The Foundation Announces 2020 Spring Season of NBF Presents

January 2020

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National Book Awards authors to appear at 19 events in 13 states in the new year.

The National Book Foundation announced its spring NBF Presents lineup of events taking place between January and May of 2020, continuing the second year of expanded programming made possible by a three-year $900,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. This season of NBF Presents, a moniker under which all of the Foundation’s public programs fall, represents a continued commitment to providing and supplementing national access to literary programming at libraries, colleges, book festivals, and performance venues for readers everywhere.

National Book Award–honored authors confirmed to appear at NBF Presents events in the spring season include Hanif Abdurraqib, Sarah M. Broom, Jericho Brown, Susan Choi, Christopher Paul Curtis, Akwaeke Emezi, Kali Fajardo-Anstine, Camonghne Felix, Garth Greenwell, Ilya Kaminsky, Laila Lalami, Diana Khoi Nguyen, Kimberly King Parsons, Julia Phillips, Helen Phillips, Iliana Regan, Erika L. Sánchez, Sarah Smarsh, Carmen Giménez Smith, Natasha Trethewey, and David Treuer, with more to come.

This spring the Foundation joins hands with nine new partners across the United States, including the Charleston County Public Library in South Carolina; the Oxford Conference of the Book and Coahoma Community College in Mississippi; and a mini-tour of Kansas and Missouri with the Kansas City Public Library, Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library, and the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg.

“NBF Presents provides the opportunity to dig into conversations that matter with audiences and readers around the country and shows how literature inspires questions, transforms ideas, and creates dialogue for a community,” said Lisa Lucas, Executive Director of the National Book Foundation.

The full list of confirmed spring NBF Presents events can be found below, with additional details forthcoming. An updated NBF Presents calendar is available here.

NBF Presents events allow National Book Award-honored authors to interact with audiences and communities beyond the scope of a traditional book tour, given that events are programmed flexibly to serve rural, suburban, and urban spaces. 2019 National Book Award Finalist Kali Fajardo-Anstine (Sabrina & Corina: Stories), who visited Clark College—a community college located in Vancouver, WA in 2019—will join the Foundation again this year at the Los Angeles Central Library, alongside Erika L. Sánchez (2017 National Book Award Finalist, I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter) to discuss why the preservation, perpetuation, and presentation of the experience of Mexican-American women in literature matters.

“I’m a high school drop-out from Colorado, I went to a state college on a commuter campus, and I deeply value accessibility in literature,” said Fajardo-Anstine. “NBF Presents events provide communities and students with access to some of today’s greatest living writers, and that access nurtures us all.”

In addition to fostering new relationships, the Foundation will also return to historic partners including the Library Foundation of Los Angeles; Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota; and the Virginia Festival of the Book. Notably, this is the 15th anniversary of the National Book Foundation’s programming partnership with Concordia College and the fourth time the Foundation has participated in programming as part of the Virginia Festival of the Book.

“We are thrilled to partner with the National Book Foundation again for the 2020 Virginia Festival of the Book,” said Jane Kulow, Director of the Virginia Center for the Book. “NBF Presents allows us to amplify and expand the reach of the work of critically acclaimed writers as well as the vital work the Foundation offers in support of books and reading.”

In addition to events featuring National Book Foundation–honored authors, the spring season will include two events celebrating the 2019-2020 Literature for Justice Reading List, including books by asha bandele, Susan Burton, Angela Y. Davis, Rachel Kushner, and Danielle Sered. The NBF Presents lineup also showcases a new season of the Eat, Drink & Be Literary series, presented since 2006 with the Brooklyn Academy of Music and comprising unique evenings of dinner and conversation with acclaimed contemporary writers. This year’s featured authors will be announced later this month.

