The National Book Foundation (NBF) has announced its summer season of NBF Presents, a program that brings National Book Award-honored authors to libraries, colleges, book festivals, and presenting houses around the nation. This July and August, NBF Presents will host a series of readings and panel discussions at library branches in Akron, OH; Allen County, IN; New Bedford, MA; Roanoke, VA; and Sarasota, FL, featuring celebrated authors Chen Chen, Charmaine Craig, Diana Khoi Nguyen, Ibram X. Kendi, Rebecca Makkai, Shane McCrae, Justin Phillip Reed, Margaret Wilkerson Sexton, Nafissa Thompson-Spires, and Monica Youn. This season of NBF Presents will focus exclusively on partnerships with libraries around the country that have also served as local partners for NBF’s Book Rich Environments (BRE) program, which distributes books to children and families living in public housing.
This summer iteration of NBF Presents will work to deepen the relationships with these partners, reaching an even wider swath of readers in their communities by sending National Book Awards–honored authors to their library branches, engaging audiences around themes of identity, representation, and more.
The full list of NBF Presents summer events can be found below, and additional details are available on the Foundation’s events calendar.
July 25, 7:00PM EST
Akron-Summit County Public Library
Writing Womanhood: Nafissa Thompson-Spires and Monica Youn
Join us and the Akron-Summit County Public Library for a conversation with fiction writer Nafissa Thompson-Spires (Heads of the Colored People, National Book Award Longlister) and poet Monica Youn (Ignatz, Blackacre, National Book Award Longlister & Finalist) on writing diverse female stories, from girlhood to motherhood, that women can actually see themselves in. Moderated by Teri Ellen Cross Davis.
August 8, 6:30PM EST
New Bedford, MA
New Bedford Free Public Library
The 1980s to Now: Chen Chen and Rebecca Makkai
Join us and the New Bedford Free Public Library for AHA! New Bedford’s arts & culture celebration featuring a conversation with poet Chen Chen (When I Grow Up I Want to be a List of Further Possibilities, National Book Award Longlister) and novelist Rebecca Makkai (The Great Believers, National Book Award Finalist) on narratives spanning the height of the AIDS epidemic in Chicago to Chinese-American millennials. Moderated by Joseph O. Legaspi.
August 17, 2:00PM EST
Sarasota County Libraries and Historical Resources
Ghosts of Our Past: Diana Khoi Nguyen and Margaret Wilkerson Sexton
Join us and the Sarasota County Libraries for a conversation with poet Diana Khoi Nguyen (Ghost Of, National Book Award Finalist) and novelist Margaret Wilkerson Sexton (A Kind of Freedom, National Book Award Longlister) on survivor stories—writing on family exile and segregation from Saigon to New Orleans. Moderated by Chimene Suleyman.
August 25, 2:00PM EST
Fort Wayne, IN
Allen County Public Library
Family Histories: Charmaine Craig and Shane McCrae
Join us and the Allen County Public Library for a conversation with novelist Charmaine Craig (Miss Burma, National Book Award Longlister) and poet Shane McCrae (In the Language of My Captor, National Book Award Finalist) on the stories of ancestors on both sides of history—the powerful and the powerless. Moderated by Mitchell L.H. Douglas.
August 29, 6:30PM EST
Roanoke Public Libraries
Indecent Histories: Ibram X. Kendi and Justin Phillip Reed
Join us and the Roanoke Public Libraries for a conversation with two National Book Awards Winners, author and historian Ibram X. Kendi (Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America) and poet Justin Phillip Reed (Indecency). These acclaimed writers will discuss histories of inequity and discrimination, contemporary identity, and what community looks like for writers and people of color. Moderated by Douglas Jackson.
NBF Presents is made possible by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.