Join us for the inaugural year of Science + Literature public programs

The National Book Foundation and Alfred P. Sloan Foundation continue the inaugural year of Science + Literature with free public programs highlighting each of the selected titles: The Kissing Bug: A True Story of a Family, an Insect, and a Nation’s Neglect of a Deadly Disease by Daisy Hernández, The Radiant Lives of Animals by Linda Hogan, and In the Field by Rachel Pastan. The programming includes in-person events at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, NY featuring Daisy Hernández and Dr. Jessica L. Ware, and the Mechanics’ Hall in Portland, ME featuring Rachel Pastan and Weike Wang, and a virtual event presented in partnership with Seattle Arts & Lectures featuring Linda Hogan and Rena Priest.
To learn more about the programs and to RSVP, please click through below, or visit the National Book Foundation’s events calendar.

Science + Literature Summer 2022 Schedule

08jun8:00 pmScience + Literature: Reading the Natural World8:00 pm EDT

23jun7:00 pmScience + Literature: The Gender Disparity7:00 pm EDT 519 Congress Street, Portland, ME

27jul7:00 pmScience + Literature: Investigating Disease and Access7:00 pm EDT 200 Central Park West

 


The Science + Literature program is made possible by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

Submissions Open for the 2022 National Book Awards

Twenty-five judges in five categories will review submitted titles and select the five Winners of the 73rd National Book Awards

The National Book Foundation announced the opening of submissions for the 73rd National Book Awards. The Foundation also announces its 25 judges for this year’s Awards, in the categories of Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Translated Literature, and Young People’s Literature.

“This year’s judging panels reflect the same passion, curiosity, and enthusiasm as this nation of readers, and we deeply appreciate our judges’ time, patience, and energy,” said Ruth Dickey, Executive Director of the National Book Foundation. “We are grateful to these 25 extraordinary literary citizens and look forward to the lasting contributions they will make for writers, the literary world, and readers everywhere.”

This year’s judges include writers, editors, booksellers, directors of literary organizations, academics, critics, and translators from across the country. Panelists include National Book Award Finalists and Longlisted authors; an Emmy Award Winner; a former United States Poet Laureate; a Whiting Award winner; a Windham Campbell Prize winner; National Book Critics Circle Award winners and finalists; a Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement honoree; a William C. Morris Award Winner; and recipients of Guggenheim, Lannan Literary, and MacDowell fellowships.

The judges for the 2022 National Book Awards will select 50 Longlist titles, 10 per category, which will be announced mid-September. There will be 25 Finalists, to be announced on October 4. Winners in all five categories will be announced at the 73rd National Book Awards on November 16, 2022.

2022 National Book Awards Fiction Judges

Fiction panel: Ben Fountain (Chair), Brandon Hobson, Pam Houston, Dana Johnson, Michelle Malonzo

2022 National Book Awards Nonfiction Judges

Nonfiction panel: Carol Anderson, Melissa Febos, Thor Hanson, Janet Webster Jones, Oscar Villalon (Chair)

2022 National Book Awards Poetry Judges

Poetry panel: Kwame Dawes (Chair), Juan Felipe Herrera, Keetje Kuipers, January Gill O’Neil, Mai Der Vang

2022 National Book Awards Translated Literature Judges

Translated Literature panel: Nick Buzanski, Veronica Esposito, Ann Goldstein (Chair), Rohan Kamicheril, Russell Scott Valentino

2022 National Book Awards Young People's Literature Judges

Young People’s Literature panel: Becky Albertalli, Joseph Bruchac, Meghan Dietsche Goel, Jewell Parker Rhodes (Chair), Lilliam Rivera

You can find the judges’ full bios here.

The National Book Foundation and Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Announce Inaugural Science + Literature Program Titles

The National Book Foundation (NBF) and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation announced the inaugural selected titles for the Science + Literature program; the author of each book will receive a $10,000 cash prize. The initiative, guided by a committee of five scientific and literary experts also announced today, identifies three books annually that deepen readers’ understanding of science and technology. Science + Literature is made possible by a three-year, $525,000 grant from the Sloan Foundation, and focuses on elevating the diversity of voices in contemporary science and technology writing through the prize and associated public programs.