NBF Presents Spring Schedule

January 30, 6 pm EST
Charleston, SC
Charleston County Public Library
NBF Presents: The Art of Invention

Kicking off the spring season of NBF Presents, 2019 National Book Award Finalists Jericho Brown (The Tradition) and Akwaeke Emezi (Pet) discuss breaking convention to create brand-new forms, worlds, and hybrid genres, and what disruption and invention means for the future of literature. Moderated by Lovia Gyarkye, associate editor of the New York Times Magazine Labs, and presented in partnership with the Charleston County Public Library.

 

February 11, 6 pm PST
Claremont, CA
Scripps College
NBF Presents: Family Affairs

2019 National Book Award Winner Sarah M. Broom (The Yellow House) and former United States and Mississippi Poet Laureate and National Book Award Longlister Natasha Trethewey (Monument) discuss documenting the stories, joys, pains, and resiliency of families of the American South. Moderated by Lisa Lucas, Executive Director of the National Book Foundation, and presented in partnership with the Library Foundation of Los Angeles and Scripps Presents.

 

February 12, 7:30 pm PST
Los Angeles, CA
Library Foundation of Los Angeles
NBF Presents: Untold Stories

2019 National Book Award Finalist Kali Fajardo-Anstine (Sabrina & Corina: Stories) joins poet, essayist, novelist, and 2017 National Book Award Finalist Erika L. Sánchez (I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter) to discuss their work and why the preservation, perpetuation, and presentation of the experience of Mexican-American women in literature matters. Moderated by Lisa Lucas, Executive Director of the National Book Foundation, and presented in partnership with the Library Foundation of Los Angeles and Scripps Presents.

 

February 19, 1 pm EST
Philadelphia, PA
Community College of Philadelphia
NBF Presents: A New Queer Canon

Poet and political strategist Camonghne Felix (Build Yourself a Boat, 2019 Poetry Longlister) and novelist Garth Greenwell (Cleanness; What Belongs to You, 2016 Fiction Longlister) discuss making space for queer stories full of sex, violence, and love, and the power of LGBTQ+ must-read lists. Moderated by William Johnson, Deputy Director of Lambda Literary, and presented in partnership with the Community College of Philadelphia.

 

February 27, 7:30 pm EST
Winter Park, FL
Rollins College
NBF Presents: Winter with the Writers

The National Book Foundation returns to Rollins College for their annual Winter with the Writers literary festival, featuring a joint reading with 2019 Fiction Finalist Kali Fajardo-Anstine’s debut short story collection Sabrina & Corina and Poetry Finalist Ilya Kaminsky’s Deaf Republic, followed by a question-and-answer session with the audience. Moderated by Carol Frost, festival director and professor of English at Rollins College. This program is supported by the Rollins Department of English.

 

February 28, 7:30 pm EST
Amherst, MA
Amherst College
NBF Presents: LitFest 2020

The National Book Foundation joins Amherst College’s fifth annual literary festival to celebrate the work of National Book Award–honored authors. 2019 Fiction Winner Susan Choi (Trust Exercise) and Finalist Laila Lalami (The Other Americans) speak to the power of fiction and point of view. Moderated by Judith Frank, author of All I Love and Know. This program is supported by Amherst College and the Croxton Lecture Fund.

 

March 12, 7:30 pm CST
Moorhead, MN
Concordia College
NBF Presents: The National Book Awards at Concordia

The National Book Foundation returns to Concordia College for the fifteenth year of programming featuring National Book Award–honored authors. 2019 National Book Award Winner for Nonfiction Sarah M. Broom (The Yellow House) and 2019 Nonfiction Finalist David Treuer (The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee) both read before a conversation and book signings. Moderated by John Ydstie, NPR correspondent. This program is supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in honor of Earl Lewis ‘78.

 

March 15, 10:00 am MST
Tucson, AZ
Tucson Festival of Books
NBF Presents: A Morning with the National Book Awards

The Foundation joins the Tucson Festival of Books for a cross-genre conversation on contemporary female stories and recognition with three 2019 National Book Award Finalists, fiction authors Kali Fajardo-Anstine (Sabrina & Corina) and Julia Phillips (Disappearing Earth) and poet Carmen Giménez Smith (Be Recorder). Moderated by Natalie Green, Public Programs Manager at the National Book Foundation.

