers alike. Moderated by Ruth Dickey, Executive Director of the National Book Foundation. Presented in partnership with the Association of Writers & Writing Programs.

Thursday, February 15, 8:00pm EST
In-Person | Miami, FL
Books & Books and Miami Book Fair
Miami Book Fair & NBF Presents: An Evening with the 2023 5 Under 35 Honorees

Each year, the National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35 program recognizes five exceptional debut fiction authors, selected by past National Book Award and 5 Under 35 honorees. Join us for readings and conversation with 2023 5 Under 35 honorees: Mateo Askaripour (Black Buck), Chelsea T. Hicks (A Calm & Normal Heart), Jenny Xie (Holding Pattern), and Ada Zhang (The Sorrows of Others). Moderated by Natalie Green, Director of Programs & Partnerships at the National Book Foundation. Presented in partnership with Books & Books and the Miami Book Fair. Register here.

Friday, February 23, 5:00pm EST
In-Person | Amherst, MA
Amherst College
LitFest and NBF Presents: Fiction of the Past, Present, and Future

2023 National Book Award Fiction Finalist Paul Harding (This Other Eden) and Winner Justin Torres (Blackouts) share readings from their honored works, and discuss the gravitational pull of fictionalizing the past and imagining new futures, both within and outside of literature. Moderated by Amelia Worsley, Assistant Professor of English at Amherst College. This program is part of the 9th Annual LitFest, supported by Amherst College and The Common magazine, and presented in partnership with the Jones Library.

Sunday, March 10, 11:30am MST
In-Person | Tucson, AZ
Tucson Festival of Books
NBF Presents: Art Is in the Details

The National Book Foundation returns to the Tucson Festival of Books for programming featuring 2023 National Book Award–honored authors across genres. Finalists Aaliyah Bilal (Temple Folk, Fiction), Vashti Harrison (Big, Young People’s Literature), and Hanna Pylvaïnen (The End of Drum-Time, Fiction) discuss the specificity required to write universal stories for readers of all ages, and the power of exceptional storytelling to make the unfamiliar feel known. Moderated by Ruth Dickey, Executive Director of the National Book Foundation, and presented in partnership with the Tucson Festival of Books.

Sunday, March 10, 2:30pm MST
In-Person | Tucson, AZ
Tucson Festival of Books
NBF Presents: Which Comes First—Writer or Subject?

Join 2023 National Book Award–honored authors Jonathan Eig (King: A Life, Nonfiction), Brandon Som (Tripas, Poetry), and John Vaillant (Fire Weather: A True Story From a Hotter World, Nonfiction) for a conversation about narrative voice—from biography to journalism to poetry—and how to tell the truth in a way that resonates with readers, regardless of form or genre. Moderated by Ruth Dickey, Executive Director of the National Book Foundation, and presented in partnership with the Tucson Festival of Books.

Wednesday, March 27, 6:30pm EDT
In-Person & Livestreamed | New York, NY
The Cooper Union
2024 Science + Literature Ceremony

Join the National Book Foundation, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and The Cooper Union for the 2024 Science + Literature Ceremony—celebrating the three remarkable 2024 Science + Literature selected titles in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry: The Bathysphere Book: Effects of the Luminous Ocean Depths, The Glass Constellation: New and Collected Poems, and Digging Stars. The program is free and open to the public, and will feature readings and conversation with authors Brad Fox, Arthur Sze, and Novuyo Rosa Tshuma. Hosted by Emily Raboteau, author of Lessons for Survival. Register here.

Wednesday, April 3, 11:15am CDT
In-Person | Clarksdale, MS
Coahoma Community College
NBF Presents: Imagining New Worlds

2023 National Book Award–honored authors Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah (Chain-Gang All-Stars, Fiction) and José Olivarez (Promises of Gold, Poetry) share readings and discuss their processes to build new worlds through writing—whether real, fantastical, or somewhere in between. Moderated by January Gill O’Neil, author of, most recently, Glitter Road. Presented in partnership with Coahoma Community College and the Coahoma County Higher Education Center. Register here.

Thursday, April 4, 11:30am CDT
In-Person | Oxford, MS
Oxford Conference for the Book
NBF Presents: Myth Making and Breaking

Join 2023 National Book Award–honored authors Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah (Chain-Gang All-Stars) and José Olivarez (Promises of Gold) for readings and conversation about how to tackle the myth of the American dream through writing across genres. Moderated by Melissa Ginsburg, Associate Professor of Creative Writing and Literature at the University of Mississippi. Presented in partnership with the 30th Oxford Conference for the Book. Register here.

