National Book Foundation Announces 2023 Spring Season of NBF Presents

Twenty-two authors honored by the National Book Foundation to appear at 15 events between February and May 2023

The National Book Foundation announced its spring NBF Presents line-up of 15 events taking place in 12 states from February through May 2023. NBF Presents, the moniker for all of the Foundation’s public programs, aims to reach readers all over the United States, in-person and virtually, with access to thought-provoking conversations featuring authors honored by the National Book Foundation, through the National Book Awards, 5 Under 35, and, most recently, Science + Literature. Programming for the spring season will be presented alongside new and returning program partners, and held in-person, with select events streamed online at no cost to attendees.

Authors honored by the National Book Foundation confirmed to appear at NBF Presents events in the spring season include Alexandra Chang, Jonathan Escoffery, Tess Gunty, Joseph Han, Allison Adelle Hedge Coke, Sabrina Imbler, John Keene, Donika Kelly, Crystal Hana Kim, Jamil Jan Kochai, Toluse Olorunnipa, Tommy Orange, Meghan O’Rourke, Deesha Philyaw, Ingrid Rojas Contreras, Marytza K. Rubio, Robert Samuels, Danez Smith, Alyssa Songsiridej, Brandon Taylor, Alejandro Varela, and Xiaowei Wang.

“This season, we are eager to hold space for conversations—across genres—about craft, place, and the connecting power of great books,” said Ruth Dickey, Executive Director of the National Book Foundation. “Through NBF Presents programs, we have been able to reach readers in communities big and small, and this year we are excited to continue our long-standing work with returning partners in addition to reaching readers in new cities and states nationwide.”

The Foundation will present programs featuring authors honored by the National Book Foundation and nationally recognized moderators, including the Foundation’s first NBF Presents events in partnership with the Chicago Humanities Festival in Chicago IL; and in the state of Montana at Salish Kootenai College on the Flathead Reservation in Pablo, MT and Elk River Arts & Lectures in Livingston, MT.

“We are so honored that the National Book Foundation has chosen our rural community as a venue for their world-class literary programming,” said Amy Zanoni, Executive Director of Elk River Arts & Lectures. “The Foundation has been an incredible partner, working closely with our organization and the Salish Kootenai College to create a program that will strongly resonate with Montanans. Their supportive and collaborative spirit will do wonders to advance our organization’s mission to strengthen our community through engagement with the diverse perspectives and ideas found in the literary arts.”

Returning college and university partners include Amherst College in Amherst, MA; Boise State University in Boise, ID; and Coahoma Community College and the Coahoma County Higher Education Center in Clarksdale, MS. Events will also be presented with regional book festival partners at the Miami Book Fair, Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, Oxford Conference for the Book, San Antonio Book Festival, Tucson Festival of Books, and Virginia Festival of the Book. The National Book Foundation will also join the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) as a literary presenting partner at the annual AWP Conference in Seattle, WA this spring.

“The National Book Foundation’s necessary public programming means a continued conversation with fellow National Book Award honorees and readers all over the country,” said Deesha Philyaw, 2020 National Book Award Finalist and the 2022-2023 John and Renée Grisham Writer-in-Residence at the University of Mississippi. “I’m looking forward to joining this spring’s NBF Presents programming—in my current home of Mississippi—to celebrate the importance of Southern stories to American literature.”

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. Alongside its partners, the National Book Foundation will continue to closely monitor health and safety protocols. 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 16, 8:00pm EST
In-Person | Miami, FL
Books & Books and Miami Book Fair
Miami Book Fair & NBF Presents: An Evening with the 2022 5 Under 35 Honorees

The National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35 program recognizes five exceptional debut authors each year. Join us for a reading and audience Q&A with 2022 5 Under 35 honorees Alexandra Chang (Days of Distraction), Joseph Han (Nuclear Family), Crystal Hana Kim (If You Leave Me), and Alyssa Songsiridej (Little Rabbit). Moderated by Ruth Dickey, Executive Director of the National Book Foundation. Presented in partnership with Books & Books and the Miami Book Fair.

Friday, February 24, 7:00pm EST
In-Person & Livestreamed | Amherst, MA
Amherst College
NBF Presents: An Evening with the National Book Awards

For Amherst College’s annual LitFest, 2022 National Book Award Nonfiction Finalists Ingrid Rojas Contreras (The Man Who Could Move Clouds: A Memoir) and Meghan O’Rourke (The Invisible Kingdom: Reimagining Chronic Illness) read from their work, and discuss crafting personal narratives informed by cultural, historical, and scientific contexts. Moderated by Dennis James Sweeney, author of In the Antarctic Circle and a lecturer in English at Amherst College. This program is supported by Amherst College and The Common magazine.

Saturday, March 4, 2:30pm MST
In-Person | Tucson, AZ
Tucson Festival of Books
NBF Presents: An Afternoon with the National Book Awards 

On the first day of Tucson Festival of Books, join 2022 National Book Award Finalists Toluse Olorunnipa and Robert Samuels (His Name Is George Floyd: One Man’s Life and the Struggle for Racial Justice) and Jamil Jan Kochai (The Haunting of Hajji Hotak and Other Stories) for a cross-genre conversation on capturing the stories that haunt us. Moderated by Natalie Green, Director of Programs at the National Book Foundation.