 

March 22, 3:00 pm EST
Charlottesville, VA
Virginia Festival of the Book
NBF Presents: An Afternoon with the National Book Awards

To close the 2020 Virginia Festival of the Book, the Foundation recognizes its 2019 National Book Award honorees, including Poetry Finalist Ilya Kaminsky (Deaf Republic), to highlight some of the best literature in America and discuss why books matter. More details to come.

 

April 2, 6 pm CST
Cedar Rapids, IA
Kirkwood Community College

2019 National Book Award Fiction Longlister Helen Phillips (The Need) comes to Kirkwood Community College. More details to come.

 

April 2
Clarksdale, MS
Coahoma Community College
NBF Presents: What’s in a Memoir

2019 National Book Award Nonfiction Longlisters Hanif Abdurraqib (Go Ahead in the Rain: Notes to A Tribe Called Quest) and Iliana Regan (Burn the Place) discuss the intersection of food, music, and identity, and how memoir helps shape our understanding of the arts, ourselves, and one another. Presented in partnership with Coahoma Community College, the Coahoma County Higher Education Center, and Carnegie Public Library’s Community Book Talks Lecture Series.

 

April 3
Oxford, MS
Oxford Conference of the Book
NBF Presents: The Power of the Personal 

2019 National Book Award Nonfiction Longlisters Hanif Abdurraqib (Go Ahead in the Rain: Notes to A Tribe Called Quest) and Iliana Regan (Burn the Place) continue their conversation mainstage at the twenty-seventh Oxford Conference of the Book. Abdurraqib and Regan discuss the heart of food, music, and place–from the makings of an iconic rap group to a Michelin-starred restaurant–and the power of personal storytelling.

 

April 4, 6 pm CST
Iowa City, IA
Mission Creek Festival
NBF Presents: Helen Phillips

2019 National Book Award Longlister Helen Phillips (The Need) reads at Mission Creek Festival’s public keynote in the Old Capital Museum.

 

April 6, 6 pm CST
Huntsville, TX
Sam Houston State University
NBF Presents: Sam Houston State’s National Book Awards Festival

The National Book Foundation and Sam Houston State University present the 2020 National Book Awards Festival featuring a cross-genre conversation on storytelling, recognition, and resonating with audiences from Texas to Tennessee with poet Diana Khoi Nguyen (Ghost Of), fiction author Kimberly King Parsons (Black Light: Stories), and Young People’s Literature author Christopher Paul Curtis (The Journey of Little Charlie). Moderated by Bryan Washington, 5 Under 35 Honoree and author of Lot: Stories. This program is supported by SHSU’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences and the MFA Program in Creative Writing.

 

April 7, 6 pm CST
Kansas City, MO
Kansas City Public Library

The National Book Foundation visits Kansas City Public Library with National Book Award–honored authors. More details to come.

 

April 8, 7 pm CST
Topeka, KS
Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library

The National Book Foundation visits the Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library with National Book Award–honored authors. More details to come.

 

April 9, 5 pm CST
Warrensburg, MO
University of Central Missouri

The Foundation visits the University of Central Missouri with Great Plains-native and 2018 National Book Award Nonfiction Finalist Sarah Smarsh (Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth). More details to come.

 

May 2
Berkeley, CA
Bay Area Book Festival
NBF Presents: An Afternoon with the National Book Awards

The National Book Foundation visits the Bay Area Book Festival to celebrate 2019 National Book Award–honored authors. More details to come.

 

May 9
Minneapolis, MN
Wordplay Festival
NBF Presents: An Afternoon with the National Book Awards

The National Book Foundation and Wordplay Festival highlight Winners, Finalists, and Longlisters from the 2019 National Book Awards. More details to come.

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

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

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