Tuesday, April 9, 7:00pm EDT
In-person & Livestreamed | Burlington, VT
Vermont Humanities & South Burlington Public Library & Brownell Library
Vermont Reads & NBF Presents: Stories From the 1950s to Now

To celebrate the Vermont Reads 2023 selection Last Night at the Telegraph Club, join National Book Award Winner Malinda Lo as she discusses writing about queer life in the 1950s, and shares how young adult fiction can speak to readers at any age. Moderated by M. T. Anderson, author of Feed, a National Book Award Finalist. Presented in partnership with Vermont Humanities, the South Burlington Public Library, and the Brownell Library.

Tuesday, April 9, 7:30pm CDT
In-person | Houston, TX
Baylor College of Medicine’s Humanities Expression and Arts Lab, Hermann Park Conservancy & Inprint
Science + Literature: Written in the Stars

In the National Book Foundation’s 2024 Science + Literature selected title Digging Stars, author Novuyo Rosa Tshuma tells the story of Rosa, a protagonist preoccupied both with space, and with what it means to be human. Join Tshuma in conversation with author and 2024 Science + Literature committee chair Ricardo Nuila (The People’s Hospital: Hope and Peril in American Medicine) on writing fiction through a scientific lens. Presented in partnership with Baylor College of Medicine’s Humanities Expression and Arts Lab, Hermann Park Conservancy’s Garden and Nature Series, and Inprint.

Friday, April 19
In-person & Livestreamed | Cayey, PR
Centro para el libro Humanidades Puerto Rico & Universidad de Puerto Rico en Cayey
Humanidades PR and NBF Presents: Puerto Rican Literature Within the Island and Its Diaspora / Literatura Puertorriqueña de la Isla y su diáspora

Join National Book Award–honored authors, and independent editors from the archipelago and its diaspora for readings and conversation about Puerto Rican literature from/in the diverse places where the Boricua experience and imagination unfolds. Presented in partnership with Center for the book Humanities Puerto Rico, University of Puerto Rico in Cayey, and the National Book Foundation. More event details coming soon. / Únase a autores reconocidos por los National Book Awards y editores independientes del archipiélago y sus diásporas para lecturas y diálogo sobre la literatura puertorriqueña de/en los lugares diversos donde se manifiesta la experiencia e imaginación boricuas. Presentado en colaboración con Centro para el libro Humanidades Puerto Rico, la Universidad de Puerto Rico en Cayey y la National Book Foundation. Próximamente, se ofrecerán más detalles del evento.

Thursday, April 25, 7:00pm EDT
In-person | Roanoke, VA
Roanoke Public Libraries & Virginia Center for the Book & The Grandin Theatre
Science + Literature: Nature’s Poetry and Peril

The Glass Constellations: New and Collected Poems by Arthur Sze, a 2024 Science + Literature selected title, features poems across ten poetry collections and five decades of work, varied in form but aligned in their interest with the natural world. Sze joins Brian Teare, author and 2024 Science + Literature committee member, in conversation on environmental poetry, and what we can read, write, and think through to save our endangered planet. Presented in partnership with the Roanoke Public Libraries, Virginia Center for the Book, and the Grandin Theatre. Register here.

Wednesday, May 1, 7:00pm MDT

In-person | Lander, WY
Bookmarked Literary Arts Festival
Science + Literature: A Research Voyage

The National Book Foundation’s 2024 Science + Literature selected title The Bathysphere Book: Effects of the Luminous Depth plunges readers into the deep sea while simultaneously questioning life on land. Join author and journalist Brad Fox in conversation on why the scientific explorations and discoveries of 1930 feel so timely today, and how to make research come to life in narrative nonfiction. Moderated by Michael Mejia, author and professor of creative writing at the University of Utah. Presented in partnership with Bookmarked Literary Arts Festival. Register here.

Thursday, May 9, 7:30pm EDT
In-person & Livestreamed | Brooklyn, NY
Brooklyn Museum
Brooklyn Reads: National Book Foundation Celebrates 5 Under 35

Join the Brooklyn Museum and National Book Foundation in celebrating five debut fiction authors whose work promises to leave a lasting impression. The 2024 5 Under 35 honorees will be se introduced on stage by their selectors—five literary luminaries previously honored by the National Book Awards or 5 Under 35. The 2024 5 Under 35 honorees will be announced in March. The National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35 program is supported by Amazon Literary Partnership. More information on the 5 Under 35 program can be found here, and tickets are available at the Brooklyn Museum’s website here.

For times and locations for events, please visit www.nationalbook.org or the websites of any of our partners.

