Literature for Justice: The Freedom to Read

Over the past three years, the National Book Foundation’s Literature for Justice committees have curated thought-provoking reading lists on the topic of mass incarceration. When former committee member and selected author Reginald Dwayne Betts founded the Million Book Project to establish “Freedom Libraries” in prisons and juvenile detention centers nationwide, the Foundation partnered to send Literature for Justice titles to pilot reading groups. For the program finale, join authors and committee members Susan Burton (Becoming Ms. Burton: From Prison to Recovery to Leading the Fight for Incarcerated Women, 2019-2020 Reading List) and Rachel Kushner (The Mars Room, 2019-2020 Reading List) in conversation on their work and the larger work of literature inside and outside of prisons to open new worlds of possibility. Moderated by Reginald Dwayne Betts Betts (Shahid Reads His Own Palm, 2018-2019 Reading List), Million Book Project Founder & Director. This event will be edited as a bonus … Continue reading “Literature for Justice: The Freedom to Read”

Read more >

Watch NBF Presents: Poetry in Protest

It’s National Poetry Month, and to celebrate, National Book Award–honored authors Toi Derricotte (“I”: New and Selected Poems, 2019 Poetry Finalist), Camonghne Felix (Build Yourself a Boat, 2019 Poetry Longlist), and Terrance Hayes (Lighthead, 2010 Poetry Winner; How to Be Drawn, 2015 Poetry Finalist; American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin, 2018 Poetry Finalist) discuss the impact of protest poetry on American literature and American politics. Moderated by Kyle Dacuyan, Executive Director of The Poetry Project. Books are available for purchase at Bookshop.org with thanks to this season’s bookseller, Loyalty Bookstores. To join the live chat, please tune in to the conversation directly on the Foundation’s YouTube Live.

Read more >

Watch Literature for Justice: Art in and of the Carceral State

In its third and final year, the National Book Foundation’s Literature for Justice program continues to offer literature as a vehicle for conversations on the topic of mass incarceration, partnering with the Center for Imagination in the Borderlands to present a two-part virtual series to dig deeper into titles selected for this year’s reading list. Join writer and curator Nicole R. Fleetwood (Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration) and scholar Sarah Haley (No Mercy Here: Gender, Punishment, and the Making of Jim Crow Modernity) for a discussion on the convergences and divergences of academia, archives, and art in the carceral system. Moderated by Literature for Justice committee member, National Book Award Finalist, and Center Director Natalie Diaz. Presented in partnership with the Center for Imagination in the Borderlands at Arizona State University. Books are available for purchase at Bookshop.org with thanks to Loyalty Bookstores in Washington, D.C. To … Continue reading “Watch Literature for Justice: Art in and of the Carceral State”

Read more >

Watch NBF Presents: Borders of Belonging

  To question the “other” in American identity, join National Book Award–honored authors Laila Lalami (The Other Americans, 2019 Fiction Finalist) and Karla Cornejo Villavicencio (The Undocumented Americans, 2020 Nonfiction Finalist) for a conversation on borders, immigration, and outsiders, and what it means to write one’s self into existence. Moderated by Concepción de León, a New York Times reporter. Books are available for purchase at Bookshop.org with thanks to this season’s bookseller, Loyalty Bookstores. To join the live chat, please tune in to the conversation directly on the Foundation’s YouTube Live.

Read more >

Watch NBF Presents: Secrets of the South

Join National Book Award–honored authors Jericho Brown (The Tradition, 2019 Poetry Finalist), Tayari Jones (An American Marriage, 2018 Fiction Longlist), and Deesha Philyaw (The Secret Lives of Church Ladies, 2020 Fiction Finalist) for a conversation on Southern literature and how Black writers are redefining stereotypes of the South, one poem, story, and secret at a time. Moderated by Kiese Laymon, author of, most recently, Heavy: An American Memoir. Books are available for purchase at Bookshop.org with thanks to this season’s bookseller, Loyalty Bookstores. To view a replay of the live chat, please tune in to the conversation directly on the Foundation’s YouTube Live.

Read more >

National Book Foundation Names Ruth Dickey as New Executive Director

Current Executive Director of Seattle Arts & Lectures to begin new role in May 2021.   The National Book Foundation announced that Ruth Dickey, who since 2013 has served as Executive Director of Seattle Arts & Lectures, will be the Foundation’s new Executive Director. Her appointment concludes a national search following the departure of the previous Executive Director and current member of the Board of Directors, Lisa Lucas. “Ruth Dickey brings the ideal combination of expertise and experience to lead the Foundation and advance our unique mission,” said David Steinberger, Chair of the National Book Foundation’s Board of Directors. “We were looking for a proven literary leader with a track record of engaging with a broad range of communities from all across our nation, and Ruth brings that and more to this role.” “I have greatly admired the National Book Foundation’s expanded leadership role as a champion for reading and … Continue reading “National Book Foundation Names Ruth Dickey as New Executive Director”

Read more >

Watch NBF Presents: Black History Reexamined

In two groundbreaking works, 2020 National Book Award–honored authors Tamara Payne (The Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X, Winner, Nonfiction) and Isabel Wilkerson (Caste: The Origins of Our Discontent, Longlist, Nonfiction) deconstruct and re-contextualize Black experiences in America—Payne through the lens of the famed civil rights leader Malcolm X, and Wilkerson through centuries of racialized hierarchies. Join Payne and Wilkerson for a conversation on research, race, and re-writing American history. Moderated by Wesley Lowery, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, author, and correspondent for CBS News. Books are available for purchase at Bookshop.org with thanks to this season’s bookseller, Loyalty Bookstores. To view a replay of the live chat, please tune in to the conversation directly on the Foundation’s YouTube Channel.

Read more >

Watch NBF Presents: Happy Debut Year

To kick off the new year, the Foundation celebrated three 2020 National Book Award–honored authors whose first books made an undeniable impact on the literary landscape. Tommye Blount (Fantasia for the Man in Blue, Finalist, Poetry), Megha Majumdar (A Burning, Longlist, Fiction), and Douglas Stuart (Shuggie Bain, Finalist, Fiction) discussed releasing debuts in 2020, discovering an audience, and what comes next, for them and for contemporary literature. Moderated by MJ Franklin, an editor at the New York Times Book Review. Books are available for purchase at Bookshop.org with thanks to this season’s bookseller, Loyalty Bookstores. To view a replay of the live chat, please tune in to the conversation directly on the Foundation’s YouTube Channel.

Read more >

The Foundation Elects W. W. Norton & Company’s President, Julia A. Reidhead, to Board of Directors

NBF welcomes Reidhead to its Board of Directors and the Board elects longtime member PD Villarreal as Treasurer The National Book Foundation announced the appointment of Julia A. Reidhead, Chairman and President of W. W. Norton & Company, to the Board of Directors. The Foundation also announced today that attorney and longtime board member PD Villarreal has been elected Treasurer and will continue to serve on the Foundation’s Executive Committee. These appointments follow the retirement of W. Drake McFeely, W. W. Norton & Company’s former President and Chairman, who served as the Foundation’s Treasurer and had been a member of the Board of Directors for thirteen years. “We thank Drake McFeely for his years of outstanding service to the Foundation,” said David Steinberger, Chair of the Board of Directors. “We are gratified to welcome Julia A. Reidhead, continuing W. W. Norton & Company’s presence on the Board, and we thank … Continue reading “The Foundation Elects W. W. Norton & Company’s President, Julia A. Reidhead, to Board of Directors”

Read more >

X