The three inaugural titles—all authored by women—include a memoir, a collection of essays and poetry, and a novel. The Kissing Bug: A True Story of a Family, an Insect, and a Nation’s Neglect of a Deadly Disease by Daisy Hernández merges family memoir with investigative journalism. Inspired by the disease that killed her aunt, Hernández interviews doctors, epidemiologists, and patients in the United States and abroad to uncover the history of Chagas, a deadly infectious disease that disproportionately affects low-income Latinx communities. In The Radiant Lives of Animals, Linda Hogan draws from Native nations’ traditions and weaves together poetry and prose about her relationship to animals from her remote home in Colorado. The collection reminds readers that humans’ current relationship with the environment is not sustainable, and calls for a path forward led by Indigenous understandings. In the Field by Rachel Pastan is based on the life of the Nobel-winning cytogeneticist Barbara McClintock, and tells the story of a female geneticist attempting to make her mark in the mid-20th-century through the highs and lows of scientific discoveries, closeted sexuality, love, and discrimination in a male-dominated field.

“These three titles contemplate gaps in the US healthcare system, humans’ relationships to the natural world, and the legacy of a scientist ahead of her time,” said Ruth Dickey, Executive Director of the National Book Foundation. “We are thrilled to celebrate these diverse perspectives, and inspire conversations around the role of science and technology in our everyday lives.”

“We are proud to partner with the National Book Foundation to honor three exceptional women writers whose works dramatize scientific and technological themes and characters,” said Doron Weber, Vice President and Program Director at the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. “These authors join the Foundation’s nationwide book program, which has supported more than 200 books, including Elizabeth Kolbert’s Under a White Sky, and Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin’s Pulitzer Prize-winner American Prometheus.”

An in-person, invite-only ceremony will be held on Thursday, March 3, 2022 at the Museum of the Moving Image in New York to celebrate the authors and committee members. The ceremony will feature a conversation with the selected authors moderated by Saeed Jones, author of the memoir How We Fight for Our Lives.

The inaugural selection committee includes authors and scientists whose work explores the intersection—and public understanding—of science and the humanities. Dr. Morgan Halane is a biologist and the co-founder of #BlackBotanistsWeek. His graduate and postdoctoral studies in the life sciences at the University of Missouri, Pohang University of Science and Technology, and the University of California, Riverside led to advances in our understanding of plant immunity to pathogens. Lydia Millet (chair) is the author of more than a dozen novels and short story collections, often centering the connections between people and other living creatures. Her 2020 novel A Children’s Bible was a Finalist for the National Book Award for Fiction, and she has worked as an editor and staff writer at the Center for Biological Diversity since 1999. Dr. Safiya U. Noble, a 2021 MacArthur Fellow, is the author of Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism. She is an Associate Professor of Gender Studies and African American Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles where she serves as the co-founder and co-director of the UCLA Center for Critical Internet Inquiry. Margot Lee Shetterly is a writer, researcher, entrepreneur and the founder of the Human Computer Project, a digital archive telling the stories of all of NASA’s “Human Computers.” She is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race. Aaron Yazzie is a mechanical engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and a professional member of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society, participating in higher education and STEM outreach activities for students of all ages.

“We are grateful to collaborate with a committee of experts, authors, and public programming partners to initiate nuanced conversations on science and technology in communities across the country,” said David Steinberger, Chair of the Board of Directors of the National Book Foundation. “We are especially thankful for the Sloan Foundation, whose partnership and generous funding helped make this initiative possible, and who have supported more than 200 writers via their multi-decade-long Book Program.”

Public events featuring the selected authors will take place in cities across the country in Spring/Summer 2022, including with partners at the Mechanics’ Hall in Portland, ME, which, since the 1800s, has served as an educational center for local masters of crafts and trades, and today hosts programs that nurture creative and cultural community; and Seattle Arts & Lectures in Seattle, WA, which cultivates transformative experiences through story and language with readers and writers of all generations. Event details coming soon.

Learn more about the Science + Literature program here.

