Contact: Jennifer Gavin (202) 707-1940

July 25, 2014 (REVISED August 28, 2014)

Day of Poetry and Prose to End With Lively Poetry Slam at the 2014 National Book Festival

Library’s Poetry Center, NEA, Split This Rock Co-Sponsor Evening Event

A poetry slam titled "Stage [Hearts] Page" will close out a day of presentations by world-class authors and poets, in the Poetry & Prose Pavilion at the 2014 Library of Congress National Book Festival. The festival, to be held from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 30 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C., 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.

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).

In addition to the poetry slam, 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, and a session celebrating the 100th anniversaries of the births of three literary giants of Mexico—Octavio Paz, Efraín Huerta and Jose Revueltas—in collaboration with the Mexican Cultural Institute.

The festival’s new location also facilitates an expanded selection of genre pavilions. In addition to 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, and for young readers, Picture Books.

Other authors who have accepted the Library’s invitation to speak and sign books at the 2014 Library of Congress National Book Festival include novelist E.L. Doctorow, who will be awarded the 2014 Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction, photographer Bob Adelman, Jonathan Allen, Derek Anderson, chef Cathal Armstrong, Paul Auster, Andrew Aydin, Patrik Kyle Baker, Peter Baker, Henry Bass, Ishmael Beah, Andrea Beaty, Brian Biggs, Kai Bird, Eula Biss, Kendare Blake, Paul Bogard, Peter Brown, U.S. Rep. James Clyburn, Eric H. Cline, Bryan Collier, Billy Collins, Raúl Colón, James Conaway, Ilene Cooper, Jerry Craft, H. Alan Day, Kate DiCamillo, Liza Donnelly, Margaret Engel, Jules Feiffer, Jack Gantos, David Theodore George, Francisco Goldman, chef Carla Hall, Tanuja Desai Hidier, Anne Hillerman, Henry Hodges, Sara Sue Hoklotubbe, Siri Hustvedt, Molly Idle, Peniel E. Joseph, Cynthia Kadohata, Michio Kaku, chef Sheila Kaufman, Nina Khrushcheva, Nick Kotz, U.S. Rep. John Lewis, Brian Lies, Louisa Lim, Eric Litwin and Adrienne Mayor.

Also, Francesco Marciuliano, Elizabeth McCracken, Alice McDermott, Meg Medina, Claire Messud, Valerie Miles, Adrian Miller, Anchee Min, Elizabeth Mitchell, Richard Moe, chef John Moeller, Ian Morris, Sandra Day O’Connor, Bryan Lee O’Malley, Alicia Ostriker, Laura Overdeck, Amie Parnes, Dav Pilkey, Paisley Rekdal, chef Amy Riolo, Alberto Rios, Amanda Ripley, Clay Risen, Cokie Roberts, Richard Rodriguez, Sally Satel, Lisa See, Ilyasah Shabazz, Lynn Sherr, David Sibley, Mona Simpson, Brando Skyhorse, Jeff Smith, Lynn Wiese Sneyd, Susan Stockdale, Theodore Taylor, Raina Telgemeier, chef Daniel W. Thomas, Tim Tingle, Vivek Tiwary, David Treuer, Ann Ursu, Maria Venegas, Judith Viorst, Rita Williams-Garcia, Natasha Wimmer, Jacqueline Woodson, Gene Luen Yang, Tiphanie Yanique and chefs Laura and Peter Zeranski.

Details about the Library of Congress National Book Festival can be found on its website at www.loc.gov/bookfest/. This year’s festival poster, by popular artist and illustrator Bob Staake—who will appear at the festival—can be downloaded from the website.

The festival’s new setting will offer many familiar and popular activities. Representatives from across the United States and its territories will celebrate their unique literary offerings in the Pavilion of the States. The Let’s Read America area will offer reading-related activities that are fun for the whole family. The Library of Congress Pavilion will showcase treasures from the Library’s vast online collections and offer information about Library programs.

The 2014 National Book Festival is made possible through the generous support of National Book Festival Board Co-Chairman David M. Rubenstein; Charter Sponsors the Institute of Museum and Library Services, The Washington Post and Wells Fargo; Patron the National Endowment for the Arts; Contributors The Inner Circle of Advocates, Scholastic Inc. and WAMU 88.5 FM and—in the Friends category—the Marshall B. Coyne Foundation, Inc., the Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction, The Hay-Adams, the National Endowment for the Humanities, PBS KIDS and the Small Press Expo. Thanks to C-SPAN2’s Book TV, The Junior League of Washington, the Mensa Education and Research Foundation, Split This Rock and U Street Parking.

The Library of Congress, the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution, is the world’s preeminent reservoir of knowledge. Many of the Library’s rich resources and treasures may be accessed through its website, www.loc.gov.

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PR 14-125
07/25/14
ISSN 0731-3527

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