Art Works Blog

Photo Album: A Look Back at National Book Festivals Past

It’s time to celebrate literature! The 16th annual National Book Festival, sponsored by the Library of Congress, will be taking place this year on Saturday, September 24 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. NEA hosts the poetry and prose pavilion at the festival. We’ve seen a tremendous lineup of writers and illustrators come through to the festival every year. As we gear up for this year’s festivities, we’re taking a look back at National Book Festival in years past. Scroll through these photos of readers who’ve appeared on the NEA Prose and Poetry stage and get ready to join us again this year!

Headshot of novelist Chang-rae Lee speaking into a microphone.

Novelist Chang-rae Lee speaking to the crowd at the 2010 National Book Festival. Photo by Tom Roster

Jack Prelutsky standing next to a little girl while holding a book, smiling, and posing for a picture.

Inaugural Children’s Poet Laureate Jack Prelutsky meeting with young readers at the 2007 National Book Festival. Photo by Tom Roster

NEA Literature Director on stage smiling and laughing with NEA Creative Writing Fellow Paul Auster and NEA Literature Translation Fellow Natasha Wimmer.

NEA Director of Literature Amy Stolls shares a moment of levity with NEA Creative Writing Fellow Paul Auster and NEA Literature Translation Fellow Natasha Wimmer during a panel on literary translation at the 2014 National Book Festival. Read Natasha Wimmer’s essay on the art of translation here. Photo by K. Powell

Joyce Carol Oates on stage talking behind a podium.

Joyce Carol Oates reads from Black Water at the 2013 National Book Festival. Photo by Shealah Craigshead

Juan Felipe Herrera sitting down at a table with a pen in his hand and looking up smiling.

U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera at the 2013 National Book Festival. Listen to our 2015 Art Works podcast with Herrera here. Photo by Shealah Craigshead

NEA Literature Director on stage with NEA Creative Writing Fellows Paisley Redkal and Eula Biss.

NEA Director of Literature Amy Stolls hosted a panel on creative nonfiction on the NEA stage at the 2014 National Book Festival with NEA Creative Writing Fellows Paisley Redkal (left) and Eula Biss. Read our 2014 Art Talk with Eula Biss here. Photo by K. Powell 

Jo Reed holding a microphone to a young visitor and asking him questions.

NEA Audio team Jo Reed and Adam Kampe interviewing National Book Festival attendees about why they love reading. Photo by Tom Roster

Azar Nafisi standing behind a podium on stage and speaking into a mic.

Azar Nafisi reads at the NEA Poetry and Prose stage at the 2009 National Book Festival. Listen to our 2011 Art Works podcast with Nafisi here. Photo by Tom Roster

Jane Hirshfield looking up at a fellow reader.

Poet Jane Hirshfield takes in her fellow readers at the NEA Poetry and Prose stage at the 2009 National Book Festival. Photo by Tom Roster

Manil Suri on stage behind a podium.

Novelist and mathematician Manil Suri takes the stage at the 2013 National Book Festival. Listen to our 2013 Art Works podcast with Suri here. Photo by Tom Roster

Marilynne Robinson speaking into a mic on stage.

NEA Big Read author Marilynne Robinson spaeaks about her writing life at the 2009 National Book Festival. Read more about Robinson on the NEA Big Read website. Photo by Tom Roster

Michael Cunningham reading into a microphone.

NEA Literature Fellow and National Book Festival veteran reads from the NEA Poetry and Prose stage at the 2011 National Book Festival. Photo by Adriel Bettelheim, Library of Congress

Patricia Smith speaking into a mic.

Poet Patricia Smith caught mid-recitation on the NEA Poetry and Prose stage at the 2009 National Book Festival. Photo by Tom Roster

Kay Ryan looking up at fans and speaking to them.

Former U.S. Poet Laureate and NEA Literature Fellow Kay Ryan connects with fans at the 2008 National Book Festival. Listen to our 2010 Art Works podcast with Ryan here. Photo by Tom Roster

Rita Dove speaking into a mic.

Former U.S. Poet Laureate Rita Dove talks about her life in poetry on the NEA Poetry and Prose stage at the 2011 National Book Festival. Listen to our 2012 Art Works podcast with Dove—a National Medal of Arts honoree—here. Photo by Adriel Bettelheim, Library of Congress 

Tim O Brien speaking into a mic.

NEA Big Read author Tim O’Brien reads from the NEA Poetry and Prose stage at the 2009 National Book Festival. Listen to our 2011 Art Works podcast with O’Brien here. Photo by Tom Roster

Be sure to follow the conversation on social media on @NEAarts or the hashtag, #NatBookFest.

Add new comment