Meet the NEA Literature Fellows Appearing at the 2021 National Book Festival  


By Liz Auclair and Carolyn Coons
Library of Congress National Book Festival Sept. 17-26 loc.gov/bookfest

We love books at the National Endowment for the Arts, and as all book lovers know, you can never have too much book content! That’s why we're so excited to support this year’s Library of Congress National Book Festival, which kicks off tomorrow, September 17, 2021. The fact that many of our NEA Literature Fellows are featured in the virtual live events is icing on the cake. Oh, and did we mention these events are free?

Check out the full line-up of NEA Literature Fellows below. If like us you can’t get enough of these writers, we also snuck in some of our own interviews with them:

  • 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.

Find a full schedule of events here