NEA to Sponsor 2021 National Book Festival
Washington, DC—The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to continue its support of the Library of Congress National Book Festival, which in 2021 will feature many recipients of NEA Creative Writing Fellowships. The 2021 festival will take place September 17-26 with online author conversations, a PBS Books special, an NPR podcast series, and ticketed events at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. More information, including the full schedule of events, is available at loc.gov/bookfest.
“The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to continue our longtime support of the National Book Festival, an opportunity for readers nationwide to get access to fascinating conversations with some of their favorite authors and poets while also being exposed to new writers,” said Ann Eilers, acting chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts.
“We are inviting Americans to create their own National Book Festival experiences by offering free, high quality programs in a variety of formats that they can mix and match according to their interests and schedules,” said Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden. “We are so grateful for the continued support of the National Endowment for the Arts in celebrating the power of the literary arts in our nation.”
As part of the festival’s virtual live events, viewers can watch conversations featuring recipients of the NEA’s highly competitive Creative Writing Fellowships:
- On Friday, September 17 from 4:00–4:30 pm EDT, 2020 NEA Creative Writing Fellow Toni Jensen (Carry: A Memoir of Survival on Stolen Land) and Kelli Jo Ford (Crooked Hallelujah) will discuss their new books. Read the NEA’s interview with Jensen.
- On Saturday, September 18 from 5:00–5:30 pm EDT, 2014 NEA Creative Writing Fellow Patricia Engel (Infinite Country) and Rivka Galchen (Everyone Knows Your Mother Is a Witch) will discuss their new books.
- On Tuesday, September 21 from 4:00–4:30 pm EDT, 2020 NEA Creative Writing Fellow Maggie Shipstead (Great Circle) and Kristin Hannah (The Four Winds) will discuss their new books.
- On Tuesday, September 21 from 6:00–6:30 pm EDT, 2020 NEA Creative Writing Fellow Danielle Evans (The Office of Historical Corrections) and Charles Yu (Interior Chinatown) will discuss their new books with Amy Stolls, NEA director of Literary Arts. Listen to the NEA’s podcast interviews with Evans and Yu.
- On Thursday, September 23 from 5:00–5:30 pm EDT, 2011 NEA Creative Writing Fellow Honorée Fanonne Jeffers (The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois) and Deesha Philyaw (The Secret Lives of Church Ladies) will discuss their new books. Read the NEA’s interview with Jeffers.
- On Friday, September 24 from 7:00–7:30 pm EDT, NEA Creative Writing Fellows francine j. harris (2015), author of Here Is the Sweet Hand, and Patrick Rosal (2018), author of The Last Thing: New & Selected Poems, will discuss their new works. Watch 2021 Poetry Out Loud National 2nd Place Winner Kendall Grimes recite harris’s “gravity furnace.”
- On Saturday, September 25 from 5:00–5:30 pm EDT, 1986 NEA Creative Writing Fellow Margot Livesey (The Boy in the Field) and Sue Miller (Monogamy) will discuss their new books. Listen to the NEA’s podcast interview with Livesey.
- On Saturday, September 25 from 7:00–8:00 pm EDT, 1970 NEA Creative Writing Fellow Nikki Giovanni will discuss her new collection Make Me Rain: Poems & Prose with Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden. This is an in-person ticketed event that is also available to watch through live stream. Read the NEA’s interview with Giovanni.
- On Sunday, September 26 from 6:00–6:30 pm EDT, 2021 NEA Creative Writing Fellow Phillip B. Williams (Mutiny) will join Claudia Rankine (Just Us: An American Conversation) to discuss their new books with 2005 NEA Creative Writing Fellow Kevin Young (editor of African American Poetry: 250 Years of Struggle & Song), director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Rankine’s Citizen: An American Lyric and Young’s Book of Hours are books that have been included in the NEA Big Read. Listen to the NEA’s podcast interviews with Rankine and Young.
These live presentations will premiere online with captioning will be available for viewing afterwards in the Library's Event Videos collection.
NEA Support of the Literary Arts
In addition to sponsoring the National Book Festival, the National Endowment for the Arts has a long history of supporting our nation’s writers and translators as well as publishers and other literary organizations and programs. Since the agency's beginnings in 1965, the Arts Endowment has awarded more than $125 million in direct grants to literary arts nonprofit organizations and more than $55 million in fellowships to individual writers. In addition, the NEA engages the public with the literary arts through its initiatives Poetry Out Loud, a nationwide poetry recitation contest for high-schoolers, and the NEA Big Read, innovative community reads around a single book. Visit the Literary Arts section of the NEA’s website for more information.
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 arts.gov to learn more.
NEA Public Affairs, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-682-5570