Sunday, March 5, 1:00pm MST
In-Person | Tucson, AZ
Tucson Festival of Books
NBF Presents: An Afternoon with the National Book Awards 

For the second day of Tucson Festival of Books, 2022 National Book Award Finalists Allison Adelle Hedge Coke (Look at This Blue), Ingrid Rojas Contreras (The Man Who Could Move Clouds: A Memoir), and Alejandro Varela (The Town of Babylon) discuss linking the past, present, and, hopefully, a better future through poetry, nonfiction, and fiction. Moderated by Natalie Green, Director of Programs at the National Book Foundation.

Thursday, March 9, 12:10pm PST
In-Person & Livestreamed | Seattle, WA
Association of Writers & Writing Programs
NBF Presents: The Power of Poetry 

Join National Book Award–honored authors Donika Kelly (Bestiary, 2016 Poetry Longlist) and Danez Smith (Don’t Call Us Dead, 2017 Poetry Finalist) in a conversation about the power of poetry for both author and reader, and its influence on the evolution of their own writing across collections. Presented in partnership with the Association of Writers & Writing Programs, and moderated by the National Book Foundation’s Executive Director Ruth Dickey. This event will be livestreamed. ASL interpretation and live captioning will be provided.

Wednesday, March 22, 6:30pm EDT
In-Person & Livestreamed | New York, NY
The Cooper Union
Celebrating Science + Literature

Join the National Book Foundation, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and The Cooper Union for the 2023 Science + Literature Ceremony—celebrating the second cohort of Science + Literature selected titles: Dyke (geology), Real Life, and Blockchain Chicken Farm: And Other Stories of Tech in China’s Countryside. The program is free and open to the public, and will feature readings and conversation with authors Sabrina Imbler, Brandon Taylor, and Xiaowei Wang.

Saturday, March 25, 4:00pm EDT
In-Person & Livestreamed | Charlottesville, VA
Virginia Festival of the Book
NBF Presents: An Afternoon with the National Book Awards

2022 National Book Award Winner John Keene (Punks: New & Selected Poems) and Finalists Toluse Olorunnipa and Robert Samuels (His Name Is George Floyd: One Man’s Life and the Struggle for Racial Justice) discuss how singular stories collectively shape history—from the AIDS epidemic to the George Floyd protests—and what it means to make these stories real for readers across the country. Moderated by author, activist, and founder of Well-Read Black Girl Glory Edim, and presented in partnership with the Virginia Festival of the Book.

Wednesday, March 29, 11:15am CDT
In-Person | Clarksdale, MS
Coahoma Community College
NBF Presents: Stories of Belonging

Join National Book Award–honored authors Jonathan Escoffery (If I Survive You, 2022 Fiction Longlist) and Deesha Philyaw (The Secret Lives of Church Ladies, 2020 Fiction Finalist) for readings and conversation on what it means to belong, both in and outside of their fiction, and in and outside of the South. Moderated by W. Ralph Eubanks, author of A Place Like Mississippi: A Journey Through a Real and Imagined Literary Landscape. Presented in partnership with Coahoma Community College and the Coahoma County Higher Education Center.

Thursday, March 30, 11:30am CDT
In-Person | Oxford, MS
Oxford Conference for the Book
NBF Presents: An Afternoon with the National Book Awards

Join National Book Award–honored authors Jonathan Escoffery (If I Survive You, 2022 Fiction Longlist) and Deesha Philyaw (The Secret Lives of Church Ladies, 2020 Fiction Finalist, and the 2022-2023 Grisham Writer-in Residence) for readings and conversation on making a home for their characters in the South. Moderated by Jerid P. Woods, also known as Akili Nzuri, a writer, educator, and literary influencer @ablackmanreading. Presented in partnership with the 29th Oxford Conference for the Book.

Wednesday, April 12, 7:00pm CDT
In-Person | Boise, ID
Boise State University
Science + Literature: The Future of Technology

Xiaowei Wang’s Blockchain Chicken Farm: And Other Stories of Tech in China’s Countryside (2023 Science + Literature Selected Title) expertly examines the quickly changing landscape of technology, and the people engaging with it as user, creator, and controller. Join Wang for a conversation on their debut essay collection, and if and how freedom can be found through technology. Presented in partnership with Boise State University’s Global Humanities and Cultural Studies program.

Saturday, April 15
In-Person | San Antonio, TX
San Antonio Book Festival
NBF Presents: An Afternoon with the National Book Awards

In their debut books, 2022 National Book Award–honored authors Marytza K. Rubio (Maria, Maria & Other Stories) and Alejandro Varela (The Town of Babylon) depict characters chasing freedom—across countries, realms, and the suburbs. Join Rubio and Varela for a conversation on reading and writing contemporary literature set in the Americas. Moderated by Ruth Dickey, Executive Director of the National Book Foundation, and presented in partnership with the San Antonio Book Festival.

Saturday-Sunday, April 22- 23
In-Person | Los Angeles, CA
The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books
Science + Literature: On Writing Science and Self

2023 Science + Literature Selected Title Dyke (geology) by Sabrina Imbler juxtaposes the long history of volcanoes, and a shorter history of a summer’s romance—demonstrating just how much humans emulate the natural world. Join Imbler in conversation with Latif Nasser, 2023 Science + Literature selection committee member and co-host of Radiolab, for a conversation on how science writing can inform and connect readers with the world around them. Presented in partnership with the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books.