Science + Literature Selected Titles:

Daisy Hernández, The Kissing Bug: A True Story of a Family, an Insect, and a Nation’s Neglect of a Deadly Disease
Tin House Books

Linda Hogan, The Radiant Lives of Animals
Beacon Press

Rachel Pastan, In the Field
Delphinium Books

Author Biographies:

Daisy Hernández is the author of The Kissing Bug: A True Story of a Family, an Insect, and a Nation’s Neglect of a Deadly Disease, which has been named a Best Book of 2021 by NPR and TIME. She is a professor at Miami University in Ohio.

Linda Hogan (Chickasaw) is a poet, novelist, essayist, teacher, and activist. Her work illuminates environmental and Indigenous activism, as well as Native spirituality. She was born in Oklahoma and now lives and works in Idledale, Colorado, a town of 252 human souls. Her literary works have earned her fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the Native Arts and Culture Foundation, and awards including the Native Writers’ Circle of the Americas’ Lifetime Achievement Award and the Henry David Thoreau Prize.

Rachel Pastan is the author of four novels, most recently In the Field. Her previous novel, Alena, was named an Editors’ Choice in the New York Times Book Review. The daughter of a molecular geneticist and a poet, she has worked as editor-at-large at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia, and taught fiction writing at the Bennington Writing Seminars, Swarthmore College, and elsewhere.

Committee Biographies:

Dr. Morgan Halane is a New York City-based biologist affiliated with Great Ecology and Atlas Obscura. He received a BA in English from the University of Missouri with a capstone focused on the adaptation of science fiction literature into film. His graduate and postdoctoral studies in the life sciences at the University of Missouri, Pohang University of Science and Technology, and the University of California, Riverside led to advances in our understanding of plant immunity to pathogens. He has published his work in several journals including Science, PLOS Pathogens, and the Annual Review of Plant Biology.

Lydia Millet (chair) is a writer of fiction, opinion pieces, and other ephemera. Her 2020 novel A Children’s Bible was a Finalist for the National Book Award for Fiction and one of the New York Times Book Review’s Best 10 Books of 2020. In 2019 she received an Award of Merit for the Short Story from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and her 2010 story collection Love in Infant Monkeys was a Pulitzer Prize finalist. Since 1999 she has been an editor at the Center for Biological Diversity, a group dedicated to fighting extinction and climate change. She lives in the Arizona desert.

Dr. Safiya U. Noble, author of Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism, is an Associate Professor of Gender Studies and African American Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles where she serves as the co-founder and co-director of the UCLA Center for Critical Internet Inquiry. She holds affiliations in the School of Education & Information Studies, and is a Research Associate at the Oxford Internet Institute at the University of Oxford where she is a Commissioner on the Oxford Commission on AI & Good Governance. Dr. Noble is a board member of the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative, serving those vulnerable to online harassment.

Writer, researcher, and entrepreneur Margot Lee Shetterly is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race, and an Executive Producer of the Oscar-nominated film adaptation of her book. She is also the founder of the Human Computer Project, a digital archive telling the stories of all of NASA’s “Human Computers.” Shetterly is a scholar-in-residence at the University of Virginia, with joint appointments at the McIntire School of Commerce and the School of Engineering.

Aaron Yazzie is a Mechanical Engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California where he designs mechanical systems for NASA’s robotic space research missions. His most extensive contributions have been for missions to the planet Mars, which include roles on the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover, the InSight Mars lander, and the Mars 2020 Perseverance rover. Yazzie is Diné (Navajo). He was born in Tuba City, Arizona on the Navajo Nation, and raised in Holbrook, Arizona. Through frequent outreach efforts, public engagement, and volunteer work, Yazzie is passionate about increasing and improving representation of Indigenous Peoples in STEM fields.

Watch the 2021 National Book Awards Teen Press Conference

Attention students & teachers! The National Book Awards Teen Press Conference is a virtual event—live, online, and accessible from your computers and classrooms. This year’s event continues a decades-long tradition, bringing the excitement of the most prestigious literary award in the country to New York City’s middle and high school students.

School groups were invited to participate in a free, virtual literary event that was curated just for them.

