NBF Presents: Colleges, Libraries & Festivals

John Lewis signing books at NBA on Campus at Sam Houston State University

It’s an incredible opportunity to have access to such prominent writers, and I know our community will be thrilled with the [NBF Presents] programming we are able to offer.

— Brigitte Blanton, Library Director of the Greensboro Public Library

NBF Presents programs bring National Book Award–honored authors and nationally recognized moderators to libraries, colleges, book festivals, and performance venues for public readings, discussions, and presentations. NBF Presents is designed to give audiences—whether in urban, suburban, or rural communities—access to some of our country’s most renowned writers and their books and to create spaces where authors and audiences can connect, be in dialogue, and share ideas.

The NBF aims to leave no reader or community overlooked, and to be a catalyst for conversations through great books.

NBF Presents  is made possible by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.


NBF Presents: Summer with the National Book Awards

This summer, the National Book Foundation hits the road for NBF Presents: Summer with the National Book Awards, bringing National Book Awards-honored authors to libraries across the country.


July 25, 7PM EST
Akron-Summit County Public Library
Akron, OH
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.


August 8, 6:30PM EST
New Bedford Free Public Library
New Bedford, MA
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 Longlist) 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.


August 17, 2PM EST
Sarasota County Libraries and Historical Resources
Sarasota, FL
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.


August 25, 2PM EST
Allen County Public Library
Fort Wayne, IN
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.


August 29, 6:30PM EST
Roanoke Public Libraries
Roanoke, VA
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, National Book Award Winner) and poet Justin Phillip Reed (Indecency, National Book Award Winner). These acclaimed writers will discuss histories of inequity and discrimination, contemporary identity, and what community looks like for writers and people of color.


Unless otherwise noted, all programs made possible by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

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