2012 National Book Festival: Poetry & Prose


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Everything you wanted to know about the National Book Festival (but were afraid to ask)

Poetry & Prose Schedule

Sat Sept 22 

10:00-10:45 Poetry Out Loud Award-winning students will perform notable poetry in an event sponsored by Poetry Out Loud. The program encourages high school students to learn about poetry and their literary heritage through memorization and recitation — a practice that also improves public-speaking skills and builds self-confidence. No signing.

10:55-11:40 Paul Hendrickson, a feature writer for The Washington Post for more than 20 years, now teaches nonfiction writing at the University of Pennsylvania. His books include “The Living and the Dead: Robert McNamara and Five Lives of a Lost War” and, most recently, “Hemingway’s Boat: Everything He Loved in Life, and Lost, 1934-1961.” Signing at noon.

11:50-12:35 Colson Whitehead’s first novel, “The Intuitionist,” concerned intrigue in New York’s Department of Elevator Inspectors. In 2002, he received a MacArthur Fellowship. His most recent novel, “Zone One,” is about a plague of zombies. Signing at 2.

12:45-1:30 Philip Levine, a former poet laureate of the United States, won the Pulitzer Prize in 1995 for “The Simple Truth.” Levine’s 1991 collection, “What Work Is,” won the National Book Award, as did his 1980 collection, “Ashes: Poems Old and New.” Signing at 2:30.

1:40-2:25 Tayari Jones ’s fiction centers on the urban South. Her first novel, “Leaving Atlanta,” is a coming-of-age story set during that city’s infamous child murders of 1979-81. Her new book is “Silver Sparrow.” Signing at 3.

2:35-3:20 Jeffrey Eugenides won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for his novel “Middlesex.” His previous novel, “The Virgin Suicides,”was made into a film by Sofia Coppola. His latest novel is “The Marriage Plot.” Signing at 4.

3:30-4:15 Margot Livesey ’s first book, a collection of stories called “Learning by Heart,” was published in 1986. Since then Livesey has published seven novels, including her latest, “The Flight of Gemma Hardy.” Signing at 1.

4:25-5:10 T.C. Boyle is the author of 23 books of fiction; his stories have been published in the New Yorker, the Atlantic Monthly, the Paris Review, GQ and Granta. In 1988, he received the PEN/Faulkner Award for “World’s End.” His new novel is “San Miguel.” Signing at 2:30.


Noon-12:45 Giannina Braschi’s first published work was a book of poetry, “Asalto al tiempo”; since then she has had essays, a novella and more poetry published in Spanish. She went on to write the novel “Yo-Yo Boing!” in Spanglish. Her new novel is her first in English: “United States of Banana.” Signing at 1.

12:55-1:40 Nikky Finney has written four books of poetry: Her newest, “Head Off & Split,” received the 2011 National Book Award. She is a professor of creative writing at the University of Kentucky. Signing at 3:30.

1:50-2:35 Stephen Dunn, professor of creative writing at Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 2001 for “Different Hours,” one of 16 collections of poetry he has published. His newest is “Here and Now.” Among the publications in which his work has appeared are the Atlantic, the New Republic and the New Yorker. Signing at 4:30.

2:45-3:30 Thomas Mallon’s eight novels include “Henry and Clara,” “Bandbox,” “Fellow Travelers” and his newest, “Watergate.”His work appears in the New Yorker, the Atlantic Monthly, the New York Times Book Review and other publications. He directs the Creative Writing Program at George Washington University. Signing at 4.

3:40-4:25 Junot Diaz is the author of “Drown” as well as “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao,” which won the National Book Critics Circle Award and the 2008 Pulitzer Prize. His fiction has been published in the New Yorker and several times in the annual Best American Short Stories anthology. His new short story collection is “This Is How You Lose Her.” Signing at 2.

4:35-5:20 Laura Kasischke, who teaches at the University of Michigan, has published seven collections of poetry and seven novels. Her newest book of poetry, “Space, in Chains,” won a 2011 National Book Critics Circle Award. Her novel “The Life Before Her Eyes” was the basis for a 2007 film starring Uma Thurman. Signing at 2:30.