Recorded: Wednesday November 10th at 10:30am-11:30am ET

Watch the event by clicking here.

Kwame Alexander. Photo credit: Portia Wiggins Photography

Hosted by: Kwame Alexander

Kwame Alexander is a poet, educator, publisher, and New York Times Bestselling author of 35 books, including Swing, Becoming Muhammad Ali (co-authored with James Patterson), Booked, Rebound, The Undefeated, and The Crossover. Kwame’s books have been longlisted for the National Book Award, been shortlisted for the UK Carnegie Medal, and won the Caldecott Medal and the Newbery Medal, and he has been awarded with The Coretta Scott King Author Honor, three NAACP Image Award Nominations among other awards. He lives and writes from his home in London. When he’s not writing, Kwame’s playing softball with his soon-to-be six feet tall middle school daughter, walking around London listening to audio books, and traveling to schools and libraries across the globe (this year, on Zoom). He is also the writer and executive producer of the Disney Plus TV series based on his novel The Crossover.

What books are featured?

The panel of judges has announced this year’s Finalists for the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature:

  • The Legend of Auntie Po by Shing Yin Khor
  • Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo
  • Too Bright to See by Kyle Lukoff
  • Revolution in Our Time: The Black Panther Party’s Promise to the People by Kekla Magoon
  • Me (Moth) by Amber McBride

You can see more about the Finalists and the Longlist here.

Watch the 2021 National Book Awards Finalists Reading


Every year, the National Book Foundation partners with The New School’s Creative Writing Program to present readings by each of the National Book Awards Finalists. It’s a special opportunity to hear these celebrated authors together in one place. The 2021 reading features the Finalists in Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Translated Literature and Young People’s Literature.

The 72nd National Book Awards Ceremony will be broadcast live on November 17, 2021 at 7:00pm ET. Sign up to watch, receive updates about the upcoming ceremony, and discover this year’s Winners in real-time.

Phoebe Robinson, Author and Comic, to Host 72nd National Book Awards

The critically-acclaimed author and comedian will be the master of ceremonies for the 2021 National Book Awards

The National Book Foundation, presenter of the National Book Awards, announced Phoebe Robinson, stand-up comedian, actress, bestselling author, and founder of Tiny Reparations Books, will host the 72nd National Book Awards on November 17, 2021.

“Phoebe Robinson is a fierce champion for readers and writers, and we’re thrilled to have her host the National Book Awards Ceremony this year,” said Ruth Dickey, Executive Director of the National Book Foundation.

The multihyphenate Robinson is the co-creator of the podcast 2 Dope Queens, launched a production company, Tiny Reparations, and the recent release of her third collection of essays, Please Don’t Sit on My Bed in Your Outside Clothes, is the inaugural title from her Tiny Reparations Books imprint.

On November 17, Robinson will serve as master of ceremonies for the National Book Awards Ceremony that will announce the Winners in the categories of Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Translated Literature, and Young People’s Literature. The ceremony will also include the presentation of two lifetime achievement awards: Karen Tei Yamashita will be recognized with the National Book Foundation’s Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, presented by Viet Thanh Nguyen, and Nancy Pearl will receive the Foundation’s Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community, presented by Ron Charles.

Phoebe Robinson’s bio is below, and more information about the exclusively online National Book Awards Ceremony can be found at our website, nationalbook.org.

ABOUT PHOEBE ROBINSON

Phoebe Robinson is a stand-up comedian, writer, producer, and actress. She is the co-creator and co-star of the hit podcast turned HBO series 2 Dope Queens and other critically acclaimed podcasts including Sooo Many White Guys and Black Frasier. She’s also the New York Times bestselling author of You Can’t Touch My Hair: And Other Things I Still Have to Explain and Everything’s Trash, But It’s Okay which has been picked up as a series order for Freeform. Additionally, Phoebe starred in the films Ibiza and What Men Want, and was a moderator for Michelle Obama’s Becoming book tour where she interviewed the former first lady. In 2019, Phoebe launched Tiny Reparations, a production company under ABC Signature, whose first series Doing the Most with Phoebe Robinson, premiered April 2021 on Comedy Central. In 2021, Phoebe published her third book of essays, Please Don’t Sit on My Bed in Your Outside Clothes, which quickly became a national bestseller and the inaugural title from her imprint, Tiny Reparations Books, which champions writers of color. Her debut hour comedy special, Sorry, Harriet Tubman, premiered in October 2021 on HBO Max.

