This year’s Library of Congress National Book Festival is going to segue from a big day of authors for all ages to an evening of excitement – starting with a poetry slam titled “Page [Hearts] Stage” at 6 p.m. in the Poetry & Prose Pavilion.
The festival will be held from 10 a.m.–10 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 30 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. It is free and open to the public.
The slam—a contest in which poets read or recite their poems, which are then judged by a panel—will include the District of Columbia’s top youth slam groups: the DC Youth Slam Team and Louder Than a Bomb DMV. Champion delegates from both groups will compete to be named the city’s top youth slammer, by performing new works on the subject of books and reading. The event is a collaboration among the Library of Congress Poetry and Literature Center, The National Endowment for the Arts and the poetry organization Split This Rock. Judges will include national and international slam champion Gayle Danley, Tanuja Desai Hidier, author of “Born Confused,” and Maryland State Sen. Jamie Raskin. The emcee for the slam will be Beltway Grand Slam champion Elizabeth Acevedo.
The poetry slam is among this year’s first-ever nighttime activities in the 14-year history of the Library of Congress National Book Festival. This year’s festival theme is “Stay Up With a Good Book.” The event will take place in the Poetry & Prose Pavilion sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts.
And that’s not all! Evening activities will include a Graphic Novels Super-Session with Michael Cavna, author of The Washington Post’s Comic Riffs blog, as master of ceremonies, presented with the assistance of the Small Press Expo. The Washington Post is a charter sponsor of the festival.
Other festival events between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. will include a session featuring “Great Books to Great Movies” moderated by Ann Hornaday, film critic for The Washington Post, with panelists E.L. Doctorow, Alice McDermott, Paul Auster and Lisa See.
There will also be a session celebrating the 100th anniversaries of the births of three literary giants of Mexico—Octavio Paz, Efraín Huerta and José Revueltas—in collaboration with the Mexican Cultural Institute.
The festival will feature more than 100 authors of all genres for readers of all ages. The Walter E. Washington Convention Center is accessible via Metro on the Red Line (Gallery Place) and the Green and Yellow Lines (Mount Vernon Square/7th Street/Convention Center).