Tuesday, May 2, 5:00pm MDT
In-Person | Pablo, MT
Salish Kootenai College
NBF Presents: How to Map a Novel

In their debut novels, National Book Award–honored authors Tess Gunty (The Rabbit Hutch, 2022 Fiction Winner) explores the interconnected lives of housing complex residents and Tommy Orange (There There, 2018 Fiction Longlist) follows 12 Native people traveling to the Big Oakland Powwow. Join the authors for a conversation on the significance of place and point-of-view in fiction, and why reading matters. Presented in partnership with Salish Kootenai College.

Wednesday, May 3, 7:00pm MDT
In-Person | Livingston, MT
Elk River Arts & Lectures
NBF Presents: Novels that Connect Us

National Book Award–honored authors Tess Gunty (The Rabbit Hutch, 2022 Fiction Winner) and Tommy Orange (There There, 2018 Fiction Longlist) follow a large cast of characters in their novels—all affected in different ways by class, gender, and their environment. Join the authors for a discussion about interwoven storytelling that builds toward a more connected, collective future. Presented in partnership with Elk River Arts & Lectures.

Saturday, May 6
In-Person | Chicago, IL
Chicago Humanities Festival
Science + Literature: From the Lab to the Page

Real Life by Brandon Taylor (2023 Science + Literature Selected Title) questions what it means for a queer Black man to pursue a career in academia and in science. Join Taylor for a conversation on the real science within Real Life, and the possibilities for better representation—both in science and in fiction. Presented in partnership with the Chicago Humanities Festival.

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

National Book Foundation and Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Announce the 2023 Science + Literature Selected Titles

The National Book Foundation (NBF) and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation today announced selected titles for the second year of the Science + Literature program. The initiative identifies three books annually 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 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. The program is made possible by a three-year, $525,000 grant from the Sloan Foundation.

The three selected titles—all authored by queer writers of color—include a hybrid chapbook, a novel, and an essay collection. A blend of lyrical science writing, prose poem, and autofiction, Sabrina Imbler’s chapbook Dyke (geology) juxtaposes the lifecycles—and dating cycles—of both Hawaiian volcanoes and a queer human narrator, as they erupt and reveal new understandings of each other. Brandon Taylor’s debut novel Real Life follows Wallace, a queer Black man from Alabama who is pursuing a biochemistry degree in the Midwest, as he questions the pursuit of a career in science and what it means to live a “real life” in an environment steeped with racism, isolation, and repressed trauma. In Blockchain Chicken Farm: And Other Stories of Tech in China’s Countryside, Xiaowei Wang examines the intersection of politics, agriculture, and technology in China’s rural revitalization strategy. Wang shares case studies and personal stories—including their own family’s—to portray the knowns and unknowns of a rapidly changing world influenced by artificial intelligence and power.

“These deeply engaging works—from stories rooted in science journalism and lived experiences to fictional narratives rich with scientific understanding—demonstrate the many ways in which science and technology permeate our everyday lives,” said Ruth Dickey, Executive Director of the National Book Foundation. “This year’s selected titles contribute to a national conversation around the importance of diverse scientific writing and are sure to offer something for every kind of reader.”

“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 lived 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. 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 and Margot Lee Shetterly’s Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race to this year’s Chip War: The Fight for the World’s Most Critical Technology by Chris Miller and Vagina Obscura: An Anatomical Voyage by Rachel E. Gross.”

An in-person ceremony will be held on Wednesday, March 22, 2023, featuring readings and conversation with the selected authors. This year’s ceremony will be 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.

The 2023 selection committee includes authors and scientists whose work across fields make science and the humanities more accessible for everyone. Ben Green is a postdoctoral scholar in the Michigan Society of Fellows and the author of The Smart Enough City: Putting Technology in Its Place to Reclaim our Urban FutureJ. Drew Lanham is a Professor of Wildlife Ecology at Clemson University, a 2022 MacArthur Fellow, and the author of The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man’s Love Affair with NatureLatif Nasser is the host of WNYC’s Radiolab and Netflix’s Connected; Aimee Nezhukumatathil (Chair) is the author of World of Wonders: In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, & Other Astonishments and poetry editor of Sierra magazine; and Weike Wang is the author of Chemistry and Joan Is Okay, and is a National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 honoree.

“Now in its second year, Science + Literature continues to identify books and writers that break down complex scientific concepts through exceptional storytelling,” said David Steinberger, Chair of the Board of Directors of the National Book Foundation. “We are grateful to the Sloan Foundation, this year’s selection committee, and our national programming partners, whose generous support makes Science + Literature possible.”

Public events featuring the selected authors will take place in cities across the country in Spring 2023 following the March ceremony, including with partners at the Chicago Humanities Festival in Chicago, IL, which connects people to the ideas that shape and define us, and promotes the lifelong exploration of what it means to be human; the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books in Los Angeles, CA, which, since 1996 has gathered writers, poets, artists, filmmakers, musicians, and emerging storytellers; and Boise State University, a public research university in Boise, ID focused on student success with an innovation mindset. Event details coming soon.