(Photo credit: Yavez Anthonio)

2021 National Book Awards Finalists Announced

Twenty-five Finalists to contend for National Book Awards in the categories of Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Translated Literature, and Young People’s Literature

The twenty-five Finalists for the 2021 National Book Awards for Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Translated Literature, and Young People’s Literature were announced with NYTimes.com. The five Finalists in each category were selected by a distinguished panel of literary experts, and were advanced from the Longlists announced in September.

Between the five categories, there are five writers and two translators who have been previously honored by the National Book Awards: Hanif Abdurraqib, a 2019 Nonfiction Longlister; Anthony Doerr, a 2014 Fiction Finalist; Nona Fernández and Natasha Wimmer, 2019 Translated Literature Longlisters; Lauren Groff, a Finalist for Fiction in 2015 and in 2018; Kekla Magoon, a 2015 Young People’s Literature Longlister; and Leri Price, a 2019 Translated Literature Finalist. All five of the Finalists for Poetry are first-time National Book Award honorees. Four of the twenty-five Finalists are debuts.

Publishers submitted a total of 1,892 books for this year’s National Book Awards: 415 in Fiction, 679 in Nonfiction, 290 in Poetry, 164 in Translated Literature, and 344 in Young People’s Literature. Judges’ decisions are made independently of the National Book Foundation staff and Board of Directors; deliberations are strictly confidential.

The Winners will be announced live on Wednesday, November 17 at the 72nd National Book Awards Ceremony, which will be held exclusively online. Two lifetime achievement awards will also be presented as part of the evening’s ceremony: Karen Tei Yamashita will be recognized with the National Book Foundation’s Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, and Nancy Pearl will receive the Foundation’s Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community, presented by Ron Charles.

Finalists for Fiction:

Anthony Doerr, Cloud Cuckoo Land
Scribner / Simon & Schuster

Lauren Groff, Matrix
Riverhead Books / Penguin Random House

Laird Hunt, Zorrie
Bloomsbury Publishing

Robert Jones, Jr., The Prophets
G. P. Putnam’s Sons / Penguin Random House

Jason Mott, Hell of a Book
Dutton / Penguin Random House

Anthony Doerr’s Cloud Cuckoo Land spans nearly six centuries as young people coming of age in troubled societies are transported and instructed by the same long-lost book. In Lauren Groff’s latest novel, Matrix, Marie is deemed unfit for marriage, banished from France, and becomes the prioress of a poverty-stricken abbey in England, where she dedicates herself to protecting her new home, her fellow nuns, and her own status. The titular character of Zorrie by Laird Hunt is shaped by the events of the 20th century, from her Depression-era childhood to the fallout of World War II. Robert Jones Jr.’s debut novel, The Prophets, is a Black queer love story of two enslaved men on a Deep South plantation who find tenderness in the face of oppression. Jason Mott fictionalizes his own book tour experience in Hell of a Book, converging an author tour with the story of a Black child growing up in the rural South, and a possibly imaginary counterpart.

Finalists for Nonfiction:

Hanif Abdurraqib, A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance
Random House / Penguin Random House

Lucas Bessire, Running Out: In Search of Water on the High Plains
Princeton University Press

Grace M. Cho, Tastes Like War: A Memoir
Feminist Press at the City University of New York

Nicole Eustace, Covered with Night: A Story of Murder and Indigenous Justice in Early America
Liveright / W. W. Norton & Company

Tiya Miles, All That She Carried: The Journey of Ashley’s Sack, a Black Family Keepsake
Random House / Penguin Random House

