National Endowment for the Arts Big Read Grant Program

Posted by The National Endowment for the Arts ; Posted on 
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National Endowment for the Arts Big Read Grant Program


Washington, DC—The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Big Read will feature 15 titles for 2022–2023 programming, with books that represent a diverse range of contemporary themes, voices, and perspectives. A partnership with Arts Midwest, the NEA Big Read supports community reading programs held around the country, each designed around a single NEA Big Read book selection, with the goal of inspiring meaningful conversations, artistic responses, and new discoveries and connections in each community. Visit Arts Midwest’s website for complete grant guidelines and to apply. The deadline for applications is January 26, 2022.

“The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to continue its support of the NEA Big Read, bringing people together around the shared experience of reading and exploring the same book,” said Ann Eilers, acting chairman of the NEA. “I encourage organizations in towns large and small to consider this opportunity and how it could benefit their community.”

For the 2022-2023 NEA Big Read, there are 12 new additions to the NEA Big Read library and three returning titles. Short descriptions are available for each book at with additional resources for the new titles available in Summer 2022.

“Whether they stem from a wild imagination or lived experience, are set long ago or in our time or far into the future, these 15 books are gripping, poignant, sometimes funny, and always deeply humane,” said Amy Stolls, director of Literary Arts at the NEA. “I am excited for communities to delve into these books and look forward to seeing their ideas for creative programming.”


New Additions for the 2022–2023 NEA Big Read:

The Bear (novel) by Andrew Krivak
Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude (poetry) by Ross Gay
The Cold Millions (novel) by Jess Walter
Deaf Republic (poetry) by Ilya Kaminsky
Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth (memoir) by Sarah Smarsh
Homegoing (novel) by Yaa Gyasi
Interior Chinatown (novel) by Charles Yu
Infinite Country (novel) by Patricia Engel
Nothing to See Here (novel) by Kevin Wilson
Postcolonial Love Poem (poetry) by Natalie Diaz
Sitting Pretty: The View from my Ordinary Resilient Disabled Body(memoir-in-essays) by Rebekah Taussig
There, There (novel) by Tommy Orange

Returning Books for the 2022–2023 NEA Big Read:

The Best We Could Do (graphic memoir) by Thi Bui
Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? (graphic memoir) by Roz Chast
Circe (novel) by Madeline Miller

Applicant organizations will collaborate with a broad range of partners—including a community library if the applicant itself is not a library—to offer events and activities that engage the whole community. Eligible applicants include, but are not limited to: arts centers, arts councils, arts organizations, community service organizations, environmental organizations, fairs and festivals, faith-based organizations, historical societies, housing authorities, humanities councils, institutions of higher education, libraries, literary centers, museums, school districts, theater companies, trade associations, and tribal governments. Matching grants range from $5,000 to $20,000.

“The power of literature can amplify creativity and foster new partnerships,” said Torrie Allen, President and CEO of Arts Midwest. “We are excited for neighbors in communities across the nation to connect through the NEA Big Read.”


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