National Book Foundation and Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Announce the 2024 Science + Literature Selected Titles

The National Book Foundation (NBF) and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation announced selected titles for the third year of the Science + Literature program. The initiative identifies three books annually, across genres, that deepen readers’ understanding of science and technology, and focuses on highlighting the diversity of voices in contemporary science and technology writing. Authors receive a $10,000 cash prize, are celebrated at a public ceremony in March, and will be featured in associated national public programming. The titles are selected by a committee of five scientific and literary experts, also announced today. Science + Literature is made possible by a three-year, $525,000 grant from the Sloan Foundation.

The three selected titles include narrative nonfiction, a decades-spanning poetry collection, and a cosmos-inspired novel. Brad Fox’s The Bathysphere Book: Effects of the Luminous Ocean Depths recounts the history of the first deep-sea exploration alongside full-color images and original logbooks. Fox paints a detailed portrait of scientists, and the lasting effects of discovering the unknown. The Glass Constellation: New and Collected Poems by National Book Award Winner Arthur Sze covers five decades of Sze’s poetry, blending Chinese, Japanese, Native American, and Western traditions. Sze’s sweeping body of work considers the beauty of the natural world, the intricacies of time and space, and invites readers to reimagine our legacy on this endangered planet. In Digging Stars, Novuyo Rosa Tshuma explores the complexities of identity and scientific ethics—in the US and globally—through the coming-of-age story of a Zimbabwe-born astronomer following in her father’s footsteps.

“Since 2022, Science + Literature has highlighted exceptional, diverse, and accessible scientific writing, ultimately aimed at creating a greater understanding of how science and technology intersect with the world around us,” said Ruth Dickey, Executive Director of the National Book Foundation. “This year’s deeply researched and inventive selections by Brad Fox, Arthur Sze, and Novuyo Rosa Tshuma exemplify why science and technology are so important to the arts, and to our daily lives. We’re so grateful to the 2024 Science + Literature Committee for elevating these works, and to the Sloan Foundation for their tireless support of books, authors, and community.”

“We are delighted to join the National Book Foundation in recognizing these three powerful and unique writers engaging with scientific themes and characters across poetry, fiction, and nonfiction,” said Doron Weber, Vice President and Program Director at the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. “Science seeks to uncover universal truths about nature, but every human being’s experience is different and these gifted storytellers shine a light on the complex inner lives of their characters as they explore the mysteries of the external world, from the ocean to the cosmos, from Japan to Zimbabwe. We’re proud to add these outstanding authors to Sloan’s nationwide book program, which has supported over 200 books from Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin’s Pulitzer Prize-winner American Prometheus, the basis of Christopher Nolan’s hit film Oppenheimer, and Margot Lee Shetterly’s Hidden Figures to this year’s The Quickening by Elizabeth Rush and How Infrastructure Works by Deb Chachra.”

An in-person ceremony will be held on Wednesday, March 27, 2024, returning to The Cooper Union’s Rose Auditorium for readings and conversation with the selected authors; the event will be livestreamed for readers eveywhere. The program is free and open to the public, and is presented in partnership with The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, a distinguished private college of art, architecture and engineering founded in 1859 by inventor, industrialist, and philanthropist Peter Cooper. Register for the ceremony here.

“The Cooper Union is thrilled to co-present the National Book Foundation’s Science + Literature Ceremony for the second year running,” said Demetrius L. Eudell, Vice President of Academic Affairs at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art. “Science + Literature aligns with our goal to foster dialogue at the intersection of the humanities and sciences, and to introduce our community to timely and engaging books and speakers.”

The 2024 selection committee includes authors and scientists whose work across fields explores—and facilitates public understanding of—the innumerable connections between science, technology, and the humanities. Shane Campbell-Staton is an evolutionary biologist, science communicator, and host of Human Footprint and Evolution Earth on PBS; Priyamvada Natarajan is an astrophysicist and author of Mapping the Heavens: The Radical Scientific Ideas that Reveal the Cosmos; Ricardo Nuila (Chair) is the author of The People’s Hospital: Hope and Peril in American Medicine and director of the Humanities Expression and Arts Lab (HEAL) at Baylor College of Medicine; Brian Teare is the author of Doomstead Days, which was Longlisted for the 2019 National Book Award for Poetry, and is a publisher, editor, and designer at the poetry micropress Albion Books; and Christina Vizcarra is a researcher and Assistant Professor of chemistry and biochemistry at Barnard College in New York.