Hanif Abdurraqib layers personal experience, sociopolitical critique, and celebration of Black genius in A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance. In Running Out: In Search of Water on the High Plains, Lucas Bessire journeys to his ancestral home of southwest Kansas, addresses the depletion of the Ogallala aquifer, and demands we all take responsibility for a more sustainable future. Tastes Like War by Grace M. Cho is part food memoir and part sociological study. In search for the roots of her mother’s schizophrenia, Cho cooks her grandmother’s recipes and documents how the body carries the effects of war, colonialism, xenophobia, and the immigrant experience. In Covered with Night: A Story of Murder and Indigenous Justice in Early America, Nicole Eustace recounts the overlooked 1722 murder case of an Indigenous hunter and eventual trial to explore the meaning of justice in the pre-Revolutionary War era. Tiya Miles’s All That She Carried: The Journey of Ashley’s Sack, a Black Family Keepsake is the emotionally rich story of an enslaved woman’s cotton bag and an unpacking of generations of history, survival, and familial love.

Finalists for Poetry:

Desiree C. Bailey, What Noise Against the Cane
Yale University Press

Martín Espada, Floaters
W. W. Norton & Company

Douglas Kearney, Sho
Wave Books

Hoa Nguyen, A Thousand Times You Lose Your Treasure
Wave Books

Jackie Wang, The Sunflower Cast a Spell to Save Us from the Void
Nightboat Books

Desiree C. Bailey’s What Noise Against the Cane, winner of the 2020 Yale Younger Poets Prize, honors ancestors of the Haitian Revolution and mines the complexities of home for a Black woman in contemporary America. In Floaters, Martín Espada celebrates his late activist father, condemns government inaction in the aftermath of Hurricane María, and pays tribute to the migrants who drowned while attempting to cross the Rio Grande. Douglas Kearney’s Sho plays with Black vernacular and performance to investigate race, masculinity, and current events. In A Thousand Times You Lose Your Treasure, Hoa Nguyen grapples with all she does not know about her motherland, her mother tongue, and her mother. Jackie Wang documents her dreams to process collective trauma for both living and non-living creatures and to find hope in the sunflower still able to sprout in The Sunflower Cast a Spell to Save Us from the World.

Finalists for Translated Literature:

Elisa Shua Dusapin, Winter in Sokcho
Translated from the French by Aneesa Abbas Higgins
Open Letter

Ge Fei, Peach Blossom Paradise
Translated from the Chinese by Canaan Morse
New York Review Books

Nona Fernández, The Twilight Zone
Translated from the Spanish by Natasha Wimmer
Graywolf Press

Benjamín Labatut, When We Cease to Understand the World
Translated from the Spanish by Adrian Nathan West
New York Review Books

Samar Yazbek, Planet of Clay
Translated from the Arabic by Leri Price
World Editions

In the offseason at a South Korean resort, a young French Korean woman working as a hotel receptionist befriends a hotel guest in Elisa Shua Dusapin’s debut novel, Winter in Sokcho, which was translated from the French by Aneesa Abbas Higgins. Peach Blossom Paradise by Ge Fei and translated from the Chinese by Canaan Morse, blends history and mythology to tell the story of Xiumi, a young woman struggling to uphold personal autonomy in China during the Hundred Days’ Reform. Nona Fernández’s The Twilight Zone, translated from the Spanish by Natasha Wimmer, follows the narrator’s life-long obsession with a member of the Chilean secret police who confessed to participating in some of the worst crimes committed by Augusto Pinochet’s military dictatorship. Written by Benjamín Labatut and translated from the Spanish by Adrian Nathan West, When We Cease to Understand the World is a fictional account of the lives of renowned scientists and mathematicians, including Werner Heisenberg and Erwin Schrödinger. Planet of Clay by Samar Yazbek and translated from the Arabic by Leri Price tells the story of a young girl named Rima who chases freedom through books, secret planets, and art in the midst of the Syrian Civil War.