Learn more about the Science + Literature program here.

Science + Literature Selected Titles:

Sabrina Imbler, Dyke (geology)
Black Lawrence Press 

Brandon Taylor, Real Life
Riverhead Books / Penguin Random House

Xiaowei Wang, Blockchain Chicken Farm: And Other Stories of Tech in China’s Countryside
FSG Originals / Macmillan Publishers

Author Biographies:

Sabrina Imbler is a science writer living in Brooklyn. They are the author of the chapbook Dyke (geology) and the essay collection, How Far the Light Reaches. Imbler is a staff writer at Defector Media, an employee-owned sports and culture site, where they write blogs about creatures and the natural world.

Brandon Taylor is the author of Real Life, which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and the National Book Critics Circle John Leonard Prize and named a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice, and of the national bestseller Filthy Animals, which won The Story Prize and was shortlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize. He holds graduate degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Iowa, where he was an Iowa Arts Fellow at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop in fiction.

Xiaowei Wang is a technologist, a filmmaker, an artist, and a writer. The creative director at Logic magazine, their work encompasses community-based and public art projects, data visualization, technology, ecology, and education. Their projects have been finalists for the INDEX Design Awards and featured by the New York Times, the BBC, CNN, VICE, and elsewhere. They are working toward a PhD at the University of California, Berkeley, where they are a part of the National Science Foundation Research Traineeship, “Environment and Society: Data Science for the 21st Century.”

Committee Biographies:

Ben Green is a postdoctoral scholar in the Michigan Society of Fellows and an assistant professor in the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan. He holds a PhD in Applied Mathematics, with a secondary field in Science, Technology, and Society, from Harvard University. He studies the ethics of government algorithms, with a focus on algorithmic fairness, human-algorithm interactions, and AI regulation. He is the author of The Smart Enough City: Putting Technology in Its Place to Reclaim Our Urban Future. Green is also an Affiliate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University and a Fellow at the Center for Democracy & Technology. Starting in 2023, he will be an assistant professor in the University of Michigan School of Information.

J. Drew Lanham is an Alumni Distinguished Professor of Wildlife Ecology at Clemson University, and a 2022 MacArthur Fellow. He is an author and the 2022 Poet Laureate of Edgefield, South Carolina. His creative works include The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man’s Love Affair with Nature, Sparrow Envy: Poems, and Sparrow Envy: Field Guide to Birds and Lesser Beasts.

Latif Nasser is co-host of the award-winning WNYC Studios show Radiolab, where he has reported on everything from snowflake photography to meat allergies to space junk. He also hosted and executive produced the Emmy-nominated Netflix science docuseries Connected. He has given two TED talks, wrote for the Boston Globe Ideas section, and has a PhD from Harvard University’s History of Science department.

Aimee Nezhukumatathil (Chair) is the author of the New York Times bestseller World of Wonders: In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, and Other Astonishments, which was named the 2020 Barnes & Noble Book of the Year, and four books of poetry, most recently, Oceanic. Awards for her writing include Guggenheim and NEA fellowships. She is the poetry editor of The Sierra Club’s Sierra magazine and teaches in the MFA program at the University of Mississippi.

Weike Wang is the author of Chemistry and Joan is Okay. She is the recipient of the 2018 PEN/Hemingway Award and a Whiting Award, and is a National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 honoree. Her work has appeared in Ploughshares, The New Yorker, The Best American Short Stories 2019, and The O. Henry Prize Stories 2019. She earned her MFA from Boston University and her other degrees from Harvard University. She currently lives in New York City and teaches at the University of Pennsylvania, Columbia University, and Barnard College.

 

National Book Foundation Launches Read with NBF

Read with NBF

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Join National Book Foundation Executive Director Ruth Dickey, and explore the year’s National Book Award Winners along with her!

By signing up for Read with NBF, you’ll receive exclusive digital content the first Friday of each month, including interviews with the winning authors and translators, access to the judges’ citations, discount codes, and more. Each month will highlight one of the winning books, from February through June. Whether you’re an individual reader or part of a book club, Read with NBF provides a fun and engaging way to learn more about the 2022 winning titles.

There’s no cost to participate—all we need is an email address! We’d love for you to join our vibrant community of readers, and help us celebrate National Book Award-honored works all year long.

Read the 2022 Literary Arts Emergency Fund Impact Report

2022 Impact Report, Literary Arts Emergency Fund. Funded by The Mellon Foundation.
Credit: 2022 Literary Arts Emergency Fund Impact Report, Literary Arts Emergency Fund, established and administered by Academy of American Poets, Community of Literary Magazine & Presses, and National Book Foundation.

The Literary Arts Emergency Fund (LAEF) is a historic collaboration between the Academy of American Poets, the Community of Literary Magazines & Presses (CLMP), and the National Book Foundation to support and advocate for the nonprofit literary arts field.

Thanks to a generous grant from the Mellon Foundation, over two cycles, the Fund distributed an unprecedented $7,830,000 to 376 nonprofit literary arts organizations and publishers in 43 states across the US, as well as Washington, DC and Puerto Rico, which were disastrously impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In September 2020, regrants were made to 282 nonprofit literary arts organizations and publishers. In April 2022, regrants were made to 313 nonprofit literary arts organizations and publishers.

