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What’s On: Festival Program Guide for Wednesday, Sept. 22

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Authors appearing in live Festival presentations on Wednesday, Sept. 22 include (L-R, from top) Olivia Campbell, Janice P. Nimura, Brit Bennett, Robert Jones Jr., Kai Bird, James Oakes, David O. Stewart and Avi Loeb.

Welcome to Day Six of the Library of Congress National Book Festival! Every morning, we’ll run down the schedule for the day’s live presentations and preview the following day’s schedule. (You can always review the full Festival schedule here.) You’ll get this notice sent to your inbox each morning if you have subscribed to the National Book Festival blog. Here’s the rundown for today:

Today: Wednesday, Sept. 22 LIVE

3 p.m. ET: Art, Literature and Poetry: Creative Collaborations at the Library of Congress. Beginning with early 20th-century livres d’artiste and concluding with contemporary graphic and book artists, Library curators discuss the many creative unions between art and the written word.

4 p.m. ET: Live Conversation with Olivia Campbell and Janice P. Nimura. Olivia Campbell, author of “Women in White Coats: How the First Women Doctors Changed the World of Medicine” (Park Row), and Janice P. Nimura, author of “The Doctors Blackwell: How Two Pioneering Sisters Brought Medicine to Women and Women to Medicine” (Norton), discuss their new books with journalist Melody Schreiber, editor of “What We Didn’t Expect: Personal Stories About Premature Birth.”

5 p.m. ET: Live Conversation with Brit Bennett and Robert Jones Jr. Brit Bennett, author of “The Vanishing Half” (Riverhead), and Robert Jones Jr., author of “The Prophets” (Putnam’s), discuss their new books with Lauren Christensen, senior staff editor for The New York Times Book Review.

6 p.m. ET: Live Conversation with Kai Bird, James Oakes and David O. Stewart. Kai Bird, author of “The Outlier: The Unfinished Presidency of Jimmy Carter” (Crown); James Oakes, author of “The Crooked Path to Abolition: Abraham Lincoln and the Antislavery Constitution” (Norton); and David O. Stewart, author of “George Washington: The Political Rise of America’s Founding Father” (Dutton), discuss their presidential biographies with Nancy Cordes, chief White House correspondent for CBS News.

7 p.m. ET: Live Conversation with Avi Loeb. Avi Loeb discusses “Extraterrestrial: The First Sign of Intelligent Life Beyond Earth” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) with science journalist Sarah Scoles.

Videos On-Demand: Watch Anytime

View conversations with authors that you can stream and watch anytime! Here’s the full list. Some highlights:

  • Sharice Davids discusses “Sharice’s Big Voice: A Native Kid Becomes a Congresswoman” (HarperCollins Kids), which tells the triumphant true story of how Davids became one of the first Native American women elected to Congress and the first LGBTQ Congress member to represent Kansas.
  • Roxane Gay, co-author of “The Sacrifice of Darkness” (Archaia), discusses her approach as a black feminist, her endeavor to write across genre and her path to become a professional writer, with Everdeen Mason, editorial director of New York Times Games.
  • Nikki Grimes discusses “Legacy: Women Poets of the Harlem Renaissance” (Bloomsbury), a feminist-forward new collection of poetry celebrating the little-known women poets of the Harlem Renaissance.

More Author Talks & Festival Events Near You

Available today:

Other NPR podcasts:

Our media partners have joined us to broaden the National Book Festival celebration this year to include conversations with many of our Festival authors. Check out the full list here.

In addition, local organization and affiliate Centers for the Book have found ways to bring the National Book Festival closer to you. Find watch parties, community conversations, story walks, poetry slams, book club meetings and more.

You can also explore these events by state and discover Great Reads from Great Places through the Festival Near You interactive map.

Tomorrow, Thursday, Sept. 23 LIVE

3 p.m. ET: With Great Responsibility: The Spider-Man Origin Story in Art and Comic Books. Let’s share a virtual moment with the Spider-Man origin story — which includes Stan Lee’s story and Steve Ditko’s art — from “Amazing Fantasy” #15 (1962). Look at selected images from the drawings and hear experts’ insights into the collaboration that led to the development of the teen superhero.

4 p.m. ET: Live Conversation with Hawa Hassan and Marcus Samuelsson. Hawa Hassan, author of “In Bibi’s Kitchen: The Recipes and Stories of Grandmothers from the Eight African Countries that Touch the Indian Ocean” (Ten Speed), and Marcus Samuelsson, author of “The Rise: Black Cooks and the Soul of American Food” (Voracious), discuss their new cookbooks with Robin Givhan, senior critic-at-large at The Washington Post.

5 p.m. ET: Live Conversation with Honorée Fanonne Jeffers and Deesha Philyaw. Honorée Fanonne Jeffers, author of “The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois” (Harper), and Deesha Philyaw, author of “The Secret Lives of Church Ladies” (West Virginia University), discuss their new books with Karen Grigsby Bates, senior correspondent for NPR’s “Code Switch.”

6 p.m. ET: Live Conversation with Peter Godfrey-Smith. Peter Godfrey-Smith discusses his new book, “Metazoa: Animal Life and the Birth of the Mind” (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), with New York Times Book Review writer and editor Gal Beckerman.

7 p.m. ET: Live Conversation with Rodney Scott and Trisha Yearwood. Rodney Scott, author of “Rodney Scott’s World of BBQ: Every Day Is a Good Day” (Clarkson Potter), and Trisha Yearwood, author of “Trisha’s Kitchen: Easy Comfort Food for Friends and Family” (Mariner), discuss their new books, cooking and community with Jummy Olabanji, co-anchor of NBC4’s “News4 Today” morning news show.

Authors appearing in live Festival presentations on Thursday, Sept. 23 include (L-R, from top) Hawa Hassan, Marcus Samuelsson, Honorée Fanonne Jeffers, Deesha Philyaw, Peter Godfrey-Smith, Rodney Scott and Trisha Yearwood.

How Are We Doing? Let Us Know

We’re always looking for feedback on the National Book Festival. Let us know about your Festival experience: please take a brief survey, and help us improve the Library of Congress National Book Festival for everyone. Thank you!

Follow the Conversation

Join in the National Book Festival conversation on social media by using the hashtag #NatBookFest and follow the Library on these social media channels:

Join us for the 2021 National Book Festival, Sept. 17-26. Audiences are invited to create their own festival experience this year, with programs in a range of formats. Subscribe to this blog for future updates on the festival, and visit the Festival website.


  1. Thank you for this incredible opportunity to listen to authors! I have attended in person the National Book Festival, but this is so much better as one can take in so much more! I am so excited to hear that you will continue this live streaming next year, along with the in person event!

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