Finalists for Young People’s Literature:

Shing Yin Khor, The Legend of Auntie Po
Kokila / Penguin Random House

Malinda Lo, Last Night at the Telegraph Club
Dutton Books for Young Readers / Penguin Random House

Kyle Lukoff, Too Bright to See
Dial Books for Young Readers / Penguin Random House

Kekla Magoon, Revolution in Our Time: The Black Panther Party’s Promise to the People
Candlewick Press

Amber McBride, Me (Moth)
Feiwel and Friends / Macmillan Publishers

In Shing Yin Khor’s graphic novel The Legend of Auntie Po, Mei retells the myth of Paul Bunyan, while navigating the intersections of privilege, race, and immigration in the years following the Chinese Exclusion Act. Set in San Francisco’s Chinatown during the Red Scare, Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo follows its 17-year-old protagonist, Lily, as she finds first love and fights to claim her queer identity. In Too Bright to See by Kyle Lukoff, eleven-year-old Bug has two mysteries at hand—a haunted house and an evolving gender identity. Revolution in Our Time: The Black Panther Party’s Promise to the People by Kekla Magoon explores the Black Panther Party’s prioritization of justice and community care, and connects the Party’s principles to today’s Black Lives Matter movement. After losing her family in a tragic car accident, Moth feels alone until she meets Sani, and together, they embark on a road trip to discover their ancestry in Amber McBride’s Me (Moth).


The National Book Foundation will once again broadcast the National Book Awards Ceremony on YouTube, Facebook, and the Foundation’s website at nationalbook.org/awards. Winners of the National Book Awards receive $10,000 and a bronze medal and statue; Finalists receive $1,000 and a bronze medal; Winners and Finalists in the Translated Literature category will split the prize evenly between author and translator.

The Awards Ceremony is the culminating event in a series of entirely virtual National Book Awards events to be held in the coming months. The traditional National Book Awards Finalists Reading, in which all the Finalists will read from their work, will be hosted by The New School on the evening of November 9; this event will be online, free, and open to the public. The annual National Book Awards Teen Press Conference, hosted by Kwame Alexander, will take place on November 10. The 2021 5 Under 35 cohort, the Foundation’s celebration of emerging fiction writers selected by National Book Award Winners, Finalists, Longlisted authors, and former 5 Under 35 honorees, will be honored at an invitation-only ceremony in Spring 2022.

 

AAP, CLMP, and NBF Provide $4.3 Million in Second Round of Emergency Funding for Literary Organizations and Publishers

The three national nonprofit literary arts organizations that launched the Literary Arts Emergency Fund (LAEF) last year—the Academy of American Poets, Community of Literary Magazines and Presses (CLMP), and National Book Foundation—have come together again to renew the LAEF and provide another round of critical funding for nonprofit literary arts organizations and publishers experiencing continued financial losses due to COVID-19. Regrants from this fund are made possible by a renewed grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

“Poets and writers drive our country’s vibrant literary culture, and their dedication to their craft continues to give solace to readers, students, and communities across the United States,” said Elizabeth Alexander, President of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. “We are honored to extend our funding for the Literary Arts Emergency Fund, and to support these artists and the literary organizations that elevate their work.”

According to the Americans for the Arts’ survey on the economic impact of COVID-19, by the beginning of 2021 alone, nonprofit literary arts organizations were already reporting over $11.7 million in total financial losses.

“Throughout the pandemic, we’ve seen many millions more people turn to poetry—they’re coming to Poets.org to read poems and attending online readings,” said Jennifer Benka, President & Executive Director of the Academy of American Poets. “Poetry, as the poet Edward Hirsch once wrote, ‘companions’ us. The Academy is pleased to be able to offer support to those organizations whose poetry publications and programs bring comfort and courage in this time.”

“Mission-driven literary magazines and presses form the bedrock of the publishing ecosystem, fostering an environment where literary artists and their work can flourish,” said Mary Gannon, Executive Director of CLMP. “By supporting these dedicated publishers through the ongoing challenges they face, we ensure that the diverse array of voices they amplify will continue to be heard.”

“Nonprofit literary arts organizations champion books, and their transformative ability to connect readers of all ages and backgrounds,” said Ruth Dickey, Executive Director of the National Book Foundation. “These organizations do this work hand-in-hand with writers inside of schools and prisons, on stages and in community centers, in all 50 states. What an honor it is to help uplift such vital work and strive to address the deep financial need across the field, which is even more profound this year than last.”