Across both funding cycles, data was collected from applicants, which included information about finances, programs and publications, and reach. In preparation for the second funding cycle, LAEF worked with WolfBrown, a consulting firm that assists cultural organizations with expertise in market research, program design, and evaluation, to strengthen and expand its data collection effort. WolfBrown then analyzed the data collected and produced, in partnership with LAEF, a first-of-its-kind report on the nonprofit literary arts field.

Download the 2022 Literary Arts Emergency Fund Impact Report.

(Credit: 2022 Literary Arts Emergency Fund Impact Report, Literary Arts Emergency Fund, established and administered by Academy of American Poets, Community of Literary Magazine & Presses, and National Book Foundation.)

Watch an Information Session Hosted by the Literary Arts Emergency Fund About the Report.

The report, which focuses on data collected from the 410 literary organizations and publishers that applied to the fund in 2021, offers a detailed and compelling look at the tremendous cultural impact of nonprofit literary organizations and publishers and, at the same time, the financial precarity they face.

While “literary culture” often brings to mind commercial publishing, bookstores, and libraries, the report demonstrates the unique contributions that nonprofit literary organizations and publishers make to literature and the larger arts and culture sector in the US. For example, in 2021 alone these organizations and publishers reached 220.3 million individuals through programs and publications; provided $22 million to writers; and employed 2,546 individuals, many of whom are writers.

The report also reveals that nonprofit literary arts organizations and publishers, to a large extent, exist with meager budgets, few staff, and little or no cash reserves. This is especially true for nonprofit publishers and those organizations that are led by BIPOC staff and serve historically underrepresented groups.

For additional information about funding challenges faced by the literary arts field, in 2021, Inside Philanthropy (independent and distinct from LAEF) produced the report “Giving for Writing & Literature” (behind a paywall), which notes that, “Philanthropic giving for writing and literature is minuscule relative to other artistic disciplines.”

In 2020 and 2021, the Literary Arts Emergency Fund awarded one-time, unrestricted emergency grants from $5,000 to $50,000. Grant amounts were determined by the following factors: financial need and projected loss due to COVID-19; budget size; diversity, equity, and inclusion as it relates to an organization’s staff and board; poets and writers contracted with; audiences served; geographic location; and an organization’s ability to continue offering programming.

Eligible applicants included:

  • Literary arts organizations and publishers* AND
  • Incorporated nonprofits with 501(c)3 status OR a fiscal agent AND
  • Based in the United States, U.S. territories, or Tribal lands

*Because financial losses experienced by nonprofit literary arts organizations and publishers were substantial and emergency relief was limited, libraries, museums, book arts organizations, humanities councils, centers for the book, residencies, playwriting organizations, author’s homes, and organizations devoted to championing the legacy of an individual writer were ineligible.

Decisions about the eligibility of applications as determined by the three managing organizations were final.

Applications were reviewed by independent panelists who were named on the three managing organizations’ websites. Panel ratings formed the basis for funding. Award decisions were approved and finalized by members of the Board of Directors of the three managing organizations.

Funding through the Literary Arts Emergency Fund has closed. All applicant organizations from the most recent round were notified whether or not they received funding via Submittable on Monday, April 11, 2022.

The Literary Arts Emergency Fund is made possible the Mellon Foundation.

National Book Foundation announces Bridge to 75: Strategic Plan 2022—2025

cover for the National Book Foundation's Strategic Plan for 2022—2025.
Bridge to 75: Strategic Plan 2022—2025. (Linked to PDF)

The National Book Foundation (NBF) is pleased to announce our Bridge to 75: Strategic Plan 2022—2025, which will take the Foundation through the 75th National Book Awards in November 2024 and beyond. NBF is grateful for the support of the many partners who provided valuable feedback to help craft this plan, including readers, writers, publishing professionals, teachers, librarians, program partners and participants, funders, and many, many others.

The Foundation looks forward to updating you on our progress toward the goals outlined within, and reaching more readers, in more ways than ever before, as we approach this landmark anniversary of the National Book Awards.

If you are interested in Bridge to 75 investment opportunities, please contact Director of Development Meg Tansey at mtansey@nationalbook.org. To make a gift in support of the National Book Foundation today, please click below.

Watch the 2022 National Book Awards Finalists Reading

Each year, the Finalists in Fiction, Poetry, Nonfiction, Translated Literature, and Young People’s Literature gather the evening before the National Book Awards Ceremony to read excerpts from their honored works.

host photo for Saraciea J. Fennell (Photo credit: Viscose Illusion)
Saraciea J. Fennell (Photo credit: Viscose Illusion)

The 2022 National Book Awards Finalist Reading will be hosted by Saraciea J. Fennell, writer and founder of The Bronx is Reading.

Doors will open at 6:30pm EST, and the program will begin at 7:00pm EST. Only guests who have registered in advance will be admitted.

The event will be live-streamed and in-person at the NYU Kimmel Center, Eisner & Lubin Auditorium. Presented in partnership with the National Book Foundation and the NYU Creative Writing Program.

The 73rd National Book Awards Ceremony will be broadcast live on November 16, 2022 at 8:00pm ET. Sign up to watch, receive updates about the upcoming ceremony, and discover this year’s Winners in real-time.

