Announcing New Partnerships with National Book Foundation and the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards


We are thrilled to announce two additional headlining programs for the 2018 Festival, each a unique partnership with a nationally acclaimed literary award. Festival director Jane Kulow says, “Now, more than ever, it is of critical importance to amplify stories like these and to celebrate the work of critically acclaimed writers whose work grapples with topics of race, identity, truth, equity, and America’s hidden pasts. We are honored to have the chance to launch partnerships with both the National Book Foundation and the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards in order to do so.” Keep reading for more details…

Working with the National Book Foundation (NBF), the Festival will present finalists and longlisted authors from the 2017 National Book Awards at a public program that will take place on Saturday, March 24, 2018, at 8:00 PM at the Paramount Theater. In Pursuit of Truth: An Evening with the National Book Awards and moderated by NBF executive director Lisa Lucas, the program will feature the following authors:

  • Erica Armstrong Dunbar, author of Never Caught: The Washingtons’ Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge, a finalist for the 2017 National Book Award in Nonfiction;
  • David Grann, author of Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI, a finalist for the 2017 National Book Award in Nonfiction; and
  • Kevin Young, author of Bunk: The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists, Phonies, Post-Facts, and Fake News, a selection for the 2017 National Book Award in Nonfiction longlist.

Tickets for this program cost $17.50 ($10 for students) and are now available to purchase HERE.

In an equally prestigious partnership, the Festival will present 2017 recipients of the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards, accompanied in conversation by Award jury member Rita Dove, who will share their writing and insights about race and culture, with particular focus on the August 2017 events that took place in Charlottesville.

This conversation will take place at a public program on Sunday, March 25, 2018, at 3:00 PM at the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center. Titled Writing the American Story: Diverse Voices in Distinguished Books, the program will feature the following authors in a discussion of their work, reflections on obstacles to racial justice, and writing that helps make the American story a complete story:

  • Peter Ho Davies, author of The Fortunes and recipient of the 2017 Chautauqua Prize;
  • Tyehimba Jess, author of Olio and recipient of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry; and
  • Margot Lee Shetterly, author of Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race and winner of the NAACP Image Award for Nonfiction.

Writing the American Story is the official closing program of the Festival, and seeks to support and celebrate diversity while working towards understanding the invasive and structural roots of racism. This program will be FREE and open to the public. Following the discussion, speakers will welcome audience questions.