{ subscribe_url:'/share/sites/library-of-congress-blogs/national-book-festival.php' }

What’s On: New Daily Festival Program Guide

Header for National Book Festival 2021

Here’s your daily program guide to the 2021 Library of Congress National Book Festival, which starts tomorrow, Friday, Sept. 17, and goes for a record 10 days, through Sunday, Sept. 26! You’re invited to create your own National Book Festival experience by engaging in author conversations online, watching the broadcast special on PBS, listening to NPR podcasts, tuning in to Washington Post Live author interviews and more. (Click here to subscribe.)

Each morning, we’ll run down the schedule for the day’s live presentations and preview the following day’s schedule, so you won’t miss a thing! (You can always review the full Festival schedule here.) We’ll also offer links to other great Festival features, such as our extensive on-demand videos featuring top authors (all available at 10 a.m. tomorrow and streamable at any time), Festival Near You events across the country, and more.

“Stay tuned” to this blog for daily updates from this year’s National Book Festival!

Authors appearing in live Festival presentations on Friday, Sept. 17 include (L-R from top) Kelli Jo Ford, Toni Jensen, Eric Eyre, Patrick Radden Keefe, Sarah Frier, Anna Wiener and LeVar Burton.

Tomorrow: Friday, Sept. 17 Live

11 a.m. ET: Washington Post Live: Michael J. Fox. Washington Post Live, in partnership with the Library of Congress National Book Festival, will host Michael J. Fox, author of “No Time Like the Future: An Optimist Considers Mortality” (Flatiron), in conversation with Washington Post opinions writer Jonathan Capehart.

11:25 a.m. ET: Washington Post Live: Joy Harjo. Washington Post Live, in partnership with the Library of Congress National Book Festival, will host U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo, author of “Poet Warrior: A Memoir” (Norton), in conversation with Washington Post opinions writer Jonathan Capehart. Note: Event will immediately follow “Washington Post Live: Michael J. Fox.”

4 p.m. ET: Live Conversation with Kelli Jo Ford and Toni Jensen. Kelli Jo Ford, author of “Crooked Hallelujah” (Grove), and Toni Jensen, author of “Carry: A Memoir of Survival on Stolen Land” (Ballantine), discuss their new books with Nick Martin, the Indigenous Affairs desk editor at High Country News and a contributing editor at The New Republic.

5 p.m. ET: Live Conversation with Eric Eyre and Patrick Radden Keefe. Eric Eyre, author of “Death in Mud Lick: A Coal Country Fight Against the Drug Companies That Delivered the Opioid Epidemic” (Scribner), and Patrick Radden Keefe, author of “Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty” (Doubleday), discuss their new books with Washington Post reporter Sari Horwitz.

6 p.m. ET: Live Conversation with Sarah Frier and Anna Wiener. Sarah Frier, author of “No Filter: The Inside Story of Instagram” (Simon & Schuster), and Anna Wiener, author of “Uncanny Valley” (MCD), discuss their new books with CBS News’ “60 Minutes+” correspondent Laurie Segall.

7 p.m. ET: Live Conversation with LeVar Burton. Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden talks with actor and children’s literacy advocate LeVar Burton, host of the television special “Open a Book, Open the World: The Library of Congress National Book Festival” on PBS, about the power of reading, story and connection. Special guest appearance by Dolly Parton, whose “Dolly’s Imagination Library” program was recently honored with a Library of Congress Literacy Award.

NOTE: If you miss a favorite author, all live programs will be recorded and available to watch on the National Book Festival website and on the Library’s YouTube channel. If you miss a live program, you can find a full recording of the full Festival day, each day, on YouTube. 

Videos On-Demand: Watch Anytime

At 10 a.m. ET tomorrow, we’ll release 35 conversations with authors that you can stream and watch anytime! Here’s three example talks you can watch starting tomorrow:

  • Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o, author of “Sulwe” (Simon & Schuster), discusses the inspiration for her picture book, her personal struggles with self-image as a child and her experiences making films such as “12 Years a Slave,” “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and “Black Panther,” with Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden.
  • Meg Medina, author of “Merci Suárez Can’t Dance” (Candlewick), and Jerry Pinkney, author of “The Little Mermaid” (Little, Brown), discuss their new books. In the sequel to “Merci Suárez Changes Gears,” Merci takes on seventh grade with all its travails of friendship, family and love. Pinkney’s book imaginatively reinvents the classic mermaid’s tale.
  • Tana French, author of “The Searcher” (Viking), discusses her new mystery novel with Maureen Corrigan, book critic for NPR’s “Fresh Air.” French speaks on her approach to the mystery genre, what it’s like to be an outsider in a new place and why she reread Agatha Christie’s books during quarantine.

More Author Talks & Festival Events Near You

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.

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. LeAnn Gelskey
    September 16, 2021 at 10:40 am

    I love the Daily Festival Program Guide. What a great idea! It will be such a useful tool. Thanks for keeping me on track.

  2. Ron Charles
    September 16, 2021 at 10:53 am

    What’s the link to sign up for this daily guide? (So I can share the link with friends)

  3. Margaret Ross
    September 16, 2021 at 11:21 am

    Since the publication of Joy Harjo’s In Mad Love and War, I have always turned to her poem Song for the Deer and Myself to Return On for comfort and hope. I wish to send Ms. Harjo blessings and gratitude for the grace she has brought to my reading life.

Add a Comment

This blog is governed by the general rules of respectful civil discourse. You are fully responsible for everything that you post. The content of all comments is released into the public domain unless clearly stated otherwise. The Library of Congress does not control the content posted. Nevertheless, the Library of Congress may monitor any user-generated content as it chooses and reserves the right to remove content for any reason whatever, without consent. Gratuitous links to sites are viewed as spam and may result in removed comments. We further reserve the right, in our sole discretion, to remove a user's privilege to post content on the Library site. Read our Comment and Posting Policy.

Required fields are indicated with an * asterisk.