Watch the 2022 National Book Awards Teen Press Conference

 

The National Book Awards Teen Press Conference brings the excitement of the most prestigious literary award in the US to middle and high school students in New York City, and across the country. Held during National Book Awards Week, Teen Press Conference invites school groups to attend a free literary event that is curated just for them.

Tuesday, November 15, 2022.
Livestream: 10:30am-11:30am ET.

HOSTED BY: 

author photo of Rita Williams-Garcia
Rita Williams-Garcia. (Photo credit: Ferdinand Leyro)

Rita Williams-Garcia, a Queens, New York native, is the celebrated author of novels for young adult and middle-grade readers. Her middle-grade novel, Clayton Byrd Goes Underground won the 2018 NAACP Image Award for Literature for Young People and was a 2017 National Book Award Finalist. Williams-Garcia is most known for her Coretta Scott King Author Award-winning Gaither Sisters trilogy that begins with One Crazy Summer, recipient of the Newbery Honor and the Scott O’Dell Prize for Historical Fiction. She is a three-time Coretta Scott King Author Award recipient and a three-time National Book Award Finalist. Her YA+ historical novel, A Sitting in St. James, set in 1860 Louisiana, won the 2022 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Young Adult Literature as well as the 2021 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for Poetry and Fiction. Rita Williams-Garcia served as a faculty member at the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA Writing for Children and Young Adults program from 2005-2015.


 

FEATURING:

2022 National Book Awards Finalists in Young People's Literature book covers

Kelly Barnhill, The Ogress and the Orphans
Algonquin Young Readers / Workman Publishing

Sonora Reyes, The Lesbiana’s Guide to Catholic School
Balzer + Bray / HarperCollins Publishers

Tommie Smith, Derrick Barnes, and Dawud Anyabwile, Victory. Stand!: Raising My Fist for Justice
Norton Young Readers / W. W. Norton & Company

Sabaa Tahir, All My Rage
Razorbill / Penguin Random House

Lisa Yee, Maizy Chen’s Last Chance
Random House Books for Young Readers / Penguin Random House


If you have any questions, please email NBF Education Manager Julianna Lee Marino at jleemarino@nationalbook.org.

Teen Press Conference is supported, 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 public funds from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.


Padma Lakshmi, Television Host and Author, to Host 73rd National Book Awards

The Emmy-nominated producer and activist will be the master of ceremonies for the 2022 National Book Awards

The National Book Foundation, presenter of the National Book Awards, announced Padma Lakshmi, award-winning television host and New York Times bestselling author, will host the 73rd National Book Awards on November 16, 2022.

“The National Book Awards Ceremony is the highlight of our work each year celebrating exceptional literature,” said Ruth Dickey, Executive Director of the National Book Foundation. “We are honored that Padma Lakshmi will bring her passion for books, storytellers, and human connection to this year’s in-person Benefit Dinner.”

Lakshmi is the creator, host, and executive producer of the critically acclaimed Hulu series Taste the Nation; host and executive producer of Top Chef; bestselling author of multiple cookbooks, a memoir, and a children’s book; the co-founder of the Endometriosis Foundation of America; and an advocate for immigrants’ rights, women’s rights, and food justice.

On November 16, Lakshmi will serve as master of ceremonies for the National Book Awards Ceremony, where the Winners in the categories of Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Translated Literature, and Young People’s Literature will be announced. The in-person Ceremony, which will be broadcast live for readers everywhere, will also include the presentation of two lifetime achievement awards. Art Spiegelman will be recognized with the National Book Foundation’s Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, presented by Neil Gaiman, and Tracie D. Hall will be presented with the Foundation’s Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community.

In addition to announcing the National Book Award Winners, the Benefit Dinner drives funding for the Foundation’s year-round educational and public programming. For more information about the National Book Awards and Awards-related events, visit nationalbook.org/awards.

ABOUT PADMA LAKSHMI:

Padma Lakshmi is an Emmy-nominated producer, food expert, television host, and New York Times bestselling author. She is the creator, host, and executive producer of the critically acclaimed Hulu series Taste the Nation, which received multiple Critics Choice Real TV Awards in both 2021 and 2022, a 2021 Gotham Award nomination for Breakthrough Series, and the 2022 James Beard Award for Visual Media—Long Form. Taste the Nation is currently gearing up for its third season.

Lakshmi also serves as host and executive producer of Bravo’s two-time Emmy-winning series Top Chef, which has been nominated for 37 Emmys, including her now four-time nomination for Outstanding Host for A Reality or Competition Program. Lakshmi also won the 2022 Critics Choice Real TV Award for Best Show Host for both Taste the Nation and Top Chef.

Lakshmi is the co-founder of the Endometriosis Foundation of America. She is an ACLU Artist Ambassador for immigrants’ rights and women’s rights, and was appointed a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Development Programme.

By hosting two successful cooking shows—Padma’s Passport and Planet Food—Padma established herself as a food expert early in her career. She also wrote the bestselling Easy Exotic, which won the Best First Book award at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards. Lakshmi followed this with the publication of her second cookbook, Tangy Tart Hot and Sweet: A World of Recipes for Every Day and her memoir, the New York Times bestselling Love, Loss and What We Ate. She later published The Encyclopedia of Spices and Herbs: An Essential Guide to the Flavors of the World. In 2021, Lakshmi released her first children’s book, the New York Times bestselling Tomatoes for Neela, illustrated by award-winning artist Juana Martinez-Neal.

