The Library of Congress National Book Festival, as you’ve no doubt heard, is going to a new place in 2014 — the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. — on Saturday, Aug. 30 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
As always, it will be free and open to the public, courtesy of the event’s wonderful sponsors. And it will be convenient to two subway stations, Mount Vernon Square on the Green and Yellow Lines and Gallery Place/Chinatown on the Red Line.
And that’s not all that’s new about it!
The new venue has made available space for several new genre pavilions. In addition the longtime pavilions History & Biography, Fiction & Mystery, Poetry & Prose, Children’s, Contemporary Life, Teens and Special Programs, this year’s festival also will offer new pavilions focused on Science, the Culinary Arts, Small Press/International and for children, Picture Books.
The popular and the comfortable will still be there — the book-signings, the Library of Congress Pavilion, the Pavilion of the States and our “Let’s Read America” area with sponsors’ activities for kids. But for the first time in its 14-year history, the festival will offer evening activities between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. including a poetry slam, a panel talk and screening we call “Great Books to Great Movies,” and a “super-session” for graphic-novel enthusiasts. Hence the theme of this year’s festival, “Stay Up With a Good Book.”
But wherever and whenever you hold it, the Library of Congress National Book Festival is first and foremost about books and their authors.
What a lineup of authors, poets and illustrators we have for you this year! It’s not complete yet, but here it is so far: U.S. Reps. John Lewis and James Clyburn, Alice McDermott, co-authors Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes, Peter Baker, Ishmael Beah, Kai Bird, Billy Collins, Kate DiCamillo (the Library’s National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature), Francisco Goldman, Henry Hodges, Siri Hustvedt, Cynthia Kadohata, George Packer, Lisa See, Maria Venegas, and Gene Luen Yang — plus the colossally talented illustrator Bob Staake, who’s just finishing up the artwork for this year’s Library of Congress National Book Festival poster, by the way.
Not to mention Bob Adelman, Paul Auster, Andrea Beaty, Eula Biss, Kendare Blake, Paul Bogard, Jeffrey Brown, Peter Brown, Eric H. Cline, Bryan Collier, Raúl Colón, James Conaway, Ilene Cooper, Jerry Craft, H. Allen Day, Liza Donnelly, Margaret Engle, Percival Everett, Jules Feiffer, David Theodore George, Carla Hall, Molly Idle, Peniel E. Joseph, Nick Kotz, Nina Krushcheva, Louisa Lim, Eric Litwin, Adrienne Mayor, Meg Medina, Claire Messud, Anchee Min, Elizabeth Mitchell, Richard Moe, John Moeller, Bryan Lee O’Malley, Alicia Ostriker, Laura Overdeck, Dav Pilkey, Paisley Rekdal, Amanda Ripley, Cokie Roberts, Ilyasah Shabazz, Lynn Sherr, Brando Skyhorse, Vivek Tiwary, David Treuer, Ann Ursu, Lynn Weise, Rita Williams-Garcia, Natasha Wimmer, Jacqueline Woodson and Tiphanie Yanique.
An array of generous sponsors is the reason the festival can be free and open to the public — including our amazing benefactor David M. Rubenstein, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, The Washington Post, Wells Fargo, the National Endowment for the Arts, PBS KIDS, Scholastic Inc., the Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
We’ll be updating the authors and other details about the festival at its website. Keep an eye on the site, and save that date — Saturday, Aug. 30.