The application portal will open in November 2021 and close in January 2022. Literary organizations and publishers may view guidelines at https://literaryartsemergencyfund.submittable.com/submit once the portal opens in November. The Academy of American Poets, CLMP, and the National Book Foundation will also host an information session on how to apply in the fall. Applicants will be notified and grants will be distributed in April 2022.

The 72nd National Book Awards will be an Exclusively Digital Ceremony

All 2021 National Book Awards events, including the 72nd National Book Awards Ceremony on November 17, will be held online.

The National Book Foundation announced that the 72nd National Book Awards Ceremony on November 17 will be held virtually in light of public health concerns and ongoing uncertainty related to the coronavirus.

“Although we were cautiously optimistic about the opportunity to gather, the National Book Foundation Board and staff have carefully considered the options for this year’s National Book Awards and closely monitored best health and safety practices associated with COVID-19,” said David Steinberger, Chair of the Board of Directors. “The National Book Awards have always been a unique—and sizeable—event, with authors, publishers, and guests traveling from all over the country to attend. Given the current reality of the ongoing global pandemic, this year’s National Book Awards Ceremony will be a fully virtual event to best protect the health and safety of the book community. Regardless of this shift in event plans, there is so much to celebrate. The 2021 National Book Awards Longlists have recently been announced, and we’re thrilled to celebrate those titles and authors this fall, and their incredible contributions to the field.”

The National Book Foundation will continue to work with Really Useful Media, the production team of the virtual 2020 National Book Awards Ceremony and National Book Awards Finalist Reading, for all virtual elements. The National Book Foundation will once again broadcast the National Book Awards Ceremony on the Foundation’s website at nationalbook.org/awards, YouTube, and Facebook.

“With thanks to our judges’ efforts during yet another difficult year, we have a new list of 50 books to uplift, inspire, and challenge us,” said Ruth Dickey, the Executive Director of the National Book Foundation. “The National Book Awards are a chance to honor books, reading, and the broad community of book lovers. We have all had to adapt and change over the past eighteen months, and books continue to provide a sense of comfort and connection, opening the world to us all even during these uncertain times. We look forward to championing the work of writers and translators at this year’s virtual National Book Awards Ceremony.”

The National Book Awards Finalist Reading, in partnership with The New School, will take place virtually on Tuesday, November 9 and feature readings from all 25 Finalists’ books. The Teen Press Conference will be held virtually on Wednesday, November 10. The NBF’s 5 Under 35 Ceremony has moved permanently to the Spring, and will honor two years of emerging fiction writers at a combined in-person ceremony in Spring 2022.

At the center of the National Book Foundation is its mission to celebrate the best literature in America, expand its audience, and ensure that books have a prominent place in American culture. Since the first National Book Awards in 1950, the literary community has gathered to celebrate literary excellence, commemorating new talent alongside established writers and artists. The proceeds from the National Book Awards Ceremony and Benefit Dinner power the National Book Foundation’s year-round education and public programs.

Over the course of the global pandemic, the National Book Foundation has continued its commitment to champion literature and to protect, stimulate, and promote discourse in American culture, working with program partners to find the best and safest ways to reach readers. The fifth year of Book Rich Environments’ book distribution to children and families in public housing communities continued with over 215,000 books from Penguin Random House, Macmillan, Hachette, Candlewick, HarperCollins, Sourcebooks, and Simon & Schuster delivered to 43 communities in 25 states. BookUp, an after-school program for middle and high school students expanded virtually, as did Raising Readers, which empowers adults who work with and raise children to expand their own love of books and reading.

The National Book Foundation also presented its national public programming—which brings NBA-honored authors to colleges, libraries, book festivals, and performance venues for topical conversations—on-screen. In 2020-2021, NBF Presents presented 26 virtual events—including themed series Literature for Justice and Eat, Drink & Be Literary—that featured over 50 honored authors and reached over 15,000 audience members. NBF distributed thousands of associated books to readers and students at partner colleges, prisons, and detention centers nationwide.

The National Book Foundation looks forward to recognizing the power and importance of this year’s honored books, and celebrating with as many readers as possible around the world.