Lakshmi is a visiting scholar at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She received the 2018 Karma Award from Variety, as well as the 2016 Ellis Island Medal of Honor.

(Photo credit: Inez and Vinoodh)

2022 National Book Award 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 2022 National Book Awards for Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Translated Literature, and Young People’s Literature were announced with the New York Times. The five Finalists in each category were selected by a distinguished panel of judges, and were advanced from the Longlists announced in September with The New Yorker.

Between the five categories, there are six writers and one translator who have been previously honored by the National Book Awards: Gayl Jones, a 1998 Fiction Finalist; Scholastique Mukasonga, a 2019 Translated Literature Finalist; Sharon Olds, a 2002 Poetry Finalist; David Quammen, a 2018 Nonfiction Longlister; Yoko Tawada and Margaret Mitsutani, the 2018 Translated Literature Winners; and Jenny Xie, a 2018 Poetry Finalist. All five of the Finalists for Young People’s Literature are first-time National Book Award honorees. Six of the twenty-five Finalist titles are debuts.

Publishers submitted a total of 1,772 books for this year’s National Book Awards: 463 in Fiction, 607 in Nonfiction, 260 in Poetry, 146 in Translated Literature, and 296 in Young People’s Literature. Judges’ decisions are made independently of the National Book Foundation staff and Board of Directors, and deliberations are strictly confidential.

The Winners will be announced live on Wednesday, November 16 at the invitation-only 73rd National Book Awards Ceremony & Benefit Dinner, in person at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City, and broadcast live for readers everywhere. Two lifetime achievement awards will also be presented as part of the evening’s ceremony: Art Spiegelman will be recognized with the National Book Foundation’s Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, presented by Neil Gaiman, and Tracie D. Hall will receive the Foundation’s Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community.

Finalists for Fiction:

Tess Gunty, The Rabbit Hutch
Alfred A. Knopf / Penguin Random House

Gayl Jones, The Birdcatcher
Beacon Press

Jamil Jan Kochai, The Haunting of Hajji Hotak and Other Stories
Viking Books / Penguin Random House

Sarah Thankam Mathews, All This Could Be Different
Viking Books / Penguin Random House

Alejandro Varela, The Town of Babylon
Astra House / Astra Publishing House

Tess Gunty’s debut novel, The Rabbit Hutch, takes place over the course of one week and centers around the residents of a dilapidated affordable housing complex in fictionalized Vacca Vale, Indiana. The Birdcatcher by Gayl Jones follows a coterie of Black American artists in Ibiza—a writer and her closest friend, a sculptor whose husband repeatedly institutionalizes her for attempting to murder him. Jamil Jan Kochai explores characters of the Afghan diaspora living in the United States and modern-day Afghanistan as they wrestle with the effects of war and forced displacement in his story collection, The Haunting of Hajji Hotak and Other Stories. Set in Milwaukee at the height of the Great Recession, Sarah Thankam Mathews’s debut novel All This Could Be Different tells the story of a young queer immigrant who creates a community for herself while grappling with the oppressive demands of capitalism. In Alejandro Varela’s debut The Town of Babylon, a queer Latinx professor returns to suburban Long Island to care for his parents and struggles to revisit, and reconcile, his past and future.

Finalists for Nonfiction:

Meghan O’Rourke, The Invisible Kingdom: Reimagining Chronic Illness
Riverhead Books / Penguin Random House

Imani Perry, South to America: A Journey Below the Mason-Dixon to Understand the Soul of a Nation
Ecco / HarperCollins Publishers 

David Quammen, Breathless: The Scientific Race to Defeat a Deadly Virus
Simon & Schuster

Ingrid Rojas Contreras, The Man Who Could Move Clouds: A Memoir
Doubleday / Penguin Random House

Robert Samuels and Toluse Olorunnipa, His Name Is George Floyd: One Man’s Life and the Struggle for Racial Justice
Viking Books / Penguin Random House

Drawing from her own experiences of living with chronic illness and informed by interviews with scientists, doctors, and patients alike, Meghan O’Rourke sheds light on the often-flawed development of modern Western medicine in The Invisible Kingdom: Reimagining Chronic Illness. In South to America: A Journey Below the Mason-Dixon to Understand the Soul of a Nation, Imani Perry blends personal history and travel narrative as she traverses the American South in an examination of race, politics, culture, and identity. David Quammen interviewed close to 100 scientists and health officials to record the scientific response to COVID-19—from the frantic efforts to trace the virus’s origins to the development of an effective vaccine—and the ongoing quest to understand the disease’s long-lasting impacts in Breathless: The Scientific Race to Defeat a Deadly Virus. In The Man Who Could Move Clouds: A Memoir, Ingrid Rojas Contreras travels to her native Colombia with her mother to disinter the remains of her late grandfather—and unravel generations of ancestral history, and the magic within it. His Name Is George Floyd: One Man’s Life and the Struggle for Racial Justice, by Washington Post reporters Robert Samuels and Toluse Olorunnipa, illuminates the life of George Floyd, a man whose untimely death ignited protests against police brutality and racial injustice across the United States.

