Announcing the New Additions to the NEA Big Read

Guidelines for 2022-2023 Grant Program Now Available
Stack of books that are a part of the 2022-2023 NEA Big Read with Big Read logo and text reading Apply by January 26, 2022.Connecting Neighbors Nationwide

Washington, DC—The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Big Read will feature 15 titles for 2022–2023 programming, with books that represent a diverse range of contemporary themes, voices, and perspectives. A partnership with Arts Midwest, the NEA Big Read supports community reading programs held around the country, each designed around a single NEA Big Read book selection, with the goal of inspiring meaningful conversations, artistic responses, and new discoveries and connections in each community. Visit Arts Midwest’s website for complete grant guidelines and to apply. The deadline for applications is January 26, 2022.

“The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to continue its support of the NEA Big Read, bringing people together around the shared experience of reading and exploring the same book,” said Ann Eilers, acting chairman of the NEA. “I encourage organizations in towns large and small to consider this opportunity and how it could benefit their community.”

For the 2022-2023 NEA Big Read, there are 12 new additions to the NEA Big Read library and three returning titles. Short descriptions are available for each book at with additional resources for the new titles available in Summer 2022.

“Whether they stem from a wild imagination or lived experience, are set long ago or in our time or far into the future, these 15 books are gripping, poignant, sometimes funny, and always deeply humane,” said Amy Stolls, director of Literary Arts at the NEA. “I am excited for communities to delve into these books and look forward to seeing their ideas for creative programming.”

New Additions for the 2022–2023 NEA Big Read:

  • The Bear (novel) by Andrew Krivak
  • Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude (poetry) by Ross Gay
  • The Cold Millions (novel) by Jess Walter
  • Deaf Republic (poetry) by Ilya Kaminsky
  • Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth (memoir) by Sarah Smarsh
  • Homegoing (novel) by Yaa Gyasi
  • Interior Chinatown (novel) by Charles Yu
  • Infinite Country (novel) by Patricia Engel
  • Nothing to See Here (novel) by Kevin Wilson
  • Postcolonial Love Poem (poetry) by Natalie Diaz
  • Sitting Pretty: The View from my Ordinary Resilient Disabled Body (memoir-in-essays) by Rebekah Taussig
  • There, There (novel) by Tommy Orange

Returning Books for the 2022–2023 NEA Big Read:

Applicant organizations will collaborate with a broad range of partners—including a community library if the applicant itself is not a library—to offer events and activities that engage the whole community. Eligible applicants include, but are not limited to: arts centers, arts councils, arts organizations, community service organizations, environmental organizations, fairs and festivals, faith-based organizations, historical societies, housing authorities, humanities councils, institutions of higher education, libraries, literary centers, museums, school districts, theater companies, trade associations, and tribal governments. Matching grants range from $5,000 to $20,000. 

“The power of literature can amplify creativity and foster new partnerships,” said Torrie Allen, President and CEO of Arts Midwest. “We are excited for neighbors in communities across the nation to connect through the NEA Big Read.”

Two webinars for potential applicants will take place this fall:

How to Apply for the NEA Big Read— October 27 at 12 p.m. ET/11 a.m. CT/9 a.m. PT
Join a webinar all about applying for an NEA Big Read grant. Hear from a moderated panel about various topics you might consider as you build your application, and hear from four previous grantee organizations. 

All About the NEA Big Read Books— November 16 at 12 p.m. ET/11 a.m. CT/9 a.m. PT
Join a webinar discussion about the 15 books that are a part of the NEA Big Read for 2022-2023, including insights from the authors.

Click on the links above to register. Can't make these webinars but still want to tune in? RSVP and a recording will be sent to you within 48 hours.

About the National Endowment for the Arts Big Read
The NEA Big Read broadens our understanding of our world, our neighbors, and ourselves through the power of a shared reading experience. Since 2006, the National Endowment for the Arts has funded more than 1,700 NEA Big Read programs, providing more than $23 million to organizations nationwide. For more information, please visit

About the National Endowment for the Arts

Established by Congress in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the Arts Endowment supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. Visit to learn more.

About Arts Midwest

Arts Midwest believes that creativity has the power to inspire and unite humanity. Based in Minneapolis, Arts Midwest grows, gathers, and invests in creative organizations and communities throughout the nine-state region of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. One of six nonprofit United States Regional Arts Organizations, Arts Midwest’s history spans more than 30 years. For more information, visit


(media questions) Liz Auclair,, 202-682-5744
(application questions) Arts Midwest,, 612-238-8010