Public events featuring the selected authors will take place in cities across the country in Spring 2024 following the March ceremony, including with partners in Houston, TX at the Baylor College of Medicine’s Humanities Expression and Arts Lab—the hub for arts and humanities education at Baylor College of Medicine, Inprint, a literary arts nonprofit that fosters the art of creative writing, and the Hermann Park Conservancy’s Garden and Nature Series; Bookmarked Literary Arts Festival, an annual book festival that connects local and national writers with local readers in Lander, WY; Roanoke Public Libraries, which aims to create a climate of lifelong learning and community enrichment in Roanoke, VA, and the Virginia Festival of the Book, which brings together writers and readers to promote and celebrate books, reading, literacy, and literary culture. Event details will be announced alongside the NBF Presents spring season on Wednesday, January 31, 2024.

Learn more about the Science + Literature program here.

Science + Literature Selected Titles:

Brad Fox, The Bathysphere Book: Effects of the Luminous Ocean Depths
Astra House / Astra Publishing House

Arthur Sze, The Glass Constellation: New and Collected Poems
Copper Canyon Press 

Novuyo Rosa Tshuma, Digging Stars
W. W. Norton & Company

Author Biographies:

Brad Fox is a writer, journalist, translator, and former relief contractor living in New York. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review Daily, Guernica, and other venues. His novel To Remain Nameless was a finalist for the Big Other Book Award for Fiction and a staff pick at The Paris Review.

Arthur Sze has published 11 books of poetry, including The Glass Constellation: New and Collected Poems and Sight Lines, which won the 2019 National Book Award for Poetry. A new collection, The Silk Dragon II: Translations of Chinese Poetry, is forthcoming. Sze is the recipient of many honors, including a 2022 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, a 2021 Shelley Memorial Award, and the Jackson Poetry Prize. He is Professor Emeritus at the Institute of American Indian Arts and lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Novuyo Rosa Tshuma’s latest novel is Digging Stars. Her first novel, House of Stone, won the Edward Stanford Travel Writing Award and the Bulawayo Arts Award for Outstanding Fiction, and was shortlisted for the Orwell Prize for Political Fiction, the Dylan Thomas Prize, and the Balcones Fiction Prize, and was longlisted for the Rathbones Folio Prize. A recipient of a Lannan Literary Fellowship, Tshuma has taught graduate fiction at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and currently teaches at Emerson College.

Committee Biographies:

Shane Campbell-Staton is an evolutionary biologist and assistant professor at Princeton University. His research combines a wide array of techniques to explore how human activity drives evolution in species across the globe, from urban adaptation of Caribbean lizards to the evolution of tuskless elephants in response to poaching. In addition to his research, Shane is a passionate science communicator. Most recently, he is the host and narrator of two television series, Human Footprint and Evolution Earth, airing on PBS.

Priyamvada Natarajan is an astrophysicist, and the inaugural Joseph S. and Sophia S. Fruton Professor in Astronomy and Physics at Yale University. She has made seminal contributions to our understanding of the nature of dark matter using gravitational lensing studies; and the assembly history of supermassive black holes over cosmic time. The recipient of many awards and honors, including fellowships from the American Physical Society (APS), the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the Guggenheim Foundation, and Radcliffe Institute; she was recognized with the Liberty Science Center’s Genius Award. She is the author of Mapping the Heavens: The Radical Scientific Ideas that Reveal the Cosmos.

Ricardo Nuila (Chair) is a writer and practicing doctor at Houston’s largest public hospital. His work has been featured in The New YorkerTexas MonthlyThe New England Journal of Medicine, and Best American Short Stories. His first book, The People’s Hospital: Hope and Peril in American Medicine was featured on NPR’s Fresh Air. In its review, the New York Times notes that Ricardo is a “skillful writer who humanizes his points in meticulous and compassionate detail.” He is the Director of the Humanities Expression and Arts Lab (HEAL) at Baylor College of Medicine.

A 2020 Guggenheim Fellow, Brian Teare is the author of seven critically acclaimed books, including Doomstead Days, winner of the Four Quartets Prize, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and Longlisted for the National Book Award for Poetry. His most recent publications are a pair of book-length ekphrastic projects exploring queer abstraction, chronic illness, and collage: the reissue of The Empty Form Goes All the Way to Heaven, and Poem Bitten by a Man. An Associate Professor of Poetry at the University of Virginia, Brian lives in Charlottesville, where he makes books by hand for his micropress, Albion Books. 

Christina Vizcarra is an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Barnard College in New York City, where she teaches chemistry and biochemistry and leads a research group focused on protein biochemistry. The Vizcarra group is particularly interested in the cytoskeleton, the network of protein filaments that is essential to many cellular processes. Prior to Barnard, Dr. Vizcarra received a PhD from California University of Technology and was an NIH postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, Los Angeles.