Finalists for Poetry:

Allison Adelle Hedge Coke, Look at This Blue
Coffee House Press

John Keene, Punks: New & Selected Poems
The Song Cave

Sharon Olds, Balladz
Alfred A. Knopf / Penguin Random House

Roger Reeves, Best Barbarian
W. W. Norton & Company

Jenny XieThe Rupture Tense
Graywolf Press

Allison Adelle Hedge Coke examines America’s long history of violence against people, animals, and the Earth in her book-length poem, Look at This Blue. Over seven sections, Punks: New & Selected Poems covers several decades of John Keene’s career and features unpublished and new work that contemplates love, lust, family, Blackness, and queerness. Sharon Olds considers her relationship with her late mother, grapples with her white privilege, and expresses a deep appreciation for the many stages of life and love in her latest collection, Balladz. In Best Barbarian, Roger Reeves interrogates beloved writers and pop culture figures alike, explores racism in the United States and around the world, and investigates the horrors faced by immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border and Black victims of police brutality. Beginning with poems inspired by photojournalist Li Zhensheng’s rare images of the Chinese Cultural Revolution, Jenny Xie’s The Rupture Tense recovers ancestral history through an investigation of state-sanctioned memory loss and intergenerational trauma.

Finalists for Translated Literature:

Jon Fosse, A New Name: Septology VI-VII
Translated from the Norwegian by Damion Searls
Transit Books

Scholastique Mukasonga, Kibogo
Translated from the French by Mark Polizzotti
Archipelago Books

Mónica Ojeda, Jawbone
Translated from the Spanish by Sarah Booker
Coffee House Press

Samanta Schweblin, Seven Empty Houses
Translated from the Spanish by Megan McDowell
Riverhead Books / Penguin Random House

Yoko Tawada, Scattered All Over the Earth
Translated from the Japanese by Margaret Mitsutani
New Directions Publishing

A New Name: Septology VI-VII by Jon Fosse and translated from the Norwegian by Damion Searls is a story of two doppelgängers—both painters named Asle living nearly indistinguishable lives—that explores artmaking, friendship, and faith. Translated from the French by Mark Polizzotti, Scholastique Mukasonga’s Kibogo weaves stories of Rwanda’s core mythologies—those of a country faced with drought, famine, and war—in defiance of the colonialists and Christian missionaries determined to suppress and erase them. Two Catholic high school classmates bond over their mutual love of horror stories and become inseparable, near mirror images of each other in Jawbone by Mónica Ojeda and translated from the Spanish by Sarah Booker. In Seven Empty Houses, translated from the Spanish by Megan McDowell, Samanta Schweblin presents seven different empty houses where families are missing people, memories, love, furniture, or intimacy, in an exploration of the universal desire for human connection. In Scattered All Over the Earth by Yoko Tawada and translated from the Japanese by Margaret Mitsutani, protagonist Hiruko is a refugee from Japan—a country that, along with her mother tongue, no longer exists—who teaches her invented language to young immigrants in Denmark.

Finalists for Young People’s Literature:

Kelly Barnhill, The Ogress and the Orphans
Algonquin Young Readers / Workman Publishing

Sonora Reyes, The Lesbiana’s Guide to Catholic School
Balzer + Bray / HarperCollins Publishers

Tommie Smith, Derrick Barnes, and Dawud Anyabwile, Victory. Stand!: Raising My Fist for Justice
Norton Young Readers / W. W. Norton & Company

Sabaa Tahir, All My Rage
Razorbill / Penguin Random House

Lisa Yee, Maizy Chen’s Last Chance
Random House Books for Young Readers / Penguin Random House

In Kelly Barnhill’s The Ogress and the Orphans, the children of the Orphan House are determined to defend a kind Ogress who falls under suspicion and uncover the true villain of Stone-in-the-Glen in this fantastical tale about the power of community. Sonora Reyes’s debut novel The Lesbiana’s Guide to Catholic School introduces readers to 16-year-old Yamilet, a queer Mexican American girl, during her first year as a transfer student at a predominantly white and wealthy Catholic school. Tommie Smith’s graphic memoir Victory. Stand!: Raising My Fist For Justice, co-written with Derrick Barnes and illustrated by Emmy Award-winning artist Dawud Anyabwile, details both Smith’s childhood and athletic career, culminating in the Mexico City Olympics of 1968 where Smith, winner of the gold medal in the 200-meter sprint, and John Carlos, winner of the bronze medal, raised their fists in protest of racial injustice. Spanning decades and crossing oceans, Sabaa Tahir’s All My Rage follows the story of a working-class Pakistani American family from their origins in Lahore to their present-day life running a motel in Juniper, California. In Maizy Chen’s Last Chance, Lisa Yee’s titular character spends the summer in Last Chance, Minnesota and, as she and her mother care for her ailing grandfather, discovers family secrets that strengthen her own relationship with her culture.

The National Book Foundation will 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 National Book Awards events. The annual National Book Awards Teen Press Conference, hosted by Rita Williams-Garcia, will take place on the morning of Tuesday, November 15 at 92NY. The National Book Awards Finalists Reading, in which all the Finalists will read from their work, will be hosted at New York University on the evening of November 15; this event will be both in-person and online.