The National Book Foundation announced its fall NBF Presents line-up of eight events taking place October through November 2021, continuing the programming made possible by a multi-year, $900,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. NBF Presents, the moniker for all of the Foundation’s public programs, aims to reach readers everywhere with thought-provoking literary programming—both in-person and on-screen.
National Book Award–honored authors confirmed to appear at NBF Presents events in the fall season include Hanif Abdurraqib, Rumaan Alam, Lillian-Yvonne Bertram, Taffy Brodesser-Akner, Michelle Bowdler, Candice Iloh, Lisa Ko, Jason Reynolds, Jacqueline Woodson, and more to come, including yet-to-be-announced 2021 National Book Award Longlisters.
Alongside its partners, the Foundation is planning for virtual, hybrid, and in-person programs, culminating in the 72nd National Book Awards Ceremony & Dinner. The National Book Foundation and its partners continue to closely monitor evolving health and safety protocols and are prepared to shift to all-virtual events.
“This fall, we aim to celebrate, reinvest, and reimagine alongside the many arts, theater, and culture communities in New York and nationwide,” said Ruth Dickey, Executive Director of the National Book Foundation. “We are confident, regardless of format, in the power of great books to inspire conversation, reflection, and next chapters.”
The season includes a program presented in partnership with the New York Public Library’s LIVE from NYPL at the newly reopened Stavros Niarchos Foundation Library. The Foundation and the New York Public Library have collaborated on past events—including Notes From the Reading Life, a discussion series with some of NYC’s most well-known and well-read residents from Desus Nice and Brian Lehrer to Sonia Manzano and Sarah Jessica Parker—as well as summer reading kit book distributions during the COVID-19 pandemic with the Foundation’s Book Rich Environments program.
“It’s a joy to partner on timely, accessible literary programs with the National Book Foundation, and we look forward to this fall’s collaboration to celebrate New York and the writers and readers who call it home after an especially long year,” said Fay Rosenfeld, Vice President of Public Programs at the New York Public Library.
The Foundation will present programs featuring National Book Award–honored authors with returning partners at the Brooklyn Book Festival, Flyover Fest, Miami Book Fair, Portland Book Festival, and Texas Book Festival.
“The National Book Foundation stitches together literary organizations around the country in common cause to champion the gifted authors of books that simply must be seen and read by all,” said Lois Kim, Executive Director of the Texas Book Festival. “What a pleasure it is to work with them to engage readers in Texas and beyond.”
The full list of confirmed fall NBF Presents events can be found below with additional details and registration coming soon, and an updated NBF Presents calendar is available at the Foundation’s website. These are free events but please RSVP directly at the Foundation or partner website as directed.
Sunday, October 3, 2:00pm EDT
Brooklyn Book Festival
NBF Presents: An Afternoon with the National Book Awards
What do books that investigate bodies, Blackness, the judicial system, and the end of the world have in common? Join 2020 National Book Award–honored authors Rumaan Alam (Leave the World Behind, Finalist, Fiction), Lillian-Yvonne Bertram (Travesty Generator, Longlist, Poetry), Michelle Bowdler (Is Rape a Crime?: A Memoir, an Investigation, and a Manifesto, Longlist, Nonfiction), and Candice Iloh (Every Body Looking, Finalist, Young People’s Literature) for a cross-genre conversation on the intersections of contemporary literature, recognition, and community—behind and beyond computer screens. Moderated by Ruth Dickey, Executive Director of the National Book Foundation, and presented in partnership with the Brooklyn Book Festival.
Tuesday, October 12
NBF Presents: Cultural Bookmarks
Join National Book Award–honored authors Hanif Abdurraqib (Go Ahead in the Rain: Notes to A Tribe Called Quest, 2019 Nonfiction Longlist) and Jason Reynolds (Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks, 2019 Young People’s Literature Finalist; Long Way Down, 2017 Young People’s Literature Longlist; Ghost, 2016 Young People’s Literature Finalist) in conversation on the place of books in American culture and reaching readers nationwide. Presented in partnership with Flyover Fest.
Tuesday, October 26, 7:00pm EDT
New York, NY
New York Public Library
LIVE from NYPL and NBF Presents: Reading the City
National Book Award–honored New Yorkers Taffy Brodesser-Akner (Fleishman Is in Trouble, 2019 Fiction Longlist), Lisa Ko (The Leavers, 2017 Fiction Finalist), and Jacqueline Woodson (Brown Girl Dreaming, 2014 Young People’s Literature Winner; Another Brooklyn, 2016 Fiction Finalist) discuss the next chapter for NYC writing, reading, and living. Moderated by Isaac Fitzgerald, author of How to Be a Pirate. Presented in partnership with the New York Public Library’s LIVE from NYPL.
Thursday, October 28, 7:00pm CDT
Texas Book Festival
NBF Presents: An Evening with the National Book Awards
2021 Longlisters, Finalists, and potential Winners gather virtually to discuss their work, recognition, and what they’re reading in advance of the 72nd National Book Awards. Presented in partnership with the Texas Book Festival. More information on the line-up coming soon.
Tuesday, November 9, 7:00pm EST
The New School
2021 National Book Awards Finalist Reading
All of the National Book Award Finalists in Fiction, Poetry, Nonfiction, Translated Literature, and Young People’s Literature traditionally gather before the Awards Ceremony to read excerpts from their honored works. Like last year, the program will happen virtually, presented in partnership with The New School.
Saturday, November 13
Portland Book Festival
NBF Presents: An Afternoon with the National Book Awards
Current National Book Award Longlisters, Finalists, and potential Winners come together for a variety-style showcase of readings and interviews in advance of the 72nd National Book Awards. Presented in partnership with the Portland Book Festival. More information on the line-up coming soon.
Wednesday, November 17, 7:00pm EST
New York, NY
The 72nd National Book Awards Ceremony & Dinner
The National Book Foundation presents its lifetime achievement awards to the 2021 honorees, and announces this year’s winners of the National Book Award in Young People’s Literature, Translated Literature, Poetry, Nonfiction, and Fiction.
Saturday, November 20, 1:00pm EST
Miami Book Fair
NBF Presents: An Afternoon with National Book Award Winners
Newly-minted 2021 National Book Award Winners join Executive Director Ruth Dickey for an on-screen conversation and celebration of their recognized work across genre. Presented in partnership with the Miami Book Fair.
Unless otherwise noted, all programs made possible by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
If not indicated above, please visit the websites of any of our partners for times and locations for events.